food and feasting

Caterers, bartenders, servers, cakes, wine, cookies and sundry

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Caterers, Bartenders, Service Help

Jennie Cook's--A Catering Company Jennie and her crew are one of our favorite local caterers (we use her for our own parties at home, that's how good she is). Her dishes are creative and delicious, the service prompt and attentive, and the value for your dollar excellent. Jennie serves the Westside and beyond; you can meet her at one of her Make and Take events, plus learn how to make delicious and nutritious food for all seasons. Vegan catering too! Call 323.982.0052 for more info.
Red Carpet Cookies--Bakery and Catering Marianne Hudz is kind, smart, generous, and really gets it about how good food + good company makes an event worth remembering for a lifetime. Her emphasis on quality and good value makes her cookies, cakes, and pastries a big hit all over Los Angeles. If it's a main meal you want, she also provides beautiful lunches and dinners for small events, replete with fresh ingredients and good vibes. Oh, and the cookies rock--rosemary lavender shortbread or salted caramel brownies, anyone? Visit the Van Nuys bakery, check out menus online, or call 818.514.8740 for more info.
The Kitchen for Exploring Foods If you're seeking the unique flavor combinations and wowsy presentation you see in gourmet mags, check out The Kitchen; their comprehensive website will give you a taste with sample menus, rates, and photos of their spectacular creations. Peggy Dark, founder of The Kitchen, literally wrote the book on "Fabulous Parties" (also available on the website.) Zagat loves The Kitchen for Exploring Foods; you and your guests will too. Call 626.793.7218 to get started.
Susan Kowalski, Wild Thyme Catering and Mixology One nice thing about coming home is the smell of delicious cooking that meets you at the door. Susan Kowalski knows this; she had catered a few of the at-home/Airbnb weddings I've officiated, cooking up the feasts right there on the spot so the food is fresh and hot when you're ready to eat (and your guests can partake of those marvelous aromas too). Perfect for small events at your home or PeerSpace/VRBO! Susan's very popular and there's only one of her, so get on her schedule now by calling or texting 310.245.8846 or emailing her here.
Kensington Caterers Kensington Caterers is one of the best-kept secrets in town. Whether your event is large or small, personal or corporate, their professionalism and know-how will make your party a sophisticated affair. They specialize at transforming your home into the perfect venue for your celebrations; the service is supreme and the menus superb. Check out sample menus online and call 323.935.4300 to check avail and start planning.
Truly Yours Catering This award-winning catering company won over my heart (and my tummy) not only with their delicious food but with their detail-oriented but welcoming service. They've catered all those wonderful exclusive locations we enjoy here in Los Angeles and will handle your upscale affair beautifully, but without the pretense of a lesser entity. Oh yeah, and their food is a fresh, creative, jubilant experience too. Call 818.753.9100 to set up a consultation.
Wolfgang Puck Catering Yes, he does; Wolfgang Puck caters elegant events all over town. Not always him personally, of course, but you can get in touch with any of his kitchens nationwide to find out how Wolfgang's cuisine can enhance your event at home or away. The food and presentation are exquisite, just as you'd expect from L.A.'s top restauranteur; they can also help you with staffing and other aspects of your personal or corporate event planning. They offer "Green Weddings" with organic food and environmentally-friendly decor.
Santa Maria Barbecue Company For those who want a real down-home culinary experience for their outdoor wedding reception or rehearsal dinner, check out Santa Maria Barbecue Company. You can sample their menu at their Culver City restaurant, have them deliver tons of ribs, chicken, and tri-tip to your event, or heck, have 'em cook it all up right there in front of your guests in one of their authentic Western buckboard cooking pit and grill. One of the QMasters I met (Ross) is from Tyler, Texas, so he knows his way around 'cue and fixin's. Pore over their menu online or call 310.559.5709 for catering info.
Gourmet Celebrations It's tough to find good caterers--either they can't cook, don't return calls, or aren't reliable. No fear with Gourmet Celebrations; V.P. Alan Entin will hook you up with delicious food, delivered spot on time and will answer your every question fully and promptly (by the way Alan...the portobello mushroom ravioli was DIVINE.) 310.253.7705; check out menus or email your inquiry if you prefer.
Betty Fraser and Denise DeCarlo, As You Like It Catering These ladies lay a splendid table with great food and good humor. Don't take my word for it; sample their eats at their award-winning Hollywood eatery Grub. Their motto is "Eat, Drink, and Be Married"; with Betty and Denise in the kitchen, you can relax and do just that. 310.278.6365.
Pat Lei (currently no website or email address available.) Need catering help for any size function? Pat can set you up with elegant and tasty service no matter how many people you're entertaining. 310.915.0746.

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Cakes

Ghalia Organic Desserts Yum! You can have a healthy, pretty, organic cake and eat it too! Ghalia offers not only cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and tarts made with organic ingredients, but can accommodate special dietary needs as well (sugar-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and the like.) The presentation is also delightful; we had the pleasure of sampling cupcakes served in flowerpots with a seed favor hidden underneath. The cupcakes were delicious, the guests were delighted, and no flowerpots were consumed. Call 310.351.7870 or email via the site.
Cake Divas The thing about Cake Divas is, the cakes are beautiful, trendy, and tasty, but the ladies behind Cake Divas are not your typical, nasty divas--in fact, they're wonderful--immensely skilled and very professional. Joan Spitler and Leigh Grode each have backgrounds in visual arts and create spectacular custom cakes for both their famous and non-famous clients. I particularly like the "vows" cakes, with sweet words (literally and figuratively) as the motif, but their classic floral cakes are also a cut above. We recently discovered that the Divas contribute their luscious brownies to Under The Bridges, a local group that prepares and distributes bagged lunches for the homeless--you go, girls. By appointment only: 310.287.2609.
Sweet Lady Jane Beautiful. Delicious. Decadent. What more could you want in a wedding cake? Lots of celebs agree; plus, you can go check out their cakes at their cafe on Melrose...and we highly recommend you do, along with a pot of their French press cafe. Call 323.653.7145 or check out their online dessert listings.
Cake Monkey Cake Monkey makes everyone happy--the gourmet wedding cakes with buttercream frosting and homemade fruit preserves are out of this world (you'll even receive a sketch of your proposed cake in the planning stages) but the selection of other delights make for an exciting dessert table. I wouldn't mind a few more of those inside-out s'mores, myself. Fill out their online wedding cake questionnaire to get a quote, or order one of their gift boxes to try their wares ahead of time. 877.640.CAKE
Leda's Bake Shop I'd suggest going to Leda's Sherman Oaks bakery, having a cup of coffee, and sampling a few of the decadent creations. Made from scratch using only the best all-natural ingredients (like organic eggs and Scharffenberger chocolate) Leda's cakes and cupcakes are tasty and visually appealing, and offered in both traditional and vegan styles. Check out the online menu and call 818.386.9644 to order, or just go try a few and inquire in person (favorite option.)
Jamaica's Cakes Bursting with color and whimsy, Jamaica Vawter makes top cakes that rock in both concept and taste. If you'd like to have a dessert buffet (as is so chic these days) she also offers a full range of cheesecakes, cookies, fruit tarts, brownies, and tortes to round out your cake table (and your guests.) Take a look at her kicky cakes online; call 310.478.1971 or stop into the store at 11511 W. Pico (near Gateway) to say hi to Jamaica and inquire in person (I like their coffee too, btw.)
Pastries by Edie Pop on over to Canoga Park to sample Edie's incredible miniature desserts while you ponder having an oh-so-modern pastry table at your reception. Traditional wedding cake type? Edie's can set you up with one of those too, tasty and beautiful, or bake-and-ice a custom cake design of your own devising. 818.716.7033 and/or check out the website photos to begin the drooling.
Cake2Go.Com Yummy cakes delivered to your door. They won't deliver tiered wedding cakes, but all their cakes are wedding-day delectable (and much more seismically stable!) Click on the link above to check out their selection or order online 310.474.3072.
Caprice Fine French Pastries It's fun to call Caprice because Jean-Louis likes to flirt on the phone, but enjoying his amazing pastries is even better. Check out the white chocolate box full of petit-fours for your reception or bridal tea or the croquembouche (traditional French wedding cake.) I can personally vouch for these pastries; callez-vous 310.453.1932.
Massimo's Delectables (currently no website or email address available.) They make a fine pastries and tiramisu wedding cake...in fact, all their cakes are good! Culver City/Marina adjacent; 310.823.8381.
Cake Art By Susan Placek Susan creates "edible art"--phenomenal sculptured cakes with any theme or design. She's created cakes based on everything from favorite cars to the works of Gustav Klimt. Ask her to email you some photos of her work, or check out the showroom at Old Vienna Strudel Company at 10836 1/2 Washington Blvd. in Culver City; 310.280.0282.

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Wine and Champagne

Los Angeles Wine Company Yeah, you can get your beer at Costco but you're not going to find the kinds of special wines and champagnes you REALLY want for your wedding day, especially if you're a "Sideways" kinda guy/gal. L.A. Wine Company not only has a terrific selection (and a great email or snail-mail newsletter to keep you apprised of new acquisitions) but the prices ROCK! Their champagnes are better quality and less expensive than those offered at any other store, and their selection can't be beat. If you're new to wine appreciation, they'll gladly share their expertise with you. 310.306.WINE; also Palm Desert 760.346.1763.
Signature Wines Wine from well-known wineries with customized labels for your wedding day--stylish presentation for the wine served at your reception, or a perfect gift for your oenophile guests.

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Cookies, Sundry Yummy Treats, and Food Gifts

Signature Sweet Shoppe The best and most beautiful cookies ever! I can personally attest to how delightful and delicious these cookies are. Served up in a festive basket, these tasty little works of art will captivate everyone at your reception, shower, office or holiday party. Master Cookie Baker Jenny Arata can make custom shapes with your corporate logo or wedding photo in many tasty flavors. Check out their website for cookie pops, photo cookies, heart cookies, and more! 800.526.4418
Vosge Haut Chocolat Shove over, Godiva, you got nothin' on this candy! Vosges is a woman-owned company that offers exotic and original twists on your standard box of chockies--wrap your tongue around their absinthe-flavored truffles, savor the Aztec Elixir Cocoa, or feature one of their beautiful Gatsby wedding cakes at your reception. Each year they donate a percentage of their profits to V-Day, which is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. You can buy them at Neiman Marcus here in L.A. or order from their website.
O'Gilvie Chocolatier 877.225.3348 (toll-free) O'Gilvie Chocolate Squares--multiple layers of delicious ingredients like chocolate fudge, caramel, marzipan, liqueurs, and nuts--make great wedding favors or additions to your dessert table. We've tried these and we can heartily recommend them!

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