Two of my favourite things about working at Higgins Event Rentals in the event and party rental business are the interesting places and interesting people I meet almost every day. In this new blog series, I plan to share with you some of my recent and not so recent experiences on the road with Higgins Event Rentals. My intention is to post a new story every Monday.

My first story is a recent experience. Higgins Event Rentals has sponsored Oakville Galleries A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens for many years. This amazing event features a five-course meal of local, seasonal food served lakeside among the 15,000 blooms of Gairloch Gardens. Each year the meal is prepared by an esteemed Chef and their hard-working make it a small team of helpers.

This year Chef Jamie Kennedy created a beautiful menu which was paired with exceptional wines from Southbrook winery. That’s where I come in. I received a call from the wonderfully talented Samara Aster, Manager of Special Projects at the Oakville Galleries. She told me that Jamie Kennedy had asked her to contact me to choose the plates and serving pieces that would go perfectly with his menu. I was flattered. But then I remembered that Jamie knew me for many years as a fellow chef and a caterer. He also knew that Higgins Event Rentals rented experience as well as full-line of premium dinnerware, glassware and cutlery. He knew by coming to Higgins Event Rentals and speaking with me he would receive the very best dishes to present his menu.

Once I submitted the list of items for the menu, I took a look at what might be needed to set up the portable kitchen. I always do a site inspection to ensure the equipment that I choose will work in the facility hosting the event. I went out to the Oakville Galleries and wow! What a stunning setting! The Oakville Galleries, for those of you unfamiliar with downtown Oakville, as I was, is set in the beautiful Gairloch Gardens on the shoreline of Lake Ontario. This stunning setting is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. It surely is in my list of interesting places in Ontario.

On the day of the event, September 4, I had the pleasure of going out to Gairloch Gardens to meet Jamie and his team and help them set up the kitchen. The gardens were a bustle of activity with trucks arriving with flowers, food and supplies. The kitchen consisted of our six burner gas stove, our gas convection oven and our propane deep fryer. I was on site to ensure the propane equipment was set up properly. You see, while it is not difficult, to set up propane equipment it is important to ensure all valves are shut off prior to turning on the propane. This guarantees sufficient pressure is built up to release the safety valve in the propane tank thus allowing propane to flow. Because it is counterintuitive for most chefs who are used to working in commercial kitchens, I like to be on site to lend my on-site event experience to ensure the event goes well. Honestly, I also wanted the experience of being in that beautiful garden working with the team of true professionals.

Another added benefit of being on-site for the fourth annual A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens was that I was able to meet one of the other sponsors, Frank Rae from Forget-Me-Not Flowers. The work he created in the tent was beautiful! I had not worked with his company before, but after I saw his work and started asking around I found that he is a superstar décor person. Now I am a fan.

Proceeds from A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens provide much-needed funds for accessible, high-quality educational and artistic programming in our community and beyond. Higgins Event Rentals and the Higgins family are proud to support the Oakville Gallery’s efforts. We urge you to support them as well. For more information on the Oakville Galleries or to make a donation follow this link:

Andrew Zimbel is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Higgins Event Rentals. He was a customer of the company for over thirty years. His expertise is in catering, event planning and marketing. If you are in need of assistance planning an event whether you are planning an event at your home or an experienced event planner, chef or event professional press here for a one hour free consultation.