Get-Togethers Just Got Better with Iloilo’s Top Catering Services

Cris Antonio |

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Summer is the perfect season for reunions and get-togethers. Imagine a warm, sunny day, surrounded by loved ones, the smell of fresh seafood, freshly cooked rice, and BBQ meats in the air. Everyone’s laughing, eating, and having a great time. Sounds dreamy, right?

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You could forgive just about anything as long as there’s good food on the table. Busy week? Why not call the cousins and titas for an impromptu dinner? Got a promotion? It’s the best excuse to gather the clan for an unforgettable brunch.

No matter where you are or what you’re celebrating, a successful get-together needs mouth-watering meals. And to help you decide on the best service for your event, here are Iloilo’s finest catering businesses:

Miguel Cordova of Catering Concepts by Dova, Esca's Catering Company, and Rustica Premium Catering

As early as his second year in High School, Miguel Cordova knew he wanted to be in the catering business. Born in a family of restaurateurs, he grew up around food and home-cooking. Today, he’s the sophisticated palate behind the menus of DoVa Brunch Café, Esca’s Catering Company, and Rustica by Miguel Cordova.

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(Photo courtesy of Prima Luce Photography)

But everything came to a sudden halt when the pandemic struck. Events were canceled, dine-in was restricted, and everyone felt afraid. Skeptical but hopeful, Chef Miguel pushed forward. He was especially thankful for BPO centers that ordered food packs for their agents.

He worked round the clock to come up with new ways to capture what their customers miss the most. For DoVa, he created a ‘buffet-like’ product.

“Our DoVa party boxes are at-home buffets that can be delivered to customers’ homes. They come in bigger quantities with a large array of options to choose from. Fortunately, people loved the concept and it was a hit!”

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Social media played a huge role in helping them reach more people. By posting enticing photos and advertising promotions, they were able to boost sales, receive feedback, and improve their offerings. Whether they’re catering or cooking party trays, Chef Miguel says it’s all about meeting – and sometimes exceeding – client expectations.

“We go the extra mile for all our customers. We do the best we can to provide quality - quality service, quality food, and quality experience.”

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Repeat customers can attest to that and their sumptuous Braised Beef Brisket, hearty Spaghetti Tartufo, and classic Ox Tongue in Creamy Mushroom Sauce. His rustic cooking style surely comes out on top with shining flavors and elevated twists to some of our traditional recipes. I make it a point to swing by for their Backyard BBQ Brick Oven Pizza. For Rustica, the Chef recommends you try their elegant grazing table.

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Chef Miguel loves catering for any event – but has a particular fondness for proposals done at his restaurants. Believe it or not, he once had to cater to five events in one day! How crazy is that?

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(Photo courtesy of Prima Luce Photography)

Before hiring a caterer, he suggests looking at your preferred budget and giving a head’s-up about the type of guests you’d be expecting.

“Every client wants a smooth-sailing, hassle-free affair. And every good caterer knows that efficiency, quality, and timeliness are important factors on any occasion. Gatherings are personal, so customer expectations should be met if not exceeded…”

Catering Concepts by Dova - Megaworld Business Park, Mandurriao Iloilo City

Contact No.: 0998 865 8332

Dive into their menu offerings at their Facebook page @Dova-Brunch-Cafe

Esca’s Catering Company - Aurora St., Iloilo City

Contact No.: (033) 338 3477

See how they can make your gatherings more special at their Facebook page @Esca’s Garden Restaurant

Rustica Premium Catering

Handled personally by Miguel Cordova

Kayla Marie and Jose Ariel Castañeda Jr. with Paul Dominic and Maria Izabella Dulalia of 86D Culinary Creations

The husband and wife Jose Ariel and Kayla Marie Castañeda, along with siblings Paul Dominic and Maria Izabella Dulalia, are no strangers to challenges. Over the years, they have dealt with developing trends, changing markets, and dynamic industries. But like other businesses during the pandemic, 86D Culinary Creations felt like they were riding a roller coaster.

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“On-site catering services then were quite inconsistent. When cases began to surge, demand went down. When they decreased, demand went up. This is why we offer on-demand food trays...”

But thanks to social media (and food delivery apps like Grabfood) they had the visibility they needed.  

“…We’ve been able to market and reach different households regardless of distance. It allowed us to deliver meals /food trays to places in Iloilo City, Iloilo Provinces, and even to Guimaras. Our business was able to thrive without needing to rent a restaurant space.”

With their mouth-watering offerings, such as juicy, USDA roast beef with peppercorn gravy and barbecue sauce; crispy, spicy salmon sashimi salad with a side of soy sauce and wasabi; and creamy ox tongue in mushroom sauce; they definitely have got customers coming back for more. I have my eye on their luscious-looking Coppa Cabana Focaccia Bake.

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Call them if you’re searching for innovative food ideas and meticulous dish preparations.

“…We try to stay ahead of the trend. Our culinary team conceptualizes different products that are yet to be marketed in Iloilo. We also ensure that everything - from our classic food trays like Chicken Cordon Bleu to our more inventive dishes like Focaccia Bakes - is perfected through only the best raw material sourcing, recipe development, and beautiful arrangements.”

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For the owners of 86D, every affair has a special place in their hearts. Each one is crucial to their growth and success. Though if they had to choose the most memorable one, it had to be when they had to present themed action stations for the first time.

“We had Mongolian BBQ, Korean BBQ, Filipino Street Food, TexMex Taqueria, Chinese Food Cart, American Backyard BBQ, and a Japanese Bar. It tested our versatility while producing the best quality dishes during the event itself. This was a large feat for the kitchen as (action stations) mean that the food must be prepared on-site upon request, compared to delivering cooked food trays for a buffet-like set-up.”

When asked what factors customers should consider before getting a caterer, they emphasized food quality, value for money, and culinary knowledge.

“…It’s also important that the caterer can be flexible to menu changes. An event is about using the experience and knowledge of the culinary professionals to make the vision of customers come to life in the best ways possible.”

86D Culinary Creations - Jaro, Iloilo City

Contact No.: 0917 895 1586

Check out how good food is made better on their Facebook page @eighty.six.d.iloilo

Good food brings people together

Summers are for making memories. And the best memories are made with delicious food.

Want to gather the family for the weekend? Or maybe you’re hosting this year’s college reunion by the beach? Make sure to book the best venue and catering services. You can’t go wrong with 86D Culinary Creations, Catering Concepts by Dova, Esca’s Catering Services, and Rustica Premium Catering. With high-quality ingredients, Pinoy favorites, and lots of tray options, you’ll wish you could have a reunion every week.

Send them a message on their Facebook page today!

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Author Portrait

Cris Antonio

Cris Antonio is a freelance Copywriter, Editor, and Speaker. If she’s not writing or editing, she helps business owners and young adults build their presence on the Web.