by Andrea Doyle | September 19, 2017


 

CHEF CENOBIO CANALIZO

 For more than 20 years, Chef Cenobio Canalizo has helped to shape the menus of GlazierWorks, a family-run hospitality group known for its famous Strip House brand, where he was the executive chef before moving to Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C., located in New York City's iconic Grand Central Station.

 Inspired by his mother's cooking, Canalizo began in the industry at the age of 17. His creativity, leadership skills, and passion for cooking helped him move up the ranks quickly. His menus include many classic steakhouse dishes with the freshest ingredients gathered from the Green Market in Grand Central. He incorporates a subtle Mexican flair into his menu, whether it's steak tacos or avocado-infused butter.
  
 What is the most elaborate food and beverage function you ever planned for a group?

 Being located on the balcony of one of New York City's most beautiful architectural landmarks, the restaurant and bar has attracted the business of several Fortune 500 companies and celebrities. Their events typically take over the entire venue, which accommodates as many as 500 people.

What high-end trends are you seeing now?
 Customers and event planners are much more educated on wines and craft spirits these days. They no longer just rely on the sommelier's recommendations. We've been experiencing more requests to bring in very specific/niche craft beers, wines, and more for events. Company networking events are getting more sophisticated, with expert-hosted whiskey and Scotch tastings for groups, for example.  

 In addition to these trends in cocktails, for food, it's all about super-elaborate displays with company branding in an effort to get attendees to photograph and create some buzz on social media. MJ's has been introducing new customizable packages for groups to participate in scavenger hunts throughout Grand Central before or after their event.
  
What strategies are there for groups without big budgets?
 Rather than just offering beer and wine, planners prefer to offer beer, wine, and one specialty cocktail with a display. Picking an off-time -- groups on a budget typically go for Monday nights. Family-style rather than a prix fixe for sit-downs: It's still cost-efficient, but much more engaging for attendees.
  
 What are some of the most popular ingredients right now?

 There has been such a huge emphasis on social media in recent years that restaurants and foodies seem to be the most excited about the visual presentation of their dish rather than specific ingredients. Sometimes the simplest ingredients are what looks best and most dramatic. Between our view of Grand Central Terminal, our meats, and lush desserts, we've been able to take advantage of this booming trend.
  
 What trends are cooling down?

 Prix fixe dinners, the phrase "farm-to-table," Pokémon-inspired anything, rainbow-colored food.