Have you ever attended the annual Capital Jazz Fest (the 25 year old multi-day, multi-stage outdoor music festival held at Merriweather Post Pavilion which attracts music lovers from across the country)? Well, what you probably don’t know is that, behind the scenes, it’s Caribbean Caterers that keeps all of the national acts you’ve come to see perform well fueled — with food and drink, that is. For the 9th straight year, we were proud to be chosen as the sole caterer for the 30 or so participating acts and their crews.

The intense challenge of meeting the diversity of dietary needs and preferences presented was the same as always. Vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, the gluten free, the lactose intolerant, the just plain old health conscious, everything you can think of were there for us to please. We had to create seven flexible, delectable menus for the weekend (for three dinners and two breakfasts and lunches) over which we served a total of about 1800 meals. As always, we had to be extra careful to meet the various idiosyncratic contractual requirements of the headlining artists (ah, the stories we could tell, if discretion allowed).

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that exposes us to a different clientele and setting than usual; it sharpens us as professionals and, no matter how difficult, is always a hoot.