Big Sur Destination Wedding with Bash Please


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We love working with our friends from BashPlease. Especially when they bring us amazing clients like James and Tomasina who have a passion for food, and a commitment to providing their guests with a meal to remember for their wedding feast. bigsurbashplease_1 bigsurbashplease_3 bigsurbashplease_10

We don’t automatically serve bread at weddings–for lots of reasons, but when we do, we go for it. James and Tomasina wanted the roomforty breadboards at the ready when guests were seated–which include all house made breads and lavash, pickled vegetables and fruit, house made ricotta and local honey. bigsurbashplease_4

For their hors d’oeuvres–they opted for whimsical and accessible–our version of chicken and waffles, waygu beef corn dogs, duck sausage on bao buns, salmon tartare, and our take on bruschetta. bigsurbashplease_7 bigsurbashplease_5 bigsurbashplease_8 bigsurbashplease_6 bigsurbashplease_9As a former chef, James has a passion for great market products–so we made sure that our “farm to form” approach had loads of market produce — from organic beets, to nante carrots, to seasonal cherries pickled for the breadboards, to baby candied crab apples for dessert–California farm produce was a big part of their menu.

bigsurbashplease_13Suffice it to say–this was the favorite wedding cake we’ve ever served. Who needs fondant and angel food when you can eat CHEESE!! bigsurbashplease_11r
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All these beautiful photos were shot by Christian Cruz for Max and Friends. Thanks to our amazing clients James and Tomasina for letting us be part of such an amazing celebration. Thanks to our partners in crime BashPlease, pharmacie and Christian Cruz of Max and Friends for being such incredible colleagues to work with. And thanks to Northern California for just being unassumingly awesome. The full menu is below.

Stephanie + Scott : Santa Barbara


We were so excited to work with our friend Beth Helmstetter for this awesome destination wedding for an incredible couple. Stephanie and Scott are SUPER passionate about food–and knowing that is the one element of a wedding that nurtures the guests, really wanted to make the wedding meal memorable. We were happy to oblige. stephaniescott5

Santa Barbara’s stunning Villa Sevillano delivered a staggering backdrop.
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Cheese is always a festive part of the cocktail hour. And the key to a great cheese display–is having someone there to serve it. That service component ensures the presentation stays beautiful, and adds a festive and interactive component to the display.
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We love getting a little whimsical with our menus. We call the dish below: “cedar planked salmon” but it’s our version of an arctic char crudo. We make blood orange pearls look like salmon roe, and serve the dish on little individual cedar planks. Starting meals this way add a little more impact than starting with a green salad.
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Fresh pasta–the stuff summer mid courses are made of. The full menu is listed below.
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It’s not often our brides and grooms grab us and say: “hey we want a picture with our caterer!” (there’s a few other photos they need to take) Loved working with this amazing couple and wishing them a beautiful marriage! A huge thanks to Beth Helmstetter for including us in this special day, and to Tec Petaja for the awesome photos.
stephaniescott2Stephanie and Scott also leaned on us for wine pairings. We thought this menu was perfect for the wines of Lone Madrone, made by our friend Neil Collins. The wines pairings are listed below.

Hors D’oeuvres for the Kids with Joy For Nod


Joy for Nod hosted by roomforty + the Fig House

Our friend Joy Cho of Oh Joy recently released a line with Land of Nod, and the product line release party, aptly labeled “joy for nod” was a festive gathering at the Fig House. They called on us to come up with our version of children’s finger foods, that the grown ups would still enjoy–and we had a blast doing it!

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So much about this event was fun. The nod tour bus, the always elegant floral work of yasmine floral design, the crafts for the kids–we loved it.

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the menu

pb+ j lollipops. house made peanut butter + jelly. pain du mie.

mini philly cheesesteak sliders. rib eye. poached onion. farmer’s cheese.

mini waygu beef corn dogs. violet mustard. curry ketchup.

tomato + grilled cheese. smoked tomato bisque. brioche + brie grilled cheese coins.

macaroni + cheese. 4 cheeses. brioche bread crumbs.

crab croquettes. house made tartar. borage flowers.

worms + dirt. cherry gummi worms. graham soil.

campfire s’mores. graham soil. chocolate + coffee ganache. house made marshmallow.

Libry had a blast coming up with our approach to the right menu items. What would kids party be without PB+J. We just did a bit of twist. House made peanut butter and jelly, pain du mie for the bread, garnished with colored sugar crystals, and for a little extra fun…lolli popped + building blocked!

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For the mini corn dogs–we used waygu beef (American style kobe), and garnished with violet mustard and house made curry ketchup.

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A couple of signature comfort items were added–the philly cheese steak sliders, crab lollipops and our mac and cheese with brioche bread crumbs. We don’t know too many friends that still buy campbells tomato soup–but back in the day, a little campbells tomato soup and wonder bread grilled cheese made everything better. Our version, smoked tomato bisque, and brioche and brie grilled cheese coins.

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We called this one: “worms and dirt”. Using a little molecular gastronomy, Libry made house made cherry gummi worms and it was scary how much they looked like earthworms. The “dirt” was graham soil. Potted in mini terra cotta, the kids loved it. Is that face priceless or what!

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The signature s’mores with campfire smoke might be what you’re looking at. Or, you might be looking at the schnazzy aprons donned by our servers. They’re made by that awesome girl hula-hooping in the picture below, Ellen Bennett. Hedley Bennett aprons have taken over the world of hospitality–with literally the top chefs in the world wearing her aprons. We’d be hula-hooping too. Well play madame. Well played indeed.

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By now, most roomforty friends have heard of Emily Henderson, but if you haven’t–she designed the Fig House, and she’s awesome. And Charlie her little boy ate 48 PB+J lollipops that day, which is why he’s such a chunk. (that’s a joke).

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All in all, a super fun family event. A huge thanks to Joy and to Land of Nod for letting us serve this event. All you parents out there–go to Land of Nod and buy all of Joy’s line, and then call us after it’s set up and we’ll cater your “I just got awesome furniture for my kid” party.

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Refined Comfort


Our clients are typically from Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. But the guests of our clients are from all over the country. As a caterer, we need to appeal to the sophisticated palates of our urban clients, while making sure the guests of our clients have an access point to the food. This leaves us with the goal of creating dishes that are both amazing and accessible.

We’ve been at work creating some dishes that fit that criteria quite well. Dishes, that are at once recognizable in their title, but unexpected in their interpretation. For us, coming up with menu items that everyone would have had eaten at one point was a key factor, while making sure we present those items in a way that you’ve never experienced.

What’s on the menu?

Chicken and Biscuits, Philly Cheese Steak, Pot Roast and Nachos.

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We take 2 chicken breasts, attach them to one another, thick side to thin side, vacuum seal them, then cook them in the sous vide machine. This allows us to get the thickness of a steak, but with chicken. The chicken and biscuit are plated side by side, over the creamed watercress, topped with a drop of local honey, and the mornay sauce, and finished with market vegetables.

Next:

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Using a touch of molecular gastronomy, we create a cheese “croquette” that once broken by the fork, releases the creamy cheese. We address the onion flavors of a philly cheese steak by creating a french onion soup “puree” for the base of the dish. Replacing green bell peppers, with heirloom cherry pepper confit, and the crispy french roll with our cylinder crouton, the dish incorporates all of the flavor profiles of the philly cheese steak. The presentation is refined enough to make sure that you can enjoy all the flavors of a cheese steak while keeping your shirt stain free.

Next:

pot roast

Pot roast is all about slow cooking to achieve that tender, ‘pull apart’ perfection.  We slow braise the beef over 24 hours, to get that hearty, tender beef texture. As opposed to serving with the standard “potato puree” we create a puree using the flavors of vichyssoise, or potato leek soup, which gives the potato flavor a little more complexity. We add baby market vegetables, earl grey bordelaise, and a touch of gremolata for a touch of acid to soften the fullness of the flavor profile. All in your mouth, mom’s pot roast, but maybe a little better (we wont’ tell her).

Last but not least:

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We serve nachos as an interactive roving “station” during cocktail hours. Servers rove the party with 10′ rain gutters, filled with our take on nachos. The products and preparation of the components (slow braise, confit, house made liquid cheese, etc.) and the presentation (when’s the last time you ate out of a gutter?) make for an interpretation of nachos that we’re pretty sure you will make for a memory. But nachos? Come on, who doesn’t love nachos at a party.

Happy Eating.

The Fig House Opening Party–Guest Post by our Friend Emily Henderson


Fig House Opening Party

Well, folks, The Fig House has opened and its in full swing: currently being rented out for parties, weddings, birthdays, premieres and any occasion where one wants to have a good time in a beautiful space. To celebrate we threw quite the party for family/friends and some press … just a ‘hey guys, here’s what we’ve been doing the past 8 months’. It was pretty satisfying to finally show all my friends (including Brian) the final result of all of our hard work… also to prove that I wasn’t having an affair because I was gone so much.

We are working on the proper design posts with lots of before and after shots, resources, paint colors, etc, but this post is just to show off the party and say ‘thank you’ to everyone who made it out and contributed.

Fig House Opening Party

As you know Danielle Krysa, from The Jealous Curator curated the art and it was pretty darn stunning. That huge painting by Zoe Pawlak is amazing, the portrait by Stephanie Vovas and the weird and controversial (and intensely awesome) string sculptural pieces by Nike Schroeder killed it. Just killed it. I was so excited by how they all looked in the space at night. Sidenote: 1/2 the art sold that night and many more pieces have replaced those … it’s very exciting.

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This is Mr. Steve Fortunato himself with his pretty adorable family adorning that pretty amazing green sectional sofa. Gosh, what I wouldn’t do for something like that in my new living room – the family and the house.

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Clearly lots of hugs and laugher were had by some of our good friends, Paige from Bash, PleaseJoy and Margaux - all the usual suspects showed up. Thanks so much, guys.

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RoomForty catered the food and it was OBVIOUSLY delicious based on that photo above. I would like to slide one of those sliders in my mouth right now. That night was like a wedding to me where I was so busy talking that I think I tasted the food, but would like another shot at it.

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By the way it wasn’t that bright in there, there was just a flash on the camera – don’t worry. RoomForty also had this huge fromaggerie station, which is a station that I would like to be at more often.

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Steve gave a big thank you speech to all the people who had worked really hard on the project – which were A LOT. These included the amazing General Contractor Ken from KD Constuction (my favorite contractor in the world and not to mention such a great person in general), the stained glass artist (who with my art direction created some pretty incredible doors that even the new Ace Hotel Downtown LA hired to help with theirs afterwards), and of course the design team – us.

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Speaking of which … these two ladies (above) saved my life/sanity in this project. Dean Fisher and Ginny Macdonald are two VERY good designers and such incredible collaborators. Every single meeting was fun and we were always on the same page artistically; you have no idea how rare that can be. The chemistry was just so right. I’m lucky enough that Ginny is actually working full-time for me now, and Dean is back in Chicago doing a lot of design work with her company South Social and Home, and working with Home Polish (hire her, she’s AWESOME).

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That’s the head chef at RoomfortyLibry and his crew who now have a brand new, state of the art kitchen to work in and get new awesome tattoos in…. Those are some badass chefs, no?

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Ha!!!! This is us cheersing to the success of The Fig House. I was 37 weeks pregnant obviously, but that doesn’t stop me from celebrating. (That dress, by the way is another non-maternity dress from TopShop that is just REALLY elastic-y … its holding on for dear life, but so much better than most maternity dresses … here’s a link to similar dress).

Fig House Opening Party

Michael, Mr. Flashdance himself, spun the music. Do people even say ‘spun’ anymore? I think i’m old.

He was the DJ, you get it. And he’s awesome because he makes people dance and laugh and lose control, as you can see …

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That’s the usual crew, BriJenSteveBrian (The Sharkpig boys) Tal (PharmacieLA) and probably tons of people who I’m missing but I really, really appreciate coming.

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It rained so we had to have a tent out front but that doesn’t stop you from seeing the intensely beautiful stained glass that Judson Studios did.

All in all it felt like a wedding. Something that we had planned for months  - not necessarily the party but the unveiling of the project. Except I wasn’t drunk. Strangely it was still such an exhilarating high and I had sooo much fun.

Fig House Opening Party

The exterior is getting all landscaped now, ready for all the summer weddings they have booked. Its all just very exciting, indeed.

All in all an incredible project and a pretty dope space. Cheers to Steve Fortunato, Room FortyPharmacieLAOur Labor of LoveWoodnote Photography, Flashdance, Sharkpig. All of you are pretty much the best and I want to smother you out of love.

If those photos weren’t enough and you want to watch a video about the night, you are in luck … Thanks, Sharkpig for once again being weird and generally awesome.

Photo Credits | Our Labor of Love and Woodnote Photography

Temecula Wine-Country Styled Photo Shoot


temecula california wine country wedding venue vineyard

Earlier this year, we were honored to work alongside some talented vendors on a photo shoot for an event venue in Temecula’s wine-country. Even though we can’t announce the specifics of the venue just yet, we wanted to whet your palate with some of the lovely details from this Italian-inspired shoot. To view more images, check out the Style Me Pretty feature.

RESOURCES
Photography: Ashley Kelemen
Floral Design: Sweet Emilia Jane
Furniture Rental & Set Styling: Pow Wow
Hair and Makeup: 10.11 Makeup
Catering: roomforty
Cake Design: Stevi Auble
Bridal Gowns: Kirstie Kelly
Grooms Attire: H&M
Photo Assistant: Captured by Aimee
Model (Bride): Christina Riddell
Model (Groom): Ian Riggs

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The Fig House is officially born


If you don’t know already, roomforty is expanding! The Fig House is our new hospitality venture and is officially under construction.  Emily Henderson and team have been documenting the entire process so far – showing everything from the design plan, to the demo, and will eventually show sneak peeks of the final finished product.  You can follow the progress on both Emily’s blog and also the Fig House blog.

But for now, here is what Emily had to say about the space before we got the construction team in to work their magic:

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We know, it’s really beautiful, just picture yourself walking down that cavernous yellow isle on linoleum tile floor. Except, check it out, the ceiling is going to be blown out to expose all the woodwork, the floor is going to be removed (who knows what will be under there, but we are assuming concrete that we’ll stain and throw awesome vintage rugs over).  The walls will have both refined woodwork and a dark paint color (because maybe that yellow is making me want to do bad things to people) and some chandeliers, sconces and mirrors will be adorning the space bouncing light everywhere and creating an atmosphere that is less ’1970′s bike shop’ and more ‘dark, cozy and eclectic bar’.  It has such potential because its such a big open space (and the ceiling is going to kill it).

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But its HUGE, and daunting for now.

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Meanwhile in the other room (you can see it looking back into the yellow room) we have what is now a storage room, but things are changing.  Again, the ceiling is being blown out, and the left wall you see there will be completely turned to glass. WHAT WHAT??? Yep, its going to lead into the outdoor courtyard to create a huge indoor/outdoor garden feeling.  A lot brighter and lighter than the other room, but equally as fun to hang out in.  The potential is huge, the work is even bigger.

Keep checking back for more updates and follow The Fig House on Instagram (@thefighouse), Twitter (@thefighouse) and Facebook and witness this project unfold.  You’ll get the gory details, the drama, the design plan and probably some videos of us generally having fun and totally losing our minds.

But look how calm and collected we are in the photo?

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What could possibly go wrong?

Action Stations At The Cream Event | Los Angeles 2013


We started in this business with the conviction that the meal is one of the greatest platforms in building and celebrating community. No other event in Los Angeles celebrates the community of event professionals, like the Cream, curated by our friends Kelly + Paige of bashplease, who need little introduction. Everywhere you looked at the Cream, you saw the driving force behind why we’re all in this business—passion for what we do. We were inspired and honored to be included in such an amazing community of memory makers. the cream wedding event LA roomforty catering Los Angelesthe cream wedding event LA roomforty catering Los Angelesthe cream wedding event LA roomforty catering Los Angeles

We thought the Cream was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate our passion for dismantling how people commonly define “buffet” and showing our take on “the action station”. We think there’s something between buffets lined with chafing dishes, and prime rib under heating lamps maned by a cook with a 3-foot high chimney hat. Enter—the roomfort action station. Action stations are what we bring when clients ask us if we do buffets. Where buffets force guests to “scoop and plop”, action stations have our team of cooks composing complete dishes to order. Think composition preceding consumption.

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Where buffets have guests waiting in line holding a plate, our action stations place an assortment of small plates ready to grab, indulge, then grab another. Where buffets lose all sense of presentation on your plate the moment that slotted spoon of potatoes hits your salad, action stations offer the same beautiful presentation of our plated dinners—just in a smaller “grazing” format.

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the cream wedding event LA roomforty catering Los Angeles

With all the excitement in the culture of food, guests love the interactive component of seeing an open kitchen built at their event and being able to engage our culinary staff, ask questions, specify likes and dislikes. In short, if you call us and ask us to do a buffet at your event, we’re going to make a compelling case for making it an action station.

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Anytime we get out the smoking gun, the crowds dig it. Here’s our signature campfire dessert, (our take on s’mores) with graham soil, chocolate + coffee ganache, brulée marshmallow, and hickory smoke.

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The waft of smoke as you release the dome……magic.

the cream wedding event LA roomforty catering Los Angelesthe cream wedding event LA roomforty catering Los AngelesThanks to bashplease for a magical night—here’s a little high-light video that captured the essence. Thanks to Rad + in Love and Mr.Haack for the photos. Cheers!

In the Kitchen : Making Purée


Sometimes it’s nice to mix it up and puree something other than potato. Celery root looks pretty intimidating, but it’s very easy to make celery root puree, and the flavor is insane. Part 2 of our “triologymaybemore” of simple in the kitchen preparation tips.

STEP 1: Take 2 pounds of celery root. Square off the knobbly madness so that you have straight edges to work with. Peel off the outside skin with a vegetable peeler, so that only the white flesh of the root is left. If there are indents of rough exterior, cut them out.

STEP 2: Peel 1/2 a large potato (we like yukon gold) or a little over 1/2 a pound. Cut the celery root 1 inch squares. Cut the potato into 2 inch squares since they will cook faster the celery root. (the potato give the celery root puree body).

STEP 3: Place the cubed celery and potato in a sauce pot. Add 4 cups of whipping cream. You want to make sure the cream just covers the vegetables. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of white pepper. Add a few fresh bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

STEP 4: Cook covered on medium heat for 45 minutes, or until celery root is fork tender.

STEP 5: Remove bay leaf and any thyme sprigs. Transfer all sauce and vegetables from saucepan to blender. Puree for 30 seconds, just until smooth. Do not over puree or the starch from the potato will make your puree gummy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve or store covered in the fridge up to 5 days.

Enjoy!

In the Kitchen : Roasted Vegetables


STEP 1: Get some great vegetables–preferably organic. The farmers market is a great source, however grocery stores that sell great organic produce will work as well. Remember, great flavor starts with great product. Peel, trim or prepare the vegetables so that everything that remains, once cooked, will be edible. The green tops from baby vegetables are totally edible.

STEP 2: Gather some fresh herbs, (we like thyme and bay leaf), a few cloves of garlic, good quality salt (maldon, or kosher), a pepper grinder, and olive oil.

STEP 3: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. This step is actually the launch pad of perfectly cooked veggies. If you use too much oil, the oil won’t heat, and you’ll end up steaming your veggies. If you wait too long and overheat the oil your veggies will burn. Patience is the key here….leave the burner at medium, and give the oil a few minutes. When you see the oil begin to smoke, you’re ready to cook.

STEP 4: Place the herbs and garlic in the oil first, and cook for a few minutes. Move the herbs around the pan with a work spoon. This will infuse the oil with flavor. After a few minutes, place the veggies in the pan. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

STEP 5: “Caramelization” is the process of cooking the veggies until they release the natural sugars inside, and result in a beautiful golden brown color. As each side of the veggies caramelizes, turn the veggies so other sides can cook and caramelize. Once the veggies are fork tender, remove and serve. If you are serving later–under-cook the veggies, so that when you reheat prior to serving, you do not overcook.