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.



Jonathan Byrd’s Debuts 2018 Menus

New Year – New Menus. Our team is excited to introduce out new menu options for 2018 and we’ve updated our menus to include more selections that appeal to our client’s requests. We hope that when you see our new options, you’ll be so happy you chose Jonathan Byrd’s to cater your event!

Late Night Snacks

What’s New for our Brides and Grooms that choose to get married at 502 East Event Centre? Late Night Snacks! Busting moves on the dance floor is hard work; exercise can be fun with the right party. But when the dinner is done, and the cake has been cut, is there nothing left to do but dance and drink? Not anymore!


“Let’s Get Popin'” Late Night Snack

We’re now offering Late Night Snacks on our Wedding Menu for couples that have their reception at 502 East Event Centre. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or savory, we have what you need to keep the party energized. Our “Garden Harvest” snack station has fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt dip, and zucchini bread. The “Let’s Get Poppin’” snack station has a variety of cheese, caramel, and butter popcorn with fun toppings for an added boost. The “Ice Cream Break” will help cool off your guests with a refreshing dessert. We bring our cart either full of novelties or we’ll provide an attendant to scoop ice cream for you. If you choose the scooped ice cream, you can count on us to bring toppings, so everyone can customize their own sundaes.

We feature these breaks for weddings at 502, but you can ask your Wedding Specialist about adding one to your catering package too!

candy bar

“CandyLand” Late Night Snack


Our Stations and Displays are what set your event apart from others. Our Clients adore our gigantic fruit & cheese displays. Stations are a lot of fun, as they are a great interactive way for your guests to choose their food that’s a fancier presentation than a buffet line. A station or display is great for a cocktail hour or after party, when your guests want something to nibble on without needing a whole meal. You are also allowed to choose multiple stations, so your guests can have several options.

cheese plate to go

Fruit & Cheese Display

Premiering on our 2018 menu are two stations we think our guests are really going to gobble up. Our new fondue station will have everyone sporting cheesy smiles when they see this. Our gourmet blend of creamy Gruyere, Grand Cru, and Fontina Cheeses with freshly grated spices pairs perfectly with French bread and vegetables for dipping.


New! Fondue Station

Another new station we’ve added to our roster is the slider station. Sliders have evolved so much since they first came on the scene. Sliders aren’t exclusively burgers anymore. We wanted to make sure all your guests can try them, so we asked out culinary team to create something new and exciting. Our sliders include a traditional beef slider with cheddar cheese and caramelized onions; A pork tenderloin slider with braised red cabbage and garlic aioli; and a vegetarian slider with a quinoa patty topped with grated zucchini, parmesan cheese, and roasted plum tomato.


There’s lots to consider when adding new menu items. Appetizers must not only taste great, have a decadent presentation, and must be able to transport well for catering. It’s not easy to meet these strict criteria on a cracker-sized bite. Our chefs here at Jonathan Byrd’s stepped up to the challenge and created a few new appetizers for our staff to try, and our lucky staff was able to sample them first! Here are of our two unanimous favorites:

If you love shrimp tacos or fajitas, you’ll devour our new Tequila Lime Shrimp Tostadas. We take tiny flour tortillas and cook them, so they maintain their shape, then we spread an avocado cream on the firm tortilla to hold pieces of grilled shrimp in place. The end result is an incredible little snack that will leave you asking for more!

shrimp edit

New! Shrimp Tostada Appetizer

For the vegetarians in your party, they will love the sweetness in our new crispy pita chip with local goat cheese and topped with peppadew peppers and a marinated olive. These little bites are surprisingly sweet and savory at the same time. They feature local goat cheeses from local Indiana farms, and at Jonathan Byrd’s we’re proud to maintain many local partnerships.

Is your mouth watering yet? These delicious new items are on our new menus at jonathanbyrds.com and 502east.com. Talk to your event specialist about adding any or all of these new items today!


2018 Wedding Trends That We Love

The end of the year is the most popular time of year for couples to get engaged. What a great way to start a new year with a new goal of creating an awesome celebration! Planning a giant party is no easy task whether your timeline is 2 months or 2 years – there are hundreds of tiny details to handle to make your big day the best day ever!

Our Wedding Specialists, Amanda Wood and Taylor Leavell, have some recommendations when it comes to the top wedding trends for 2018!


When you begin the wedding planning process, a good way to start is to pick a color scheme that you can incorporate into the decorations and attire. The Pantone color of 2018 is ultra-violet. This dark purple color will absolutely POP in floral arrangements and groomsmen ties.


The Wedding Playbook

Mauve, Rose Gold, Blush, and Berry are all trending colors in the purple spectrum. All three pair well with gray and white. Steel gray and navy continue to be the neutrals of choice.

Oh Best Day Ever

Metallics like gold and copper are excellent accents that can really make a wedding sparkle! These colors can sometimes lose their shine on paper and look yellow or brown, but metallic colored candle holders, vases, jewelery, as tiny accents send a glamorous vibe to the day.

copper and purple

Huffington Post

Can’t decide on a color? Be creative with patterns and geometric shapes. Marble or metallic accents like sign holders, backdrops, make bold colors really stand out.

marble 1

Wedding Wire


“Edited, clean, personalized timeless touches are replacing DIY elements that drain the budget,” says our wedding expert Amanda Wood. A few DIY details are fun, but don’t go too overboard.

Flowers and Bouquets arrangements have moved from uniform to free-form with multiple tiers and layers. Simple arrangements with a few big flowers are less bulky than arrangements with multiple kinds of flowers and colors.

DeerPearl Flowers

If you’re considering Ultra-Violet, consider lavender or orchids for your bouquet. The bright purple color will really stand out in your arrangement.

Wilkie Blog

Multiple height garden style floral arrangements around colorful candle holders can really make your accent colors pop and create a balance of color throughout the room.

Brides / Style Me Pretty / Huffington Post

Many brides today are also opting out of a traditional veil and wearing floral crowns or clips instead for a more natural look.

Junebug Weddings / Wedding Sparrow / Pure Wow


You can’t go wrong with cake. Many brides are now adding floral accents to cakes. Bakeries today have lots of different techniques they can use to decorate such as airbrushing, painting, and lacing to customize each cake. One note of caution: Bright icing colors can make a cake look gorgeous, but it might change the flavor or texture.

Hi Miss Puff

Not a cake fan? Mini- desserts are becoming increasingly popular. Donuts, macarons, pies, cake pops, and cupcakes are a way to personalize your dessert menu.

Crisp Southern Elegance Makes for Perfect Wedding Inspiration - photo by Olivia Morgan Photography http://ruffledblog.com/crisp-southern-elegance-makes-for-perfect-wedding-inspiration


When you order a cake, you’re often limited to 1-3 different flavors.  With tiny desserts, especially cupcakes and cake pops, you can add even more flavors to create a more diverse variety, and your guests will love to sample more than one.

Bridal Guide / Ruffled


Customization is key to make your wedding memorable. As a busy bride, you might not be able to see every guest, but adding personal touches like old photographs, personalized signs, and decorative frames really can make everyone feel a part of the experience.  Mix and match sign holders, candles, and frames to help keep the organic feel.

decor signs

Bride and Breakfast

Once the music starts, most of your guests will get out of their chairs and mingle. If You keep more guests at one long table and seat them family style rather than smaller round tables. Family style service allows guests to choose what they want without having to leave their tables. It’s a nice compromise between buffet and plated. You can also make personalized table runners or long floral arrangements instead of individual centerpieces.

Brit + Co. / Mariages.net

Like our recommendations? Come meet with our wedding experts today! Taylor and Amanda are standing by to help make your Jonathan Byrd’s Wedding Dreams Come True! Call Today for a Free Consultation!



Partner Spotlight: Brickhouse Coffee Co.

If you’ve driven by the old Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, you may have noticed a new sign on the left side of the building. The Brickhouse Coffee Company opened in August, and we at Jonathan Byrd’s have established a partnership that we hope will encourage their growth in the future.

roastery door 2

Interior Door to the Brickhouse Coffee Co.

The Brickhouse Coffee Company has a very distinct look to it. This is not a chain coffee shop or a designer storefront selling high priced drip coffee sourced from who-knows-where. As soon as you open the door, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee wraps around you like a warm blanket, and you’ll know this is the real deal.

The main appeal of The Brickhouse Coffee Company is that they roast their own coffee right in-house and sell the beans to customers in-store and online. Burlap Coffee bags hang proudly from the ceiling like banners in a sports bar.  The décor is what the Stayton’s call a vintage industrial; complimenting the warmth of the coffee shop. There are many tables and cozy spaces for customers to sit, gather, or study.

brickhouse int

In-House Roasted Coffee Beans are For Sale in Store and Online

The story of how the Brickhouse Coffee Company came to be is an interesting tale, but you should hear it first hand from the owners Jared and Lora Stayton. They will probably be standing behind the counter crafting coffee beverages for customers with their spindling barista daughters. When I had the pleasure of meeting them, Lora was hanging holiday decorations, and Jared was packing up supplies to head to a swim meet with their mobile barista service. And despite the work they had in front of them, they both took the time to shake my hand and tell me their story.

The Staytons were missionaries in Southern Spain where they learned first hand the need for financial sustainability for missions work. The community center in the church they were working at asked them to help manage the fitness center and continue development for the vision to have a coffee shop. The Staytons had fitness management backgrounds, but were clueless when it came to coffee. So, before leaving for Spain, Jared Stayton went back to school, Barista School that is; and learned all the ins and outs of coffee and educated himself on what it takes to make the perfect cup of joe. After living and serving in Malaga, Spain for almost a year and a half, the Stayton’s were forced to leave to change their visas from missionary status to business in order to continue with their new vision: using business to sustain them on the mission field.

Upon arriving back in the states, the Stayton’s home church, Horizon Christian Fellowship, learned of this business as mission idea and supported their endeavor by allowing the Staytons to use the old brick house on the church’s property as a roastery and helping them kickstart this vision. Brickhouse Coffee was born and soon, churches all over the area were being supplied coffee for their services as well as other business, coffee shops and organizations.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that the Staytons stumbled into the old Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, and fell in love with the space.  It was bigger than they imagined, but it had enough space for their coffee roaster, which sits in the back corner in front of a brick wall signifying their humble beginnings in the old brick house.


The Lattes Taste Even Better Than They Look!

All the food that is served at Brickhouse is locally sourced from nearby bakeries with locally sourced ingredients. They feature a special Quiche that is potato based and is grain-free and gluten-free, “And that’s very important to me,” said Lora Stayton, owner and self-proclaimed “Caffeine Queen.” Besides quiche, Brickhouse Coffee has other baked goods and sandwiches for customers to eat with their crafted beverages. For those craving some food from Jonathan Byrd’s – Brickhouse serves Jonathan Byrd’s Famous Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Jonathan Byrd’s also prepares pork for the Brickhouse that is marinated, rubbed, and sauced with espresso.  On Saturdays, the Brickhouse clears its large counter and lays out all the ingredients for an omelette bar from 8am-1pm for $7.50. Coffee on the go is also available with their new drive-thru window.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur or a regular roast rookie, give Brickhouse Coffee a try. The friendly staff will help you with you place your order and suggest ingredients to create the perfect cup. We at Jonathan Byrd’s are excited to see this local family-owned business grow, and we hope it’ll become the newest gem in Greenwood.

For more information about Brickhouse Coffee Company, visit their website.