Event Professional Spotlight - Jessie Lopez

Born and raised in Mexico City, Jessie enjoyed the opportunity of living in a cosmopolitan environment of one of the biggest and complex cities in the world. During her teen years Jessie had the opportunity to travel to France where among other things, she was able to enjoy the huge selection and incomparable quality of the pastries and breads of French bakeries. More importantly, Jesse was able to learn more about the Spanish and French influence on Mexican baking goods. Although she decided to study International Business, her passion and admiration remained with French pastry chefs. Jessie moved to Houston in 1992 for a 6 month project. Little did she know this short-term project would be the beginning of a long-term career. What began as a hobby, to release her creativity and energy, later became her biggest adventure in the bakery industry and her relentless effort to produce high-end Pastry Chef Quality baking goods. Jessie attended pastry chef education at a Houston culinary school and throughout the years, she has refined her skills and technique as a cake decorator by continuous training and research.

After almost seventeen years and three successful businesses, today Jessie Lopez owns Edible Designs by Jessie, a bakery dedicated to the creation of delicious and breath taking wedding and groom cakes.  Edible Designs by Jessie has become one of the trendsetters in the Wedding Cake industry in Houston.  The personalized service and the attention to detail on every cake crafted at Edible Designs are the distinctive characteristics of Jessie’s cakes. Despite the size and complexity of the cakes, every piece is prepared as if it was for a family member.

The success has not come easy to Jessie. She continues to work hard and like many other successful businesses, has joined the correct networking groups to promote her products. Among these groups, NACE has been the most important organization in the catering industry and the most beneficial to Jessie. Being a part of NACE has allowed Jessie to stay in contact with top professionals in the wedding industry and Jessie has recognized this particular “networking group” as one she could trust and rely on to stay up to date on the industry trends and market requirements. The close working relationships and the high level of professionalism of NACE members has transformed Jessie’s business network into her friends group; and additionally benefit that is worth mentioning. The professional relationships within NACE have allowed Jessie to be is listed as preferred vendor for some of the most prestigious reception venues in Houston.

In order to maintain the success and the reputation created by Jessie, she works strictly by appointment only. It is common for Jessie to be fully booked months in advance for appointments and new cake orders. Because she only does a limited number of weddings every week, it is highly recommended to contact her at least 6 months in advance before the wedding date.  Reviews, blogs and wedding websites frequently post cakes created by Edible Designs by Jessie. Even online and in print, you can taste the detail Jessie includes in every cake. If ever in need of perfection made from flour and eggs, take the time to schedule a visit and have your cake created by Jessie.

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Second Annual Golden Noodle Mac & Cheese Competition

The National Association of Catering Executives introduces the Second Annual Golden Noodle Mac & Cheese Competition. A relatively simple dish by nature, mac and cheese lovers know that recipe creations and possible ingredient combinations are endless. On September 19, 2012, the Golden Noodle Mac & Cheese second annual competition will commence. Four categories will be rewarded including traditional, creative, dessert, and novice. The event will be held at The Gallery from 6:30p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Registration and Networking starts at 5:30pm).

The traditional category is defined as a recipe that celebrates the basics of mac and cheese. This category allows for only the essential recipe ingredients required, plus one added ingredient.

The creative category is defined as a recipe that celebrates the basics of mac and cheese with no limit to added ingredients.

The dessert category is defined as a recipe that celebrates the sweetness of mac and cheese versus the savory ingredients.

The novice category is defined as participants that are not (and have not been) employed in a culinary business as a chef. Participants in this category are able to prepare any type of mac and cheese, with no limitations.

Celebrity judges will critique, taste, and judge the three categories, traditional, creative, and dessert, independently. The categories will judge on three different areas: texture , flavor, and presentation. Guests attending will also be able to vote and reward one lucky contestant the People’s Choice Award. Contestants are encouraged to design and decorate their booth space. An additional award will be given for best booth design.

Contestants can enter multiple categories. Each category requires a $175 entry fee, which includes a 10’x10’ booth space, two 6’ tables, serving plates, and forks. Only two people are allowed per booth. All contestants must provide all linen, cooking utensils, and product to serve a 3 oz. portion for 200 guests. All cooking and preparation must be done onsite, with the exception of the noodles, which may be prepared off-site.

Just want to sample and enjoy the delicacy of mac and cheese? Tickets are only $45 for members and $55 for guests/future members.

Contact Kat Creech for entry information.

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Register to attend or to particapte as a cooking team now

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Event Professional Spotlight - Greg Dugat

Greg Dugat - From “Moonwalks & Margaritas” to “Prestigious Events”….

My journey in the event rental industry began in 2008 where my wife and I would spend our weekends delivering and setting up moonwalks. I was Vice President of Sunbelt Rentals, a 2 billion dollar power and construction equipment rental company and was extremely interested in the event side.  A very short two years later in January of 2010 I resigned from Sunbelt Rentals and revised our business plan from moonwalks to “Prestigious Events”, where we gave life to Prestigious Event Rentals. I joined NACE soon thereafter in hopes of building relationships with other industry leaders and for the educational meetings where key tips and support issues are learned.  NACE was known as a strong organization that helped build ties within the industry, learn new ideas and twists on old ones, and a place to have a great time as well and I knew it would be a great fit for me.

I have been in the rental industry for 19 years and love what I do, but it has not taken long to figure out putting events together is a very rewarding experience.  You never know where the job will take you, the great people you will meet and there is always something new to learn.  Through NACE I have made many lifelong friends and industry partners while building a tight knit circle of resources.  Being given the 2011 “Can’t Live Without You” award at the December meeting was such an honor for my team and me.

I founded Prestigious Events on the cornerstones of Quality, Service, and Reliability and have been able to maintain those aspects in all that we do.  We are a full service event company that is built around customer service from the first call to the delivery. We are committed to our customers' complete satisfaction by providing exceptional equipment, unsurpassed service and knowledgeable employees.  We always strive to stay true to what Prestigious Events was founded on. 

Two pieces of advice I could share would be to one, always believe in your team.  Your team consists of your clients, your vendors and your employees.  We are not beyond mistakes, as no one is.  But if we take a situation and truly learn from it, the entire team benefits.  A mistake is an investment within your team when handled correctly.  Second would be to listen when communicating with someone.  We have a tendency to start thinking of how we wish to respond before they even finish speaking.  A wise man once told me that God gave us 2 ears and one mouth for a reason…. If we listen to what our customers, vendors and employees are really trying to tell us, our team will be much more successful with all endeavors.

Whenever I am not working, I love to spend quality time with my family.  I have 3 wonderful kids; a 23yo son in the Air Force, a 16yo son who's 6'4", 220 pounds and likes to chest bunt when I come home and my 10 year old princess who wants to grow up way faster than I am willing.  And yes, I am now a grandpaw (Popi) thanks to the oldest and his lovely wife.  I'm married to my high school sweetheart Barbara, who's living her dream as an elementary school teacher.  We have lived in Houston all of our lives.  It matters not what we are doing, as long as we are all together.  Family is important to me and it is not just my immediate family, but my extended family as well which has grown to include the NACE Houston Chapter.  Thank Goodness we were able to adopt Greg into our chapter, as we cannot Live Without You!


Houston Open House - June 27th, 2012 





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May Experience 2012 Alumni Special

June Special for Experience 2012

Click here to register online

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