Catering Inspiration: 2 New Books

By Chad Kaydo September 26, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

Photo: Jika González for BizBash, Martha's Entertaining by Marth

“While he thinks big, he delivers small, in the sense of finely constructed, inventive, creative, delicious, mind-boggling, tiny, bite-sized, ultra-tasty tidbits.”

That’s Martha Stewart, writing about New York caterer Peter Callahan in the foreword to his first book, Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party (Clarkson Potter, $35). It’s filled with recipes and photos of the innovative morsels Callahan Catering is known for—meatballs with a swirl of spaghetti on top, scrambled eggs in a little bacon cup. It’s hard to imagine many people pulling these off at home (who has the time? or such tiny fingers?), but they sure look great.

Speaking of Stewart: Her latest book, Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations—an update of sorts to her 1982 breakthrough Entertaining—arrives in November (Clarkson Potter, $75). It has the lush photos you’d expect, plus menus and recipes created with chef Pierre Schaedelin, owner of catering company PS Tailored Events (and executive chef at Le Cirque from 1999 to 2006). With chapters like “Thanksgiving at Bedford” (with cornbread in a turkey cake mold) and “Picnic at Sea” (“nothing dripping or ‘crumb-y’”), the focus is squarely on home entertaining. But if Stewart’s history is any guide, it could influence what non-industry types consider gracious entertaining in the years to come.

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