Q&A: Bill Fausey, Head Chef, One Atlantic Events, Atlantic City, N.J.

With a unique event space situated 100 feet above and 100 yards into the Atlantic Ocean, this Atlantic City-based operation features an extensive from-scratch menu consisting mainly of locally sourced ingredients. "We're probably the only venue in South Jersey that makes all of our dishes fresh," says head chef Bill Fausey. "We are a farm-to-table establishment."

 

Small plates and mini desserts are amongst the most popular requests for One Atlantic Events.FE&S: One Atlantic Events is a catch-all catering operation. How many events do you handle, and what is the capacity?

BF: This year, we will have about 120 events on-site and cater 85 off-site. Our off-site business is mainly from word of mouth, so it can be more challenging to obtain. Our facility can accommodate up to 425 for a sit-down meal or up to 1,200 for a cocktail-style event. Off-site, we've catered in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby. We oversee all production elements, including power lighting, air conditioning, heating, tenting, photography, videos, decor, transportation, flowers and entertainment.

FE&S: The One Atlantic Events menu is extensive. What sets you apart?

BF: What separates us is that everything we make is from scratch, and we are a farm-to-table operation. We try to locally source all of our food ingredients and create everything, including our hors d' oeuvres, from scratch. There's been increasing interest in small plate menus, which allows guests to try different dishes.

FE&S: Your event site includes a full kitchen. What are the main pieces of equipment?

BF: Our kitchen includes two double-stack convection ovens and two conventional ovens, both with spider-top-stoves. We also have a 64-inch char grill, a pair of 45-pound fryers, an 8-foot-by-18-foot walk-in refrigerator and a 2-door upright freezer.

FE&S: What equipment is integral to your operation?

BF: The immersion circulator is invaluable, since it allows us to cook proteins perfectly, even if the client pushes back the serving time. Unlike an oven, we don't have to worry about calibration or overcooking. Plus, this equipment can be plugged in anywhere, so we use these units for off-premise events as well. Also, the vacuum sealer we use in conjunction with the circulator creates a controlled environment, which is beneficial for food flavoring.

FE&S: Are there any changes planned for the back of house?

BF: We are looking to expand the kitchen's footprint about 50 percent to facilitate producing more food and create more space to hold it.

FE&S: What changes are planned for One Atlantic Events in the year ahead?

BF: Even within the same business, we are constantly evolving. Currently, we are looking to increase our corporate business. This can be difficult, given that we have a large wedding business that occupies most weekends. Also, we're expanding more into bar and bat mitzvahs, engagement parties and rehearsal dinners. Our goal is to increase the size of our events so that we are at the venue's maximum capacity. We also are in plans to partner with other Atlantic City properties, including a large hotel that has event space but no culinary team. We would treat these arrangements like off-site events.

 

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