We were fortunate enough to be included as one of the caterers for The Ann Arbor Observer’s customer (donors) appreciation party at Top of the Park today. We had a table right next to our good friends, Sarah and Amos of Cafe Memmi (another new aspiring Zingerman’s restaurant). It was a ton of fun, and a ton of work! We realized how much our catering inexperience led to wasted energy, but it all worked out smoothly in the end.
Previously for events, tastings, or private parties, we had been buying frozen buns to steam for our pork and shiitake buns since we were still trying to develop the recipe for the dough. With the MUCH APPRECIATED time and help from Shelby from the Bakehouse/BAKE!, we were able to crank out 600+ house-made buns to steam. Also a big thanks to Pete from Marketing & Graphics for designing and printing our menu hand out.
Ji Hye and Shelby started at 9am at the Bakehouse making the dough for the steamed buns by coercing yeast to come out and play in this big machine:
I think it would give Capt. Hook the Napoleon complex…
After a series of resting and kneading, this high-maintenance dough was ready to portion out:
The dough was made with real lard, as all good things are, so we tried out a small portion of purely vegetarian dough using oil. It didn’t turn out as good, naturally, but Ji Hye gave it a good punch down:
After portioning all the dough out into equal weights, we rolled them into perfect doughy spheres and let them rest yet again:
Ji Hye with our formed buns ready to steam:
yeah, we really need to get commercial steamers… our home bamboo ones took a while to steam 600+ buns:
steamed buns lining up like soldiers in parchment paper:
Ji Hye’s new BFF, this extra puffy cute bun. She didn’t want to see it sacrificed, so she ate it:
In addition to pork and shiitake buns, we pickled an insane amount of veggies with different brining spices. We had 3 refrigerators filled with pickling veggies:
Making ginger scallion sauce. a ton of it:
Ji Hye and our lovely sous-ninja, Somie, setting up at the event:
hot Asian buns (semi-mini).
Finally a minute to breathe before the masses come: Somie, me, Ji Hye
assorted pickled veggies:
cook it, and they will come:
our neighbors and friends, Cafe Memmi, the aspiring Zingerman’s Tunisian restaurant that Sarah and Amos are working on (Heli, Sarah, Jordan, Amos):
Ji Hye constantly refilling- a good problem! (notice our menu hand outs!)