No Dirty Dishes: The Top 5 Catering Companies in Phoenix

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If you’re throwing a holiday party this season, you probably needed to have the caterer booked, well, yesterday, but here are the Top 5 catering companies in the Valley to keep in mind for your next big event. Or, try giving them a call anyway; you never know, maybe one or two still have some availability to help you take your holiday fete to the next level.

1 Oakville Grocery Co.

Oakville Grocery Co., located in Scottsdale Quarter, is so much more than a specialty food store, it also offers fine catering services. Their chefs work with high-quality ingredients to produce meals, snacks and nibbles with international flair. Whatever you're envisioning, the Oakville chefs can prepare, whether it be cheese, crudite and charcuterie platters, chicken/beef/pork/shrimp/vegetable skewers, or platters of cookies, brownies and other desserts. For heartier fare, there are enchiladas, crab cakes, quatro frommagi mac and cheese, artisan salads, bread baskets and a whole score of market sides, such as tortellini, caesar salad, fruit, potato salad, grilled vegetables, curried cauliflower gratin and so much more. Gourmet box lunches are also an option, as is breakfast: consider assorted pastry platters, individual frittatas, bagels, cinnamon rolls, and granola and yogurt parfaits. The current catering menu and prices are posted online and delivery service is available, depending on location. They request at least 48 hours notice on all orders and encourage you to ask about seasonal options and chef specialties.

15015 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 480.596.8200 web

2 The Herb Box

Established in 1995, The Herb Box offers a catering menu that's creative and of high quality, specializing in taking tried-and-true favorites to the next level via innovative flavor combinations and cooking techniques. Plus, they place a high priority on presentation, so each and every culinary creation will be just as beautiful as it will be delicious. Whether you're looking to bring in fare for an intimate gathering of a dozen friends, a wine tasting or cocktail party for 30, or a holiday office party for 100 or many more, you can rest assured that The Herb Box will take care of every detail possible to ensure the culinary portion of your affair goes off without a hitch. Sample fare includes sweet potato chips dusted with mild curry; an urban market salad with watercress; red pepper, dried corn, sugared pecans, avocado and bleu cheese vinaigrette; citrus and rum free-range chicken with watercress and pear-gorgonzola salsa; Alaskan salmon with maple-ginger glaze, asparagus couscous with feta and mint; grilled vegetables with goat cheese and herbs; and much more.

6990 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 480.998.8355 web

3 Amuse Bouche Gourmet Bistro & Catering

Named one of the best new restaurants of 2009 by Phoenix magazine, Amuse Bouche is both a cozy bistro and an upscale catering company, located in Surprise since 2008. The company has the capability to accommodate parties both large and small, both elegant and informal. And if your event will be beyond the scope of sophisticated boxed lunches and hors d'oeuvres, you'll be glad to know Amuse is also well equipped to handle complete event planning. Put the reins in the capable hands of their event planners, specialty chefs and event staff to build a wholly memorable occasion from the ground up: cocktail parties, wedding receptions, brunches, gourmet dinners, corporate events and take-out platters -- the possibilities are nearly endless. In fact, Amuse Bouche would be our No. 1 choice for a worry-free cocktail celebration. Let them prepare and serve the food, pour and refill the refreshments, and take care of both setup and cleanup, leaving you more time to entertain your guests.

17058 W. Bell Rd., Suite 104, Surprise, AZ 85374 623.680.7280 web

4 Bruce Brown & Company

Though Bruce Brown & Company catering was established in 2000, Bruce Brown himself has decades of experience in the restaurant and catering industries, both in New York and here in Phoenix. His company is in perpetually high demand for its ability to deliver sophisticated cuisine and exemplary service. It would seem no theme is too large a request when it comes to preparing the party of a client's dreams, whether it's for a big football game, the New Year, a birthday, or a luau, barbecue, and so on. Choose from breakfast foods such as mini croissants, fresh fruit tray, canapes, blintzes or quiches; or, have them prepare a selection of gourmet sandwiches, lunch platters, or hot lunches such as chicken parmesan or baked olive chicken breast served with sides and a comforting dessert. Cocktail or martini menus can be equally as exciting, featuring seafood cocktails, chocolate mousse cups, raspberry creme puffs and a fruit and cheese extravaganza, just to name a few possibilities. There's even a contact form on the company's site where you can submit your requested date and theme, input your budget and number of guests and other necessary details.

15258 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85032 602.222.6667 web

5 Santa Barbara Catering Company

Having been in the game since 1992, the Santa Barbara Catering Company knows a thing or 20 about what kind of nosh it takes to turn a good party into a great one. With them, the emphasis is placed on making the food and the event as distinctive and memorable as possible, meaning their presentations are visually interesting and made with high quality ingredients. Maybe this is the reason why Santa Barbara is the exclusive caterer for The Farm at South Mountain, Tempe Center of the Arts, The Barn, Fort McDowell and Boulder House; and the preferred caterer for the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Art Museum, The Heard Museum, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Taliesin West, Secret Garden, Villa Siena and many others. Drop-Off Catering is also an option with Santa Barbara, which includes delivery and professional setup. In addition to catering, they also provide a full menu of event planning services, to help walk you through everything from decorating the venue to designing the courses to be served. For when you need to really blow your party or event guests away, call Santa Barbara.

1090 W. Fifth St., Tempe, AZ 85251 480.921.3150 web

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