The Secret To Our Deep Flavor Revealed!

You may have noticed, Natural Red Catering puts a lot of thought into our recipes and the food we make for our clients.  We put a lot of care into our appetizers and sides dishes and put our unique spin on each and every dish.  Our meats are hand selected, locally sourced, and the wood that flavors them is carefully chosen.  But perhaps our most influential attribute to flavoring our delicious smoked meats are the seasonings we put on them prior to hitting the cooker.  Now most pitmasters are slow to reveal the rubs and sauces they use to flavor their meat.  We’re proud to let everyone know that we exclusively use Dizzy Pig seasonings on all of our catering meats.  

Dizzy Pig is a local seasoning manufacturer in Manassas, Virginia that’s been making rubs since 2002.  Owner Chris Capell has been blending whole spices and herbs and grinding them right before they’re bottled to ensure that you’re getting the freshest and highest quality possible in a seasoning.  Dizzy Pig now boasts over 20 unique blends to flavor anything from popcorn and ice cream to brisket and pancakes!  That’s just it, Dizzy Pig has a flavor to enhance any type or style of cooking.  Dizzy Pig is a full service barbecue grill store too, stocking everything you need to be the grillmaster on your block.  Dizzy Pig does classes and events too. In fact, Natural Red Catering will be cooking at DizzyFest May 5th at Dizzy Pig Headquarters in Manassas!  Check them out at and tell 'em Natural Red sent you! . 

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Natural Red Catering Vends at Forge Brew Works In Lorton, VA

Forge Brew Works is a great local brewery in Lorton, Virginia that's been brewing great craft beer since 2013.  Nestled in the back of an industrial area, it's definitely a place you seek out...but you'll be glad you did.  Owner and brewmaster Matt Rose is dedicated to small batch beer and does all the brewing.  Matt is a great guy and made it a point to come over for a chat after I got all set up.  It's always good to talk to business owners and entrepreneurs and hear about their challenges and successes!  

I got set up pretty early and was able to relax a bit as some early birds trickled in for a tasty happy hour brew.  As the night progressed more and more craft beer fans started to fill up the joint.  Shortly thereafter, many of my friends and neighbors came to eat, drink, and support NRC..  We had a very steady stream of selling food.  We offered our two specialty barbecue meats, brisket and pork, as well as some typical bar food like nachos and bowls of chili.  

Musician Nick. Coons turned up the night's festivities with some great acoustic guitar playing some classic cover songs.  As the night winded down, it was time for me to stop being jealous watching everyone drinking great beer and grabbed a few of my own.  The Slake IPA was the choice for me for the rest of the night and it was the perfect way to enjoy a successful night.  

Thanks to Matt and Alison and the whole team at Forge for being great hosts.  I can't wait to come back and feed your patrons again!  And special thanks to all of NRC's friends and neighbors who packed the joint and made this event such a success!  Until next time...




Thanksgiving a Tremendous Success for Natural Red Catering

For a few years, Natural Red Catering has offered customers the chance to have their turkeys smoked.  This year would be no different, except we thought we'd also offer to do side dishes and pies as well!  We were overwhelmed by the number of orders this year, but I guess, I shouldn't have been too surprised.  Every year we do more and more turkeys and this year we capped sales at 17 birds!  We're somewhat limited by the space on our smokers, and 17 seemed to be the number I felt comfortable capping it at.  Seventeen!  That's a lot of turkeys.  

Logistics always proves to be the biggest challenge.  Not only do I have to ensure that all the turkeys, which are purchased frozen, have room in our three refrigerators, but they must be checked on and rotated to ensure even and safe thawing.  Then comes the two days of cycling all of the birds through a 12 hour soak in the my secret brine.  Our brine ensure a juicy bird and imparts added levels of flavor that you can tell in the final product!  

Finally comes the morning of Thanksgiving.  I got up at 5:30 to light fires in all the cookers and get them up to temperature.  My goals was to have all the birds on my 7:00am, but I was fortunate enough to beat my projections and get all of them on by 6:30.  With pickups starting at noon, I had a five and a half hour window to get all of them cooked and rested...and in the case of several birds, carved too!  

I take a lot of pride in the fact that fifteen families (two families ordered two birds) have trusted me to cook their turkeys and in most of the cases with these 15 orders, their sides too.  But that also causes some stress and anxiety as I have to make sure I nail this cook above all others throughout the year!  I'm thankful on this special day of thanks, that once again, I felt really good about all the food we put out for our Thanksgiving Day orders...I know we had a lot of happy customers!  We have already received a lot of feedback on how juicy and flavorful our birds were! Here's a quick video for you to enjoy of Jenn carving up one of the turkey's juicy breasts, 

Natural Red Catering Feeds the Hayfield Secondary School Cheerleaders in Alexandria, Virginia

One thing I think is really cool about some of the events we get to cater is getting to some of the high schools in the area and getting to meet student athletes.  Jenn and I were both athletes in high school in Northern Virginia so we know these schools and played many of these schools in our hay day!  But being able to feed the Hayfield Secondary School cheerleaders was especially  cool because we got to return to where we met and began a relationship in 1989 that would continue to this day currently in our 20th year of marriage…how cool, right?

Thanks so much to Theresa Kelly Hayman who Jenn and I were both friends with in high school and is still at Hayfield in the Athletics department and runs the cheerleading program.  Like so many of our bookings, Theresa had heard from several sources that our barbecue was delicious and hired us!  Being fully operation as an LLC with our business tax ID made the process super easy and put us in the Fairfax County system to be able to cater county-wide for any event. 

The crowd of high school cheerleaders and their families seemed to really, really enjoy the food!  We got lots of compliments throughout the night.  And as if often the case, a few parents came up to us asking about doing some corporate events for their companies and took business cards with the promise of getting back in touch with us soon!  That’s what’s so cool about our growing business, is that so much of it is organic and word of mouth and repeat business…the ultimate compliment!  Check out a quick video here of the food just before serving, 

And yes, after packing up our equipment, Jenn and I took a quick stroll down the halls and reminisced about the good ‘ole days!  

One more thing…Christmas is creeping closer, let Natural Red Catering cook your table feature this year!  Click here for more info!



NRC Caters Robinson High School Hall of Fame Inductee Ceremony in Fairfax, Virginia

Natural Red Catering had the distinct pleasure of catering the Robinson High School Hall of Fame inductee ceremony in Fairfax, Virginia.  As with most of our event work, this one was also referred to us by a former customer and member of this booster club that puts this event on.  We’re so humbled when previous customers were so satisfied with our food and service that they would grant us the biggest compliment I believe there is and that’s to give NRC a glowing endorsement and encourage another group to hire us to cater their event.  

This would be our first time going through an RFP process for getting a job, but we felt simply that if we were true to ourselves, thorough in our bid and open with setting expectations, that we would come across as genuine and be selected.  In today’s culture of hiring small local businesses, we felt this too gave us an advantage.  

This would be an extensive affair as the order called for three of our mouth watering smoked barbecue meats, including crowd favorites, brisket and ribs! Mac ’n cheese, hog apple baked beans, and Jennifer’s delicious spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts, and feta cheese rounded out the dinner portion of the event.  Prior to dinner service, guests were treated to tasty and eye appealing appetizer trays including a fruit, veggie, and cheese/cracker platter that satisfied even the toughest of critics.  To top off the appetizer table was our yummy moink balls (smoked bacon wrapped meatballs), which always go quick, no matter how many are ordered!

After the food service was the Hall of Fame ceremony.  Congratulations to all of the Robinson High School athletes that were inducted and thanks to the boosters for letting Natural Red Catering feed this special group our delicious barbecue! 

Here’s a quick video showcasing our offerings,