MAGNOLIA CATERING AND CULINARY CONSULTING
What is your line of work? Caterer and culinary consultant.
What do you like best about it? I like helping people create very exciting and memorable events. I find that many people are too busy to "do it all" and want to enjoy their parties as much as their guests do. That is my job, to help people feel like a guest at their own party or function. One of the best compliments that ever got was from a mother of the bride who said, "I got to relax and enjoy the wedding because I knew that you would worry about all of the same things that I would have worried about."
What are your key creative inspirations? I like to create dishes that take familiar ingredients and do interesting things with them. An example of that would be one of my favorite hor d'oeuvres, roasted potatoes with Chipotle Chile Aoili (one of my fans told me that you could eat the aoili on cardboard and be perfectly happy.)
My cooking inspiration mostly comes from being part of a family that loved to cook and entertain. My parents were making and serving Mexican food back in the 50's before anyone knew (much less cared) what a taco was. I don't personally own a microwave, but my parents got their first one in the 70's, and while I will not vouch for some of the results, I have always appreciated the innovative spirit that went into their creation.
My Southern background is a great inspiration to me. As a Southerner I grew up being trained in all the details of gracious entertaining and good food. You learn at an early age that even a tuna casserole is company food if it is created with good quality ingredients and served from a silver chafer.
What is your best story of how an idea came about? One of my fondest childhood memories comes from the early days of what became the Maus Family Candy Make. During Christmas vacation one year, my father had the task of entertaining me and my 3 brothers and sisters. That was the year we started making fondant and coloring it with pink, green, purple and what ever colors we fancied. Once we got proficient at fondant and pulling taffy Dad decided to engage us in building a holiday house make of candy. I will never forget how beauftiful it was and how much we enjoyed showing it off to any of the many visitors who dropped by during the holidays.
I haven't made fondant in years, but the skills I learned as a young child making that candy house are the ones that I use to create other confections such as White Chocolate Torte with White Chocolate Butter Cream frosting.
How has Spark! fit in?
Ronni created a logo that is exactly what I wanted to communicate the
gracious style that has become the Magnolia trademark. People are impressed
with Magnolia as soon as they see my card. When I decided that I needed
to do more to spread the word about Magnolia, Spark! helped me develop several
ideas that have proven to be quite profitable.