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Blue Plate Catering Makes Every Event Blue Plate Special

By Pamela Sosnowski

When it comes to catering, you may be tempted to order from the menu of your favorite restaurant and call it a day. Blue Plate Catering of Madison, however, gives a few compelling reasons to opt for their services: they have over 20 years of experience, they've medaled in Madison Magazine's Best of Madison thirteen straight years and a row, and they partner with local farms that are dedicated to producing the freshest and often organic ingredients.

"The inspiration behind Blue Plate was to provide the Madison area with a professional, full-service catering company that was new and innovative," says the co-owner and Director of Sales, David Porto. "In lieu of being a restaurant that does catering on the side, we wanted to devote all of our efforts to catering. This has allowed us to improve each and every year because our focus is always on catering. With roots on the east side of Madison, we worked hard at making each and every event memorable, and to this day, our aim is simple: cater the best event our clients and guests have experienced, and the trust that is built will last a long time!"

Porto started with the company in 2004 as a server at weddings and holiday parties, working his way up to his current position. Jodi Fowler, owner and CEO, worked in the hospitality industry as a Food and Beverage Manager for several years before launching Blue Plate Catering in 1992. She also owns Triple Ranch, which raises and sources all natural Red Angus cattle and chickens. The company now employs 25 full-time staff members and also offers event planning services and equipment rental, and also operates five Blue Plate Cafes around the Madison area that serve up homemade dishes.

As for Blue Plate Catering's food selections, there's no limit to the variety of menus available; the staff makes everything from breakfast and brunch spreads to boxed lunches, "build your own" buffets, gourmet All-American picnics, soups, desserts, full bar service, and "action" stations, which Porto says are a customer favorite. "When our chefs are working their magic in the 'front of the house', it seems to take the whole event up a couple notches," he explains. The company strives to obtain their ingredients from local farms and sources as much as possible, keeping the company's commitment to support sustainable efforts.

With great partners, such as 5th Season Harvest and Jones Dairy Farm, we strive to keep giving back to the community that has supported us so well since we opened our doors 25 years ago," says Porto. "Just as we encourage the Madison area to buy local (even from caterers), we want to operate the same way."

Blue Plate Catering can serve anywhere within the Madison area and beyond, and can also provide a list of venues whether one is throwing a wedding, party, fundraising event, corporate event, or more. According to Porto, personalized attention and customer satisfaction is key to the company's on-going success. "With catering, and most food service, you have one shot to get it right," he says. "When I spend time with clients, it helps them understand that the sole reason we do what we do isn't to make money--it is to put on the event of a lifetime, or lunch at a meeting that no one forgets. Going above and beyond is in our blood, and that shows."

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