I feel like we say this every year, but 2017 truly was one for the books. Once again, we found ourselves involved with a number of innovative events that pushed us to be more creative than ever. But no challenge is too great for our team! We relish in the opportunity to design and cater unique events that our clients and their guests will be talking about for years to come.

To get a taste of what we were up to in 2017, here are 7 events that truly defined the year:

  1. ILEA Chicago Master’s Dinner
    ILEA is the International Live Events Association. During their signature Masters Dinner, we take the opportunity to showcase our creativity through brand new plated menu items. With plenty of industry peers in attendance, the pressure is on to go above and beyond! 

Beef Tartare Setup at ILIA Master's Dinner

For this event, the first course, main course, and dessert were all new items. Pictured above, a special set up for Beef Tartare. Below, a Plated Heirloom Root Vegetable Salad.

Heirloom Root Vegetable Salad ILEA Master's Dinner

Linens: BBJ Linen | Decor: HMR Designs | Venue: Chez Chicago

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Catering By Michaels
August 8, 2017

Tips For Planning An Impressive Company Picnic

August 8, 2017

Tips For Planning An Impressive Company Picnic

Catering By Michaels

Summer is the perfect time for a picnic! Picnics are a great way for corporate businesses to give back to their employees and show their gratitude for all their steadfast hard work. If you’ve been chosen to plan your company’s annual picnic, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together the below tips to help you save time, money, and unnecessary headaches.

Here’s how to plan a company picnic with as little stress as possible.

Plan ahead as much as possible.

Easier said than done, right? We understand that it’s not always realistic to carve out extra time to plan a company-wide event when you still have your regular job duties to attend to. That’s why we strongly recommend putting together a schedule that realistically addresses the complexity of putting together such a large-scale event. This will ideally go back 5-6 months before your planned picnic date to give you enough time to secure a venue, hire a rock star caterer, and give employees enough notice to clear their schedules.

The trick here is to find a caterer who has the experience needed to take this off your plate. And it’s a bonus if they have partnerships with picnic venues — that way you can scratch two important to-dos off your list right away, and then breathe a sigh of relief!

Corporate Picnic venue

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Stewart Glass
April 11, 2017

Chicago Venues We Love: Independence Grove

April 11, 2017

Chicago Venues We Love: Independence Grove

Stewart Glass

If we could pick a favorite event venue, it would have to be Independence Grove. Ok, we’ll admit it – we’re a bit biased!

Events at Independence Grove: Quick Facts
Events at Independence Grove is the exclusive caterer and event management partner of Independence Grove Forest Preserve, and is a Catering by Michaels company. The venue opened in March of 2001, and was specifically designed with a premium visitor experience in mind. It is open year-round to host various events and celebrations.

Independence Grove is located in Libertyville, Illinois in a 1,100-acre nature preserve and recreation area. People know it for its pristine beauty and secluded setting. It’s been described as a Midwestern one-of-a-kind treasure because of its natural calmness, beautiful grassland and stunning lake views. Because of this, hosting an event at Independence Grove will provide a truly unique and memorable backdrop for any type of wedding, social or corporate event.

Independence Grove
There are three main event categories we normally get bookings for at Independence Grove.

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Due to the nature of our business, we find ourselves involved in a number of spectacular events each year. As 2016 winds down, we’ve taken a step back to look at all the amazing special events we were privileged to be a part of and wanted to share a few of our favorites.

Here are our top 10 events on 2016:

  1.  Modern Luxury Magazine Promotional Event at Artifact Events
    Working alongside an incredible vendor team, we put together an amazing promotional event for Modern Luxury Magazine at one of our favorite event spaces – Artifact Events. Here are some of the food items we served that are making us hungry just thinking about them:


Shrimp, green machine sautée, bacon cube, lemon aïoli,
pain de tuille served in a disposable oval dish.


Layers of ahi tuna, cucumber and spicy Japanese aioli
garnished with red tobikko.


Presented in a smoke infused glass dome.

Duck fat fried chicken drizzled with smoky sriracha sauce
and served over house made cheddar bacon popcorn.

Duck fat fried chicken stationminiature spicy tuna maki push-pops and Sweet pea panna cotta

Event Rentals: Tablescapes | Decor: Kehoe Designs | Venue: Artifact Events

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It should come as no surprise that fall harvest season is when you can get the best and freshest variety of fruits and vegetables. Some of the most common fruits and vegetables that come into season during the fall include beets, artichokes, pumpkins, pears, and of course… apples!

Hand-in-hand with the change of seasonal produce is a change in weather, and people love to find ways to warm up and seek comfort as the temperature drops. Fall favorite activities include hayrides and corn mazes, but not everyone has time to go out and pick apples in Chicago.

As we tend to find comfort in delicious food, a Catering by Michaels fall favorite is none other than the taffy apple. We use only the freshest apples to ensure the best tasting product over several fall-themed occasions, or to be handed out as gifts to trick or treaters and corporate clients!!

caramel taffy apples

Taffy Apples: A Mouth-Watering Delicacy

First thing’s first – our taffy apples are anything but ordinary. If you love these fall delicacies as much as we do, then you’re in for a treat.

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