New Orleans is a popular place to get married, whether you live here or make it a destination. An essential part of the experience is the food, as no celebration in this city known for its cuisine feels complete without a feast. 

That’s where a catering company comes in. We turned to Southern Hospitality Catering, founded in 1984 by John Rowland, to find out what a catering company can offer.

“Our focus is to make event planning stress-free and delicious,” says Rowland. “We can take care of all of the details and guide our clients through planning for any size group.”

What a catering company can offer varies. Southern Hospitality is a full-service company that can tailor a menu for seated dinner parties, seafood boils, corporate events, weddings and receptions. The company’s executive chef is Max Bouzaid. Caterers set up the food, or work with another vendor such as an event planner or florist to create a nice presentation. 

What are the top three things that a person should bring to a caterer they want to hire for a wedding?

1. What type of menu items you are looking for: traditional Southern, a touch of Mediterranean, Asian, Italian, for example, and if there are any dietary limitations. For example, for the wedding shown here, Chef Max worked with the bride and groom to create a menu suitable for the variety of religious beliefs and dietary boundaries of their guests.

2. Ideas of style and presentation: Do you want passed hors d’oeuvres, buffet dinner, seated dinner?

3. An idea of budget is extremely helpful.

What can you provide for a wedding?

Food, beverage, table presentation (decor and linens), tabletop florals, staff, and rentals (tables, chairs, portable bar, china, silver, glassware).

What would you recommend the budget-conscious couple not cut back for a wedding?

Food and beverage.

How is a caterer paid?

50 percent deposit due up front, with remainder at time of event.

Biggest fear as a caterer:

That the number of guests exceeds the client’s guaranteed count.

Closest call with catering disaster:

A client gave us the wrong event date. We made it happen and all turned out well!

Southern Hospitality Catering

(504) 897-0477; julie@southernhospitalitycatering.com; southernhospitalitycatering.com