2 Jun

Chuckstrong 2015

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s ‘ChuckStrong’ Tailgate gala had its most successful night yet, and Kahn’s Catering is proud to have participated as the exclusive caterer for another year. The event held at the Colts training facility in Indianapolis raise a record $720,000 for cancer research at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. This was the third annual ChuckStrong Gala, originally inspired after Pagano’s own batter with cancer in 2012.

Kahn’s Catering is always thrilled at the opportunity to be part of an event that supports such a positive cause. This year’s event was no match for year’s past as we coordinated with our own teams to create a seamless Indianapolis event that was attended by over 500 ChuckStrong supporters.

Throughout the night we coordinated five parties within one event! On staff we had five captains, four bartenders, and forty servers, plus an entire set up team of about 20 individuals, and our culinary team.


PRE-GAME: Locker Room Reception for Top Sponsors

Guests of the All-Pro and Touchdown sponsors joined together in the Colts Locker Room at 5:30 pm for a cocktail reception with Coach Pagano, Colts GM Ryan Grigson and several Colts players. Butler passed hors d’oeuvres and beverages were served as guests mixed and mingled together.

Sweet and spicy chicken meatballs
Thai BBQ porkbelly satay, coconut-lime reduction
Mini lamb gyros, mint tatziki sauce
Shrimp shooters, fresh wasabi cocktail sauce
Cherry tomatoes stuffed with pumpkin seed pesto
Bruschetta with strawberries, goat cheese and balsamic syrup with basil
Frutti del mar on half shell
Avocado-edamame hummus on tostadas plus a touch of sea salt
Cilantro lamb chops with adobo sauce and mint jelly

PRE-GAME: Private Reception for Colts Players
Sponsors weren’t the only one pre-gaming in the locker room. Colts players had their own private reception featuring drinks and hors d’oeuvres before they took to the practice field. Running two cocktail parties simultaneously while preparing for three larger events throughout the evening is no easy task, but our team stayed in communication the entire time and was on point from the very beginning.

Sweet and spicy chicken meatballs
Thai BBQ porkbelly satay, coconut-lime reduction
Mini lamb gyros, mint tatziki sauce
Shrimp shooters, fresh wasabi cocktail sauce
Cherry tomatoes stuffed with pumpkin seed pesto
Bruschetta with strawberries, goat cheese and balsamic syrup with basil
Caribbean meatballs
Southwest chicken egg rolls with avocado salsa


Cheerleaders welcomed supporters to the indoor practice field that was transformed into a tailgating playground. While enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, everyone took part in “ChuckStrong Combine” activities alongside many Colts players. Kicking field goals, running the 40-yard dash, cornhole or by throwing a pass to their favorite Colt. Guests gathered autographs and browsed the silent auction while mingling with cheerleaders, Colts players, and Colts mascot, Blue.

Food stations were set throughout the practice area and butler passed hot hors d’oeuvres made their rounds as people challenged one another throughout the combine.

Butler Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Sweet and spicy chicken meatballs
Thai BBQ porkbelly satay, coconut-lime reduction
Mini lamb gyros, mint tatziki sauce
Shrimp shooters, fresh wasabi cocktail sauce
Cherry tomatoes stuffed with pumpkin seed pesto
Bruschetta with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Syrup with Basil

Dip Display
Con queso dip, spinach dip, artichoke and parmesan dip, and hummus
with tortilla chips and pita chips

Mediterranean Platter
Hummus, tabouli, grape leaves, tzatziki, roasted eggplant, baba ghanouj
served with pita bread, pita chips

Marinated Grilled Vegetable Display
Portabella mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, squash, carrots
and red onions with roasted garlic tzatziki

Hot Hors d’oeuvres
Caribbean meatballs
Southwest chicken egg rolls with avocado salsa

International and Domestic Artisan Cheese Station
Parmesan reggiano, montgomery cheddar, cashel blue, brie ermitage, antique gruyere, carr’s domestic favorites and capriole goat cheese
Served with quince paste, raspberry jam, assorted nuts,
flatbreads and assorted crackers and breads

Fresh fruit display:
fresh melon, grapes, berries, pineapple,
kiwi and mango with raspberry poppy seed dip

Vertical Crudite
Heirloom carrots, asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cherry grape tomatoes, grilled portabella mushrooms with artichoke and parmesan dip



Kahn’s Catering prepared a delicious plated meal for guests! After dinner, Coach Pagano shared his story of how his life was changed by cancer.

Salads, rolls, and flat bread were preset at each table awaiting guests as they took their seats. Presetting some elements of a meal, such as salads or even a dessert, help save time on serving a plated meal when you are crunched for time through presentations or have a speaker.

First Course (Preset)

Brûléed goat cheese, apple-fennel slaw, micro arugula, hazelnut crisp, red tear drop tomatoes, moscato poached golden beets, blood orange-ginger emulsion
Assorted dinner rolls, lemon rosemary flat bread with french butter balls and sundried tomato butter

Second Course
Porcini crusted filet mignon with chianti demi-glace
and black grouper with lemon chardonnay cream
wild mushroom-truffle risotto, jumbo asparagus tips, fennel slaw, roasted pepper emulsion

Third Course
Dessert Display on the training field


During the live auction, guests had the opportunity to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Previous auction items from 2014 included several unique packages, including an opportunity to make a grand game-day entrance by riding onto the field during team introductions in the Lucas Oil motorcycle sidecar, a trip for 10 to a Colts away game as a guest of Jim Irsay aboard the Irsay family jet and a private, catered dinner in your home with multiple members of the Colts Offensive Line.

While guests enjoyed the live auction our team work their hardest to turn the training field that was used for cocktail hour and the ‘ChuckStrong Combine’ into a dessert party with dancing. In the catering industry, it’s known as a room flip. Room flips can be quite the feat, especially when done on such a grand scale for a party of 500, but it isn’t anything that the Kahn’s Catering team can’t accomplish. With our operations managers involved and communicating to the set up team and servers, we follow predesigned diagrams that we worked hard to create prior to the event so we had a guide line to work off of. From training field to cocktail hour to desserts and dancing, Kahn’s Catering wowed the crowd with our attention to detail throughout the night and our ability to coordinate such an intricate event.

FOURTH QUARTER: Dessert & Dancing

Endless Summer, a local Indianapolis favorite, performed for guests as they kicked up their heels and boogied down on the 50 yard line. Desserts were plentiful and devoured.

Ice Cream Donut Station
Chocolate ice cream
Vanilla ice cream
Fudge sauce
Caramel sauce
Fresh berries with grand marnier
Chocolate chips
Toffee chips
Chocolate chip cookie
Chocolate covered bacon
Godiva whipped cream
Starbucks liqueur whipped cream
Amaretto whipped cream
Starbucks liqueur whipped cream

Dessert Extravaganza
Assorted miniature pastries
Chocolate caramel brownies
Fresh fruit tarts
Lemon curd tarts
Chocolate caramel macadamia nut tarts
Mini opera torte
Chocolate dipped strawberries



About the IU Simon Cancer Center

The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is home to nearly 200 physicians and scientists who are conducting groundbreaking cancer research. These dedicated and passionate scientists are grateful to Coach Pagano for shining a light on the urgent need for cancer research funding.

The impact of the cancer center’s research is far-reaching. Research discoveries – whether the development of new drugs, surgical techniques or high-tech diagnostics – impact patients worldwide. IU physicians and scientists developed the cure for testicular cancer and established standards of care for common cancers such as breast and lung and uncommon ones such as thymic and pancreatic. That is why the IU Simon Cancer Center is one of only 68 centers in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute as an elite leader in cancer research.

With support from the CHUCKSTRONG campaign, the center’s world-class scientists will continue working every day to ensure all patients, like Coach Pagano, have the chance to overcome their disease and get back to doing what they love.


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