A few weeks ago, Norm and I were visiting Norfolk, VA for a wonderful weekend as guests of Visit Norfolk. We were checking Norfolk out as a possible site for a conference. It passes with flying colors. We are fortunate to visit many areas, some we get excited about and others are nice but may not fit the needs of a client. Norfolk has something for everyone. We were enamored with the city itself, but also with the various businesses and the individuals who run them.

While there, we attended the 25th Annual Town Point Virginia Wine Festival & Lunch. We started out in the Norfolk tent which was catered by Catering Concepts. What a wonderful job they did.

After spending a while feasting and tasting in the Norfolk both, we ventured around the festival and were able to visit some of our old favorites.

I would have been happy with the cheese selection, crab cakes and the wine, but everything was delicious.

When I asked for a quote about the company, its goal is:

Catering Concepts was founded in 1993 by partners Susan and Eddy Byrne. 20 years later, they continue to dazzle the Tidewater, Virginia area with inventive menus and décor. The company motto is: “What’s your concept of a great event… We’ll make it a reality!” Whether it’s corporate, political, or social, they strive to incorporate the client’s vision and personality into each event earning them the reputation as Virginia Beach’s finest. 

They certainly succeed. They were willing to share a recipe for the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fennel.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fennel

8 servings

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 t Dijon mustard
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar

2-3 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes (different colors and sizes make a prettier salad) kosher salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup red onion- julienned
1 small head of fennel- julienned and soaked in an ice water bath

1 garlic clove- mashed to paste and salted
2 t thyme leaves
1⁄4 pound haricot verts- trimmed and cut in half 2 T minced chives
2-3 cups arugula or mixed greens
5-6 oz Gorgonzola cheese- crumbled

Wisk together the oil, Dijon, and vinegars.
Cut the tomatoes into wedges or halves depending on the size and shape. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the tomatoes, onion, drained fennel, garlic, and thyme with the vinaigrette. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.

Boil the haricot verts approximately 4 minutes in salted water. Drain, then shock in an ice water bath. Drain again and set aside.

Add chives to tomatoes.

To plate, lay lettuce in serving platter or individual plates, then top with tomato and fennel mixture. Garnish generously with Gorgonzola. Drizzle the top with any remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately.

For more information on Catering Concepts, please see information below.


Becky Kellam

Event Specialist

Catering Concepts

(757) 425-5682 office

(757) 237-0492 cell

(757) 425-5923 fax




Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President

Member: Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

Member: Society of Professional Journalists

Executive Editor, Luxe Beat Magazine (Launching Fall 2013)

Freelance Lifestyle Journalist

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