Walk into my house you’ll rarely find the television on.  Call me old-fashioned, but I’m one strict mom when it comes to my kids and technology.  No TV during the week period.  Of course every rule has its exception and the last week and a half since the Olympics began has proven to be just that.  My family has been glued  to it every evening watching the women’s gymnast team win gold all around, Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte make a name for themselves, and Michael Phelps win more medals than any other Olympic athlete in history.  These monumental moments are not only inspiring, but are filled with lessons and values that everyone, my children included can learn from.

Not long after the Olympics, another monumental and inspiring broadcast is set to air.  I was fortunate to have a “back stage pass” to this one…The US Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception.  Presented by Allstate, this event recognized the achievements of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, teams, coaches, veterans and special contributors.  Berghoff Catering was honored to partner with World Sport Chicago, the United States Olympic Committee and Allstate Insurance Company to host and congratulate the 2012 inductees last month.  I am privileged to be in this industry for times exactly like this.

At this stage in my career I always think I’ve seen and done it all…and then an evening like this comes along.  The entire night and period of planning leading up to it was filled with firsts.  The ceremony was a seated taping set to air August 23 that included Olympic athletes, one Paralympic, a coach, team, and many other significant members of the Olympic world.  All inductees overcame some great hurdle in life only to achieve monumental success.   It was truly one of the most touching, patriotic, and inspiring ceremonies I have attended. 

My job was the reception before the ceremony as well as the post-reception following. Both of which took place at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, a venue that truly showcases just how beautiful Chicago is.  With more than 800 attendees, the night was filled with amazing food and presentations as well dancing, drinks, and socializing with some of the United States’ most elite athletes.

decor_2-full

guests_1-full

Being that the guests and the event were so unique, I knew we had to make it a night to remember.  I could not have been more proud of my team as the planned and executed new and amazing concepts from a catering standpoint.  The receptions included passed hors d’oeuvres as well as creative stations (probably one of my favorite ways to do a party).  Two stations were firsts and for me really stood out: The Skewer Garden and Chilled Soup Shooters.  What started as visions among my team members truly came to life and could not have turned out better!  We used trays lined in Styrofoam and topped with toasted pumpernickel bread crumbs for the garden.  Skewers of meat, fruit, and cheese then lined the garden, served alongside different sauces displayed in terracotta plants.  The soup shooters sat in a grand ice sculpture provided by Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures, Inc.

shooter_station_2-full

skewer_garden_4-full

As my family and I tune into the Olympics each night I am reminded of Berghoff’s success with the Hall of Fame event.   It was inspiring to watch my team collaboratively develop and execute this grand event, just as it is to watch today’s Olympic athletes reach new heights and strive to one day be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame.