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Creating Custom Menus for a Hackathon

Creating Custom Menus for a Hackathon

Over the last week, the team at Deborah Miller Catering was faced with the interesting challenge of creating three customized menus at a Hackathon for a big social media company. If you did not already know, a Hackathon is the name for an event, typically hosted by a technology company, where employees come together and brainstorm various programming ideas, creative concepts for apps, and come up with ways to make the site and/or organization better or stronger. Rumor has it that the famous Facebook “Like” button was developed from an idea during a Hackathon, as well as Boomerang, the video app that records an action you make and mirrors it back for a fun 6-second animation..

Hackathons take place all over the country and the world, and many times, if a company is large enough, cities on the each coast will pick one office and team up for an East Coast or West Coast Hackathon. Last week’s event consisted of exactly that – teams from New York, Boston, and Washington D.C.came together in the New York City headquarters for an “ East Coast Hack” and the event planners wanted to serve food that represented each of the 3 cities from a Hack Shack, or indoor food truck. There would be an afternoon snack and dinner servings, and the “hackers” could take a break whenever they wanted and walk right up to the food truck for some delicious bites.

We immediately loved the idea and couldn’t wait to execute it for our client. This concept meant a few different things for catering. The food needed to be in fairly small containers, easy to serve out of a food truck and possibly eat standing up, but still hearty enough to serve as dinner for these hungry tech folks. For the afternoon snack, we incorporated Mini Bagel Pizzas, Veggie Dumplings, and Kale Salad for New York, which touched upon the classic and currently trendy foods that represent NY today. For Boston, we knew seafood was the way to go, so we put together our delicious Lobster Mac & Cheese Fritters, Mini Maine Lobster Rolls, and Chopped Caprese Salad served out of adorable Boston Red Sox bowls that they actually use at Fenway Park for serving food! So cute and so authentic.Finally, for D.C., we had Mini Crab Cake Sliders, Tater Tots with a side of Mambo Sauce, a dressing that is very true to the city, and a Wheat Berry & White Bean Salad. Yum.

For the dinner shift, we wanted to put together some heartier food options that would keep the team members full, since they would be hacking well into the night, but of course remain on theme as well. We decided on Mini Chicken Parm Heroes, Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce, and Cheesecake Bites for the New York menu. For Boston, we had Mini Potato and Cod Cakes, Gourmet Mini Sandwiches with Seared Tenderloin, Mini Mugs of Clam Chowder, and a Mini Cannoli for dessert. Finally, for D.C., we had Fresh Roast Mini Turkey Sandwiches,Orzo and Radicchio Salad with Sautéed Mushrooms, and Mini Cherry Pies!

We had 3 servers handing food from the Hack Shack to the guests, while additional servers brought more portions from back of house to the food truck. The client was thrilled with the different food options, how each menu suited its corresponding city, and how efficient and organized the service was even in the small space of an indoor food truck. Happy clients = happy DMC!!

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