All posts in Catered Events

Sunset Soiree on a Vineyard!

I’d describe the night as “Vintage French Romantic in Wine Country”

Photo by Melanie

 When my good friend’s husband called me asking if I’d be interested in throwing his wife Sarah’s surprise 30th birthday party on a vineyard in Alexander Valley,  you can imagine my response was a bit like, “yaaaaaahhhh!!!!!”

I mean, what’s better than family and friends gathering around the dinner table (in the middle of a vineyard)!? um, nothing.
Ah I can’t believe this is my JOB! 
From creating the vision for the night, the 6 course wine pairing dinner menu and styling every detail – right down to the silk ribbon tied around the name tag & rosemary – I love doing it ALL!
(I could do without the -up at 6am to marinate 30 lbs of flank steak though 🙂 but that’s ok, part of being a caterer

Saturday was truly a magical night, so I thought I’d share a few pics:

I said to MacKensey of PoppyStoneFloral, “think, French woman standing in a vineyard in a flowy lace dress, holding a silver tray of appetizers and a glass of rose in cut glass crystal stemware” Does that paint the picture or what!?

The birthday girl sat in a French style chair and vintage rentals were, provided by Erica of Tine Roof Farm House.
And My mom and I browsed antique shops for mix-matching crystal votive holders.  We had about 40 on the table.  So pretty.
I made matches that said “Make A Wish – Happy Birthday Sarah” – everyone had a box at their place setting and we all lit a cadle and made a wish together!
Breadsticks and Olives in glasses to add to the Provence French theme.

Narine of Sweet & Crafty is the talented Calligrapher who wrote the beautiful name tags, menu and food labels.   

Silver Trays lined with grape leaves I picked from the vineyard for serving appetizers. Also provided by Tin Roof Farm House.

Dessert table with a gold frame chalkboard that read “describe a special memory with Sarah” and everyone put their stories in my mom’s vintage hat box.  

It’s a macaroon party

The sun goes down – but the party goes well into the night!  SO much LOVE was in the air.   Sarah’s friends and family even flew in from the east coast.

Photo by Melanie
Six course wine and dinner pairing menu

And a huge thank you to my amazing friend Melanie who helped plan the night for our dear Sarah! While running your own business and raising a 1.5 year old, you still found time to help create the special night – thank you so much!

Hop on over to my website if you’re interested in learning more about my services.

Here’s to living deliciously,



Perfect Picnic: 4th of July Menu!


Picnic in Crissy Fields with JuliaNichole and Kate
Photographs by the talented Kim

Hop on over to Nichole at Vanilla Extract for MORE

What You’ll Need: 

Jars: Tyler Florence Store, Mill Valley

Silver Serving Spoon and Knife: Antique Shop

Candles: Pier One Imports

Napkins: World Market Cost Plus

Pizza Tart Pan: Sur La Table

Table Cloth: Anthropologie

Red Cups: Target

Straws: Paper Source

Plates: Grandmothers

Now that you’ve packed your picnic basket,  it’s time you dress the part!

from Southern Charm

Chickpea, Pepper and Feta Salad

Perfect spot for viewing fireworks!

Cornmeal Crust Pizza, Walnut Pesto, Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

Jars are perfect (and adorable) for transporting

Coconut Rice Pudding

Perfect view for the fireworks



5 Gluten Free and Vegetarian Meals: Delivered to Your Door Every Sunday

Form this weeks Menu:

Japanese Bowl: Sprouted Rice, Edamame, Marinated Shiitake and Carrot Ginger Dressing

Sign up for for next week’s delivery HERE

Photo by the talented Eric Wolfinger

Yes, we pick your produce too!  

We’re at Bloomfield Farms for a morning of “U PICK” – and guess what else… every  Sunday a guest chef is on the farm whipping up breakfast with produce from the farm… AH talk about a day of farm to mouth!

MENU BELOW… Shoot me an email HERE

Southwest Burger

Black Beans and Spinach

Pepita Lime Pesto

Japanese Bowl

Sprouted Black Rice & Edamame

Sesame Marinated Shiitake

Carrot Ginger Dressing

Shredded Kale Salad

Rainbow Carrots & Quinoa

Curried Coconut & Almonds Crumble

Nori Rolls

Quinoa and Summer Veggies

Miso Dressing

Seasonal Frittata

Rainbow Chard, Sun Dried Tomatoes

Feta & Caramelized Shallots

Gluten Free and Paleo Baked Goods

Double Chocolate Brownies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

RSVP by Sunday Morning

view past menu HERE


Meatless Mondays

{Roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, tahini dressing and toasted walnuts.  Sweet potato black bean southwest burger.  Roasted Brussels French lentils feta salad.  Spaghetti squash roasted broccoli rabe and almond basil pesto}

Exciting biz news… In March I started cooking vegetarian and gluten free meals for a client here in SF.  I am really enjoying creating and cooking 5 new seasonal recipes every week!  And more so, this is the way I eat too (plant based gluten free) so cooking this type of food is much more enjoyable for me than meaty, saucy, porky, fatty heavy food.  You know that heavy slush feeling you get after eating pasta and burgers?  Well with my cooking, you’re left feeling energized and perfectly satisfied 🙂

A few of my favorite vegetarian bloggers are Kimberly Snyder, My New Roots and Whole Living.

{sweet potato and lentil stew.  Japanese Salad with carrot ginger dressing.  Shaved Brussels salad, blood orange pomegranate and pistachio citrus dressing. Cornmeal crust pizza, herb chèvre and roasted zucchini}

Beginning in June I will be expanding (commercial kitchen whootwhoot) and offering my Weekly Veg/Gluten Free menu to the public.  Shoot me an email if you want to get on the weekly mailing list…and get ready to have health delivered to your door




Event: Help empower young girls by pampering yourself!

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This Thursday the 17th from 6-9  Social Beauty Co. will be hosting a night of spa services, appetizers (by ME), cocktails and all sorts of of fabulous free gifts!

The event is in support of Reclaim Childhood, a fabulous non profit (run by one of my dearest friends KK) that helps bring the power of sport and play to young girls and women in the middle east.

Free Fabulous Gifts:

Sarah Jenks (she’ll rock your bod)

Melanie Kluger (style session)

Margaret Elizabeth (stunning jewels)

Tulita Health (healthy and body)

Claudine Dagit (cooking lesson)

I hope you can join the Party!


What my Meal Delivery service looks like…

I just made a couple beautiful dinners for a wonderful family who I drop off to every Thursday in Marin.  The momma is busy raising 4 kids and running a successful business (aaahhh can you imagine) so I bring them a few healthy home cooked meals to help get ’em through the hectic week.  I thought today’s were particularly pretty and wanted to share…

Above is an example of what my Meal Delivery service looks like and what gets delivered to your door!  Meals come in containers that can go from fridge/freezer, oven/micro to dishwasher…woohooo.  All dinners are customized to your likes/dislikes, allergies, dietary restrictions, portion sizes, you name it!  PLUS YOU GET A SIDE OF A HEALTHY FRESH VEGETABLE  (not pictured).  With the Italian dinner was Roasted Broccoli Rabe tossed with pine nuts, lemon zest and parmesan.  Along with the duck was sautéed garlicky spinach with a squeeze of lemon (there’s lemon in the Pomegranate sauce and they accompanied each other quite nicely)

I love duck and I think people should eat it more often, in moderation.. but only when raised organically and humanly.  Duck (without the skin) is so tender, delicious and actually quite healthy.

100 g of duck compared to chicken:

Duck: 140 cals, 2.5 fat, 28 protein, 5 iron

Chicken: 165 cals, 4 fat, 31 protein, 1 iron

Personally I do not eat like this 🙂 a couple bites is good enough… My days look more like this HERE!



Featured On: From My Coast to Yours

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Just had a wonderful afternoon cooking up a storm with my girl KK and her 2 lovely friends! One of the cooking classes I offer is called the 5-in-5 and this is where you’ll learn how to prepare 5 meals on a Sunday afternoon so that during the week you only spend 5 minutes of hands on time!

Check it out here and learn all out hosting a fun cooking lesson with your girls!


A Summer Soiree

I catered a lunch yesterday with a menu that I am so excited about!  It was such a beautiful representation of what you’d find at a Farmers Market in July – so fresh and delicious – I have to share. If you are not a big meat eater – I think salmon would substitute nicely for the skirt steak.

Figs and Prosciutto over Ricotta, Drizzled with Honey  
(For the non pork eaters substitute chopped pistachios for prosciutto)

Grilled Peaches with Toasted Walnuts, Pt Reyes Blue Cheese in a Balsamic Dressing
Skirt Steak over Fresh Corn Polenta
Sun Marinated Heirloom Tomato (soaked in a bowl of olive oil, balsamic, basil and garlic – Amazing and can go on anything! This is my summer staple)
Fresh Chopped Salad of Summer Squash, Zucchini, Wax Bean and Haricot Vert Swith Lemon Zest, Basil, Pine Nuts and Fresh Grated Parmesan

Dessert (not pictured)
Short Cakes, Vanilla Ice Cream and Plum Compote

Prep Ahead Tips:
Day Before:
prep, chop and blanch your summer veggies
Steam corn for polenta
Make your dressing and marinades
Start Marinating your Tomatoes
Chop nuts
make Shortcakes for dessert

Morning Of:
Make crostini
Grill the peaches
Grill the Steak (only to rare – let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and divide on 2 small baking pans.  Reheat in the oven for your guests right before serving – this will finish the cooking too.  I divided the meat between 2 pans so that one batch would be brought up to med-rare and the other batch I left in the oven a bit longer to bring the meat up to med)
Fill a large pot on the stove with broth and line up your polenta ingredients to throw in and make cooking/hosting as easy as possible (4 cups broth, 1 cup polenta. 1 cup parm, 2 cups fresh corn steamed and cut off ear)

Skirt Steak Marinade:
So good- I need to write this down so I don’t forget what I did
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Chopped Garlic, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce



Hi There! I thought I’d share a couple pics from a brunch I catered last weekend.  
Beautiful photographs by Shea McGuier

Maple Pecan Granola and Straus Yogurt in Jars

Green Bean Bundles and Herb Aioli
Eggs Baked in a Bread Bowl

 Maple Bacon

 Fork and Spoon Wrapped in a napkin and placed in a jar for water- adorable!

A Mediterranean Spread

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My favorite part about catering is creating a beautiful menu.  And what I love even more is when my client is totally up for anything and lets me choose the menu.  When this happens I usually decide on a Mediterranean theme, keeping it to what I know well and enjoy best!

This particular menu was for an event the Harvard Graduate School of Education was hosting for about 50 prospective Bay Area applicants. Brie Honey Comb and Pomegranate Seeds
The Event was held at San Francisco’s beautiful Fort Mason Center

Brie Honey Comb and Pomegranate Seed

Greek Salad over Quinoa with lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs
Homemade Pita (reular and whole wheat) searved with a Trio of Dips:
Roasted Red Pepper, Cacik (yogurt and cucumber dip, also known as Tzatziki) and Hummus
Falafel and Tahini
Brie Cheese, Dried Fruit and Rosemary Mixed Nuts
Berry Tartlets, handmade (by scratch) by the lovely and talented Jennifer of 3 Bee Baking

Berry Tartlets


Squeeze In One More Summer Lunch

Photo courtesy of Downtown Romantic

First, I must explain my recent 3 week disappearance… My best friend from Milan touched down in SF for a great 2 week visit.  We were so busy sight seeing and eating, I didn’t get a chance to stay connected.
We managed to eat out at some great San Francisco hot spots, play an American game of Sloshball and even party in LA for the weekend.  I will soon share some of the great recipes and meals enjoyed along the way, but for now, here is one dish that was inspired by Cecile’s Milanese-ness!
Risotto… famous in Italy and it is no wonder why.  It is rich, creamy and incredible satisfying. Risotto is always a crowd pleaser and perfect served anytime of the year made with what ever happens to be in season!
With that said, when I was asked to cater a small birthday lunch, I knew a Summer Risotto must make its way onto the menu.

I’ll post the recipes soon, but for now here is the Risotto recipe courtesy of my cousin who volunteered her afternoon to help me in the kitchen.  Helane was home visiting from New York where she works for in Fashion Media and when feeling inspired writes on her blog

Summer Lunch Menu:
To Drink:
Mint and Strawberry Lemonade (spiked with vodka if you are feeling up for it!)
Light Bites:
Melon, Prosciutto and Manchego
Summer Squash and Zucchini over Pesto and Feta Puff Pastry
First Course
Crab Cakes topped with Herb Aioli on a Bed of Lamb’s Lettuce (recipe)
Summer Risotto (recipe)
Something Sweet
LemoCrème brûlée 



“Panzanella” is Italian for Bread Salad
I make this with heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, Italian black olives, big hearty croutons made with 2 types of Acme breads, fresh basil and a simple balsamic vinaigrette

I catered a beautiful Picnic Birthday Party this weekend at Stow Lake in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park
Like I’ve said before, one of my favorite things about catering is coming up with a menu and all the cute little creative ideas to make the party all the more special and personal.
This party in-particular had a great menu and lots of extra little special touches.

a few clips from the picnic:

lemonade served in a large jar with raspberries, lemon slices and mint
tin bucket filled with bottles of tea and San Pellegrino 
honey-soy glazed chicken skewers
garnished with black sesame seeds and parsley
sweet cornmeal cake layered with fresh mango, papaya 
and mango butter
chopped salad (corn, avocado, feta, bell peppers…)
forks wrapped in a napkin and tied with green and white baker’s string

 Kids lunch boxes:
“who’s name starts with the leller l”

Long sheets of Butcher Paper instead of tableclothes.  
Secured to the green picninc benches with the twine

this gives the picnic a very organic and natural feel

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Mint Dip

These are great little guys for an appetizer and can be made ahead of time

I love the freshness of the mint with yogurt.  
It adds a really nice refreshing contrast to the spicy lamb meatballs
Lamb is Adapted form William Sonoma, New Flavors for Appetizers
Yogurt Dip was thrown together by me, I’ve never actaully measured actually, there’s no right/wrong way to make yogurt mint dip 🙂
Yields about 40 meatballs
1 cup yogurt
2 T Fresh mint chopped
salt and pepper to tast
(minced garlic or lemon to taste, optional)
Fort the meatballs:
2 Slices of white bread (I used 1 cup bread crumbs because that’s what I had on hand)
1 lb, ground lamb, grass fed and organic (please!)
3 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 egg
1 t cumin
1 t sweet paprika
1/4 t allspice
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven 400
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray
Tear crusts of bread and rip into pieces, place in a bowl with a little water and soak
Ina  large bowl, combine the lamb, green onions, most of the parsley, the egg, and seasonings.  
Mix well with your hands
Scoop into teaspoon size balls, roll between hands and place on sheet
Repeat, spacing about 2 inches apart
Cook for about 15 minutes until nice and brown.  rotating the pan and turning the meatballs with a spatula to insure even cooking

Buckwheat Blini

so light and airy, these little guys are perfect paired with
smoked salmon or trout

wikipedia event I catered
Yields about 15 blini
2 T butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup buckwheat
sea salt
1/4 t baking soda
melt the butter and let cool
In a bowl, whisk the egg, yogurt and milk
In a small bowl whisk the flour, buckwheat and salt
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk
Add the cooled butter and whisk until there are no more lumps
Heat a large nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium heat until hot
Spray the pan
working in batches, add the batter to the pan by the tablespoonfuls
Cook until slightly bubbly around the edges, about 1.5 minutes
Flip the blini and continue cooking for about 1 minutes longer
Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter