Hors d’oeuvres are a quintessential primer for any party but the small plates you’ll find from Distinguish Catering turn finger food into an art form, from deviled eggs whipped with sweet potato puree to Blackened Shrimp Tostones drawing color and flavor from pickled red onions, seared shrimp, and fresh guacamole, all atop a yellow plantain.
“We specifically engineer and hand-craft each item to incorporate an Afro-soul or Caribbean flavor profile to give each bite a taste of home,” says executive chef Jessica M. Zeon, a Johnson & Wales graduate who founded her boutique catering business around devising gourmet food influenced by her African American and Liberian roots. Take Fried Lobster Shooters, for example – breaded in panko and fried to crispy perfection, these seafood bites are served on a stick and cradled in a tall glass with sauce at the bottom, for optimum ease. Zeon explains, “The house-made Smoked Pepper Aioli Sauce is derived from the Ultimate Smoked Pepper Sauce, a family recipe that dates back centuries in Liberian food culture prepared with assorted peppers, onions, and smoked seafood.”
While seafood is a staple of Ocean State and Distinguish Catering cuisine, Zeon also offers vegan appetizers like seared potato pancakes with charred corn and a smoky filling, and menus can be personalized around an event. “We strive to bring innovation to the food culture in Rhode Island,” Zeon says, “by providing exceptional flavors with the freshest ingredients from farms and local markets, while infusing our motherland’s flavors and cooking techniques into our vision of soul food.”