Behind the Scenes with Kitchen Mischief

Don't those chef jackets look snazzy! Thanks, Matthew!

After testing a dozen recipes, shopping till we dropped, and conducting several late-night cooking sessions, we finally pulled off our first catering event. On Saturday night, Kitchen Mischief catered a 40th wedding anniversary party, and by all accounts, the food was a hit. But when preparing food for 75 guests, it’s inevitable that some mischief arises. Here’s what happened behind the scenes…

400 Mini Beef Wellingtons

Those are the wellies in the bottom right corner...

Those are the wellies in the bottom right corner...

JOSH: These were great, because we got to assemble them ahead of time, and just bake them on site. No problem, right? Right…except for the fact that I’m a little challenged and forget that pans that come out of the oven are HOT. I think Matthew is going to make me wear gloves from now on. Maybe even a helmet!
MATTHEW: Josh may have to wear one of those shiny, fire fighter suits when handling hot items.  His hands looked like I was torturing him with a hot poker.  Regardless of the injuries, the wellies were great.  I ate one each time I passed through the kitchen.  I laughed when a guest told Josh that he thought the wellies were chocolate-filled pastries and was surprised when he bit into them to taste beef.  The blank look on Josh’s face was priceless.

350 Caprese Bitesphoto
JOSH: Whereas the Wellies could be assembled ahead of time, these babies could not. So each one was lovingly hand-skewered by David, who made himself a nice little Caprese Station in the corner, complete with a lamp for ambiance. It was quaint! However, there was no television for him to watch the Tennessee game so I’m lucky I didn’t end up on a skewer.
MATTHEW: When I saw David sitting at his little station, I really felt like I was Kathy Lee Gifford and he was my sweatshop worker.  Bless his heart, he assembled those skewers with no complaints…well, except when people would send him texts regarding the Tennessee game he was missing.

Fab Fruit & Cheese

Photo by Ray Hydrick. All of these are.

Photo by Ray Hydrick. All of these are.

JOSH: Matthew is an artist with fruit and cheese. It never ceases to amaze me. When I try to arrange the stuff, it’s like one of those evil 3-D dolphin posters from the nineties…I stare and stare but I can’t figure it out. Makes me crazy! Thank goodness Matthew’s got the touch.
MATTHEW: Josh makes it sound like I made a bust of Michael Jackson out of gouda.  Just start with your big item (grapes) and work your way around.  Ray can tell you – I have arranged and rearranged cheese boards in frustration.  He has dodged of couple of flying pieces of cheese in the kitchen.

300 CrostiniIMG_8469

JOSH: So I baked the crostini the day before to save time. Makes sense, right? About 15 minutes in, David or Ray said “the crostini’s great, but the bread is kinda chewy.” My eyes widened in alarm. WHAT! Stale bread! Major party foul! So we frantically re-crisped the crostini and did a recall on the chewies. Crisis averted.
MATTHEW: This was one of my favorite stories.  After remaking the crostini, we thought we were catering ninjas and would replace the other trays on the table without anyone noticing.  Well, we were not so stealthy.  With three of us attempting this task, the guests turned and the look on their faces was that of, “What was wrong with those? And I just ate it!”

Pumpkin Dip in DisguiseIMG_8478

JOSH: The plan on this dish was to pipe the pumpkin “mousse” (the quotation marks are because it wasn’t mousse at all…just dip…but mousse sounded so much fancier!) onto the homemade gingersnaps. Doesn’t that sound nice? Yeah, well…as you can see…no piping occured. When the clock is ticking out of control, you improvise. Plus it saved us some much-needed table space.
MATTHEW: Josh did amazing job on the homemade ginger snaps.  They looked and tasted great.  At first people didn’t know what to make of it.  Pumpkin soup with crackers?  Once a few guests bravely tasted the dip, word got out and people came back for more.   I’m just glad Josh thought of bringing those baby pumpkins.  I would have had to stand there with a piping bag and pipe while people were in line…like going up to a soft serve ice cream machine at Jason’s Deli.

An Entire Roasted Pig (almost)pork
MATTHEW: I like serving pork loin for the fact that it is good hot and at room tempertaure.  The white barbeque sauce tasted great and the jezebel sauce was spicy.  It was a hit!  I got a kick out of the men making these sandwhiches.  The pork station was beside the grits bar (see below) – the men would add the ingredients from grit bar to their sandwhich.  They were very creative.
JOSH: I kept bugging Matthew on Saturday morning via text. ME: Got the pig on the grill yet? ME: How’s that pork? ME: Pork in the oven yet? ME: Pork almost done? I was like a kid on a road trip!
MATTHEW: If Josh had been beside me during the barrage of pork related texts, I would have smacked him with a pork loin.

All the grits in the ENTIRE SouthIMG_8474

JOSH: OMG I made SO many grits! I had to enroll in an Intro to Calculus class at Jeff State just to convert the recipe. Here’s the equation: 15 cups of grits + 2 gallons of milk + an entire CASE of chicken broth + 2 huge wedges of parmesan cheese divided by 2 pots X two batches = two boilovers and approximately 80 cups of grits. Forget the loaves and fishes…Jesus should have served grits.
MATTHEW: I am soooo glad Josh did the grits (see above calculus statement).  These grits were perfect.  If you notice in the picture that we provided cups for guests to use so that they didn’t have a grit lava flow over take their plates.  Well, I think the big bowl of bacon might have obsecured their vision.  Only after Ray and I, at different times, helped serve grits in cups did they realize what those were there for.

One Happy Hostess, and Two Extremely Proud Boys.

JOSH: We also have to give a shout out to David and Ray, who busted it in the kitchen all night and kept us from doing a culinary belly flop. Thank you, boys! And thank you, Melinda, for believing in us and trusting us with this special event!
MATTHEW: I truly thought that if David and Ray had to wash one more dish, they would have thrown their dish-pan hands up and left.  I mean we did have our own cars!  Yes, that is right, we needed FOUR cars to bring our stuff to the location.  But David and Ray were real troopers and we appreciate them for it.  Melinda has been my friend since fourth grade (yes, I know. She looks years younger than me).  She believed in us and I am grateful.  Plus, she said she wanted to work for us.

The sum of this equation: We had so much fun, and we’re excited to see Kitchen Mischief take its next steps. If you’d like us to cater your next party, just give us a call. But you might want to give us a couple weeks to recover. 😉


20 Responses to “Behind the Scenes with Kitchen Mischief”

  1. judith Says:

    sounds just as wonderful as it looks. I love the way y’all look in your fancy chef jackets. Josh, you are blessed to have such a supportive husband.

  2. josh Says:

    amen sista! i mean mom. 😉

  3. SUSU Says:

    WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!…everything looked so delicious!!!… and you two looked great in your jackets…loved the black and the “KM” emblem!!!!…David and Ray are two treasures!!!!…love ya’ll!!!

    • Matthew Says:

      Mind you this is the jacket I had to beg and plead for Josh to try on…now I think he sleeps in it every night.

      I think we look quite spiffy!

      Thank you for sweet comments!

  4. beth copham Says:


    I think my in-laws were at that party. Ya’ll look great in your cool jackets! Congrats on the 1st catering gig, I hope it’s the 1st of many for you! And you don’t have one foot in the grave yet, you still look pretty good for an old man! 🙂

    • Matthew Says:

      I saw your in-laws. They gave me the “I think I know him” look. It took about an hour but they finally recognized me and said hey! It was fun seeing everyone.

      By the way, I love my cool jacket!

  5. Melinda Decker Says:

    Matthew and Josh~

    I cannot say thank you enough….you are simply THE BEST and I had so much fun with you both through the whole process! My mom and dad were simply wowed (is that a real word?!) by the beautiful and delicious food you prepared. I heard nothing but rave reviews from all of the guests and I totally ready to book you for the next event…..maybe we can have grits! HA! Much love to you both and many thanks…….(I have to say I am totally excited to be on my first blog too…hee hee!)

    • josh Says:

      thanks, melinda! you are too sweet! we had a blast doing it. we’re so glad your mom and dad had a good time…they seem like such wonderful folks!

  6. Megann Says:

    I’m so glad it went well!! It looks great! I’m ready for yall to cater Catherine Ellis’ baptism. November. What do you say? I’m so proud of yall and love love love the jackets.

  7. Tim Says:

    HAHAHAHAHA… David in his station. I want some Wellies at FBF! I’ll skewer something next time if you ever need help. Clean hands. Well DONE!!!

  8. Courtney Says:

    So proud of y’all. It looked amazing! I have seen first hand what an amazing dishwasher David is…he and Ray are the best kitchen crew you could ask for. Hope I get invited to the next party that KM caters~

    • josh Says:

      i think we need to have a recurring Courtney Treater event. Like…”Thursday Treats” and it’s all about you and fabulous food. 😉

  9. Jessica Otwell Says:

    Josh, Y’all are going places, I’m so proud!

  10. judith Says:

    tell me about the gorgeous leaves you used…awesome

  11. Jackie Says:

    Wish I lived within KM catering distance! Teach C. Treats some tricks and send her north to see her family! Nice work guys and congrats – who needs regular jobs???

  12. Raising the Bar « Kitchen Mischief! Says:

    […] bars for guests. For our “One-Night-Only” foray into the world of catering, we did a Grits Bar. And for Halloween, I did a “Create-Your-Own Crostini” Bar. But leave it to my sister […]

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