Schaefer estimates that his company caters for more than 1,000 events each year, including hundreds of weddings and 30 major festivals. He estimates that by 2022 it will have served more than 120,000 people.
Their robust business began more than 20 years ago, but their roots go back to a hot summer in August of 1986 when they began making “Precious Pecans.” The old family recipe took jumbo walnuts shipped in from Albany, Georgia, which the duo coated in egg whites, korintje cinnamon, sugar and sea salt and baked into a crunchy delight to sell at Dorothy Lane Market in Oakwood.
“While such a candy is ubiquitous in today’s world, back in 1986 it was considered unique and somewhat wild,” Schaefer said. “On August 21, 1986, we wholesaled our first batch of Precious Pecans to Oakwood DLM. That was the genesis of what would eventually become Brock Masterson. In 1988, after nearly two years of selling Precious Pecans and doing the odd job catering in our home kitchen and gaining popularity, we opened Nanci’s Fancies and Nanci’s Café on Park Ave. in Oakwood. Nanci’s Fancies was an upscale gift and gift basket shop and Nanci’s Café was where the catering continued. In 1998, we took the big leap and opened Nanci’s Porches, a full-service restaurant at 2600 Far Hills Ave in Oakwood, where we operated until 2003, when Nanci (Schaefer) retired and sold the restaurant space to what would become C ‘est Reseller.”
In 2000, with the help of an employee, Schaefer created the name Brock Masterson’s Catering & Events as his own entity to continue catering and festivals while continuing to serve as Executive Chef at Nanci’s Porches. The name Brock Masterson was derived from a combination of Schaefer’s mother’s maiden name, Brock, and an employee’s mother’s maiden name, Masterson.
“I was trained by two phenomenal chefs: my mom and my grandmother. That is why everything we serve is delicious and full of love. Both of them shaped me as a human being and as a chef. Along the way, I’ve honed my skills through decades of catering work and lessons learned. I also made a significant commitment to studying the cuisines of the world to bring back the best flavors, textures and techniques,” Schaefer said, adding that he has traveled to 32 countries.
“Many of our dishes are recipes passed down in our families for generations, such as Brock’s Crab Cakes, Hash Dill Sauce, Apple Pancakes, Banana Cream Pie and Brock’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Grandma Torkelson,” Schaefer said.
One of the earliest catering memories that stands out was his first festival in 1987 when he set up a booth to sell his dishes at The Holiday at Home Festival in Lincoln Park, several years before Fraze was born.
“Back then, festival food meant burgers, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and fries. True to our tradition of thinking outside the box, striving for a higher level of food, and bringing something unique, we brought something unheard of to the festival scene. Imagine the look on people’s faces when they saw grilled salmon, big fat reubens, pork chops, portobello mushrooms and blue crab cakes served on salads with Brock’s dill sauce. In fact, I’ll never forget the look on a fellow vendor’s face when he looked at me and said, ‘You won’t last 3 weeks in this business serving that kind of thing.’ Well, 36 years later, we have experienced the longest 3 weeks of our lives. And we’re not done yet,” Schaefer said. “We serve 2 to 2,500, including delivered and takeout meals. We offer everything from hot dogs to Chilean sea bass with beurre blanc sauce, burgers, ribs and beef wellington.”
They not only cater, but have a thriving box lunch business, serving food downtown in Courthouse Square seasonally and are a staple at local festivals with delicious options delivered fresh from the grill. At festivals, blue crab cakes served with three fries with dill sauce ($20) would take the prize as most popular. It’s a fantastic, rich flavorful dish and my personal favorite on the menu as well.
When asked how he would describe his food, the answer is as fantastic as the man behind the stove and the delicious food he and his team serve up: “Delicious and satisfying. Food that has complete attention to detail with wide limits. Whimsical and abundant. Recognizable cuisine deliciously made with pride and passion. Sometimes bougie, sometimes bucolic.”
Although the Thanksgiving cutoff for ordering may be over, the December holidays are open for business and throughout the year they offer grab-and-go specials for other days like Easter, Super Bowl Sunday, Fridays during Lent and Mother’s Day. They also offer a variety of quiches to go with 24 hour notice throughout the year which I have personally had on many occasions and thoroughly enjoyed. Follow them on Facebook to see information about the special offers they offer throughout the year.
This year’s Thanksgiving Dinner for Four gives a good idea of the value customers get. $109 meal for four includes oven-roasted turkey (white and dark meat, sliced), giblet gravy, buttermilk mashed potatoes, sweet potato praline casserole, cornbread stuffing, seasoned green beans , blueberry relish and artisan bread. Additions like a quiche ($16), pecan pie ($14), chocolate cream pie or coconut cream pie for ($19) and charcuterie board ($55) can be added. Special and holiday meals do sell out, so it’s important to place your order early.
Schaefer credits the hiring of Traci Tobin in 2011 as an events manager for helping grow the company, manage demand and stay on track. “Through the hard work and dedication of her and our amazing staff, she helped guide us down a path of growth and success from a small one man, two staff show that hosted occasional weddings, a few festivals and served lunch on demand. season at Courthouse Square, to what is now a major force in the industry.”
Like all caterers, the next two months are particularly busy with an increased need for catering assistance over Thanksgiving and the December holidays. As in previous years, Schaefer says they will be offering December holiday meals to go and details will be announced soon. The 1,800-square-foot trade showroom at 450 Patterson Road and the 3,000-square-foot commissary kitchen at 446 Patterson Road will be buzzing with activity and the sights and sounds of food cooking from morning to night from now on. .
His business can be busy and complicated, but his vision for the future is simple: “Good food comes from great passion and a longing to see the happy look on someone’s face when they take a bite… We’ll continue to serve incredible food to the people of Dayton and beyond for years to come.”
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how to order
What: Brock Masterson Catering and Events
Where: 450 Patterson Rd., Dayton
Order to pick up: 446 Patterson Road (next to Brewski Barrel, near the corner of Shroyer and Patterson streets). Come to the door of the police station and your food will be delivered to your car.
Call: 937-298-1234 (office), 937-701-8926 (events director, Traci Tobin), 937-475-5935 (Chef Rick Schaefer)
More information: www.brockmastersons.com; www.facebook.com/brockmastersonscatering or www.instagram.com/brockmastersonscatering
Grilling tips from Rick Schaefer, Executive Chef and Owner of Brock Masterson’s Catering & Events
For Rick Schaefer, it’s never too cold to fire up the grill and he’s had decades to hone and perfect his cooking methods. Here are his tips in his words for the best grilled steaks and seafood:
For steaks, the important thing is to never cook a cold steak straight out of the fridge; let stand, covered, until it reaches room temperature. Then make sure the grill or cast iron skillet is piping hot. This will brown the juices, give it a nice crust, and ensure even cooking. Just before cooking you can use your favorite seasoning, a small amount of extra virgin olive oil in a pan or directly on the grill. For a 1 1/4-inch-thick steak at room temperature, sear each side for about 2 minutes, then remove; You can also quickly seal each peripheral side to add color to each surface and let sit for 5 minutes. This will ensure a rare steak. Wait to salt and pepper the steak until just before serving.
For salmon, the important thing is to never cook it until it’s done, but cook it until it’s *almost* done and let it rest before enjoying it. This will allow you to enjoy more of the delicious, heart-healthy omega-3s. For best results, use wild-caught or non-GMO fed salmon. This is a problem for me for any seafood.
If you are going to use a cooking oil, I recommend using something heart-healthy like organic avocado oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, or organic ghee because other common oils like canola or sunflower oil are highly inflammatory. and highly processed. We stay away from them and suggest you do too.