Catering the Emmys

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Ever wonder what it would be like to cater the largest annual seated dinner in North America? For 18 years, Patina Restaurant Group based in Los Angeles, CA has pulled out all the stops to serve dinner to 7,000 of Hollywood’s elite.

Each year for two weekends in September, Patina Catering and the Patina Restaurant Group plate up an exquisite, well-organized 3-course dinner for 7,000 attendees at the annual Emmy Awards. The Creative Arts Ball, which presents the awards for all behind the scenes show production teams was held on September 15 and the telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball that is broadcasted to millions of viewers around the world was held the following weekend on September 22.


This multi-day event, produced by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, takes a lot of preparation and a lot of teamwork from groups across the country. For Patina, the planning process begins almost immediately after the last plate is cleared when the menu for the following year is organized. Including Joachim Splichal, chef and founder of Patina Restaurant group, more than 205 chefs and 18 executive chefs from around the country worked together to create the prestigious dinner.

Over 50 dishes are created for special tastings with the Television Academy’s Governor’s Ball Committee and are then cut down to the exclusive 3-course menu served at the event. Drawing from this year’s theme “Enchanted Forest”, Splichal played with entrees that would create a sensory experience to match the event décor from Sequoia Productions.


When the fall finally rolls around and the event production is under way, more than 200 chefs and 1200 staff are brought onsite from Patina divisions around the country to prepare 7,000 meals for each event. All food is prepped in the Patina Central Kitchen over a 5-day period, then cooked onsite throughout multiple event kitchens with full build-outs and all ingredients are sourced locally. Patina even has staff on-call at local grocery stores just in case extra ingredients are needed!



With Alec Lester, Executive Chef, Gregg Wiele, Corporate Executive Chef, Carlos Enriquez, Pastry Chef and Splichal leading the way, the teams set up a conveyor belt in the workspace and get to work. “It is a surprisingly calm kitchen,” says Talya Mirkin who manages PR for Patina’s many divisions. “The team has done this for 18 years and has it down to an art. Everyone knows what needs to get done and does it.”


Under an expansive canopy of foliage holding true to the theme, over 700 waiters presented guests with dishes that enhanced the ethereal and exquisite fairytale setting. With all staff on board, the goal is to have every guest served within 20 minutes of the first plate received; this may not always occur, but the goal keeps the team moving.

“The annual Patina “family” affair not only requires dedication of every individual in the team atmosphere but also provides an opportunity to interact with company representatives from both coasts and glean inspiration to bring to each chef’s respective establishments,” regards Mirkin. “This backbone of collaboration drives all involved to continually surpass expectations year after year when executing all dishes a la minute for a dining experience worthy of the attendees’ accomplishments.”


First Course
Little Gem Lettuce Salad
Basil scented mozzarella, marinated sun-ripened tomatoes, heirloom baby beets, cider maple and sunflower seeds, basil chips, virgin olive oil

Main Course
Beef Filet Mignon
Red wine braised short rib, cippollini onion, potato-pear gratin, asparagus

Caramelia Namelaka
Devil’s food cake, roasted cherries, mascarpone cream

2011 Beaulieu Vineyard® Carneros Chardonnay
2009 Beaulieu Vineyard® Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Beaulieu Vineyard® Maestro Collection Napa Valley Port and Muscat de Beaulieu will be served at the chocolate stations.


Fun facts from the making of this event:

• 25 gallons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil are used.
• 800 lbs of both heirloom baby tomatoes and heirloom baby beets are used.
• 7,000 bottles of Beaulieu Vineyard Wine are used for parting gifts.
• 12,500 zip ties used.
• The ballroom is the length of a football field and double the width.
• More than 900 curtain clips used to hold star drop décor panels.
• Canopy of branches covers 20,000 square feet
• 2,700 yards of fabric used to cover ceiling beams of the convention center.
• 3,900 hours of labor to create floral centerpieces.
• Leftovers from the events are donated to Los Angeles Mission, which serves 1800 meals a day to the homeless.


eNews October 2013

About the author : Alyssa Brooks

Alyssa Brooks

Alyssa Brooks is the Marketing Manager for Event Solutions and Catersource. She enjoys planning and marketing events and is always seeking fun and creative new ideas to share with the industry.

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