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Planning Your Perfect Wedding Menu

1. Pick and stick to a catering budget.
When planning a menu and choosing a service style be upfront about your budget. A great caterer will work with you to find a menu that meets your need while ensuring your guest’s satisfaction. We offer a variety of service styles from multi course plated meals to passed hor d’oeuvres, action stations and everything between.

2. Make it personal.
Favourite meal? Family tradition? First date meal?
We love to work with our couples to create a menu that encompasses special memories.

3. Think Seasonal
At Rusty Spur Catering we we handcraft everything from scratch. Our chefs use only the finest local and seasonal ingredients to make dishes that are delicious and flavourful. Talk to your caterer about what will be in season on your reception date.

2019 Catering / Food Trends

It’s always fun in the New Year to read all the blogs and reports about trends in the upcoming year. Here is our take:

  1.  Plant based foods!  Vegan menus are becoming increasingly popular, people are more health conscious than ever and there is real concern about the environmental impact of traditional protein based diets.
  2. Zero to low food waste kitchens.  Sustainability and local are expected.  Biodegradable disposables are a must.  Real policy in regards to composting, recycling , reducing waste and using non harmful cleaning products.
  3. Streetfood inspired menus, food trucks and trailers providing everything from late night snacks, desserts to full bar set ups.
  4. Big flavours ( think gochujang ), kicked up classic/ comfort food.  Fried chicken, escargot  and deviled eggs to name a few.
  5. Cooking and baking with cannabis, CBD infused beverages and cocktails.
  6. True and authentic hospitality.  Accountability to companies to insure that staff are working in a safe environment, are well treated and paid fairly.
  7. People’s love of minis will continue for both savoury and sweets.  We also see the continued interest in catering options that are not the traditional buffet dinner.

Calgary Wedding Catering – Questions to ask your caterer when planning your wedding reception menu

Calgary Wedding Catering

Calgary wedding catering is a big part of our business, at Rusty Spur Catering we want to ensure your guests are well cared for and that they rave about their meal and experience.

 DIETARY RESTRICTIONS:  As Calgary caterers today more than ever our job is to ensure that our meals are enjoyed by all guests.  We need to practice extreme safe food handling to avoid cross contamination for the safety of guests with special dietary restrictions.  We are hear to help you plan your reception menu, and focus on the needs of your guests.  We are happy to provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten /dairy free and Halal alternatives as required.  If your caterer is unable or unwilling to accommodate these concerns you may want to reach out to another company who can.

2.  WHERE / WHEN IS THE FOOD PREPARED:  Unlike most catering companies at Rusty SpurCatering all your food is prepared just prior to service onsite at your venue in one of our mobile commercial catering kitchens.  It is not prepared in advance at a commissary kitchen hours before service and held in a hot box.  If food is a priority to you, this is a very important question for you to ask as food rapidly loses quality as it sits.  We arrive at your venue and start food preparation, we are fully self contained.

3.  WHERE IS THE FOOD FROM:  Ask your local Calgary catering company where do they source their food?  Is the produce fresh, local and seasonal or is it frozen?  Are they using AAA Canadian meat?  Are their dressings, sauces and appetizers made in house or are they bought / frozen?  Ask if they use real butter and good quality olive oil, most use margarine and GMO oils.  At Rusty Spur Catering everything is made fresh in house including all of our pickles, BBQ sauce and even our ketchup.  These details are extremely important to the quality of the meal.  The quality of ingredients used factors into the price of the meal, cheapest is not the best if quality and source are important to you.

4.  CAN WE INCLUDE OUR FAVOURITE / SPECIAL FAMILY MENU ITEM:  Absolutely! We work closely with our clients to personalize their reception menu.  The significance of hosting your first meal as a married couple is important to us, we are honoured to have been chosen.  We are delighted to share this occasion with you by incorporating special foods and traditions to share with your family and friends.

5.  WHAT IS THE BEST SERVING STYLE FOR OUR RECEPTION:  There are pros and cons to all service styles and options.  By working closely with your caterer we can carefully work out the service style based on the type of food selected, the venue and catering budget that best suits your personal style.

Questions or concerns about these questions?  Please give us a call at 403.813.5025.  Our greatest pleasure is to help you through this exciting process.


Calgary Wedding and Event Catering – Rusty Spur Catering

Choosing your Calgary catering company  for your special day can be overwhelming .  At Rusty Spur Catering we understand how difficult this decision can be, we want to offer some helpful suggestions based on our experiences to help the decision be less stressful.  For service catering service in Calgary and the surrounding area please give us a call at 403.813.5025

  1.  Choose a menu that reflects your tastes, however always keep your guests in mind.  It’s your first time hosting as a married couple and you want your guests to enjoy their meal.
  2. Ask about a tasting.  Most caterers will do their best to accommodate one after a deposit has been made.  Some are no cost and others will deduct the cost from the final catering invoice.
  3. Ask your caterer for the recommended amount of hor’s doevures for the cocktail hour.  They have the experience and know how to plan accordingly.
  4. Try to offer options for your guests with dietary restrictions, for example vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.  Most caterers are happy to accommodate with proper advanced notice.
  5. Decide on a service style, buffet, plated or family style.
  6. Have an appointed person to liaison with the on site catering team, to ensure that the time line for serving, clearing are met.
  7. If choosing a plated dinner service, have guests indicate their menu selection on the RSVP.  By doing so you can provide accurate counts, eliminating unnecessary expense and food waste.
  8. Have a menu card at each table so that your guests can see the menu and alert the catering staff of any food allergies.

Calgary Wedding Catering

Calgary Wedding Catering – Rusty Spur Catering

Calgary wedding catering plans are getting under way now! It’s that time of year when newly engaged couples are busy planning their summer weddings.  It can be both a daunting and challenging task.  We are surrounded by beautiful outdoor locations, and with our weather being so unpredictable contingency plans always need to be considered.  Have you hired the experienced professionals who are equipped to handle these situations?  Have you planned on tents?  Is there available indoor space that can accommodate your guests?  Ask these questions and more when planning your outdoor reception.  Make sure you have the right team in place to realize your vision.

Happy planning!


I had the great honour of being the guest chef for our local Soup Sisters this past weekend.  What an amazing group of people who have met bi-monthly for the last six years to show their love one bowl at a time.   The soup made was delicious, packaged and immediately brought to Rowan House Women’s Shelter, all 62 litres.  I am happy to share my recipe of a classic minestrone.

3 TBS good quality olive oil

1 cup diced white onion

1/4 cup diced celery

4 TSP finely diced local garlic

1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup zucchini, sliced in half, then sliced into discs approximately 1/3 inch thick

1/2 cup coarsely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup fresh green beans, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup Italian red wine

4 cups vegetable broth

1 19 oz can red kidney beans ( rinsed and drained)

1 19 oz can white navy beans ( rinsed and drained )

2 14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes

2 cups water

1 parmesan cheese rind

4 cups trimmed baby spinach

1/2 cup small soup pasta

3 TBS chopped Italian parsley

3 TSP chopped fresh oregano

2 TSP chopped fresh basil

2 TSP chopped fresh thyme

Salt / pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onions, celery, garlic and carrots.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes , until the onion is translucent.

Deglaze the pot with red wine, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.

Add the stock, water, tomatoes, beans and rind, cook until the carrots are tender.

Bring a pot of water to boil, generously salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente, do not rinse, set aside.

Add the green beans, zucchini and cabbage.  Bring to a boil then simmer until the vegetables are a little al dente.

Add the fresh herbs, pasta and the spinach, just to reheat the pasta and wilt the spinach.

Adjust the seasonings and remove the parmesan rind.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan and fresh bread.





Rusty Spur Catering’s quick and easy garlic scape recipes.  It’s that time of year again, delicious garlic scapes are now ready. Enjoy!

IMG_0914 Lightly coat the scapes in good quality extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Cover with foil and place in a 425 degree oven for 30 -40 minutes or until they are beginning to turn brown.  Tastes like roasted garlic but creamier.

Alternately scapes are great on the grill as well, simply coat with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Grill until lightly charred.




2.5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces

3  Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

.5 cup finley chopped scapes

.5 cup half and half

Cook potatoes until tender, drain and return to pot.  Over medium heat melt the butter and the olive oil , add the scales and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the half and half and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add to the potatoes and mash, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.



Whether you are hiring a caterer for a small birthday party, a large corporate event with several hundred guests or a wedding reception there are 12 questions you need to answer before that first meeting with you caterer.  Answering these questions helps your caterer prepare thorough event pricing and can begin to define types of food and service best suited for your event.

1.  What is your planned budget for the event?

2.  Where will the event be held?

3.  What kind of event are you planning?

4.  What is the date of your event?

5.  How many quests will be attending?

6.  What time will the guests be arriving?

7.  What time will the meal be served?

8.  How long is the event expected to last?

9.  What type of service are you looking for?  Buffet, plated, family style  or drop off?

10.  What type of food would you like to serve?  Are there dietary considerations?

11.  What type of beverage service do you require?

12.  Would you like to rent china, linens , flatware and glassware, or are disposables appropriate for your event?

As caterers we want to provide the best service possible to our valued guest, by being well prepared we will be able to propose and budget the best options available for your event.


Catering Family Style

What is a Family Style Reception?

Family style catering is increasing in popularity, more and more Calgary brides are inquiring about this type of catering service.  It refers to the way the food is presented to the guests.  Rather than stand in a long buffet line, guests take a seat and the food is brought to them on platters rather than being pre-plated.  Each menu selection is on it’s own platter.  Guests pass the platters, select their food, and the platters are returned to the centre of the table , until they need to be replenished or the next course is served.

It is a warm and friendly approach, that creates opportunities for conversation and a more relaxed dining experience.

A family style meal is more economical than a plated service, however it is more costly than a buffet due to increased staffing and required serving dishes.  It is also less time consuming than a traditional buffet service due to buffet line ups.

Family style service is often described as casually elegant, it can be as casual or formal as you like depending on your culinary and personal tastes.

Have a question?  Ready to start planning?  Call Rusty Spur Catering at 403.813.5025 for a friendly, no obligation consultation.