About Me

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
emelle's catering ltd. opened its doors to greet our first guests in may of 1999. with a new, cool, contemporary and polished look, we quickly became the neighborhood's favorite place to stop for breakfast and lunch. our first guests, now turned regulars, have become dependant on emelle's to set the precedent for remarkable service and delicious cuisine.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Emelle's June Activities and Events

Emelle's has a fabulous line-up of events this June. We hope that you will be able to join us.
Bard on the Beach (June 2 – September 24)
It’s that time of year again…time to head down to Vanier Park to celebrate the extraordinary works of William Shakespeare. This year’s line-up includes As You Like It, the Merchant of Venice, Henry VI and Richard III. To make your Shakespearean experience even more special, Emelle’s Catering has created three Shakespeare themed picnic baskets that can be enjoyed before your show. Baskets can be pre-ordered 48 hours in advance and can be picked up next to the box office 2 hours prior to the show. So find a good spot on the grass, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy your night with Emelle’s and Shakespeare!

For more information on the Bard on Beach Festival please visit the Bard website.
To order your Bard picnic basket please visit the Emelle's website.

Brian Jessel BMW 6th Annual Cabriolet Charity Gala (Saturday, June 11)
The always outstanding Brian Jessel Charity Gala is definitely a highlight and this year will be no exception. This year’s gala tickets offer guests a spectacular evening filled with live music from the Barenaked Ladies, amazing food from many of Vancouver’s top restaurants and caterers (including Emelle’s), the opportunity to bid on some amazing auction items and the chance to win a year’s lease on a brand new Brian Jessel BMW! Proceeds will be benefiting three charitable organizations including the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation. This is a fantastic opportunity to have a night of great food and fun for a very worthy cause.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the gala please visit the Brian Jessel BMW website.

 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Telus Walk 2011 (Sunday, June 12) and Easter Seals 24-Hour Relay (June 18-19)

It’s time again to lace-up your running shoes for two important causes: The 2011 Telus Walk is a great opportunity for family, friends and the community to get outside and raise funds that will go towards finding a cure for those 300,000 plus Canadians living with type-1 diabetes. Over 48,000 Canadians participated in last year’s walk and helped raise over $7.5 million. We are hopeful that this year’s run will be even more successful.
The BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities will be putting on their 33rd annual 24 Hour Relay! Relay races at Swanguard Stadium, UVIC and the Apple Bowl in Kelowna are raising funds for the Easter Seals camping program. This event makes it possible for children with disabilities to attend and participate in one-week camping programs that will lead to the development of new skills, friendships and greater independence.  So get together a group of friends or team-up with your work colleagues for this worthy cause.
Emelle’s Catering will be happily donating their time and service to these special events by cooking up some delicious food for the thousands of hard-working participants and volunteers.
For more information on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and to sign up for the walk please visit the JDRF website.
For more information on the Easter Seals 24-Hour Relay and to sign up a team please visit the 24-Hour Relay website.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Capturing Your Memories: Tips for Hiring a Photographer

Whether it's a wedding, birthday or anniversary, hiring the right person to capture your event is an important task. Photographs are a great option for party favors and thank you cards, but most importantly they are meant to capture those precious moments in your life for posterity. Hiring a professional photographer can be daunting, but with just a few simple tips and the right checklist of questions you can ensure that you will have beautiful photographs to treasure for a lifetime.

1. Finalize Event Details
There are certain event details that you should finalize before you starting looking for a photographer.
·         Date: Photographers are in high demand, so knowing your event date you will help you find a photographer who is available on that day. Set your date as soon as possible. It will give you more time to search for the right photographer, as well as increase the chances that they will be available for the date of the event.
·         Budget: Your event budget should be finalized before interviewing photographers. You should have a concrete number of how much you are able to spend. Martha Stewart.com states that photography and videography should make up approximately 10% of your budget.
·         Venue: Knowing the location of your event prior to interviewing photographers can influence the style of photographs you choose to take. When choosing a photographer it is a plus to hire someone who has worked in a particular venue and is familiar with the space. If you are hiring a photographer for a wedding be sure to inform them if you are having separate venues for the ceremony and reception.

2. Photo Styles
These will be photographs that you will be looking at for years to come, so choosing which style you wish to have your photos taken in is an important decision. You should become familiar with the different photographic styles prior to choosing your photographer. Browse through bridal and photography magazines; look online for wedding and event photographers. Plenty of research will ensure that you choose the style that best suits your taste.
·         Soft Focus: Appears almost dream-like and romantic with soft lighting.  Can often appear blurry. Having the photographer do a couple of shots in this style can be quite beautiful, but to shoot an entire wedding or event in this way can diminish its effect.
·         Portraiture/Traditional: The most common style for weddings. These photos are typically posed and quite formal. There is little spontaneity here. Though these photos are beautiful, more are straying from this style as there is little spontaneity, which is becoming the more modern and trendy style for weddings and events.
·         Natural Light: No flash, only natural light. When done well, the photo should remind you of art. This is very difficult to arrange in a wedding setting.
·         Photojournalistic: This style is quickly becoming the most popular & trendy. These photos are more spontaneous and candid than traditional photos. Reflective of story-telling these photos are meant to capture the natural actions and emotions of your guests. You can also experiment with different angles, aperture and lighting.
·         Editorial: This is probably the best compromise for a wedding or event. It is a mix of both traditionally posed pictures and photojournalism.

3. Researching Photographers
Now that you have set your date, made-up your budget and chosen the perfect style of photographs for your event it is time to begin researching photographers. Here are some helpful places to find the potential photographers for your event.
·         Friends & Family: If you have had a family member, friend, co-workers or someone you know who has recently been married or thrown a large event ask them for a photographer recommendation.
·         Event Planners/Caterers/Venues: These are industry professionals who have likely worked with many different photographers. Ask if they can provide you with a list of photographers that they would recommend.
·         Online: You can do a general search for photographers in your city, search vendor directories or again refer to the website of local event planners, caterers and other vendors in the business.
·         Trade Shows: Head to a bridal or event planning shows where there will be plenty of vendors including photographers.

4. The Interview
Once you have narrowed your search to a few photographers, it is time to meet with them. Keep the following list of points and questions on hand:

·         Previous Work: Ask to see a portfolio of their work. Check to that they have variety in their work such as different venues, locations, seasons and events. It is good to get an idea of the photographer’s versatility and style.
·         Equipment: What type of camera will they be using throughout the event? Will all of the photos be shot purely on digital or can they shoot a combination of film and digital? How old is their equipment? Is it professional grade equipment?
·         Additional Staff: Will the photographer be using an assistant during the event? Assistants allow the photographer to concentrate on you, while the assistant can be loading film, changing cameras or setting up equipment.
·         Packages & Pricing: Ask for an itemized list for picture sizes, reproductions, negatives & albums. Is there any room for customization? Will photos be available in black & white or sepia tone? Is their service based on hours of service or by shots taken? Are they able to do touch-ups? How will you receive the photos? Album, CD, negatives, etc.?
·         Personality: This point is particularly important. You want to make sure that personalities don’t clash or else it will be a miserable event for everyone. The photographer should make you feel comfortable and at ease. During the interview make note if the photographer is making an effort to get to know you and is asking you questions as well. Most importantly they should be friendly and enthusiastic about shooting your event.

How to identify an entry level photographer:
·         Poor images – lots of shadows and bad lighting
·         Flashed photos – do the images appear to be washed out or too bright
·         The photos appear boring and dated.
·         The people in the photos appear to be uncomfortable, stiff or staged.
·         They have an incomplete proof book or small portfolio.
·         You are not impressed or excited by their photos.

5. The Contract
Now that you have chosen the perfect photographer and set the date, it is time to sign the contract. Before you sign, read the entire contract carefully to check that it includes the following points:
·         Total Cost
·         Deposit Amount
·         Balance owing once services are rendered
·         Time limits & over-time charges
·         Time and location of event is specified and correct
·         Timeline for receiving the pictures following the event
·         Are proofs and prints included in the final price?
·         Any additional expenses that you have agreed to pay such as travel
·         Cancellation Policy

6. Post-Event
After your event make sure to contact your photographer for a follow-up and ask when you should be expecting the photo proofs. Once you have received the proofs you will be able to choose your favorites, along with the number and size of each picture. While doing so make sure to refer to the contract that you signed with the photographer which will outline the package that you ordered. Once you have finalized your order the prints can take several weeks to arrive.

Hiring a photographer who understands and fits your taste can seem intimidating, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort to find the right person it will certainly show in your beautiful photographs.

If you are looking for a photographer in Vancouver we have a great list of professionals on our links page.

Photos by Brooka Photographic and D'soleil Studios

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring is in Bloom

Spring is here! And what better way to celebrate than with great food, wine and some good friends. That's what we did at Emelle's.

Thursday, May 12 marked the evening of Emelle’s 12th Annual Spring Fling. It was a beautiful spring evening as guests entered through the café doors adorned with lanterns in shades of tangerine, raspberry and lime green. Inside, guests were welcomed to have a glass of wine and sampled some of Emelle’s newest and tastiest creations yet.
Some of our tasty treats included:
emelle’s signature edible garden w/ a trio of dips
fresh summer meadow tarts w/ edible flowers
oven dried tomato, goat cheese & basil puffs
smoked salmon & chive tartlettes
mini dungeness crab clubhouse w/ madagascar vanilla
sunshine spot prawn duets w/ sake cups of prawn bisque

alligator pot pie
meatballs in parmesan cups
lamb lollipops w/ blueberry gastrique
kangaroo skewers w/ thai curry dipping sauce
sliced venison in mini yorkies w/ blue cheese infused foam
oh henry barspistachio macarons
lemon citron tort topped w/ fresh blueberry & mango
white chocolate mousse in dark chocolate cups w/ curacou pearls
emelle's chocolate cupcakes

The talk of the evening was definitely the exotic meat selection of alligator, kangaroo and venison. We are happy to say that our fearless group of guests tried and loved every bite.

We would like to say a special thank you to David and Maurizio from Debut Event Design who did an amazing job transforming our café. Also a big thank you to Dion at Big Red Chair Events for providing linens and rentals. Emelle’s was thrilled to host such a cheerful and fun group of guests this year. We would like to thank everyone for making it such an exceptional event. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

We Are Clean & Green

Did you know that restaurants are the retail world’s largest energy users? Here at Emelle’s we care about our team, our commitment to service, our clients and just as importantly, our environment. Our team is dedicated to continuously discovering new ways of reducing our carbon footprint, while still providing our customers and clients with extraordinary food and service.
Emelle’s Catering is currently implementing the following initiatives to become an overall greener company:
1.       Using Eco-Friendly Products
·         All of our food containers and plastic serving wear are made from corn, which biodegrades in a fraction of the time of Styrofoam.
·         All of our napkins and paper towels are 100% recyclable.
·         Provide water dispensers and mugs for the customers to eliminate use of plastic water bottles and disposable cups.
·         We currently use environmentally-safe cleaning products supplied by AvmorGreen which “consistently meet the highest international and domestic standards for health and safety.” For more information please visit www.avmorgreen.com

2.      Purchasing In Season Produce and Food
·         Fresh produce and food products are purchased through Allied Food Services.
·         Allied Food Services purchases their fresh food products from BC, the United States and offshore areas such as Holland, Spain and Mexico. It buys BC produce during the growing season in the province, for the most part from local growers, producers and cooperatives. Allied also processes fresh products including slicing, shredding, dicing and mixing of various vegetables and greens to meet its customers uncooked product requirements. Currently they do not buy or distribute organically grown or natural food products, but plan on doing so in the future.

3.      Reusing and Recycling
·         All paper and plastic used with in our kitchen and restaurant are properly separated and recycled, then taken to the appropriate recycling facilities for sustainability.
·         We have an active battery recycling program and even accept batteries from others/events to ensure that they are returned to the appropriate battery disposal centers and not end up in landfills.
·         We re-use and refill all our toners & ink cartridges (not buy new ones!)
·         We try to do as much of our business with clients over the phone or online in order to cut down on paper wastage.
·         In our café we serve our customers with china and reusable cups.

4.      Reducing Energy and Electricity Usage
·         Ensure that new equipment like fax machines, telephones, and even the fridge have Energy Star ratings. An Energy Star rating means it has energy efficiency or 75% less power than standard incandescent lamps, cost efficiency or that it saves up to 30% in electricity costs in lamp life, and environment friendly or reduces emissions of pollutants including mercury.
·         Open windows or shades when it is still light out to let the light in instead of turning on the lights
·         Turn off restaurant equipment/electricity when not in use. Make it a habit to turn off air conditioner, the lights, and other electric gadgets when not in use or before going out.

5.      Eco-Fee Charge
·         All of Emelle’s deliveries are subject to a $5.00 Ego-fee which is put towards our green initiatives such as purchasing eco-friendly cleaning products and disposable plastic products, as well as gas and surcharges for our delivery vehicles.

6.      Greentable Membership
·         Emelle’s is proud to a member of the Green Table Network.
·         The Green Table Network is a Canadian non-profit that is working to promote and encourage those working in the food service industry to make the shift to more eco-friendly business practices including energy conservation, pollution prevention and water conservation. They work hand in hand with their members to find new and greener solutions that can benefit both their businesses and the earth. For more information please visit http://www.greentable.net/.
We are continuously searching for new business practices which will protect and benefit our environment. If you have any new and unique ways in which you are making your business greener or even your own daily life, we would love to hear from you.