September 2018 Wrap Up

September for us means Fall, Fabulous Events, and Fresh Produce! We’ve been having a great time being a part of some unique events throughout all of Central Indiana this month, including events at 502 East Event Centre. Keep reading to see some of the special events that kicked off the fall season.

Patel Wedding

Samir and Pooja knew that having a three-day wedding extravaganza meant they would need a lot of space for all their ceremonies, receptions, and wardrobe changes. So rather than booking three different venues for each ceremony, they came to 502 East Event Centre and had their Mehndi, Vihdi, Garba, Baraat, wedding ceremony, multiple luncheons, and wedding receptions during Labor Day Weekend. We were stunned by all the intricate décor and dramatic backdrop changes. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Orchard Software

If you’ve considered 502 East Event Centre for your upcoming Holiday Party, but aren’t sure the event space fits your needs, you should talk to our friends at Orchard Software. We hosted their 25th anniversary party and turned our ballroom into a casino fit for the Vegas Strip! Our friends at Craps Kings brought blackjack, roulette, and craps tables. There were speciality cocktails, live music from Endless Summer Band, Magician David Ranalli, a photo booth, and a big prize raffle! At 502 East, we create fantastic events that your staff not only want to attend but want to be apart of again next year. Reward your team this upcoming Holiday Season with a big corporate celebration at 502 East!

Ambassador House

Sarah and Adam wanted an outdoor venue for their wedding with a beautiful indoor location to get ready in. This venue also needed to have some great spots for photo ops, and an open area to play games for those guests that have two-left feet. That’s why they picked the Ambassador House in Fishers! Jonathan Byrd’s was eager to cater the food and beverage services for their big day. We adored their candy bar and rustic décor. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Pictures Courtesy of Jasmine Norris Photography

Backyard Wedding

When Hollie called Jonathan Byrd’s to cater her backyard wedding, she wasn’t sure if we would make the trip all the way to New Palestine – but the Jonathan Byrd’s catering team is always up for a challenge!  So we loaded up our catering vans and drove to Hollie and Joe’s tropical tent wedding.  This wedding was so stylish and unique, we were thrilled to be a part.  The wedding was absolutely beautiful in all its beach-inspired décor, flowers, and colors. Party-goers finished the night with s’mores and fireworks. Cheers to Joe and Hollie!

Pictures Courtesy of Erin Hession Photography 

Caito Foods

A long time ago, 502 East Event Centre was a Marsh Grocery Store. A lot has changed in that time, but you would have never guessed it if you came to 502 East during the Caito Food Show. We packed our ballrooms with coolers, display cases, flower arrangements, and fresh fruits & veggies. The show went on for 2 days for guests to hear about the biggest and most innovative changes in the food industry and to test out new products. At the end of the event, our partners at Second Helpings collected almost 18,000 pounds of food as a donation to feed hungry people in the Central Indiana community.

40th Birthday Party

40 is a huge milestone and that’s why Ateet wanted to throw his wife a surprise birthday party she would never forget! He booked the Eller Ballroom at 502 East Event Centre, invited 100 of his closest friends, and turned this ballroom into a nightclub, complete with a DJ and a photo booth that resembled a bounce house. All the guests were dressed to impress, but how do you get the guest of honor to dress up and come to an event center without giving away the surprise? Ateet enlisted the help of his wife’s best friend who picked out a glamorous outfit for her and was waiting for her to arrive in our bridal suite. It was a present as well as a surprise, and she sure was surprised! Happy Birthday, Anjali!

Wedding at the JLH Wedding Barn

Emily and Logan love country music, good food, and each other. That’s why they called Jonathan Byrd’s to cater their wedding at the JLH Wedding Barn at the end of September. This gorgeous couple had a beautiful outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour outside with a cigar bar, and a stunning reception. Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Bowman!

Some Photos Courtesy of Conforti Photography 

Dallara IndyCar Factory Blog

Our partners at Dallara IndyCar Factory gave us an exclusive look at their full event space in Speedway. For those who get more excited for the Indianapolis 500 than Christmas, this is the place for your next event! Check out our blog and fulfill your need for speed!



Partner Venue Spotlight: Dallara IndyCar Factory

Calling all Race Fans! If you’re looking for high-energy venue that captures the frenzy of IndyCar Racing, look no further than the Dallara IndyCar Factory. This expansive event space combines all the fun of racing  – with a modern feel – and Jonathan Byrd’s amazing food to match! The Dallara IndyCar Factory is one of our favorite partner venues for many reasons, but the most exciting aspect is its versatile space and interactive activities that really set it apart from any other venue in Indianapolis.

Built in 2012, a combined effort between Dallara Automobili and IndyCar Experience, this building is a modern museum, factory, and event space all in one. Located on Main Street in Speedway and only 1/3 of a mile south of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it is filled with interactive exhibits and attractions. The Dallara IndyCar Factory has over 30,000 square feet of available space. They’ve hosted everything from board meetings to weddings to award shows to black-tie galas.

Pictures Courtesy of Dallara IndyCar Factory & Kristin Hornberger Photography

For those curious about the name, Dallara Automobili is an Italian chassis manufacturer for competitive racecars and high-performance road cars. In July 2010, Dallara was named the IndyCar chassis manufacturer for the 2012 season and beyond.

When first arriving you can’t help but notice the large windows that flood the room with natural light and capture the views of Main Street.  IndyCar show cars are displayed all around the floor for spectators on the street to see, as well as guests inside to pose with. The building has a very clean and modern quality, like a showroom at a car dealership, but without the hassling salesmen.  If you’ve never had a real IndyCar in the middle of your party, it’s quite the eye-catching centerpiece!

A Real IndyCar Makes For A Dynamic Centerpiece

A large split staircase with strands of lights strung from the railing to the awning over the front greets you when you enter the building. This striking area imparts a charming scene perfect for wedding entrances, DJ booths, and group photos. Two large spaces lie on either side of the staircase, the Interactive Hall and the Simulator Side. Parties often have a cocktail hour on one side and then flow into the other for dinner or dancing. The entire location is open and spacious, allowing ample room for your guests to mingle or explore the exhibits in The Interactive Hall.

The Interactive Hall derives its name from the winding museum in the middle of the event space. Guests can watch a video about the history of Dallara Automobili while sitting in actual driver seats, interact with exhibits about the engineering and evolution of race cars, and get a feel for all the aspects that go into the building and driving a racecar. Information is frequently updated in the museum and it is open during events so guests are able to interact with the exhibits at no extra cost.

Pictures Courtesy of Dallara IndyCar Factory & Kristin Hornberger Photography

If the engineering and manufacturing of IndyCars really revs your engine, interactive tours of the Dallara Factory are available for visitors to see the production of the real deal. The Indy Racing Experience Garage is another space able to accommodate large events and places guests in the square in the middle of the factory, conveying a truly authentic feel. This area holds around 500 people although you’re on the factory floor, the space has an industrial feel and yet it is also incredibly pristine.

For the racing fan that wants it to be May all year long, Dallara IndyCar Factory offers a large variety of extra interactive activities to add more fun to any party. IndyCars can be custom wrapped with names, logos, or graphics for guests to take pictures with while standing in front of a green screen. When they receive their picture, they look like they’re on the yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Take Home A Custom Souvenir When You Have An Event At Dallara IndyCar Factory

The same racing simulators that professional drivers train on are available for your guests to challenge each other. Another great competitive activity available is the Pit Stop Challenge where patrons can test their tire changing skills against one another with real air guns and actual tires.

Probably the most popular activity Dallara IndyCar Factory operates is the street-legal racecar rides as part of the IndyCar Experience. Riders sit in the passenger seat as the car is driven by a Dallara driver around the town of Speedway. It’s an amusing attraction for both riders and spectators alike (especially when you’re stopped at a red light and there’s an IndyCar in the next lane)! It’s a one-of-a-kind attraction that you can say “only happens in Speedway”. In fact, The IndyCar Racing Experience operates similar rides at every North American Verizon IndyCar race. What you experience on Main Street in Speedway is truly unique.

incy car

Ride In The Fast Lane In A Street-Legal IndyCar

If all these activities sound like something you’re interested in, but you have a small group that wouldn’t fill the space, don’t worry! There is a conference room for smaller groups to meet in and then participate in racing activities.

For those who aren’t into racing, have never been to the Indianapolis 500, or have out-of-town guests that are unfamiliar with the racing scene and think that Dallara IndyCar Factory wouldn’t be a good fit for your group, you should still definitely give it a chance! The spacious venue, the interactive activities, and eye-catching décor really encapsulate the excitement that overtakes Indianapolis throughout the month of May. That excitement is palpable in the air when you first walk in the door and stays with your guests throughout the evening whether they enjoy racing or not. The Dallara IndyCar Factory isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience.


August 2018 Wrap Up

The arrival of August marks not only the closing of summer, but also the countdown to the end of the year. Our August started out hot with lots of big weddings and corporate events, but now, as we say good-bye to summer, we’re gearing up for our busy wedding and holiday season. Keep scrolling to see the best of our events this summer and see what we’re excited about coming up!

Kellam’s Wedding at Palladium

Congratulations to Anica and Chris! This adorable couple had their wedding and reception at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel and Jonathan Byrd’s was honored to cater their beautiful celebration. Love was clearly in the air for these two as they were surrounded by balloons, flowers, and family! Guests munched on some pretty amazing chicken and waffles made fresh on site by our incredible chefs. While guests cut the cake, there was an artist capturing the scene in watercolor. Congratulations to this beautiful couple!

Ransom Wedding at Indiana Historical Society

Regina and Patterson celebrated their marriage in grand style! This couple tied the knot at the Indiana Historical Society this month. Regina started the event with an entrance fit for a queen as she floated down the canal on a gondola.  The beautiful ceremony took place on the canal, followed by a cocktail hour in the Stardust Cafe, and then had their reception under the big clocks in Eli Lilly Hall. Guests partied the night away hopped up on sugar from their adorable candy bar!

Automation Expo

The future visited 502 and it was incredible! We had robots of all shapes, sizes, and functions at the Automation Expo in August.  Some robots transport goods around factories, others were able to use cameras to sort items on a conveyer belt, and the rest just lent a hand.

502 East is a great place to bring multiple vendors and exhibitors for your conference or tradeshow. We can set up booths, aisles, and displays in our ballrooms or in our lobby. Our space is very versatile, and we can make it into wherever your imagination takes you!

Conferences at 502

August has not only been a busy month for us, but for all our corporate clients who had very important meetings here at 502. When you have a large staff, everyone from the CEO to the guy in the mailroom needs to hear the message in order to be on the same page. But where do you go for that much space to have everyone in the same room? That’s when you call 502 to help! We’ve got large ballrooms for your whole staff, and smaller conference rooms for intimate meetings. With free wi-fi and abundant parking on-site, you’ll never want to go downtown for a conference again!

Studies show that as stomachs become depleted, brains cannot focus as well. Additionally, people with a full stomach make better decisions than they do when hungry. Once again, problem solved!  Jonathan Byrd’s serves delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, hors d’oeuvres and snacks for your whole staff so they can concentrate throughout your event so they can make good decisions.

And want to unwind after a full-day meeting? We have you covered there too!  Nothing says team building like Happy Hour! We have bar and beverage services on-site as well so you can help your team relax after a long day.

Holiday Menus

The holidays are the season for giving, celebrating, and enjoying each other’s presence. So why disappoint your employees with a boring potluck in your office kitchen? Improve morale and defy expectations with a holiday meal catered by Jonathan Byrd’s. Your staff will be delighted that you went the extra mile to bring in delicious food (instead of whatever Karen in accounting made!)

jb holiday menus

Need space for your whole staff to celebrate the end of the year? 502 East Event Centre has the capacity to host casino games, live music, or other entertainment for your team!

If you’re having a big holiday party at your house for more than 30 people, Jonathan Byrd’s can deliver a scrumptious dinner – without all the dishes and mess! Spend your holiday party with your friends and family instead of missing out because you’re working in the kitchen.


Our Menus for Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s both off-site and for events at 502 East are online now! Check them out to decide how to best feed your friends and family. Then give us a call to schedule your event NOW – because the Holiday Season will be here before you know it!

Now Hiring

Jonathan Byrd’s and 502 East Event Centre are hunting for hard-workers! We need servers, bartenders, prep-cooks, and dishwashers to grow our amazing team! We’re looking to fill all shifts and are flexible with your availability. Need to earn some cash for the holidays? Are you looking to fill out your schedule between gigs? Do you like free lunch? If you answered yes to any of these questions, click here to contact our hiring manager! We’d love to have you on our team! Click here and fill out our form if you’re interested.

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July 2018 Wrap Up

Love has been in the air this July! Jonathan Byrd’s has been honored to be the chosen caterer for so many newlyweds in the Central Indiana Area for over 30 years and this month has been no exception. When we weren’t cutting and serving cake, we were decorating cakes with the help of some crafty girl scouts. Keep reading to see all the events we’ve participated in this July.

Essie’s Retirement Party

Retiring is truly an occasion worth celebrating, just as Essie is. We hosted her retirement party here at 502 so she could celebrate with her family, friends, and (former) co-workers. Guests had fun looking at memories displayed on multiple photo boards and created new memories in the photobooth provided by Picture Perfect Ohio Photobooths.  Essie worked at a school for over 35 years, and now she is free to be fabulous! Look at how this lady went out-of-work in style!

Aguirre-Legg Wedding

Jonathan Byrd’s is proud to announce our newest partner venue: The Neidhammer. The Neidhammer is in the Irvington Historic District located above Neidhammer Coffee Company and Ash & Elm Cider Company. It has a very rustic and industrial feel – perfect for modern weddings! The most recent couple we hosted there had a lot of fun decorating their king’s tables, adding flowers to fixtures for a personalized touch, and showing off pictures of them growing up over the years. Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Legg and thank you for letting us cater your big day!

Rios Anniversary Party

Juan and Parry Rios were married 25 years ago, but they didn’t forget how to party in all that time! These two danced the night away with their friends and family by their side. They had an elegant cake, beautiful purple centerpieces, and an over-the-top DJ. This couple made sure that they were never going to forget hitting such a big wedding milestone.

Saeed- Mohiuddin Wedding

502 East Event Centre provides so much space for your family and friends on your big day. One of the reasons we have a ton of gorgeous cultural weddings and events here is because we can accommodate so many people, such as the Saeed-Mohiuddin Wedding which had over 300 guests in attendance. Their beautiful backdrop and centerpieces were crafted by the décor professionals at Atmosphere’s Indy.

Sysco Awards Lunch

Is your staff performing how you would like them to? Have you ever stopped to thank them for their hard work and reward with something special? Our friends at Sysco Indianapolis did just that for their entire staff! The group started their morning by breaking into teams and having educational sessions in 502’s various classrooms, and then they came back together for their lunch and awards ceremony. 502 East worked with them to create a culturally diverse menu to match their travel theme. We set up multiple buffets featuring Hispanic, Italian, Asian, and Hoosier cuisine perfect for eating next to their unique globe and suitcase centerpieces.  Once lunch was over, the group celebrated together and management awarded their employees for their hard work throughout the year.

If you’re interested in multi-room corporate event for educational sessions, give 502 a call and we will customize an event your employees will never forget.

Wedding Tasting

With other caterers, when you have a wedding tasting you can only pick so many items from their menu to try. At Jonathan Byrd’s we set out a large variety of our most popular wedding dinner options, so you have the opportunity to try the best we have to offer! We set up multiple buffets, carving stations, dessert trays, and appetizers for all our upcoming brides and grooms. Guests also loved munching on popcorn popped fresh in our popcorn cart which could be easily personalized for weddings at 502. We had help from our friends as Classic Cakes, Oberer’s Flowers, and Banzi Balloons to make our wedding tasting a big hit among all our couples that came out.

Girl Scouts Cooking Class

Jonathan Byrd’s had a special cooking class for some local girl scouts from Anderson. Ten girls of varying ages and their troop leader drove here to partake in creating different dishes. The girl scouts decorated hats and cake boxes, ate fruit salad, made pizzas, and decorated cakes. Some of the girls were incredibly artistic and made gorgeous cakes to take home. We hope that this activity led towards the progress of badges for their sashes.


Duck Salad

Looking for a new recipe to try at your next picnic? Our Summer Duck and Wild Berry Salad would make a great addition to your next summer party. Filled with bright colors and flavorful duck, this salad is sure to please your guests! Watch the video below and click here to see the full recipe.


Cooking Like a Caterer: Summer Duck and Wild Berry Salad

Summer Duck and Wild Berry Salad

They say “a party never started with a salad,” but clearly they weren’t talking about our Summer Duck and Wild Berry Salad. This salad would be a great first course for your upcoming Labor Day Party. Our favorite thing about this recipe are all the fresh fruits and veggies we’ve incorporated in it. We went berry picking at Spencer Farms to get the fresh berries that we use in the dressing and on the plate. We also recommend searching for local duck and farmer’s cheese to support your local farming communities as well as adding fresh flavor to your salad.


Duck Breast Marinade

½ Cup – Soy Sauce

¼ Cup – Wild Flower Honey

¼ Cup – Brown Sugar

2 Tblsp – Garlic

½ tsp – Cracked Black Pepper

Pinch – Salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place duck breast in the marinade for 2 hours

Berry Salad Dressing

1 cup – Assorted Berries

8 oz – Canola Oil

4 oz – Red Wine Vinegar

3 Tblsp – Orange Juice

2 Tblsp – Dijon Mustard

1 tsp – Orange Zest

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a blender, combine assorted berries and red wine vinegar. We used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, but you could use other seasonal fresh berries if you wish.  Puree until smooth, although there will be some seeds.

Pour the berry puree into a mixing bowl and add orange zest, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Whisk to combine. Once smooth, continue whisking while adding canola oil. The dressing will be smooth with a pourable consistency.

Duck Breast

Take the marinated duck breast and put it in a hot pan for 3-4 minutes to sear it. Flip and sear for another 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 125 °F


Salad Greens

Duck – Marinated, Seared, and Sliced

Valencia Orange – peeled, and sliced

Wild Berries

Farmer’s Cheese

Golden Gooseberries

Yellow Baby Tomatoes

Fried Wonton Wrappers

On a plate, lay down a bed of salad greens, and place the sliced duck and sliced oranges adjacent to the salad bed. Place berries, golden gooseberries, yellow tomatoes, and farmers cheese over the entire salad. We used the same berries leftover from the salad dressing.  Top with fried wonton wrappers in the center of the salad. Drizzle salad dressing over the entire salad or serve on the side.



June 2018 Wrap Up

The weather isn’t the only thing that was heating up in June. The chefs at Jonathan Byrd’s and 502 East have been working non-stop to make decadent food for a slew of events we catered throughout the month. We’ve had so many weddings, graduation celebrations, and conferences to make food for that it might be cooler outside than it is in our kitchen. Keep reading to see all the awesome events we’ve been a part of in June!

Indiana Electric Cooperatives – Your Tour Trip to Washington DC

502 East Event Centre played bus stop for 100 high school students before they boarded for a trip to Washington D.C. The kids and their families gathered at 502 East to get the lowdown about the trip and meet the chaperones. This mix of boys and girls were high school sophomores and juniors from all over Indiana that applied through the Indiana Electric Co-Operatives Board to meet their local political representatives in Washington D.C. The educational week and concluded with a detour to Pennsylvania to see the Flight 93 memorial and Gettysburg.

For more information about the Youth Tour, visit: https://www.electric.coop/our-organization/youth-programs/about-the-youth-tour/

Indiana Hospital Association

Nurses, and other medical professionals gathered at 502 for the Indiana Hospital Association Conference. This group had some intriguing speakers including Regina Holliday, who shared the story of how her husband fell very ill and how her experience with medical professionals helped her pave the way for better medical advocacy. Regina is also an accomplished artist and painted a new work of art in the room following her speech.

To learn more about Regina, check out her website: http://reginaholliday.blogspot.com/

One Zone

We were happy to host our Hamilton County Neighbors at the One Zone Chamber meeting on June 13th. The hot topic everyone was buzzing about is the new direct flights from Indianapolis to Paris, which were made possible by the efforts from our friends at Visit Hamilton County. One Zone also filled our foyer with vendors and booths to help other members learn about the businesses that make Hamilton County thrive! Guests finished the event with beautiful chocolate strawberry tarts.

Morrice – Waszczuk Wedding

Congratulations to Fiona and Ryan on tying the knot at 502 on June 15th! Their purple and white wedding was beautiful! All the little details came together for their big day. The aisle runner, the centerpieces, and even the walls matched the scheme perfectly.  Congratulations to the happy couple!

24th Annual Indiana Association of Play Therapy Conference

Occasionally adults need to get out and play too! Teachers and therapists from all over Indiana gathered at 502 East Event Centre for the 24th Annual Indiana Association of Play Therapy Conference. Adults learned about crafts and activities that are beneficial for adolescent growth. Before they could pass these games onto their students, the adults needed to test out the fun themselves. It was very amusing to watch adults play with play-dough, bubbles, and parachutes like they were kids again.

Award Ceremony at Indiana Historical Society

Jonathan Byrd’s was honored to be chosen to cater at the Indiana Historical Society for an award ceremony in honor of the outstanding faculty at Ivy Tech campuses across the state. The group made the most of this exquisite space by spreading the event across multiple floors. Esteemed professors met with Dr. Sue Ellspermann, the president at Ivy Tech at a happy hour outside on the canal. Attendees drank strawberry mint fizzes and nibbled on appetizers like the wild mushroom polenta. Following cocktail hour, guests went into the theater for an award ceremony while Jonathan Byrd’s staff prepared the stunning Lilly Hall for their dinner service. For dinner, a dual plated slow braised beef short rib and spinach filet of sole was served, along with a vanilla strawberry tart for dessert.

If you’re looking for a central venue with unique space and historic details, check out the Indiana Historic Society and contact Jonathan Byrd’s for catering assistance.

Rachel’s 40th Birthday Party

40 is a big milestone, so you have to make sure you celebrate it right! Rachel’s mom threw her an over-the-top surprise birthday party here at 502East,  complete with food, décor, and gigantic balloons from Banzi Balloons! Everything was decked out in pink, black, and gold and the party was hopping all night long! Happy Birthday Rachel, we hope it was one to remember!

Summer Sangria Basket

We kicked off summer with our Summer Sangria Basket Giveaway! This basket included goodies such as reusable ice cubes, leis, pineapple cups, a recipe booklet created by our chefs at Jonathan Byrd’s, and Eppa Fruita Sangria courtesy of our friends at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. We really appreciate all of our facebook friends who liked and shared our post, but we could only pick one winner and it was Rose Uhde Lang! Thank you so much to everyone who participated! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more contests!


Partner Spotlight: Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel

Are you visiting 502 East Event Centre for a conference or event and want to stay somewhere close? 502 East Event Centre is in Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis and a frequent winner of best places to live in America. Frequently, 502 East Event Centre hosts conferences for companies and groups that expand all over the state, the Midwest, and even the country. When traveling, convenience is key. That’s why 502 East Event Centre and Jonathan Byrd’s Catering often recommend the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel as a nearby hotel that provides easy access to 502 East Event Centre and Downtown Indianapolis.

Since the creation of “Holiday Inn Express”, many people associate Holiday Inn as a place for the frequent traveler to rest their head between flights. But not every Holiday Inn is a “Holiday Inn Express,” and the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel provides so much more than a bed to sleep in.

King Bed-Coffee

Sleep In All Day In One of the New Beds 

The 171 room hotel is located off the main drag of Pennsylvania Parkway, nestled behind tree lines and incorporated in an office park. Although the Hotel is not far from 465, there is a sense of privacy and serenity around the building. As soon as you drive up to the hotel, your perception of what a Holiday Inn provides, completely changes. The grand entryway and dignified exterior really enhances the value of this hotel.

The Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel has plenty to offer its guests. Not far from check-in is their full restaurant and bar named The Hoosier Grill. The cozy lounge has a double sided fireplace, plenty of seating for dining or for guests to enjoy a cocktail from the bar. The Hoosier Grill serves breakfast and dinner daily with full menu selections. For breakfast, diners are welcome to choose from the breakfast buffet for $8.95, or they can order off the breakfast menu which features Eggs Benedict and Biscuits & Gravy, just to name a couple. Mouth-watering dinner items have just been added to the dinner menu, including the Hand-Breaded Tenderloin Sandwich, Apple Bourbon Pork Medallions, and Shrimp Diablo Pasta. The restaurant features daily specials known as the “$8 daily dives,” and are a great meal for the deal.

The Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel also has a 2,000 square foot ballroom capable of seating 100-120 guests depending on orientation. The ballroom can be divided into 3 smaller salons that are ideal for team meetings, training sessions, or company events. An array of food and beverage options are available to satisfy the needs of hungry attendees!

All 171 rooms come equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, Keurig®, and access to their on-site guest laundry. Not only did they just replace all of their mattresses to help their guests sleep well, but they also provide a sound machine in each room which partners with the triple-paned windows to keep out any environmental distractions. Guests have access to their business center, sparkling lap pool, and their sundries to satisfy that sweet tooth or craving during the day or night.

Pool2 - Copy

The Sparkling Lap Pool

If you are looking for a hotel that will accommodate an active lifestyle this is the place for you! There are imminent amounts of walking paths that will lead you to the well-loved Monon Trail, enjoyed by Indy residents and visitors daily. Looking to count your reps or sweat off the cocktail carbs from the night before? The revamped fitness center with all new, state of the art equipment, and free weights will help you make this happen.

Holiday Inn Indianapolis-Carmel-005

Stay Buff in the Fitness Center

Tired after a long meeting? Need a little sun? Check out the hotel’s beautiful courtyard with plenty of outdoor seating to prop your feet up while fire pits keep your toes warm. During the Summer, the staff provides cornhole boards and other outdoor games for guests to play. Guests can bring their own food, or enjoy their dinner from the Hoosier Grill in the courtyard


Relax In The Spacious Courtyard

If you’re looking to explore the Carmel area, the Holiday Inn provides a shuttle that travels within a 6- mile radius of the hotel. Driving in? Then you are not far from the Arts District in Carmel, shopping at Clay Terrace or the Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing. And if you are feeling more adventurous, the hotel is close to Meridian Street which will take your straight to the heart of Downtown Indianapolis.

We advise you to check out and check-in to the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel when you’re having your event at 502 East Event Centre. They will arrange room blocks for 10 or more rooms and can arrange a shuttle back and forth from your conference if needed. This hotel is a great place for someone who wants to work hard and sleep harder, but have a little fun in between.

(Pictures courtesy of LCP360 and the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel)


Partner Venue Spotlight: The Forum Conference & Events Center

If you find yourself driving behind Ikea in Fishers, you may find a very large glass building labelled “Forum Conference and Event Center.” You might think it’s offices for the credit union or maybe an auditorium for employees, but it’s so much more than either of those things.


The Forum Conference and Events Center

The Forum Conference and Event Center is a crisp modern venue with lots of versatile space and high-tech features. The building was built in 2003 in stages, with the Conference and Event Center added last. The building houses the headquarters for the Forum Credit Union, and leases office space for other businesses. The entire building is immaculate and has a chrome and marble finish.

The space is so clean and contemporary that it feels like a blank canvas. The polished look works great with both a modern wedding and a corporate gathering. The diverse space can be divided in many ways and can be rearranged so quickly that guests will be amazed that they’re stepping back into the same room.

While most of the building may be bustling with office staff, the Forum Conference and Event Center is heralded by 2 exceptional women: Julianne Mertz and Kalissa Atchley. These two dynamite ladies run everything in the conference center from scheduling events, ordering linens, floor planning, meeting with clients, rearranging the room, and posting on social media. They were nice enough to take time out of their busy schedules to give me the grand tour of the event center and show me how an event at the Forum comes to fruition.


Photos courtesy of Dimensions Photography

Whoever designed this event center really thought of everything. The foyer of the conference center has a built-in check-in table, bar, and coat check. No extra equipment required. The foyer has floor to ceiling glass windows providing lots of natural light. Doors on either side of the foyer allow access into the event center.

I saw how the space was utilized and transformed at a recent wedding Jonathan Byrd’s catered at the Forum. A built-in monitor greeted guests as they entered the foyer, which was filled with decorated cocktail tables, a photobooth, and the Jonathan Byrd’s cheese display was prominently displayed in the middle of the room. The bar was open for business and the check-in table was decorated to match the cocktail tables and displayed pictures of those family there in spirit.


The foyer decorated for cocktail hour

Inside the 7,200 square foot conference center is a large stage at the front of the room and a large air wall capable of dividing the space for multiple events. Depending on the orientation, the conference center can seat between 50-500 people. There are 2 screens on either side of the conference center, and one big screen that comes down over the stage. For weddings or other romantic events, there is a gigantic chandelier that can be hung in the middle of the ballroom.


The ceremony setup – Photos courtesy of Dimensions Photography

Bridal suite, groom suite, and an extensive kitchen area for caterers are all part of the event space as well. The bridal suite has lots of room for a group of bridesmaids, and the groom’s suite doubles as an employee lounge filled with games and a pool table. New rules by the Forum dictate that you cannot go off their preferred DJ and Catering list based on previous experience, but the list has a variety of options for every price point.

One of the coolest features of the conference center is over the stage. There is a long plain strip that you might not notice until the projector turns on and displays a logo or picture. Mertz and Atchley make a few designs for clients and they pick one that will display on the wall over the stage for the whole event. The design can be a new logo made for the event, a pre-existing logo for corporate clients, or a picture from a couple’s engagement shoot. It’s a great wow-factor that really sets the Forum Conference and Event Center apart from so many others.


Projected logo over the stage – Photos courtesy of Dimensions Photography

The behind the scenes work that guests don’t see, is really what makes the Forum such a great venue for any occasion. As guests entered the conference room for the ceremony, the room was divided in half width-wise by the airwall. The stage adorned in tulle and twinkle lights, and the room was packed with almost 200 people sitting in rows on either side of an aisle. There was an opening in the middle of the airwall, but it was blocked with a divider so no one could see through the opening. The bridal suite has an entrance to the conference center, and when the bride and her girls were ready, they hid behind the airwall before the guests took their seats.

Once the ceremony was over, guests filed back into the foyer for cocktail hour, and that’s when Mertz and Atchley flexed their muscles. They opened the airwall to double the size of the room to reveal all the tables for the reception packed tightly behind it. The tables had linens, napkins, plates, and table numbers on them already. From there, these two ladies and their vendor team, rolled up the aisle, moved all the chairs to the side of the room, and lifted all the tables into their spots. The dance floor for the reception was disguised by the aisle runner and the chairs during the ceremony. Once the tables were all in place, the chairs were placed around the tables, and the centerpieces were distributed at every table.


Pre-set tables made for an easy and quick transition

All the chairs during the ceremony used the same chair covers and bows that were used for the reception. The DJ who played music for the ceremony, didn’t have to relocate any of his equipment, he just stayed in the same spot next to the dance floor by the stage. The stage that was the backdrop for the ceremony, now became the backdrop for the head table so everyone could see the bride and groom and all the speeches. The buffets were pre-set behind the airwall now just needed to be filled with food.

Before: Ceremony – After: Reception

To see before and after pictures makes you think that this was 2 different almost identical rooms, but it was just the magic of planning ahead, being creative, and a little elbow grease quickly transformed the entire space.

If you’re looking for a versatile event venue in Fishers with great amenities and experienced venue managers – check out the Forum Conference and Event Center and tell them Jonathan Byrd’s sent you.


Jonathan Byrds: Bride & Forum Approved –  Photos courtesy of Dimensions Photography





May 2018 Wrap Up

Indianapolis in May is the busiest time of the year for many companies, and Jonathan Byrd’s is no exception. We’ve been hustling this month creating unique events and food for parties around Indianapolis and at 502 East Event Centre. Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Team was also busy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gearing up for the 102nd running of the Indy 500. Below are some of the fun events we were honored to be a part of in the month of May.

Super Hero Super Party at 416 Wabash

Jonathan Byrd’s Executive Chef Brett Lewis doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that keeps up with the latest superhero blockbusters, but he was all in for creating a menu that incorporated everyone’s favorite characters. Some of the menu items that we brought to this corporate party included “Spring Chicken Scallopini (Pounded out with Thor’s Hammer),” “Wolverine Carved Pastrami Spiced Brisket” and “Multi-Grain and Gamora Pilaf,” to name a few.

The Black Panther dessert station was a hit with the crowd. It included sugar cookies printed with pictures of superheroes, various fruit tarts, brownies, and three flavors of gelato.

Photos courtesy of Kristin Hornberger Photography

416 Wabash and Evans Audio-Visual went all out decorating with blacklights, neon signs, and superhero dancers.

Photos courtesy of Kristin Hornberger Photography

Lockwood Wedding at Forum Conference and Event Center

Congratulations to Ashley and Zach Lockwood! This adorable couple tied the knot at the versatile Forum Conference and Event Center, and Jonathan Byrd’s was there to made sure the guests had plenty of food to enjoy.

Photos courtesy of Dimensions Photography

This couple’s beautiful wedding was decorated in violet, lavender, and white, and had fun activities for guests to take part in such as a photo booth, scavenger hunt, and song request cards for their “wedding mixtape.”

Photos courtesy of Dimensions Photography

Sariah’s Sweet 16 at 502 East

Sariah is an all-star athlete with an all-star family. They went all out for her 16th Birthday at 502 East with a huge cake, a red carpet, and paparazzi. Everyone was so excited for her big entrance that security needed to step in.

 Family and friends danced the night away by our own Hollywood Sign.  It was a party fit for a celebrity!

The Great Andretti Party at Andretti Motorsports

The 20’s were in full swing at Andretti Motorsports before the Indy 500. Flappers, feathers, and finery were the theme of the night as guests dined on multiple stations of Jonathan Byrd’s fare ranging from Caviar Deviled Eggs, Meyer Limoncello Raviolini, and Mini Hazelnut Gateau. Our over the top cheese plate was turned up for the occasion and featured 12 different cheese from all over Indiana.

Patrons were mesmerized by flappers on stilts, models posing in human-sized champagne glasses, and an IndyCar Disco Ball Hanging from the ceiling.

Sponsor Party for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Race Team at Dallara IndyCar Factory

Jonathan Byrd’s famous food made an appearance at another pre-race event at the Dallara IndyCar Factory. We set out two buffets to serve over 400 people at this event. Invited guests were proud sponsors of the three cars that competed the next day.

Dallara has a lot of fun IndyCar activities for the whole family, such a simulators and IndyCar rides down North Main Street in Speedway.

Grewal Wedding at 502 East

Mr. and Mrs. Grewal sure know how to throw a party! 502 East Event Centre hosted over 400 people for their wedding over Memorial Day Weekend.  Guests danced late into the night and enjoyed lots of videos of the couple displayed on multiple screens around the room. The Team at Atmosphere’s Indy made a beautiful backdrop on the stage, a lit archway for their couple’s main entrance, and beautiful centerpieces.

Check out some of the wedding party’s dance routine! Can you dance as well as they can?

We’re super excited for this year’s Indy 500! Keep an eye out for the red Jonathan Byrd’s Car #33 driven by James Davison!

Posted by Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group on Thursday, May 24, 2018

We can’t talk about the month of May without mentioning the Indianapolis 500. Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Team paired up with Belardi Racing, Hollinger Racing, and AJ Foyt Racing to sponsor the red #33 car driven by James Davison. Watch the video to learn about the tradition and history of the Byrd Family at the Indy 500.


Davison, unfortunately, crashed early in the race with defending champion Takuma Sato. We’re looking forward to seeing the Jonathan Byrd’s car race again next year!


Cooking Like A Caterer: Spring Time Aspragus Tofu Salad

Spring Time Asparagus Tofu Salad

Spring has sprung in central Indiana, and we’re celebrating by cooking a signature spring dish with our favorite spring vegetable: asparagus!

This dish may look complicated and fancy, but Chef Garde Manger Kelly Retherford shows how this impressive looking dish can be made by anyone who wants to show off with some exotic ingredients for some fresh spring flavor.

We recommend this dish for any spring gathering like Memorial Day, especially if your party has a lot of vegetarian guests. By breaking the norms of a traditional lettuce salad, you can surprise your friends with a dish that is both pleasing to the eye and pallet.


Ginger Root divided – ½ tsp

Ground Cumin – ½ tsp

Lemon Juice divided – 2 tbsp

Garlic – 1 clove

Rice Vinegar – ¼ Cup

Soy Sauce – ½ Cup

Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided – 1 cup

Fava Beans  – peeled and blanched – 1 ½  Cups

Tofu – drained

Parsnip – 1

Yellow Tomatoes – 2

Chamomile Micro Greens

Pea tendrils

Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

Sundried Tomato Powder

Salt and Pepper to taste



Yellow Tomato Vinaigrette & Tofu Marinade

1 – Score the bottom of the 2 yellow tomatoes, by lightly making an X in the skin. Remove the core of the tomatoes with a paring knife at the stem. Roast the tomatoes in the oven at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

2 – Once the tomatoes are roasted, remove the skin of the tomatoes starting at the X. Cut the tomatoes into small sections.

3 – Place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and combine until liquidized. Add rice vinegar, ¼ tsp of ginger root, garlic, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and blend. Add ¾ cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil and blend again.  The vinaigrette should be sauce like, and able to coat the back of a spoon.

4 – Remove half of the vinaigrette and set it aside for later. Add soy sauce to the remaining half and blend again until well combined. This will be the marinade for the tofu.

Fava Bean Puree

5 – Put fava beans in the blender or food processor with 1 tbsp of lemon juice, ¼ tsp ginger root, and salt and pepper and blend until soft. Scrape down the sides of the blender to keep everything incorporated well. Once its mixed together, add ¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Mix again until it is soft like guacamole. Once its at the desired consistency, put the fava bean puree in a piping bag to use later.

Parsnip Crisps

6 – Take the parsnip and peel the skin off. Once the skin is removed, use the peeler to peel off thick strips of parsnip. Heat up 1 cup of oil in a pan on a stove. When the oil is hot, drop the peels of parsnip into the oil for about 30-45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the parsnips once they are golden brown and crispy.


7 – Cut the tofu into 1-inch thick patties. Put the patties in a baking pan or another vessel where you can easily press the tofu in. Lay down paper towels before putting the patties in, and then place more paper towels on top. Take another baking pan and press the tofu between them. Place a weight on the top pan to help with the pressing. Press the tofu for 30-45 minutes or until all the moisture is removed.

8 – Once the tofu is firm and all the moisture is removed, remove the tofu from the baking pans, and put the patties in a vessel to marinate with. Pour the marinade over the tofu and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

9 – Gently remove the tofu from the marinade, making sure to wipe of the excess. You can throw out the marinade once you’ve removed the tofu.  Place the tofu on a hot grill for 90 seconds, and then rotate for 90 degrees to create a crisscross pattern with the grill marks. Flip the tofu over and make the same grill mark pattern on the other side.


10 – Cut off the bottom part of the asparagus. For this dish, you will only need the top half. Once all the asparagus is cut, lay it on a tray and drizzle asparagus with oil, salt, and pepper.

11 – Place the asparagus on a hot grill and cook asparagus for three minutes on each side or until you see dark grill marks like the tofu. Once cooked, remove asparagus from the grill.


12 – Pour a little pool of the vinaigrette in the middle of the plate. Place 1 cooked tofu patty over a portion of the pool. Place the asparagus on top of the tofu in a pyramid pattern. Cut your asparagus so it is the same length as the tofu.

13 – Using the piping bag, distribute small dollops of the fava bean puree adjacent to the tofu. Use the fava bean puree as a glue to stick cut baby heirloom tomatoes, fava beans, and parsnip crisps onto the plate in a decorative fashion.  Delicately garnish the dish with the chamomile micro greens and pea tendrils.

14 – Using the remaining vinaigrette, drizzle it on top of the asparagus, tofu, and other vegetables, but be careful not to touch the garnishes or they might fall flat.

15 – Serve and enjoy!


Jonathan Byrd’s Lends A Helping Hand At Second Helpings

Since our days in Greenwood, Jonathan Byrd’s has always been a big proponent in being involved in the local community through service. Although our business has changed from our original roots, our bond with the Indianapolis community is strong and we want to be involved as much as we can.

For over 13 years, Jonathan Byrd’s has donated excess food to Second Helpings, Indianapolis’ local food rescue. A food rescue is different from a food pantry or a soup kitchen because a food rescue takes in prepared food or older produce from grocery stores, hotels, caterers, and food supply companies and makes new meals with that food, which is then distributed to over 85 social service agencies across Indianapolis. Second Helpings feeds people in shelters, day cares, community centers, and other programs that feed hungry people but don’t have budgets to pay for food. Second Helpings relies on over 700 active volunteers to help collect, sort, prepare, create, and distribute over 4000 meals a day, which adds up to over 1 million meals a year!

When you choose Jonathan Byrd’s to cater your event, you can rest assured that your leftover food will not go to waste. Second Helpings picks up food at 502 East Event Centre on a regular basis. In fact, Jonathan Byrd’s is one of Second Helping’s biggest donators of prepared food. In 2017 alone, we donated 11,741 pounds of food!


second helpins

Volunteers from Jonathan Byrd’s at Second Helpings


Besides feeding the hungry, Second Helpings also gives second chances to the unemployed looking to gain the skills needed to work as cooks in the food service industry. Students are put through a rigorous training program in seven short weeks. During this time, students earn a Servsafe certification, learn knife and cooking techniques, and valuable life skills like teamwork and resume building. The team at Second Helpings then works hard to get job placement for their graduates through their connections with local Indiana businesses.  45% of the students were previously incarcerated and gaining experience from Second Helpings gives them a new lease on life.

Even though Jonathan Byrd’s has been a strong donator to Second Helpings, most of our employees hadn’t been there and didn’t know about the Culinary Job Training Program.  We’re familiar with the volunteers that come to pick up the food, but we haven’t taken the time to really see what really goes on. So, a bunch of us decided to put on hairnets and latex gloves and volunteered to help.

As a small group, we prepared and cut meat for meals that were being distributed the next day. Second Helpings used the produce it receives and makes casserole style meals with it. What they make depends on what kind of food they get each day. We spent most of the night cutting up beef and pork products. We worked with other volunteers to wash dishes and clean the kitchen. At the end of the night, as a surprise, we were treated to dinner made by the students in the Culinary Job Training program.


jennifer and emily

Susan, Jennifer, and Emily cut up meat at Second Helpings


Now that we saw first-hand how much Second Helpings does for the community, we were impassioned to do even more! We connected with Chef Vincent Kinkade, Director of Culinary Job Training, with our Executive Chef Brett Lewis to teach a class.

Chef Brett was delighted to visit one of the culinary job training classes and talk about the value of customer service in the food industry. In catering, customer service is essential from the moment the client books an event, to the presentation of the food on the plate, and up until they have finished the last crumb. As a chef, you must be prepared when certain dietary restrictions arise, and you might have to stray from the set menu. Chef Brett stressed how people with dietary restrictions are not to be treated like second class. A vegetarian might feel disappointed if they get the same meal as everyone else, but with no meat, instead of a dedicated vegetarian entrée.

Chef Brett made a tabbouleh, a traditional middle eastern salad with long grain brown rice instead of bulgar. He then gave it a little extra flare by adding roasted tomatoes and chopped cucumbers, which added a lot of flavor. The students enjoyed the tabbouleh and learned about a new vegetarian dish.


chef teaching

Chef Brett teaches students of the Culinary Job Training Classes offered at Second Helpings


“You need to make each dish unique and special,” said Chef Brett, “just like you are unique and special. Put your own flair into it and your guests will notice.”

Advice like that is essential to students who are eager to make a place for themselves in the world. Jonathan Byrd’s wants to keep supporting our partners within local non-profits like Second Helpings through service and support, however possible. We’re trying to think of more ways everyday to make our community a better place.

To learn more about Second Helpings, visit their website.


Cooking like a Caterer: Country Style Pork Ribs with Late Harvest Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic and Fresh Tarragon

Country Style Pork Ribs with Late Harvest Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic and Fresh Tarragon

Have you ever braised pork before? What about deglazing a pan with Apple Cider Vinegar? Our Chefs at Jonathan Byrd’s Catering have, and they want to share the steps with you! They’ve created a delicious new winter dish that will warm your bones on the coldest of days. Great for feeding a crowd or a few family members.




Country Style Pork Ribs – 6 each

Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 cup

Soy Sauce – ½ cup

Chicken Stock – 2 cups

Peeled Seeded Tomato – 2 cups

Sweet Onion – 1 pound

Brown Sugar – ½ cup

Garlic – 2 tblsp

Fresh Tarragon – 1 tsp

Apple Vinegar Powder – 1 tblsp

Salt and Pepper – to taste

Red Onion – ½ cup

Granny Smith Apples cut Julienne – ½ cup



Season Pork Ribs with Apple Vinegar Powder and Salt and Pepper, then place them in a hot frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil. Sear the pork for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The pork will not be cooked through but will have a brown color on both sides. Remove from heat and place them into a 16×9 baking pan.

Once the pork is removed, add the onion and more oil if needed. Sweat the onions for about 2 minutes, until they are soft and translucent. Mix in garlic until it is pungent, about 1 minute. Next, deglaze the pan with Apple Cider Vinegar and mix with the onions and garlic. Then add Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce. Once it gets back up to temperature, add the tomatoes. Let simmer for a minute, then stir in chicken stock. When the liquid starts boiling again, add the fresh tarragon and mix together. Once it’s back up to temperature, pour liquid over the pork in the baking pan. Cover the mixture with parchment paper and foil and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes.

After taking the pan from the oven, remove pork ribs from the liquid onto a separate plate.  Using a strainer, separate the solids from the liquids, and place the solids in a blender. Puree the solids until they are mostly liquidized. Add the braising liquid and continue to puree the mixture. When it is done, it will be a pourable sauce, able to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the sauce onto a plate and place the pork ribs on top.   

In a hot frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of oil, add ½ cup of red onion. Mix the onion in the oil until they are soft and a little translucent in color. Add ½ cup of julienne cut granny smith apples. Mix in the frying pan for a couple of seconds, and make sure the apples are not soft. Remove from the heat and lay them on top of the pork as a garnish. Top with chopped green onions for color.  Serve with extra sauce on the side.