Gorgeous Magazine Catering Article 9/08 „Tis the season to entertain, to gather your friends, family and colleagues together in one grand gesture of well wishes. You know you will entertain. The question is how? Black napkins or festive prints? A demure or decadent theme? A hearty palate of rich foods or a sort of grazing of hand passed hors de‟ oeuvres? Whether you plan to accommodate five or five thousand of your inner circle, you want your holiday party to be more than a meal. You envision an experience. In this grand city, entertaining in one form or another is practically synonymous with life, and myriad venues and caterers await your beck and call to roll out a festive spread for you and your guests. “Taking food alone tends to make one hard and coarse,” noted cultural critic Walter Benjamin. “Those accustomed to it must lead a Spartan life if they are not to go downhill. For it is only in company that eating is done justice.” Fortunately, there are those whose lives‟ work revolves around making sure that eating is, indeed, “done justice”. One of the best is Wolfgang Puck Catering. Whether you plan to entertain in the privacy and comfort of your own home—or other location, for that matter—or want to take advantage of one of their seven exclusive Los Angeles venues, they offer options to boggle the mind and dazzle your guests. The Hollywood and Highland location actually features five separate venues for a total of over 200,000 square feet of entertainment space that can accommodate intimate gatherings or holiday galas. With two sites, the Pacific Design Center is perfect if you want equally to dazzle your party-goers with the fare and swathe them in elegant style. Sony Pictures Studios gives you dramatic options for creating a party fit for the big screen. The Kidspace Children’s Museum, located in the historic Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena, offers almost four acres of rolling parkland with exhibit galleries and gardens. Given LA‟s gorgeous winter weather, it‟s perfect for an outdoor party. With breathtaking views, the iconic Griffith Observatory site is open for select events. The historic and newly remodeled art deco El Rey Theater operates as a concert venue but also accommodates full scale parties. Regardless of the venue, the menu or the theme, Wolfgang Puck prides themselves on fresh, seasonal and (when possible) organic ingredients that comprise menus of what they call “a la minute” cuisine. Reception items range from Artichoke Pizzas to Duck Wontons. Dinners may be simple or run several courses, offering everything from Wild Roasted Sea Bass with Mushroom Ragout to Garlic Rubbed Prime Rib along with breads and a plethora of sides. Their desserts this time of year take on a certain delight. Full bar services are an option, and themed parties replete with holiday splendor from design to cuisine?…well, the possibilities are endless. www.wolfgangpuck.com If you are equally mindful of your desire to host a smashing party and of your passion to protect the ecosystem, then Eco Caters just may be the catering company for you. Executive Chef Nick Brune and co-founder Adam Hiner started their company with that mindset, offering only organic, fresh, seasonal foods and buying produce from local farms where fair trade practices are used. They also use biodegradable and compostable products, recycled paper, and soy inks for printing. To top it all off, your feast is delivered to your private venue in hybrid vehicles. Eco Caters can design your holiday party from the smallest detail to the overall theme. Offering chefs, servers, bartenders and valet, they want your only concern to be mingling with your guests. All rental needs, floral arrangements and entertainment can even be arranged in- house. Their holiday menu is already in place. Hors de‟ oeuvres run the gamut from a simple but elegant fruit, cheese and cracker trays to Duck Confit Terrine and Salmon Rillette. Then comes organic wines, top shelf drinks and a spread of delicate blend of Winter Greens, Cajun Injected Deep Fried Turkey with Hush Puppies, Stand-Up Rib Roast with Fresh Herbs and Pan Juices, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Oyster Dressing with Lardons and Green Bean Casserole. By the time the Yam Ice Cream Profiteroles with Avocado Honey and Sweet Potato Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream are served, your guests will probably be looking forward to your next party. http://www.ecocaters.com/ With an impressive client list, Crumble Catering has long been one of the most popular caterers in the Los Angeles area. The catering branch of popular Mark‟s Restaurant on La Cienaga, they stand on a firm foundation. Whether you‟re hosting a party of 5 or 5,000, Crumble loves the challenge of transforming even the most quirky and difficult theme into a breathtaking party event. They offer complete floral design and can liason with rental companies for all of the tables, chair, linens and lights you‟ll need. You can opt for valet service, and all servers, bartenders and event managers are bonded and insured. Bring them your rough idea and they‟ll give it the holiday splendor it deserves. They offer a basic gourmet menu that ranges from delicate and exquisitely herbed and spiced salads and appetizers—like Spanish vegetable gazpacho with Dungeness crabmeat and fresh California avocado—to hearty entrees and decadent desserts—like English sole roulade stuffed in Portobello mushroom cup with roasted red pepper coulis and Flourless Belgian chocolate cake with espresso ice cream drizzled with a white chocolate sauce. Menus vary depending on whether you choose a sit down dinner or buffet, but one thing remains the same. Crumble Catering enjoys creating customized holiday events based on your taste preferences and budget. http://www.crumblecatering.com/ Il Fornaio translates to “the baker” in English, but this Italian restaurant offers far more than baked goods. Area locations in Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica offer off-site catering that can turn your home or favorite venue into an authentic Italian destination. With menus developed by the company‟s two-dozen Italian chef partners, sheer volume of choices means that your party guests can enjoy fresh ingredients and authentic cooking in innumerable combinations of appetizers, entrees and rich desserts. And with offerings from tents, to dance floors, to lighting, they create custom themes, as well, for holiday parties of any size and scale. Of course, the specialty items are classic Italian dishes with custom twists. The Lasagne Ferrarese features a spinach pasta layered with meat ragu, porcini mushrooms, parmesan and béchamel. Vegetarian options include such delectable items as the Melanzane Farcite, eggplant filled with pasta and baked with marinara sauce, smoked mozzarella and parmesan. Fresh pastas are made daily and dried pastas are imported from the mother-land. Sit-down dinner options include soup, salad or appetizer, dessert and coffee service…along with fresh baked breads and all the trappings! Buffet packages come in mind-boggling options. And last but not least if, like British comedian Jo Brand, you believe that “anything good is made of chocolate,” Il Fornaio‟s decadent holiday desserts will elevate your party to divine. After more than twenty years in the thriving Silverlake district, Cha Cha Cha continues to bring exciting, innovative cuisine to its diners. It brings the same energy and enduring family recipes to its catering clientele. Executive Chef Toribio Prado‟s passion for contemporary Caribbean cuisine is practically legendary, his signature dishes having graced the palates of Sophia Loren (he was her personal chef) and diners at The Ivy long before he opened Cha Cha Cha. If you are looking for a delicious, fun and casual individually plated or buffet style event for 2 to 2,000, this is your destination. Many of their restaurant classics translate well to their catering menu, too, including the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, which is practically a cult favorite (and secret recipe), having been featured in films and on numerous cooking shows. Other main courses include innovative dishes like Halibut Tropical (Filet of halibut sautéed with garlic & white wine, topped off with strawberries, mango & papaya) and Bistec Argentino (aged New York strip with sweet onions in an Argentine steak sauce). And they create dishes with Plantains that you can‟t imagine and lay out smooth, creamy and spicy desserts fit for any palate! http://www.theoriginalchachacha.com/ Like Wolfgang Puck, Patina Catering is another option for fine food in numerous on or off-site locations of your choice. Executive Chef and founder Joaquim Spilchal and his team have created varied menus, customized for over a dozen locations. With an emphasis on cuisine that is as contemporary and artful as Patina‟s restaurant locations, their buffet or sit-down menus will bring elegance and style to your holiday gathering of any size. Full service design options are yours for the asking. http://www.patinagroup.com/catering/ Mrs. Garcia’s Catering offers an intriguing blend of Mexican and Hawaiian cuisines. Owner and Chef John Lee was born into the restaurant business, with a father who was a chef at the classic Brown Derby. Everyone from Bob Hope to King Gustof of Sweden have enjoyed this unusual blend of international fare. Mr. Lee can customize a menu for your off-site holiday party, accommodating anywhere from 10 to 2000. Here the emphasis is on the food, which they pride in customizing to your existing theme and décor. http://www.mrsgarciascatering.com/ Capers Catering offers a personal touch so important to holiday party hosts. A favorite among gay clients who sought quality catering for their recent wedding festivities, owner and chef Roberta Deen pairs an empathetic ear and connections with top LA vendors with your entertainment vision. Combining those things, she can create the holiday event of your dreams at the venue of your making. With an emphasis on “service, style and fine food,” she and her small staff enjoy the challenge of customizing menus and themes to meet your needs. http://www.caperscateringco.com/ For an eclectic taste of European fare at your holiday event, try the California Canteen. Banquet or buffet menus can be delivered to your private venue. Or reserve the Le Patio Cigale, their moderate indoor banquet space themed after a Parisian Café. From Italian pastas to French seafood and simple but rich and classic desserts, the Canteen offers the quality essential to the success of a memorable holiday soiree. http://www.californiacanteen.com/ Wokcano Restaurant, with six locations in the LA area, is another event favorite. Onsite or off, their extensive Chinese fusion and sushi offerings can be customized to fit the taste and scale of your party. They also offer full-bar service. http://www.wokcanocafe.com/ Priding themselves on offering “fresh fast food”, Gourmet a go go operates from a small-hands on restaurant where service and quality are inseparable. Chef Gail and her intimate staff handcraft everything from Coconut and Macadamia Crusted Chicken to Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto to a plethora of pizzas. They get great reviews on their holiday spreads. http://www.gourmetagogoonline.com/ If it‟s simply a space you need there are banquet facilities galore in this fine city. The Edendale Grill in Silverlake was once home to a 1920s fire station and pays homage to old school Hollywood. Their private party and banquet space is charming and yours for the reserving. http://www.edendalegrill.com/ For a more resplendent holiday frolic, consider Hollywood‟s iconic Roosevelt Hotel. Home of the first Academy Awards in 1929, it‟s been restored to its original Spanish colonial architecture. The Blossom Room is perfect for a large gathering. http://www.hollywoodroosevelt.com/ Studio City‟s Sportsmen’s Lodge has ten event rooms available, ranging from small to large enough to hold 1,000 of your closest friends. From complete A/V systems to dance floors to lighting systems, this historic landmark still has what it takes to rock some of the finest parties in the city. http://www.sportsmenslodge.com/ From casual fare to fine cuisine and elegant destinations to custom deliveries, may you find exactly what you need to make your holiday party not just a gathering, but an event to be remembered and emulated for years to come!
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