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At Garden of Eating, we are dedicated to providing all of our clients with fresh, flavorful meals, beautifully and professionally presented for every event we cater. We pride ourselves in listening to our clients’ specific requests and designing a menu that reflects their needs.

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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spring is Upon Us!

While this LA morning fog is persisting, Spring is upon us here at GOE. Spring is an awesome time to take advantage of some seasonal ingredients. Lamb is a big one, and lots of produce starts to become available, including asparagus! It’s one of our favorites here.

We found a great Matzo Brei recipe for Passover week. It’s simple and quick, with only two ingredients. And it looks good! 



We wanted to give you some new ideas for your spring time table! We know many of our readers are going to celebrate Easter with families over the weekend, and many of those tables might include lamb. Rather than traditional roast lamb, why not try out these Port-Braised Lamb Shanks, from one of our favorites chefs, Chuck Hughes? They would go great with sour cream mashed potatoes, some crisp green beans, or asparagus!  

We know those honey hams are everywhere in stores lately, wrapped up in foil, in those crazy net bags (GOE would like to remind you to dispose of the net bags properly so they don’t kill fish!). But let’s be honest. How many of those hams have you actually enjoyed? Executive Chef Phil suggested something to cut the salt and make it a ham worth remembering!

Make a quick balsamic reduction. Take 2 cups of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and combine them over medium heat. Once the sugar dissolves, bring the vinegar and sugar up to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer until reduced by half, and it’s done. Once the ham is baked, take it out of the oven and brush the reduction on while the meat is still hot. This will create a nice glaze, and pull some of the sodium out. (Though salty ham is a nice excuse to drink a few Coronas on an Easter afternoon.)

Asparagus is back in a big way. Why not sautee up some diced shallots with butter, or toast some chopped hazlenuts to top your side dish with?

We hope everyone’s holidays have been memorable this week! Be sure to let us know how your holiday table was!

Planning a Great Party: Cheese Tasting

Hi folks! Welcome to the first of our posts on planning parties for your home. We’re going to tackle different themes and ideas, including wine tastings, olive oil tastings, beer tastings, Spanish tapas night, among others! First, we wanted to bring you our input on the classic Cheese Tasting.

A few common questions we hear are, 1. How much cheese do I buy? and 2. What kinds of cheese should I buy?

For the amount of cheese, it depends on the type of party. If your cheese platter is the main dish for the evening, then plan on 3 pounds for 8 people, 6 pounds of 16 people, or 9 pounds for 24. If other items are on the menu, like bruschetta, fruit, desserts, or meatballs, go for 2-4 ounces per person. If you’re planning to have a full dinner either before or after cheeses are served, you can go even lower.

For types of cheeses, we recommend going for 5-6 varieties. Try for something aged (an aged gouda or aged cheddar), something soft (St. Andre, or any creamy brie), something firm (think parmesan, manchego, or mimolette), and something blue (Humbolt Fog, Valdeon, stilton). If you’re hosting cheese newbies, also include something familiar. New Zealand white cheddar, smoked gouda, mozzarella are all great options.

Once you have those bases covered, try throwing in something extra, like that red wine soaked cheese you keep eyeing at Whole Foods, the herbed goat cheese you love, or a rosemary crusted round of goat cheese.

Cheeses should be served around room temperature, not too warm and not too cold.

A great way to help educate your guests is by creating fun labels for each cheese. We love these curly bamboo picks. They have a perfect slot for a little tag telling you a little about the cheese.

Cheese pairs well with many different snacks. We recommend including all kinds of different things with your platter, like chutneys, nuts, dried figs, honey, apple slices (a gluten free option for crackers!), dates, apricots, olives, or cured meats. Even chocolate can be great with cheese, just try a little piece with some brie, and you’ll believe us. Try offering crackers and sliced breads for your guests! Have fun and mix it up!

As for beverage pairings, while many people serve wine with cheese tastings, we feel beer has a lot of potential, too! A nice, hoppy IPA or Pale Ale can cut through the fattiness of a cheese and leave your palate refreshed for the next taste.

One cheese we love around here is Toscano, an Italian sheep’s milk cheese with a nutty flavor. It goes great on salads or crackers! Midnight Moon is a goat’s milk cheddar. One bite of this and you’ll never buy the orange stuff at the grocery store again. Try it in a grilled cheese. Humbolt Fog is another cool cheese, combining the look of soft rind brie with veins of blue running through. It’s fantastic by itself, or spread on apple slices.

We hope we’ve inspired you to throw your own cheese tasting! If you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go make a grilled cheese, all this blogging makes us hungry!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here at Garden of Eating, we take St. Patrick’s Day very seriously. Truth be told, we love any holiday with its own distinct foods and flavors, so we’re bringing some new ideas to you for this year. We hope to inspire some new family favorites for the holiday!

Everyone knows the secret to great mashed potatoes is… BUTTER. Lots and lots of butter. But have you ever tried traditional Irish colcannon? It’s traditionally leftover mashed potatoes with leeks, cabbage, kale, or other greens. Here ar G.o.E., we like ours with peas, scallions, and a little crisp bacon.

Here’s a recipe we love for this most Irish of dishes.

Whiskey and St. Patrick’s day are a natural combination. Whiskey actually derives from a Gaelic word for “water,” so that should tell you about the importance of this liquor to the Irish and Scottish. We don’t think whiskey is just for drinking! We create a whiskey glaze for our corned beef. You can boil the corned beef until tender, remove from the pot (careful, it’ll be hot!) then brush with a glaze made from:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup whiskey (Irish, traditionally triple-distilled, is preferred. Don’t go using a peaty Islay Scotch for this!)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbls brown sugar
  • 2 tbls soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mustard

Put the roast into the oven or under the broiler until the glaze caramelizes. We promise you’ll want to add this to your family’s next St. Patrick’s Day. Why not give it a try this weekend!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Remember to drink responsibly, and always designate a driver!

Party Planning Tips

Hi Folks!

We’ve had some great events lately, and wanted to bring some thoughts on themes to you. Oftentimes, we’ve heard that our clients just don’t know where to start when it comes to finding great ideas for an event. One of our starting places is color, surprisingly enough!

The pink theme for this bat mitzvah really helped pull the buffet decor together. We incorporated a few shades of pink, red candles, and our own in-house floral centerpieces.

And at the same event, we did strawberry lemonade and fruit punch for the kids! This could be changed out for green and blue for a bar mitzvah, complete with limeade!

Using Parisian macaroons is a neat way to work with a theme color. Any baker would love to create different colors, including these gorgeous pistachio ones. They worked with the antique vases in the background.

The rust color for these linens inspired the country look for the centerpieces, including the mason jars for the flowers.

After seeing purple and poppy matched up, sunflowers and cream colored candles were an obvious choice for this buffet!

We hope that these examples have helped you with your next event, whether it’s a fun cocktail party for 20, or a wedding for 200!

Recent Events in 2013

Hi Folks!

We’ve had a few new and interesting events just in the last few months that we wanted to share.

We designed individual menu cards for each place setting for this globe-trotting wedding, which included Argentinian beef with Chimichurri sauce, and African marinated chicken skewers with saffron orzo. We did a family-style service at each table, which was a neat cross between the traditional buffet and seated service styles. 

We had another fun Bat Mitzvah, which called upon all of Ethan’s creative powers! 

For our signature events, we put extra effort into making each and every event unique and tailored to our clients’ wants and wishes, even if it’s haystacks, dinosaurs, or mermaids! Check out our Facebook page for even more ideas and pictures!