would you get a catering license? - BBQ Central

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Old 10-29-2008, 01:31 PM   #1
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would you get a catering license?

Right now I'm set up as a custom cooker, take my stuff with me and do it onsite, usually do butts, brisket and ribs plus bean, slaw and potatoes. would it be better for me to get a license for catering although slaw is the only thing I prepare at home.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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Insurance is a must. Check with your local health goons too. Here in NY I Can't do any thing in my house kitchen. I have to have a catering kitchen away from the main house kitchen.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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If you have the means, I would. You'd be able to prep complex items ahead of time or on your time. However, here in VA, you need a licensed kitchen in order to call yourself a "Caterer". And the last time I checked "caterer" referred to the ability to transport prepared meals to a serving site. I could be wrong and some of the established guys could correct me (and please do so). I am trying to make a jump to catering now as well and I meet with a licensed kitchen prospect next week for catering next season. Wish you all the luck.

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Old 10-29-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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I think what you are doing is technically "private chef". Here in NC, to that the customer is supposed to buy the food and you cook at their place. To cater, anything you do ahead has to be done in health dept. inspected kitchen. But you are OK until you get caught or someone sick.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
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Well, "catering" requires a licensed kitchen in most places. You usually cannot cook ANYTHING at home (your residence). "Private Cheffing" is kind of dicey as well. Technically, you have to be cooking on equipment that is owned by your customer. To cook on site, you often have to have an inspector check you out and offer a blessing at the site. Every county and state is different. Call your county Health Dept and ask to talk with a sanitarian. Woodman
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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talked to the health dept and they told me the custom cooking was ok as long as it was 1 day deals but also talked to me ELKS lodge and will probably rent their kitchen and get the catering license, thanks to everyone for your info
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
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If it's a private gig...Health Dept has no jurisdiction. Just don't make anyone sick because making the news by doing so is not good advertising. Stay away from chicken and mayo products. Cuts your chances of a problem by at least 70%.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:07 AM   #8
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And make sure the dorks your cooking for don't put out the tater or mac, salad in the sun before you serve! Someone gets sick, who is the first to get the blame? Yea, you!
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