30 years in business

admin

From Shoe Leather to Showstopper: The Secret Weapon in Your Produce Aisle for Insanely Tender Meat

Kiwi fruits

Attention grill masters and budget-conscious carnivores! Feeling defeated by the skyrocketing price of meat? Are you dreaming of melt-in-your-mouth masterpieces without the mortgage payment attached? Well, fret no more because the answer to your prayers isn’t some fancy new gadget or a winning lottery ticket (although that would be nice). It’s hiding in plain sight… your fruit basket! Yes, you read that right. Turns out, those colorful companions aren’t just for smoothies and grandma’s fruitcake (although, hey, no judgment there). They hold the key to unlocking a world of incredibly tender, ridiculously flavorful meat; all it takes is a little … Read more

6 Common Mistakes That Could Catch Your Oven on Fire

Mother's Day Brunch

To prepare grilled heirloom tomatoes without using a grill, I had a close call with my oven catching fire. I placed a tray under the broiler for a few minutes, hoping to warm up the tomatoes and get some charring. But to my surprise, my tomatoes started to produce sparks inside the oven. Thankfully, I acted quickly and turned off the oven, allowed it to cool down for a moment, and then removed the tray with the olive oil-soaked, vibrant tomatoes from beneath the broiler. Oops. This incident is a small example of how a minor mistake can have serious … Read more

Why shaking spice jars directly over pots and pans isn’t a good idea

Why shaking spice jars directly over pots and pans isn't a good idea

Spices are delicate beings, easily influenced by their surroundings. That’s why we store them in cabinets and drawers, only exposing them briefly to daylight. Heat, moisture, air, and light can all compromise their quality and potency. This is why shaking spice jars over hot food can be problematic. By doing so, we introduce the very elements that speed up their deterioration. Steam contains moisture, which can cause dried herbs and spices to clump together and lose their freshness (potentially even becoming a breeding ground for bacteria). As a result, this impacts the flavor of our dishes and the lifespan of … Read more

Spotlight: Ms. Tiana Chang

Tiana Chang

Ms. Tiana Chang, owner of Oh So Pretti Events, brings a wealth of experience as Events Director with Occasional Occasions by Carlton. Tiana hails from Malvern, Jamaica; however, she relocated to Georgia with family at the early age of 8. Ms. Chang’s journey in event planning began at the tender age of 11 years old at which time she began to organize family dinners in Ballground, GA. Tiana’s early passion led to her first job working for a flower shop in the Marietta area during high school. After high school Tiana went on to study Accounting at Miles College in … Read more

Punta Cana dining experience

Many of you may already know that Christopher Fitzpatrick (my business partner) and I merged our catering business two years ago, and on 30 Sep 2023, we merged our lives as well.  We recently celebrated our honeymoon from February 1st through the 6th in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.   Three other couples accompanied us. We stayed at Excellence El Carmen, a beautiful all-inclusive property. The property was stunning. The staff was kind, friendly, incredible, and on point. Overall, the level of service was epic, but the Food? Well, that’s where they consistently dropped the ball.  Now I realize that even at an … Read more

Are you committing a major blunder when it comes to your dried herbs and spices?

Herbs and spices play a crucial role in enhancing the flavors of dishes, adding depth to each layer of taste. Whether it’s the sweetness or the savory notes, we rely on essential ingredients like cinnamon, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and many others to elevate our culinary creations. However, how many of us are guilty of neglecting our aromatic treasures or underutilizing them? And how often do we waste money on jars that end up being discarded because the contents have become unusable? The other day, these thoughts crossed my mind as I struggled to extract the remaining powdered … Read more

Black History Month

Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Occasional Occasions by Carlton draws inspiration from the Netflix Culinary Documentary, “High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.” Our spotlight will delve into the profound influences of the African Diaspora on African American Southern Cuisine. Culinary historian, Jessica B. Harris (author, “High On The Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America”) and food journalist, Stephen Satterfield, hosts of the Netflix docuseries, guide us through this culinary exploration. Together the pair embark upon a fascinating journey from Africa to America, featuring creative culinary minds like Chef, Sedjro Ahouansou (Chill N’ Grill; … Read more

“Here We Grow” Spotlight on Marcus Fair, Sous Chef

Chef Marcus Fair

Chef Marcus Fair, an Atlanta, Georgia native, infuses a southern touch into his culinary creations inspired by cherished memories of his Mother’s & Grandmother’s cooking during his childhood years. Though Marcus grew up with a deep love for food, cultural norms discouraged him from cooking as he understood that a “Man’s Place” was not in the kitchen. Breaking through gender roles, Chef Fair’s culinary journey began with his grandfather teaching him practical skills such as how to catch, clean, and pluck feathers from a chicken. He also learned lessons on descaling, cleaning and dressing fish. Marcus’s first cooking memory traces … Read more

Merry Christmas from our family to yours

Merry Christmas

Dear Friends, During this busy season, we want to pause for a moment to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support. It has been a year filled with growth, challenges, and memorable moments, and we are thrilled to share the holiday spirit with every one of you. This year has been a journey of accomplishments for Occasional Occasions by Carlton. We have achieved a place of recognition as being one of the catering companies for The Masters Golf Tournament; Carlton was selected to serve … Read more

Wedding Planning

Wedding planning and catering

Whew! We have just completed our Fall Wedding Season for 2023. We had some of the most wonderful experiences sharing the joy of matrimonial bliss with our clients, their families, and friends. With these celebrations, we also learned a lot about how professionals impact the success of an event. With this in mind, we began to question is there a difference between a Wedding Coordinator and an Event Planner? We went beyond our own years of catering and event planning experience in the hospitality industry and asked this question of a seasoned professional and our dear friend, Regina Roberts, of … Read more

It’s all about Thanksgiving…what does this holiday signify to you? What are your traditions?

Thanksgiving is a holiday primarily celebrated in the United States and Canada. It signifies a time for people to give thanks for the blessings of the past year, including the harvest and good things in their lives. It often involves spending time with family and friends, enjoying a special meal together, and reflecting on gratitude. Some people also take the opportunity to reflect on the historical aspects of Thanksgiving, which has more complex and sometimes controversial origins related to the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers. I recount one Thanksgiving when I was living in London, England and it … Read more

Father’s Day by Christopher Fitzpatrick

Fathers Day

Hello, this is Christopher Fitzpatrick, Corporate Chef, Occasional Occasions by Carlton

Can I get personal with you? Phases of a Father…decision maker, coach, advisor

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and as I reflect on this incredibly special day, I am reminded that being a father is one of the most humbling experiences and it is a full-time 24-7; 365-day job. As a father, we are faced with situations outside of our control. Some of these situations require us to seek strength from a higher power outside of ourselves. I recall when my sons were young, I made life decisions for them…from sunup to sundown. As they got older and matured into their teenage years, I did not have that kind of control to make all the decisions for them. I remember having a conversation with both of my sons and in that conversation, I heard the most frightening words from them, “Dad let me go, I got this.” Talk about a humbling experience because I knew they were right. I had to allow them to leave the nest, because I had been training them to strengthen their wings to fly. At this point, my job was to be their coach and to help them make the necessary changes that would help them grow into manhood.

Read more

In Honor of our Mothers

Christopher

Mother’s Day is often a time of reflection and celebration of someone who has probably been the most influential person in our lives. Mothers often give thought about us from the time of conception through watching us grow into adulthood.

We can focus on Tupac Shakur’s song, “Dear Mama” and the lyrics that honor his mother. Tupac’s song is an acknowledgement of his mother’s irreplaceable impact on his life and the struggle she went through as a single parent. Our stories about our mothers may not reflect those references to Tupac’s lyrics, but we do share the similarities of honor, love, and respect to the single person on earth who knows us best.

Here are the stories that honor our mothers from the three (3) chefs of Occasional Occasions by Carlton Catering and one of our clients.

Read more

Our Masters Experience

Catering the Masters 2023

We did it BIG at the Masters Golf Tournament 2023!

Occasional Occasions by Carlton was honored to have been selected by UPS to provide catering services for their executive suite team and their corporate guests at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

We courted the relationship with UPS over the years and were selected not only because of our cuisine and service reviews, but they were also looking for a diverse catering company…and as an LGBT, Veteran and Minority Certified company, Occasional Occasions was a perfect match. As part of our service offering, we provided welcome snacks for three (3) waves of attendees throughout the week, Drop & Go breakfast for two satellite homes, breakfast each morning for the host home, cocktail parties, followed by formal plated dinners.

Read more

ANNOUNCEMENT

Occasional Occasions Catering

Happy New Year! Year 2021 presented us with many challenges that affected our ability to carry out business as usual; cancelled events, lack of product inventory, and staff related issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not all was lost, we did experience a bounce-back during the summer months and the holiday season as clients began to entertain again.

During the year 2021, Occasional Occasions by Carlton, LLC (founded by Carlton Brown) and The Savory Plate, LLC (founded by Christopher Fitzpatrick) worked collaboratively to provide clients with expanded services and cuisine offerings. These collaborative efforts led to the merger

Read more

Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the fittest

If you’ve never moonlighted as a waiter/waitress at a restaurant or helped out a friend back in the day on a catering gig….then you probably have no idea of how hard and challenging catering is as a whole. Most people see the glitz, glamour, and gorgeous presentations that we produce, but they have no idea how much strength and stamina it takes to pull off a catering gig.

Read more

Finding Hidden Gems On Daytrips

Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company

I had the most “Bon Appetit Y’all” type of day recently in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For those of you who may not be familiar, the Blue Ridge Mountains are about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Atlanta proper. It is an easy and gorgeous day trip getaway. It was a gorgeous day with temps in the low 80’s and people were out and about and enjoying the day. I drove up there with a very good friend who is also a culinarian and has his own catering company so we were in heaven together. LOL. I spent several hours on the main street of Blue Ridge, but there was one little storefront that definitely caught my attention. It was the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company. This quaint little shop was the hidden gem I had been looking for.

Read more

Black Lives Matter

Cabin

I’m posting this story in honor of Black History Month in hopes that I can bring some clarity to the meaning of Black Lives Matter.

Recently I decided to take a solo mental retreat with myself, and I booked a cabin up in the beautiful Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains. I was desperately looking forward to this getaway of solitude, accompanied by my own noise, and no one else’s. I had been working tirelessly on building my Bon Appetit Y’all Gourmet Condiment company brand, and it was starting to take a tole on me, so this trip was surely needed.

Read more

A Thanksgiving cooking tip

Here is an awesome Thanksgiving cooking tip that I learned TOTALLY BY MISTAKE years ago and haven’t deviated from it since. So if any of you know my back story (you can view it on the website at bonappetityallbycarlton.com/about-us), I wasn’t born with a wooden spoon in my mouth. You would think that since I grew up with a mother who was a home economics teacher, and my father who was a cook in the United States Marines that I would have picked up a few tricks on the way. NOPE. LOL.

Read more