Shaping occasions that bring to life individual dreams is a privilege granted to all caterers, but few manage the genuine, seemingly flawless service of Nathan Newhouse’s Attitude on Food. Since 2002, Attitude on Food has grown exponentially, diversifying and adapting with the times while consistently showcasing innovative dishes crafted from quality ingredients in unique venues and locations in the Omaha area.
After earning a Culinary Arts degree in Australia, Newhouse completed a rigorous, brigade-based system of apprenticeship, making him well-suited to run any restaurant in the world. Lucky for Omaha, he landed here, honing his chops at The Flatiron Café and as the Executive Chef at the Sheraton Hotel, where he discovered that the world of catering suited him well. “I like the fact that everything is planned in advance, you know how much food to order, what staff to schedule, and what income is coming in,” he said. “I enjoy making people happy with culinary treats and service, working with different people and excellent staff.”
People are the heartbeat of any gathering, and Newhouse’s team is a key factor in their ability to produce exceptionally creative events. Responsive and relatable sales staff and event producers kick off the process by listening to clients, asking questions, and providing guidance that brings individual dreams and visions to life.
Executive Chef Donny Rodden delights in putting out solid, flavorful bites that reflect client tastes. Those tastes have changed over the past years, from mainstream comfort food such as roast beef and mashed potatoes, to creative bars, stations, and delivery methods. Attitude on Food’s Instagram feed is a picture book of mouthwatering options: salad walls, cookie waffles, honeycomb, and crème brûlée stations are just the tip of the iceberg.
“This competitive business requires you to be on your toes, challenging us to create interesting new experiences for our guests,” Newhouse explained. Attitude on Food has been behind events such as the USA Triathlon, large events for governors and celebrities, including breakfast and lunch for a famous singer’s video shoot paying homage to her significant other’s home state of Nebraska.
Newhouse himself has eclectic tastes and will eat “just about everything”, which explains his knack for melding flavors and getting the most from beautiful ingredients. When possible, the chefs work with local produce and purveyors, and when a client specifically requests locally sourced or sustainable ingredients, they are happy to oblige.
While the food is well-crafted, it is the innovative delivery and display that really takes it up a notch. What makes something innovative? “Playing with your food,” joked Newhouse. “We are always learning, attending conferences and webinars, and experimenting with different ideas in the kitchen.”
Monthly group tastings are held for about 100 people, giving prospective clients the opportunity to see and taste myriad offerings and delivery methods. Depending on venue selection, guest preference, and budget, menus run the gamut from hors d’oeuvres to formal plates.
One of the establishment’s most eye-catching displays is the Immersion Circulator station, built to spec in-house. The station features a gorgeous wooden frame supporting suspended mason jars of Attitude on Food’s famous Mac & Cheese topped with unctuous cabernet-braised shredded short rib, held at the perfect temperature via sous vide for party goers to devour.
Fun party bites include the Fish & Chip, a malt vinegar chip topped with house made tartar sauce, fried cod, and malt vinegar pearls, which showcase a bit of molecular gastronomy using liquid nitrogen to create spheres of surprising texture and flavor. Another classic with a twist is the Mozzarella Stick Corn Dog – house mozzarella shaped into sticks, fried and served with sriracha marinara. The kitchen is happy to accommodate menu preferences and restrictions, and many menu items naturally meet dietary requirements, such as the vegetarian Ratatouille Stack.
Dessert options embrace both savory and sweet palates. The ever-popular Savory S’more, an herb and parmesan cookie topped with prosciutto, brie, and honey, is a perfect blend of salty and sweet in one beautiful bite. The Chevre Cheesecake is a revelation in texture and flavor, filling a perfectly buttery shortbread tart crust with the unique marriage of savory goat cheese, dill pickle relish, and tomato jam.
In addition to creative food, Attitude on Food also offers a staff bartender who crafts creative cocktails that amuse both the eyes and palate. One of their newest gadgets is a gun that creates a bubble full of aromatic smoke that can be floated atop a drink.
Long-term success relies on the ability to adapt, and Newhouse has done so successfully, creating sister companies such as Omaha Picnic Pros, a caterer that specializes in delightful outdoor events, Omaha Cookie Company, a bakery that delivers freshly baked cookies, and gorgeous venues such as the Soirée Room.
Whether you are planning a dinner party for 10, a wedding for 300, or a corporate event for 500, the award-winning Attitude on Food has a creative proposal sure to please.