Special Events Catering takes care of all of your catering needs. Whether you are planning a wedding, family reunion, retirement party, graduation barbecue, or celebrating a special day, we're ready to make your day a success.
Owner, Santo Lampiasi, together with his wife, Jackie, have assembled two outstanding teams of employees who make sure everything goes smoothly out front where your party is going on and behind the scenes as well. Santo directs the teams in the preparation of all of your culinary choices, making sure all items are not only delicious and decorative, but delivered and served at the right temperature. Jackie and other staff attend to your guests and keep the reception moving according to your schedule. Both teams participate in serving your meal, whether you choose a buffet or plated service.
Here's how we got started catering:
Chef Santo Lampiasi is the Culinary Arts Instructor at the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center (affectionately called "The Tech Center"), Claremont, New Hampshire. In addition to teaching the typical Culinary curriculum, Santo makes sure students are exposed to a number of functions, parties, and banquets so they receive a well-rounded culinary education like he did.
(Left: Chef Santo Lampiasi (back center) and Assistant Culinary Arts Instructor Sarah Kainu (back left) stand with the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center Culinary Arts Students as they proudly display their 2nd place trophy at Claremont's Annual Chili Cookoff.)
The former Pleasant Restaurant
Santo's culinary dreams began at just 16 years old as a busboy at Howard Johnson's restaurant. Moving up the management chain, Santo was promoted to District Manager and then Regional Manager in charge of three Idlenot stores in Vermont and six in New York.
After marrying in 1986, Jackie and Santo went on to own and operate three restaurants in Claremont - The Pleasant Restaurant, Joey's Restaurant, and the Claremont Railroad Junction Restaurant - each with a unique theme and menu.
The Pleasant offered a generous-portioned steak & seafood fare and was the "place to go" on a Friday or Saturday night. Sunday Brunch featured carved Roast Turkey, Baked Ham, or Prime Rib of Beef alongside a large table of Jackie's homemade delectable desserts and pastries. The Tower Lounge, located on the third floor, booked live entertainment on weekends, and a small Mexican bistro located to the back of the lounge offered yet another culinary choice to guests.
Joey's Restaurant, named after their son, featured family-style homemade meals and a famous Friday night All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry. A dairy bar attached to the restaurant was the hot spot for teens and families in summer where homemade brownies and chocolate chip cookies garnished bowls of ice cream and sundaes.
The former Railroad Junction Restaurant
The Claremont Railroad Junction Restaurant came into existence when Santo purchased the old railroad terminal building at the Claremont Railroad Junction and transformed it into a restaurant. The basement lounge sported an all-you-can eat raw bar during happy hour. Restaurant patrons enjoyed upscale, innovative dishes amid the railroad theme décor which included an electric train with smoke and whistles circling above patrons.
It was an exciting day when Amtrak announced it would schedule a regular stop at the Railroad Junction, right in front of the restaurant. City and State officials were on hand for the first stop in Claremont, and dozens of people rode the Montrealer to Montreal, Canada (where else?) in celebration.
After leaving the restaurant business, Santo received a phone call from the Director of the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center (part of Stevens High School, Claremont), asking if he would be willing to be the long-term substitute for the Culinary Arts Instructor who was on family leave. Accepting the position without hesitation, Santo found it combined two things he loved: working with young people and food.
Applying for the permanent position of Culinary Arts Instructor, Santo completed his Bachelor of Science degree and went on to receive his Master's degree in Education from Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire.
Santo expresses his creativity in more than just food. All it took was a one-day ice carving class at NH Community Technical College, Berlin, New Hampshire to encourage him to think in three dimensions and within a few hours a block of ice became a swan. Santo does ice sculptures for special events when his schedule allows. If you would like one for your party or banquet, please ask well in advance!
Jackie graduated from Katharine Gibbs School in Boston (now Gibbs College) and has put her office management and bookkeeping skills to good use ever since. With their three children as their #1 priority, Jackie was able to do the restaurant bookkeeping from home, and as the children grew, worked at Joey's Restaurant in the dairy bar, kitchen, and dining room. She is now the Project Manager at Ellen's Interiors, Inc., an interior design firm in New London, NH and also continues bookkeeping.
Literally growing up in the hotel / restaurant industry (her parents bought a four-season lodge in Sunapee, NH when she was just six), Jackie was waitressing by the age of eight and was often found in the kitchen with her mother making homemade cinnamon rolls, baked beans, and apple crisp for their year-round guests.