When it comes to holiday catering, Michael “Cheffee” Ober and Melanie Robertson-Ober, the husband-and-wife team behind Corks + Forks Catering, note that their Palm Beach clients are not as focused on entertaining trends as they are concerned with quality and flavor. Michael, who earned his Master Chef certification in his native Germany, and Melanie, who is a certified sommelier, combine forces to deliver excellent classics with a twist. They also say that Palm Beachers appreciate a certain interplay between high and low, and like to balance indulgent items with healthy options. Here, the Obers share insight into how to update party fare.
Pigs in a Blanket: For a new take on this classic, the Obers roll Kobe beef sausages inside homemade pretzels, an homage to Michael’s German heritage.
Signature Cocktail: While this has become all but a given, the Obers believe that it’s important for the cocktail to reflect the host, menu, or season. For December, they suggest the Merry Spritzmas: vodka, cranberry juice, and elderflower syrup topped with ginger beer or a dry premium ginger ale, and garnished with pomegranate seeds and mint.
Shrimp Cocktail: Corks + Forks’ most requested item is their pineapple shrimp tower, served with cocktail sauce and a Meyer lemon aioli. The Obers advise having one or two stationary items so that servers are not interrupting conversations too much with passed hors d’oeuvres.
Caviar: For something more unique than blinis or potato chips, the Obers recommend serving caviar—their current favorite is Haute Caviar Company—on savory waffle squares atop a dollop of crème fraîche.
Potato Bites: Tater tots are so passé. For a decidedly Palm Beach potato, try the Obers’ sweet potato bites with blackberry thyme relish. Not only are these delicious, but they’re also vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.