30 years in business
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It’s Been A Minute, Let’s Ketchup… Available Now: Artisan Ketchup

Artisan Ketchup

Most folks, when they think of ketchup they think of Heinz in a bottle, which is a tomato-based condiment. But you may be surprised to learn that the original ketchup was neither born in the U.S nor was it a tomato-based condiment. It started out in China as a pickled fish sauce.

Over centuries and different continents, it morphed into a Chinese seasoning that was discovered by English sailors, but that version was more a kin to Worcestershire sauce. The British used ingredients such as anchovies or oysters mushrooms, and walnuts to recreate those flavors. In turn ketchup came to mean a condiment consisting of mushrooms. The English settlers brought this mushroom ketchup to America, where it continued to gradually go through various changes. One significant alteration was the addition of tomatoes, which is how we have the ketchup that we know today.

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Live Cooking Demo

Carlton Cooking Demo

I was recently honored to host a live cooking demo for the GMSDC (The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council). GMSDC is the state of Georgia’s leading advocacy organization for small business development and supplier diversity. GMSDC hosted their 2020 Virtual Business Opportunity Exchange and partnered with me for an after-hours live cooking demo. We recorded the event in a client of mines beautiful home in Stone Mountain Georgia. The GMSCD spared no expense and brought in a top-notch production film crew to record and live stream the whole event.

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Bon Appetit Y’all by Carlton

Bon Appetit Y'all by Carlton

Although Bon Appetit Y’all by Carlton, was officially launched on 1 July 2020, many of you would be surprised to know that Bon Appetit Y’all was actually birthed on 9/15/13. Yep…almost 7 years ago. Back then however, it wasn’t called Bon Appetit Y’all. It was actually named after my mother and called ‘Hilda Brewer Brown”.

Ironically enough, during that period I was also the co-owner of “Hilda’s…A Breakfast to Write Home About”, which was a breakfast brunch spot in the Irwin Street Market in the Old Forth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta GA.

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Curbside Cuisines

curbside cuisine

Hey Guys

I hope this finds you safe and well during these crazy times. It’s a challenging time for everyone as we face so many unknowns. As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we face challenges that are a bit different than others. Those of us in the catering and hospitality industry is particularly vulnerable and feeling the pressure as events and meetings get canceled during the pandemic.

I asked myself, what I could do to help during this time. I want to be of service AND keep my business afloat.

The answer I came up with is to help with the demand and need for home-delivered meals. You still have to eat and having delicious and tasty food during this time is very important. You and your loved ones have to stay healthy and fit.

That being said, I’m launching a division of my company called “Curbside Cuisines”. So many people are staying home and still have a desire to support their local business, so here’s a way for you to do just that.

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Cheesecakes by Carlton debuts at a Fund Raiser

Cheesecakes by Carlton

Recently I was honored to have been asked to participate in a fund-raiser for Lost-n- Found Youth. Lost-n-Found Youth is an Atlanta, Georgia -based organization that assists homeless LGBT youth. The organization, at the time of its 2011 founding was the “only organization actively taking Atlanta’s LGBT homeless youth directly off the streets”.

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My Adventures at Tuck School of Business

Tuck School of Business

I applied for, and was awarded a full scholarship to attend “Building a High-Performing Business” at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College this past November. My scholarship was due to the generosity of Tuck School of Business and Wells Fargo. Tuck is known for its distinctive educational model and the professors truly stood up to its reputation. Founded in 1900, the Tuck School was the first institution in the world to offer a master’s degree in business administration.

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Wedding at Crooked Oaks Farm, AL

Wedding Catering

We recently took the Occasional Occasions show on the road! We were honored to have catered a beautiful wedding in Auburn Alabama at Crooked Oaks Farm. Crooked Oaks Farm is a stunning wedding venue located just 20 minutes from Auburn, Alabama. The venue is located on a hunting preserve owned and operated by College Football Hall of Fame Coach Pat Dye. The venue was full of nostalgic memorabilia and if you were an Auburn fan, you really felt home.

This was not the first time that we had catered an event out of town, but it was the first time we were in the position to bring all of our own equipment. I took many of my A-Team to the event with me. The road trip was a time for us to laugh, tell jokes and just bond. We rented a 12 passenger Sprinter and hitched a trailer on the back.

The venue, a covered outdoor space, was beautiful and the weather was special ordered for that day. My team did an incredible job, starting with my Chef Freddie and his team completing and delivering all of the food.

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NGLCC Conference in Tampa Florida

NGLCC Conference

Recently I attended the NGLCC (National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) Conference in Tampa Florida. The NGLCC conference is the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ and allied business leaders in the world, and it was attended by leaders from small businesses, major corporations, and chambers of commerce from around the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, South Africa, and beyond!

The energy and inclusiveness of the event were inspiring. But out of the many things that I experienced and saw, including attending some phenomenal classes and networking events, there was one thing that truly caught my attention and blew me away.

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NGLCC Conference in Tampa Florida

Recently I attended the NGLCC (National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) Conference in Tampa Florida. The NGLCC conference is the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ and allied business leaders in the world, and it was attended by leaders from small businesses, major corporations, and chambers of commerce from around the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, South Africa, and beyond!

The focus of the conference was to garner introductions of LGBTE Certified companies with the Supplier Diversity teams of major corporations. We had the unheard-of opportunity to schedule a 15-minute matchmaking face to face meetings with many of these organizations.

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LGBT Veteran Entrepreneur of the year 2019!

LGBT Veteran Entrepreneur of the year 2019

Recently I attended the NGLCC (National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) Conference in Tampa Florida. The NGLCC conference is the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ and allied business leaders in the world, and it was attended by leaders from small businesses, major corporations, and chambers of commerce from around the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, South Africa, and beyond!

While in attendance, it was such an honor to have been nominated and selected as one of the LGBT Veteran Entrepreneur of the year 2019 by the NaVOBA (The National Veteran-Owned Business Association).

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Cooking with Chef Carlton

Cooking with Chef Carlton

The wait is over! Cooking with Chef Carlton (6 episodes) on AIB is airing weekly, and we couldn’t be more excited to see our favorite Chef in action! Will you watch with us? Here’s how:

You can watch via https://aibtv.com/cookingwithcarlton/ in real time! AIB is also on Comcast 295 an on ATT-Uverse 6. The show premiered on July 17th, and the shows will run through August 21st. We will be sharing the recipes from each episode on our website “cookingwithchefcarlton.com” after each episode is the premiered.

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Celebrating National Pride Month

Carlton Brown

As a proud member of the LGBT Community, Occasional Occasions by Carlton takes pride in being a member of the community making a difference. We are an LGBTE Business Enterprise recognized by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in the Atlanta market.

I recently had the pleasure to speak briefly at the “Rise of the Rainbow Economy”, AGLCC LGBT Business Summit Expo held at the Atlanta Marriott Northeast location.

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CPCE Spotlight: Carlton Brown

Carlton Brown

I’m extremely honored to have been selected by the National Chapter of NACE (National Association of Catering and Events) for a nationally recognized CPCE Spotlight of my company. As one of the members of NACE Atlanta Chapter, our CPCE Spotlight is where professionals share their motivation behind earning their Certified Professional in Catering and Events designation. (CPCE). Read more from Carlton’s Journal

Cooking with Chef Carlton

Carlton And Chef Garvin

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the highly acclaimed… Chef G. Garvin. Acclaimed chef, cookbook author and TV host Gerry Garvin (aka G. Garvin) is most widely known for his television series, Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin, which ran for seven seasons on TV One. Garvin also appeared in a Cooking Channel special, Georgia Roadtrip with G. Garvin. He is America’s most down-to-earth chef, and his claim to fame is showing everyday cooks how to keep it simple with a Southern twist.

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We just catered the freakin Super Bowl LIII Ya’ll

Superbowl LIII

It was about 2 years ago when I first heard, that as a diverse certified company, there was possibly an opportunity of being selected as a catering vendor for the Super Bowl in Atlanta for 2019. The team that coordinated this effort of vendors (Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee) were seeking diverse companies to work with.

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It’s a Slam Dunk!

slamdunk

So a funny (yet incredible) thing happened. I received a call from a catering company in DC. They were in search of a local catering company in the Atlanta market that they could partner with for an ongoing project. Amongst other achievements, this company provides in-flight meals for teams like… The Washington Wizards, The Sixers, Detroit Pistons, New York Rangers, The Sox, Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and so on, and so on, Well… long story short, they asked us…

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Flea Market treasures

I was recently on a trip driving to Lexington Kentucky to spend a couple of days with my business coach and some of her other clients for a “work on your business” forum. If you hadn’t driven from Atlanta to Kentucky, it is really a beautiful and breathtaking drive. I wanted to stop several times just to take some incredibly gorgeous pictures, and to take in all of Gods glory. I was about 2 hours into my 5.5-hour trip, and I started to feel a little sleepy behind the wheel, so I figured I’d stop for a few minutes just to revive myself. So ½ hour further into my drive, I saw this sign that caught my attention, and I figured that this was a good enough excuse to stop and stretch my legs.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Secret

Holiday Turkey

If you’re looking for something a little different for your Thanksgiving dinner, consider our herb roasted turkey with chardonnay gravy. It is incredible. I’ll tell you a little secret that you can use in preparing your own turkey this season. I actually discovered this method by pure accident many years ago. My parents were coming to Atlanta for Thanksgiving many years ago when I just started trying to expand my cooking skills.

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MARTA coming AT YA!

Marta Carlton

Recently, I was accepted to participate in an open call pitch tank for MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rural Transit Authority) for their supplier diversity program. The presentation was awesome if I must say so myself! There were 10 companies pitching to Marta. Out of the 10, Marta was tasked with selecting the top 5 out of the group to move on to the next level of presenting. Each of the top 5 companies will have their company name, logo and headshot wrapped on a MARTA bus, as well as possibly receive a contract to work with MARTA.

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