Blue Heron Catering, Inc.
After the quality of the food, the most important aspects to a successful caterer in my opinion is probably turning up on time and working 'invisibly' to make your event happen. Blue Heron scored on all these counts, providing us with the most amazing and delicious wedding luncheon (banquet!) and working hard to make it all happen 'behind-the-scenes', seemingly effortlessly.
We liked Trish (our Blue Heron coordinator) from the first moment that we met her, and in subsequent emails, meetings and discussions, we really felt that she understood what we wanted for our special day and what aspects of the meal were most important to us. We had a very small wedding, just 16 guests and us, and we wanted to celebrate with a sumptuous, 4 or 5 or was it 6-course sit-down meal following our ceremony, to be hosted in our neighbor's home. We wanted a menu that was seasonal, sourced locally as far as possible, using organic ingredients and, importantly, a "happy pig" for the pork.
Trish was extremely thoughtful and flexible in working out an arrangement and a menu that would suit us, as catering a sit-down meal for a small number is quite different from a typical wedding buffet for 100 guests. She was also happy to incorporate various elements that we wanted to provide ourselves - like a particular dessert that we wanted to provide and have served (Scream sorbet), and the coffee that we wanted (Blue Bottle).
The food was, quite simply, incredible. From the passed appetizers during the pre-lunch cocktail hour, to the delicious pumpkin soup (it was an October wedding), to the pork and salmon dual entree. Everything was incredibly tasty and well-balanced. Full marks, and 6 out of 5 stars for the quality of the food.
If anything, I would say that there was a little too much food, which is why I dropped a half star on value, indicating that we could have scaled back a little on quantity, without sacrificing the top notch quality - but whether that was fault on Blue Heron's part, or our over-generous estimation in planning the meal, hard to say.
We loved working with Blue Heron and Trish and were delighted with our lunch, which was a huge focus of our day. We spent about 3 or 4 hours over our meal, enjoying the food with our family and closest friends, so it was a very very important part of the day for us. Trish and her team just made it all happen. They turned up while I was away in "bride world" getting ready for my big day, so I didn't even see them until after the ceremony, as they started to pass around champagne and appetizers. Everything just fell into place.
One final thing that I also appreciated was Blue Heron's attention to the contract and billing. Each line item was detailed clearly on the estimate and final invoice, which made everything very easy, and I particularly liked that they adopt an "all inclusive" approach, like stating their service charge up front, so you know exactly what the total will be and it avoided unnecessary fuss on the day. I don't know about you, but I didn't want to spend a minute of my day trying to calculate 15%!
A terrific experience with a local, well-established caterer who knows what they're doing and provides wonderful, wonderful food of the sort you'd be lucky to find in a gourmet restaurant, let alone...
Nickie and the rest of the Blue Heron team were very helpful, from our initial tasting through setting up before and cleaning up after the reception. They were great with planning help, and took care of all of the details of renting linens, dishware, etc. I initially chose them because of their high "green" ratings, but they were great in other areas as well.
Blue Heron Catering provided a vegetarian feast at our wedding
reception. All of our guests (few of whom were vegetarians)
positively raved about the food. While keeping our guests fed with
tasty food is the primary job for a wedding caterer, Blue Heron also
excelled at all the other tasks set before them, including bartending.
Trish at Blue Heron took us from the tastings, through design and to the delivery.
She provided a lot of help beyond the catering: from the timing of our
day, coordinating a number of conflicting vendor schedules, helping
with colors, wines and lighting. Trish also took care of
coordinating with our other vendors (the facility, DJ, florist, baker).
We were really grateful to have someone experienced managing all of that.
Trish and Blue Heron were easy to keep in contact with, both through
email and by phone and were very accommodating of our schedules.
On top of all this was the amazing food they put together for us and
one hundred guests. The bread pudding was stellar! In addition,
Blue Heron packed all the leftovers up for us!
We will definitely go to Blue Heron for any future catering needs.
Fabulous from top to bottom.
Blu Heron provided outstanding food and service. My husband and I are vegan and they worked with us to create a menu that would please everyone. What I am knocking them for, however is that for $12000 I got a lousy vegan cupcake from whole foods and the beef ran out before everyone got some.
Great food. Everything was delicious. We had about 10 more people than we thought and Blue Heron had enough for everyone! We're very pleased with them.
Caveat: We only tried Blue Heron at a catering tasting, so I can't really say how they'd do at a big event.
We're getting married at the Brazilian Room, and Blue Heron is on the list of 12 or so approved caterers. Of the four caterers we saw (I chose among the six least expensive on the list), Blue Heron was the most expensive. They seemed very professional, and one big plus is that for a wedding they provide you with your own event coordinator who starts coordinating a week before. They're the only caterer we saw that does this (Ann Walker kind of does this if requested). They're located across the street from a really scruffy park in West Oakland.
Our tasting included:
-Bastilla (too much flaky pastry and not enough filling; it's good if you've never had it before, but if you're Moroccan/Mediterranean food lovers like we are, you know that there are much better renditions at restaurants out there)
-Potato and zucchini latkes with sweet onion relish or applesauce (LOVE!)
-Asian long bean salad (we'd rather have tried their heirloom tomato salad but it was out of season; this was good but way too oily)
I like that they didn't skimp on letting us try entrees like other caterers (I'm looking at you, Shai's).
-Salmon with soy, sherry, and ginger (okay, but bland compared to similar preparations we've had elsewhere)
-NY strip steak with onion Zinfandel sauce (I was surprised they served this as the steak wasn't very good quality at all)
-Chicken with mushrooms (very good; we would have kept this dish)
Overall Catering Ranking:
1) Ann Walker
3) BLUE HERON (second best in taste but most expensive so that brought it down to #3)
4) Schumann's Four Seasons
I would give my highest recommendation to Blue Heron. They did a fantastic job with the food at our reception. Being a vegan I wanted a good mix of vegan and non vegan hors devours. They were able to offer me plenty of variety within my constraints of budget and food types. I then let my mom handle most of the coordination with these folks. At the end of the day, the staff was efficient and very professional and the food was well presented and tasted great - I could not have asked for more.
Though they were a little pricey for my budget I absolutley loved everything about this company. They have great service, are very professional, and are pretty flexable.The staff was wonderful and I don't think there was one thing I didn't like.
They had a very interesting selection of dishes to choose from and worked closely with us to customize a menu to meet our needs. In addition to the food, they worked with us to set up our floorplan at Casa de la Vista and also helped us to pick out the napkins, tablecloths, and dishes that ended up looking beautifully coordinated at the reception. The food itself was presented well and tasted great. My only complaint is that we had expected that the food tables would be decorated more elegantly, with flowers or some other decorations, instead of the food just being on top of raised tablecloths.
We chose Blue Heron because I actually remembered the food at one friend's wedding being delicious and when I asked her who her caterer was, she told us about Blue Heron.
The staff at Blue Heron were a delight to work with from start to finish. They made our wedding so much easier because they knew exactly what they were doing. Elizabeth at Blue Heron kept us to our timeline and thought of everything. She even knew which corner of the reception hall was best to put the cake for the spectacular views from the window!
They are worth every penny you spend!
Blue Heron isn't the cheapest option around, but they
were great. They've done a million weddings, so they really
have their act together. They're detail-oriented, they really
know how to make a bride feel secure. Trish, the coordinator
assigned to manage our event, was really on top of things.
She worked with my wedding planner to sort out all
details, visited the location a few times on her own
(without my asking), and attended a final meeting with me and
my planner, basically just to assure me that all systems were go.Blue Heron also catered our engagement party, incidentally, which
my mother-in-law planned. The hors-doevres were a hit, the
bartender was friendly, and the wait staff was constantly
circulating.l highly recommend Blue Heron. The food's delicious, the staff attentive and experienced, and I think the price tag's worth the peace of mind in knowing that the presentation will be flawless and the details handled. My only
complaint is that they need 11/2 hours for setup before first food
(like cocktail hour), which is tough when you're pressed by a
time constraint at your location. But perhaps this is standard...
I love these people! They are so flexible. Nothing phases them! The food and presentation are wonderful. I think they could make anything!
Blue Heron catering provides delicious, creative food, beautifully presented with wonderful service you can’t go wrong. I recommend them highly.