A Day in the Field with Feel Good Foods Catering

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Getting to work with Feel Good Foods Catering is the best of both worlds. You have an amazing caterer who cares about doing a great job at your event and then the caliber of their food is the highest quality available, Seasonal, organic and delicious! As a planner you’re always trying to capture the essence of your event in whatever shots you have time to take. It’s difficult to get the photos you’d like while you’re working so I asked Owners of Feel Foods Catering, Amy Padilla and Heidi Schlect if I could come photograph behind the scenes at one of their weddings and they said yes!

Feel Good Foods has a great client base so no matter where the event is, it’s always a place you are happy to visit. This wedding was at Rancho Soquel; a stunning, outside venue up old San Jose Road near Soquel, California. When I arrived, Feel Good Foods was busy prepping food for the reception. My absolute favorite is always the cheese platters. Imagine you’ve transported your fantasy cheese shop into a bucolic location. Their work area is surrounded by fresh flowers, lavender and baskets of grape leaves picked from Heidi’s vineyard. Wooden platters are overflowing with seasonal berries, crudités, jams, savory sauces and then of course the cheese! From the Cowgirl Creamery in Pt Reyes Station to Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles, the California cheese scene is well represented!

Next on the menu I was able to sample the appetizers being passed. I was delighted by the El Salchichero Bacon wrapped dates with Pt Reyes Bay Blue Cheese. The perfect mixture of sweet and salty! And not to be forgotten, the Ahi Poke with Avocado and Sesame on Fried Wontons and Toasted Nori. At this point I had to see what was being served up at the bar. Before even trying the Plumline Santa Rosa Plum with Basil, Lime and Vodka Signature Cocktail I had to take several photos of this gorgeous drink. With its pink hue and sprig of basil it was picture perfect and delicious as well! Heidi Schlect’s labor of love, Plumline, is a company that works with the finest, local, organic fruit to make jams, preserves, compotes, sauces, and more. Plumline provided the Santa Rosa Plum for the signature cocktail and many of the jams that were served with the cheese.

Feeling refreshed by the signature cocktail I headed to the main kitchen to see about dinner. Feel Good Foods is inspired by the Slow Food movement. They prepare their food fresh at the venue using the best ingredients on the market. They care about the journey their food takes starting with the farms that their produce and meat come from to composting all leftover food that is unable to be used. It takes some extra work on their part but I’ve always admired their care for the environment. It’s also pretty amazing to see a full kitchen set up in a meadow and watch everything being prepared. To my delight there were food vignettes on each prep table. There’s a mix of contrasts and flavors everywhere you looked, sliced blood oranges, chive blossoms and bowls of chimichuri for garnish. The dinner was family style and to do it right it takes some orchestration, which is not a problem for Feel Good Foods. The guests were treated to: Sweet Lettuce Salad, Gayle’s fresh Bread, Grilled Swordfish, Porcini rubbed Tri-Tip with Chimichurri, Asparagus with Blood Oranges and Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash. All delicious! (See the above menu for full description) Part of what is so satisfying to work with Heidi and Amy is the positive feedback from the guests. People are thrilled to eat such a wonderfully presented dinner that is so tasty! I stepped out before dessert was served but was able to admire the pretty dessert and coffee display before I left. My thanks goes out to Heidi and Amy for letting me capture a slice of what they do. If you ever need an event catered definitely get in touch with Feel Good Foods Catering!

Some helpful tips from Feel Food Foods when looking for a caterer:

-Ask for what is in season so you get the best tasting produce.
-Ask if the caterer does some on site food prep to ensure freshness.  For example: cooking dinner off just before service, preparing salads and cooking off pasta on site.
-Look for good serving staff to guest ratio. We like to staff 1 server per 12-15 guests to ensure great service.
-Let caterer know of any family favorite dishes, or make custom requests.
-Stick to one theme at dinner, but feel free to make the appetizer hour more eclectic and mix cuisines a bit.
-Have signature cocktails using in season fruit, berries or stone fruit in spring/summer and citrus in the winter.