Eater’s choice: Three Charlottesville caterers show off their best starters

Eater’s choice: Three Charlottesville caterers show off their best starters

As Beggars Banquet’s Currey Fountain put it, “Hors d’oeuvres are the first area where we can really highlight what is unique to any couple or family.” But that doesn’t mean your caterer can’t get a little creative on their own. We asked three local caterers to choose their top passed offerings: their own favorite, their clients’ favorite, and their most original. Here’s what they came up with.


From Mike Lund, owner of Mike Lund Food

Chef’s choice
Miniature falafel with cucumber tzatziki.
“I make a potent little falafel mixture with chickpeas, green peas, parsley, and pickled carrots. That is flash-fried and placed on a round of naan lined with marinated cucumber and a dollop of tzatziki.”

Client favorite
BBQ shrimp and grits (top)
“It doesn’t matter how many I bring to an event, it’s never enough!”

John Strader28 2

From Currey Fountain, Executive Chef and co-owner of Beggars Banquet

Chef’s choice
Sushi-grade Maguro with a Thai pickled chili and pickling brine.
“As you can probably imagine, this one is for a very particular palate—mine!”

John Strader11 2

Client favorite
Sweet potato biscuits with Kite’s Country Ham and Yoder’s apple butter.
“The heart can be a nice touch.”

Most original
Diced ahi tuna tartar in a cucumber cup with chive sticks, wasabi, lemon, and sea salt.
“It’s not something I’d keep in constant rotation, but the couple loved it and that’s what it’s all about.”

pork belly blt_KRISTIN MOORE

From Sarah Sargent, Director of Catering at The Catering Outfit

Chef’s choice
Pork belly bites.
Toasted, bite-sized challah bread with a tarragon aioli, torn butter lettuce, a bite-sized piece of slow roasted pork belly, and housemade local tomato jam.

Client favorite
Ham biscuits.
“This family recipe takes a Sister Schubert’s yeast roll brushed with brown sugar butter and filled with country ham. Simple yet divine!”

turtle shooter

Most original
Snapping turtle shooters: a hearty turtle chili in a shot glass, topped with Trump Winery Cru reduction crème fraiche.
“A client mentioned to us that one of her fondest food memories was her father catching snapping turtles and making soup for her as a kid. So at her tasting, we surprised her.”

Taste test

Eat for yourself. Get in touch with one of these caterers to start your big-day menu.

Beggars Banquet
(540) 661-0121,

Mike Lund
(540) 878-9900,

The Catering Outfit