So far, we've had Michael Cole, the chef/owner of Artistic Touch, come to our house for a tasting. There were 3 of us at the tasting, and he came in and first asked us what the rules were of the kitchen. That was terrific - we asked for no sauce on the marble countertops since it would etch the surface.
He noticed we had white throw rugs on the ground, and said that they'd make sure those were removed and bring their own black mat instead, to avoid scuffing or staining. He had a large cooler and carried it through the house rather than dragging it across our wood floor - a thoughtful and much appreciated attention to detail. He made sure that it didn't leak before coming in the house with it, too.
The samples were numerous and required loads of prep work on his part prior to showing up at our house. We had so many options to try for appetizer ideas, from meatball lollipops with two sauce flavors, beef wellington pastries, bruchetta, salmon-cream cheese mousse on small crackers, jambalaya skewers, apple and cheese crackers, and even more things that I can't even remember them all right now!
He made up a special lobster red-pepper bisque for my husband to try, based on his special request on the phone call. He made us a salad with raspberry viniagrette and arugula and mango cubes - yum! He made us a salmon plate with fresh, beautiful salmon - nothing frozen. The "Well-Done Only" girl in our group got hers caramelized which made her happy, the rest of us got medium rare which was terrific, and the sauce flavors were lovely - the rice wasn't dull. He made an apple slaw to put on top. His garnishes were all colorful and pretty so the plates were thoughtfully done with lovely, appealing presentation in mind. We also tried a filet mignon with mushroom sauce and whipped up mashed potatoes that were to die for.
He knew that oftentimes, one extra person might show up at the table during the tastings, so he had an extra plate's worth of food from the tasting and put it in a to-go container which he had brought with him, so we could keep the leftovers in our fridge for later.
He made three different types of desserts - Death by Chocolate was my favorite one, but there was another one with caramel and gingerbread, and another one with vanilla pudding and shaved coconut. All of them had hand-whipped cream on top. None of them were "too sugary sweet," they were just rich and savory and in single-size containers.
It's clear that Chef Michael Cole is passionate about what he does and listens to his clients requests. He's going to bring a baked mac and cheese for the pickiest eater in our group, for instance, just to be safe.
His price for the overall dinner for ten for us is incredibly reasonable and achievable for ordinary folks. He has Michelle Cole handle the finance and operations side of the business, and he handles everything that happens in the kitchen.
We're excited to work with him and expect to hear from Michelle or Michael soon to arrange a deposit for our event.