Partying Through a Pandemic

Partying Through a Pandemic

There’s no question that 2020 has been an unprecedented year. While the better part of this year has been turned upside down by the Coronavirus pandemic, hope remains for making up for lost time with friends and families as things continue to open and we head into the fall and the holiday season. Currently, Virginia is open for gatherings of 250 people, which means weddings, milestone birthdays, and holiday celebrations are starting to resume, and we couldn’t be more prepared and excited! While everyone has their own view and comfort levels when it comes to social gatherings, there are numerous precautions venues and vendors, as well as party hosts, are implementing to keep everyone as safe as possible while they reunite, catch up and celebrate!

Thinking about hosting your own event? Keep reading for some great party ideas to get us through these trying times…


As the summer comes to an end, take advantage of the season and celebrate with grilled brats, soft pretzels, potato pancakes, Weissbier, and apple strudel. Don’t forget a good Oompah band to keep everyone going and send the summer out with a bang. Prosit!


So many 2020 couples have sadly had their wedding plans derailed this year due to COVID. Whether a fall or winter wedding was the original plan, rescheduled date, or back-up to the back-up plan, we’re thankfully starting to see more special days happening. If you are one of the couples who have had to change your wedding date, location and/or guest list, know that while it may not be how you had initially planned, your wedding day will still be magical as you celebrate your love with those closest to you! Congratulations!

Helga’s Bridal Bliss

Passed Hors d’oeuvres

  • Filet mignon tid-bits with bernaise sauce 
  • Spanakopita: spinach and feta triangles wrapped in phyllo dough and baked to perfection
  • Miniature crabcakes with remoulade sauce
  • A fresh fruit and cheese display: an array of imported and domestic cheese and gourmet crackers, garnished with fresh strawberries and grapes

First Course

  • Allie’s Salad: mixed baby field greens with strawberries, craisins, mandarin oranges and sugarcoated almonds tossed in a honey-poppyseed dressing
  • Rolls and butter


  • Beef tenderloin roasted to perfection, served with bernaise sauce
  • Chicken Wellington: tender breast of chicken wrapped in puff pastry with duxelle served with wild mushroom sauce 
  • Zucchini boats filled with a colorful medley of julienne vegetables (vegetarian option)
  • Orzo Florentine
  • Roasted vegetable medley with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, yellow squash, onions and mushrooms

Milestone Events

With things opening up, now is the time to honor the class of 2020 with a belated graduation party and/or college sendoff, or to celebrate those other milestone birthdays and events with your loved ones. Whether keeping it small and simple with a brunch consisting of quiche, pastries, salad, smoked salmon and a bubbly bar, or serving up an elaborate cocktail buffet complete with heavy hors d’oeuvres, a raw bar and a carving station, and a full open bar, the combination of good food and good company will make it a celebration to remember!  

Holiday Parties

Last, but certainly not least, are holiday parties. Whether you’re planning a traditional Thanksgiving feast in the comforts of your own home, or a holiday gala to ring in the New Year, cherishing the time spent with family and friends is what this season is all about! 

Helga’s Holiday Gala

Blood Orange Margaritas, edamame with sea salt and wasabi peas at the bar

Passed Hors d’oeuvres

  • Roasted sesame salmon wonton canapes with chipotle dill cream
  • Winter squash and gouda cheese croquettes served with bitter orange compote
  • Grilled lollipop lambchops with fresh mint sauce

First Course

  • Mixed green mesclun tossed with Bosc pears, walnuts and gorgonzola in a balsamic vinaigrette
  • Rustic bread and butter


  • Grilled Cajun breast of duck with a cherry brandy sauce
  • Oxtail ragout
  • Pappardelle pasta
  • Holiday bouquet of haricots verts with pimientos


  • Buche de Noel: Traditional Yuletide log with coffee and dark rum iced with mocha cream and decorated with Marzipan holly leaves and berries and meringue mushrooms 
  • Bourbon balls
  • Miniature linzertarts
  • Freshly brewed coffee

Michael Evans

Michael Evans is chef-owner of Helga’s Caterers, a family-owned, full-service catering company with over 35 years of experience in providing fine food and excellent service for all of your catering needs throughout the D.C. Metro Area.

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