Schaefer estimates his company hosts well over 1,000 events each year, including hundreds of weddings and 30 major festivals. He estimates that by 2022 he will have served more than 120,000 people.
His robust business started over 20 years ago, but its roots go back to a hot summer in August 1986 when they started making ‘Precious Pecans’. The old family recipe used giant pecans shipped from Albany, Georgia, which the duo coated in egg whites, korintje cinnamon, sugar and sea salt and baked to sell at Dorothy’s Market. Lane in Oakwood.
“While a confection of this type is ubiquitous in the world today, in 1986 it was considered unique and a bit wild,” Schaefer said. “On August 21, 1986, we wholesaled our first batch of Precious Pecans to Oakwood DLM. This was the genesis of what would become Brock Masterson’s. In 1988, after almost two years of selling Precious Pecans and casual dining in our home kitchen and growing in popularity, we opened Nanci’s Fancies and Nanci’s Café on Park Ave. in Oakwood. Nanci’s Fancies was an upscale gift and gift basket store and Nanci’s Café was the place where the restaurant business continued. In 1998, we took the plunge and opened Nanci’s Porches, a full-service restaurant at 2600 Far Hills Ave in Oakwood, where we operated until 2003, when Nanci (Schaefer) retired and sold the restaurant space to what would become C’est Tout.
In 2000, with the help of an employee, Schaefer created the name Brock Masterson’s Catering & Events as his own entity to pursue catering and festivals while performing the duties of Executive Chef at Nanci’s Porches. Brock Masterson’s name is derived from a combination of Schaefer’s mother’s maiden name, Brock, and an employee’s mother’s maiden name, Masterson.
“I was trained by two phenomenal chefs: my mother and my grandmother. That’s why everything we serve is delicious and filled with love. Both shaped me as a human being and as a leader. Along the way, I honed my skills through decades of working in the restaurant business and lessons learned. I’m also committed to studying the cuisines of the world to bring back the best flavors, textures and techniques,” Schaefer said, adding that he has traveled to 32 countries.
“Many of our dishes are recipes passed down from our families generations ago, such as Crab Cakes, Brock’s Hash & Dill Sauce, Apple Pancakes, Banana Custard Pie and Grandma Torkelson’s chocolate chip cookies,” Schaefer said.
One of the earliest dining memories that stands out was his first festival in 1987 when he set up a booth to sell his dishes at the Holiday at Home Festival in Lincoln Park, several years before Fraze was established.
“At the time, festival food meant burgers, corn dogs, funnel cakes and fries. True to our tradition of thinking outside the box, striving for the next level of food and bringing something unique, we have brought something unheard of to the festival stage. Imagine the look on people’s faces when they saw grilled salmon, large fatty rubens, pork chops, portobello mushrooms and blue crab cakes served on salads with Brock’s dill sauce . In fact, I’ll never forget the look on a fellow salesperson’s face when he looked at me and said, “You’re not going to last 3 weeks at this company serving that stuff. Well, 36 years later, we had the longest 3 weeks of our lives. And we’re not done yet,” Schaefer said. “We welcome 2 to 2,500 people, including meals delivered and taken away. We offer everything from Chilean Sea Bass Hot Dogs with Beurre Blanc Sauce to Prime Rib and Beef Wellington Burgers.
Not only do they offer catering services, but they have a thriving lunch box business, serve food downtown at Courthouse Square in season, and are a staple at local festivals with delicious options delivered hot from the grill. At festivals, blue crab cakes served over three hash browns with dill sauce ($20) would win the most popular award. It’s a fantastic, rich savory dish and my favorite on the menu too.
When asked how he would describe his food, the answer is as fantastic as the man behind the stove and the delicious food he and his team serve: “Delicious and satisfying.” Food that has complete attention to detail with wide limits. Fancy and hearty. Recognizable cuisine made deliciously with pride and passion. Sometimes candlelight, sometimes bucolic.
Although the deadline for ordering Thanksgiving may be over, the December holidays are open for business and year-round they offer takeout for other days like Easter, Super Bowl Sunday, Fridays during Lent and Mother’s Day. They also offer a variety of quiches to take away with 24 hours notice all year round which I have personally taken to them many times and enjoyed them very much. Follow them on Facebook to see information about the promotions they offer throughout the year.
This year’s Thanksgiving dinner for four gives a good idea of the value customers get. The $109 meal that serves four includes oven-roasted turkey (white and dark meat, sliced/pulled), giblet gravy, buttermilk mashed potatoes, praline sweet potato casserole , cornbread stuffing, seasoned green beans, cranberry relish and artisan bread. Add-ons like a quiche ($16), pecan pie ($14), chocolate cream or coconut cream pie ($19) and charcuterie board ($55) can be added. Specialty and holiday meals sell out, so it’s important to place your order in advance.
Schaefer credits the 2011 hiring of Traci Tobin as an events manager for helping grow the business, manage demand and stay the course. “Through her hard work and dedication, along with that of our amazing staff, she has helped us grow and succeed, from a small one-man-two-staff show that occasionally hosted weddings, a few festivals and served lunch seasonally in Courthouse Square, at what is now a major force in the industry.
Like all caterers, the next two months are particularly busy with an increased need for catering assistance around Thanksgiving and the December holidays. As in previous years, Schaefer says they will be offering take-out December holiday meals with details to be announced soon. The company’s 1,800 square foot showroom at 450 Patterson Road and the 3,000 square foot police station kitchen at 446 Patterson Road will be filled with activity, and the sights and sounds of cooking from morning to evening from now on.
His business may be busy and complicated, but his vision for the future is simple: “Good food comes from great passion and a desire to see the look of happiness on someone’s face when they take a bite… We will continue to serve incredible food to the people of Dayton and beyond for years to come.
Dayton eats examines mouth-watering regional food stories and restaurant news, brought to you by contributing writer Alexis Larsen. Share information about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and culinary adventures. Do you know of any exciting new format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates, or any other tasty news that you think deserves a closer look? Email Alexis Larsen at [email protected] with the information and we’ll work to include it in future coverage.
How to order
What: Brock Masterson Dining and Events
Where: 450 Patterson Road, Dayton
Pick up order: 446 Patterson Road (next to the Brewski Barrel, near the corner of Shroyer and Patterson Roads). Stop at the door of the police station and they will bring the meal to your car.
Call: 937-298-1234 (office), 937-701-8926 (Event Director, Traci Tobin), 937-475-5935 (Chief Rick Schaefer)
Grilling tips from Rick Schaefer, Executive Chef and Owner of Brock Masterson’s Catering & Events
For Rick Schaefer, it’s never too cold to fire up the grill and he’s had decades to tweak and perfect his cooking methods. Here are his tips in his own words for the best grilled steaks and seafood:
For steaks, the important thing is never to cook a steak cold straight out of the fridge; let it sit covered until it reaches room temperature. Next, make sure the grill or cast iron skillet is hot. This will grab the juices, give you a nice crust, and ensure even cooking. Just before cooking you can use your favorite marinade, a small amount of extra virgin olive oil in a pan or directly on the grill. For a 1 1/4-inch-thick steak at room temperature, sear it on each side for about 2 minutes, then remove it; you can also quickly grab each peripheral side to add color to each surface and let sit for 5 minutes. This will ensure a medium-rare steak. Wait to salt and pepper your steak just before serving it.
For salmon, the important thing is never to cook it until it’s done, but rather to cook it until it’s *almost* done and let it rest before eating it. taste. This will allow you to get more of the delicious, heart-healthy omega 3s. For best results, use non-GMO wild or fed salmon. This is a big deal for me for all seafood.
If you are going to use a cooking oil, I recommend using something heart-healthy like organic avocado oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, or organic ghee because other oils Common foods like canola or sunflower oils are highly inflammatory and highly processed. We steer clear of those and suggest you do too.