Rachel DeMarte Project by Venue One Event Planner Rachel De Marte Guests don't always have time to take a leisurely lunch—or lunch at all—when they are in all-day meetings and breakout sessions. The food and beverage must come to them. Not to worry—you can still get crafty and fun! Here are creative ways to make the meal count without distracting from the meeting. 1. Food Carts Food carts are simple, fast and memorable. You can create multiple carts each with different themes, such as a Chicago-Style Hot Dog and Root Beer Float or Taco and Agua Fresca with fresh fruit Cart. Spice up your meeting with a Burger and Beer, Shaved Tenderloin Slider and Red Wine, or Bacon and Bourbon Cart. They can be rolled from table to table with ease. 2. TV Dinner Trays Play into the diner food trend and serve a hot lunch in an old school TV dinner-like tray. It’s key to feature a wide variety of foods and keep portions small. After all, you want to avoid food comas! 3. Dim Sum Dim sum can be translated to office meetings. Think of a lazy susan in the middle of the conference table with steamer baskets filled with shumai, pot stickers and buns, Chinese noodles in takeout containers, and hot tea. Chinatown comes to you! 4. Boxed Lunch Revamped Forget the paper sack of the past. Meet the sleek and modern boxed lunch of today. Fill each with gourmet sandwiches, artisanal salads, house made chips and petite desserts, accompanied with a traditional glass bottle of Coca Cola. It will remind you of the good ol’ days. These food and beverage ideas will be a welcomed addition to any meeting—big or small.

Rachel De Marte: Culinary Director of Venue One

It’s not often that you meet someone whose personality is as bright as her talent is impressive, but this is certainly the case when it comes to Rachel DeMarte. A go-to event planning, styling and catering expert, Rachel uses her reputation and successful years in the industry at her very own events company RachelDeMarte.com and as the Culinary Director of Chicago’s all-inclusive meetings, weddings and special events center Venue One.