Barry Putzke and Jordan Taylor, the owners and creative minds behind Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen and Pizza Cheeks, found they were getting an overwhelming amount of requests for catering.“
They used to get a lot of catering requests, and up until that point they couldn’t handle them all,” said En Place Catering catering director Jacob Marek. “It just became apparent that we were running out of space physically just in the back with not just the product in the walk-in, but physical space with bodies in the kitchen, trying to chop and prep sauces, and the Mise En Place.”
“We all need each other. That is the best part about our whole team is we all need each other. We all bring something different.”Claire Litzen
Mise En Place is a French culinary phrase that Marek describes as “everything in its place or everything has a place,” and this inspired what is now En Place Catering. Though the production and culinary mise En Place happens in the kitchen at 818 East 8th Street in downtown Sioux Falls, Marek says the collaborative team uses this as a mantra in both the front and back of house.
“We can spot a mile away that [the client] is going to love a creative out of the box menu. This makes our jobs more fun, because then we can brainstorm things that we have never done before.”Jacob Marek
“Whether it’s [catering coordinator] Claire Litzen and myself having everything in our place, we are very organized, and so it’s just like being able to pick and pull the things that we need for every event,” said Marek. “Each event is different, but we can modify a menu that we use one time, like, ‘People love that vanilla pork loin,’ so we incorporate that into future events. We’re picking and pulling from our own mise en place, like making this process seamless for everyone else.”
The En Place Catering team helps couples from the beginning to the end, and it all starts with brainstorming a custom menu at the initial consultation. A set list of questions is given to the client for feedback and to help the creativity flow.
Litzen explained, “It’s like, ‘Okay great, thank you, we are going to head in this direction,’ and then I send them essentially what is a rough draft and go, ‘Here is a menu for you, what do we like, what don’t we like, what do we want to add do we want to subtract anything, all of the above?”
Marek says they take what the client wants and make sure to put their upscale culinary twist on it. Catering with En Place can come in many forms, including plated meals, buffets, and hor d’oeuvres. Even the Taco Bar has its own spin by the company with fresh, locally-made corn tortillas and housemade chips by Tortilleria Hernandez in downtown Sioux Falls.
“We have heard from a lot of people that what they are seeing from us is just something elevated that they are not accustomed to at other weddings,” said Marek. “We just put a little culinary finesse on it.”
And it’s this finesse that makes an impact at events.
Specialty Dining Experiences
Get a taste of En Place Catering at an upcoming event.
December 13 // Annual Ramen Dinner
February 14 // Anti-Valentines: Broken Hearts Club
March 21 // The Republic of Georgia
April 18 // The Test Kitchen
“People remember food at weddings,” said Litzen. “They either remember that they didn’t enjoy their meal, or they remember that they loved their meal.”
The team is also there to help guide the client, like recommending the right quantities for the guest count.
“[The couple] may not necessarily have a wedding planner, and so we are that person that is able to take a very complex get it right moment that you get one shot at and try to take the worry and the concern from them,” said Litzen. “It can be intimidating, because you’re nervous already as is and then you’re like, ‘Is a caterer going to remember forks? Are they going to show up on time?’ We try to make it as uncomplicated as possible.”
For the En Place Catering team, they say relationships are just as important as the food.
“We truly host people as if they were guests in our home. I treat our clients or potential clients like a friend.”Claire Litzen
“Just this morning I was over at The Breaks [Coffee Roasting Co.] grabbing coffee and I ran into one of our brides. She ran up to me, gave me a big hug. ‘How’s wedding season going? Are you guys still busy?’ These relationships don’t just stop once we are done serving,” continued Lizen, “these relationships continue, and it’s not even just weddings. We are now seeing that we are having clients who are booking with us a third or fourth time for these celebrations.”
It’s typical for them to receive rave reviews in person by guests of couples, too.
“Last week we had someone come up to us and say, ‘Oh my goodness, your guys’ meals that you did at the Gullickson wedding were amazing. Thank you so much,’” said Litzen.
To get a taste of what En Place Catering can do, anyone can sign up for their Specialty Dining Series (see sidebar for more info).
Home for the Holidays?
En Place catering can put their culinary twist on family favorites, like an Herb-brined and roasted ferndale turkey.
“It’s the experience. I know that sounds cliché, but we add a little extra surprise and delight or sparkle to every event that we do. It’s all in the details.”Jacob Marek
“You’re going to be able to see our creativity at play. It’s beyond our typical sample menus, beyond the Bread & Circus menu,” said Marek. “Every monthly event that we do has a completely unique menu. So if you want to get a sense of our service and our creativity on the menu, attend one of our specialty events.”
It’s events like these and getting feedback that really drives the team, and Marek says he really enjoys seeing past and current clients all over.
“Seeing that crossover is really validating. We’ll see people at ribbon cuttings and holiday parties,” said Marek. “People see us multiple times at different events; that’s rewarding.”
“We’re creating a buzz,” said Litzen.
For more information, visit enplacecatering.com.+