• Amanda Pilkington

Park City Catering: A VIP Cocktail Party with Passed Appetizers


Who doesn't LOVE a good cocktail party? I know I do! The best part in my opinion? Not just the cocktails but the food that goes with them. After all, a party isn't a party without great food. And I LOVE coming up with menus, brainstorming ideas with clients and creating the perfect food pairings to go along with the mood, theme or flavor of an event.

I've been working as a private chef and caterer for years. I even worked as the chef for a private jet company. Before that I worked in my family's restaurant from the time I was a teenager. I've since landed in Park City, Utah and live and work here full time.

During Sundance Film Festival in 2018, I had the chance to work with my team of chefs to do the food for an exclusive VIP cocktail party with passed appetizers. The event was two separate evenings with different themes and menus each night.

Some of the parameters: There had to be at least one vegan option, one vegetarian option, and one dessert option. The client expected 200+ guests each evening and wanted passed appetizers only. So we had to focus on food that looked both elegant but that was also easy to produce on a larger scale and was portable.

For the first night, the theme was a Vintage / Retro Ski Theme (is IS Sundance / Park City after all), and the second night was a Swedish Modern / Pendleton Theme.

We did our research, came up with ideas as a team, sent off the ideas and got feedback from the client! Here was our brainstormed menu + the FINAL menu the client selected after we got their input and feedback.

Our ideas we presented to the client:

Savory Appetizer Ideas:

* Vintage Goat Cheese Log

* Wings

* Dressed Beef Jerky

* Pierogis with a Cherry Reduction

* Pot Roast with Horseradish Dipping Sauce

* Crudite with Goddess Dressing

* Maple Bourbon Popcorn

* Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese & Chives

* Classic Ripple Chip with Caramelized Onion Dip

* Tater tots with Sriracha Creme Fraiche

* Deviled Eggs

* Lamb & Beef Kofta Meatballs

* Persimmon & Prosciutto

* Smoked Salmon Crostini with Dill in a Cucumber

* Manchego with Honey & Nuts

* Rilettes with Pickles

* Flatbread with ricotta & mushrooms

* Hamachi with pickled veggies

* Mini Lobster Rolls

* Crab Salad in Cucumber

* Crudite w/ Beetroot Tatziki

* Olive tapanade

* Pickled Veggie Cup w/ Cauliflower, Carrots & Red Pepper

Sweet Appetizer Ideas:

* Retro Mud Pie

* Champagne Jello Shooter

* Bread Pudding

* Panna Cotta 2 ways - Grapefruit & Mint / Pomegranate

* Chocolate Mousse with Balsamic Glaze

* Ricotta Lemon Curd Tartlets

Here are the FINAL menus:

Friday: Retro Ski Theme

* Vegetable Crudité with Vegan Goddess Dressing

* Roast Beef Roll Ups with Horseradish Cream and Shoestring Fries

* Crispy Tots with Sriracha Creme Fraiche

* Roasted Tomato Crostini with Olive Tapenade

* Toasted Marshmallow S'more on a Salty Pretzel Stick

Saturday: Swedish Modern Theme

* Grilled Flatbread with Fresh Ricotta & Wild Mushrooms

* Meatballs in a Fire Roasted Marinara

* Cold Smoked Salmon Roll with Fresh Dill & Cucumber

* Vegetabel Crudite with Vegan Green Goddess Dip

* Sparkling Champagne Jello Bites

For a custom quote or special Sundance catering inquiries, please email Chef Amanda at chefamandapilkington@gmail.com