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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Grace Street Catering Luncheon

How gorgeous is this? When I was invited to a luncheon at Grace Street Catering I can honestly say I wasn't expecting such a treat! Rather then an industry colleague I felt like a real guest. Founder Erin McKinney has created a full service catering company where brides and grooms can select their food, cake, flowers, rentals and more.

Upon my arrival I was immediately offered this hibiscus juice libation made on site.

My favorite hors d'oeuvre was this calamari on a crisp plantain chip.

If you want to entertain your guests with a really unique service, have you considered custom poetry? Mark Lynch of Éclat greeted each guest and chatted with us for just a minute or two. Shortly after, we were presented with a custom poem written for each of us.

No detail was too small. Each black chiavari chair was decorated with a fresh, ruffled, Gerbera Daisy in a tiny bucket on the back with a bright yellow ribbon.

This is a new location for Grace Street Catering. They had been at their former address for 22 years and only this January moved into the historic Oakland Cable Car repair barn built in 1891. The building was perfectly suited to accommodate not only the dining area you see above but extensive food prep and kitchen areas, storage of their place settings and serving dishes, linens, chiavari chairs, an in house floral department and an indoor loading dock. 

After a tour of their new facility we were treated to lunch... What did we have? Glad you asked :)

Green Almond and Grape Gazpacho soup. This was sooooooooo delicious! I swear I could have had a pint. It was light and tart and such a surprise. I'd never heard of grape soup before and am willing to guess most of you haven't either.

Our main course: Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Creamy Polenta and Haricot Vert Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

Even the bread was fancy. No simple slices of sourdough and wheat. There were freshly baked poppyseed, buttermilk and parmesan cheese biscuits. And no square butter pats, the butter was formed into mini tiered wedding cakes.

This space is so gorgeous that it was no surprise to me to learn that clients have already begun inquiring if they can rent the reception, area where we dined, to host their rehearsal dinners on location. There is plenty of room for the dining tables and still have plenty of space to hold a cocktail hour.

Oooooh YAY! Dessert was not only scrumptious but adorable too.

The Spring Trio consisted of: Strawberry Mousse, Strawberry Lemon-Poppyseed Cake and a Chocolate Tartlette. I'm not sure which was my favorite. They were all so good in their own way. The Mousse tasted so strawberryie (sp?), the Lemon-Poppyseed Cake was soft and moist. And the chocolate... You all know how much I love chocolate!

One of the kitchens where the magic happens.

Here Chef Arik Markus and Pastry Chef Nancy Vittoria-Jess were thanked with a round of applause for the fabulous lunch they created for us.

There were beautiful flowers everywhere designed by Rhonda Stoffel, lead floral designer at Grace Street. Her resume is impressive. In the past Rhonda has worked for some of San Francisco's top floral and event design companies. Now she is the principle designer creating her gorgeous arrangements for Bay Area brides and grooms. 

On my way out I was able to take this photo of just some of the team at Grace Street Catering: Jessica Rampel, Rhonda Stoffel, Bill Pierce

As if lunch wasn't enough of a treat, there were gift boxes for all who attended.
As soon as I untied the ribbon and lifted the lid this little bee popped up to greet me. So cute! Totally made me smile, as did the bag of cookies, Blue Chair Jam and the gorgeous pictures in the mini photo album all tucked inside.
What a great way to market your product!

While dining, Bill told me that they were recently hired to create a vegan reception this year. Completely undaunted by this special request the staff came up with not one vegan cake flavor option but 3 for the bride and groom to choose from! I love to hear about companies who understand the importance of a client's needs and are not only open to challenges, they embrace them wholeheartedly.

Many thanks to Erin McKinney and his wonderful team at Grace Street Catering for the lovely afternoon. I'm certain the brides and grooms who find their way to their new location are in for a real treat.


  1. Mary Jo Bowling, Cyndi Connors, Mollie Allick and Erin Egleston from San Francisco Brides could not agree more! We had an amazing time and are still talking about that soup!

  2. The food looked great and I just love the yellow and black color scheme! What a delightful luncheon! :)

  3. That food looked wonderful, I'm drooling right now.


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