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Cru Catering has been voted best caterer by City Paper readers every year since 2001, and when it's your wedding, you're going to want one of the Holy City's best. Led by Chef John Zucker, the company helps clients build a menu and they're happy to deal with whatever dietary needs or preferences guests may have. Catering Director Jill Christy warns that there are a lot more steps involved in a wedding than couples may realize — for example, a lot of Charleston venues don't provide tables and chairs for parties — and Cru will help coach couples on their budgets.

While Cru offers an extensive menu (there's a 27-page sales packet to dig through on the company's website), if something's not on it, they're happy to create a dish specifically for a client. "We might mimic their favorite appetizer at one of the restaurants downtown or where they're from in Seattle, and that's a fun way to bring a personal touch to their event," Christy says. One recent event featured a ceviche station, and another time they paired micro-batch and locally brewed beers.

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Everything is prepared by the Cru Catering staff fresh on site — no hot boxes involved — and they build a custom kitchen at every event they cater. The four-cheese mac and cheese bar, which offers toppings like lobster, lump crab meat, scallops, applewood smoked bacon, and scallions, has been very popular at Cru-catered events, and other Southern-inspired dishes like chicken and waffles (served in a tiny waffle cone) and shrimp and grits are in demand too. But Christy recommends going the way of small plates, like the steak frites with parmesan truffle fries, which is becoming a trendier move. "People can be more social and have a bite or a smaller plate and have three different types of food, rather than just one meal or they stand in a line, sit down, eat, and be done with it," she says.

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