The annual Independent Women Luncheon held in Cummings Great Hall at Phoenix Art Museum on March 6, 2012 was a gorgeous event catered by Santa Barbara Catering Company, the exclusive daytime caterer to the museum.
Over 500 of Phoenix’s prominent business women gathered together for lunch, to hear a presentation by “A-list” designer Charlotte Moss, and to raise funds for the museum’s educational programs and exhibits.
The Valley’s most notable interior designers brought their personal flair and panache to the event by donating one-of-a-kind seasonally-inspired centerpieces. The room was overflowing with breathtaking design creations that were later purchased by the guests.
The sea foam green floor-length linens and raspberry colored napkins covering each of the 50 tables, served as the platform for the designers’ favorite colors. A profusion of shades, from ladylike pastel pink, pale violet lilac, soft lemon, to bright orange and mossy green adorned the distinctive centerpieces. Blooming orchids, roses, peonies, tulips, hydrangeas and hyacinths were the focal point at nearly every table. As guests viewed the parade of tables their attention turned to the finite elements of detail. Accent items incorporated into the showpieces included twigs, baskets, ribbons, boots, bunnies, eggs, dolls, candles, and in one case, Chanel handbags. Ironically, one item not permitted to be used was living “moss” due to the museum’s requirements of prohibiting plant materials.
Upon arrival, servers passed Champagne, white wine and sparkling water garnished with a lime pinwheel, to the guests as they visited in the Museum’s elegant Sculpture Garden.
Once seated, a French Niçoise Salad, composed of thirteen separate items, was preset at each place setting. The main course salad included: Lolla Rosa Bibb Lettuce, Perfectly Seared Ahi Tuna, Sliced Boiled Egg, Black Nicoise Olives, Watermelon Radishes, Grilled Potatoes, Haricot Verts, Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Orange Cauliflower, Roasted Purple Cauliflower, Persion Cucumbers, Roasted Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette served in a shot glass atop each plate. A freshly baked Gruyére Cheese Roll accompanied the salad.
Mini pink and white cakes were the perfect dessert accessory to accent the beautiful tables. Santa Barbara chefs created the chic Almond Cream Filled
White Cakes Topped with Raspberry Butter Cream and a Single Fresh Berry,
and Coconut Cream Filled White Cakes Topped with Butter Cream and Coconut.
Raspberry Iced Tea, White Wine and Organic Coffee were served tableside with
Charlotte Moss, whose luxurious decorating techniques and passionate design philosophy, mesmerized the audience with stories about the iconic women
designers who have influenced her graceful style. Traditional Home magazine considers Charlotte to be among the top twenty designers in the country. She is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, Veranda, Elle Décor, Traditional Home, and Architectural Digest. She has written seven books, and designed many collections of china, fabric, carpet, decorative accessories and home fragrance.
Guests were treated to a signed copy of the guest of honor’s newest book, “Charlotte Moss Decorates: The Art of Creating Elegant and Inspired Rooms.” This book, her seventh, contains over 200 photographs that offer the reader “quick doses” of decorating advice with recommendations for Moss’s favorite flowers and fragrances for the final flourish in creating the perfect room.
To ensure a successful program, Santa Barbara Catering incorporated an abundance of staff to flawlessly execute the event. Three separate serving stations were built surrounding the Great Hall, including an outdoor kitchen. Twenty chefs, numerous captains, 50 servers and additional support staff were engaged for the event. The plating of 13 separate items on the salad was a major undertaking. Every food item had a specific position on the plate that it demanded to be showcased. This is a glimpse of the assembly line of the Santa Barbara team who created this special meal:
The annual fundraising program was underwritten by My Sister’s Closet.
A special thanks to Darrylee Cohen of Haute Photographs (www.hautephotographs.com) for permission to use her beautiful photographs in this article.
Palette is the newly created restaurant at Phoenix Art Museum, operated by Santa Barbara Catering Company.
Pat Christofolo, President of SBCC, had this to say about the new venue that opened last fall:
“We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected to manage this popular dining spot at Phoenix Art Museum. Our team is in place, our local seasonally focused menu has been refined and we’re happy to provide museum visitors with an artfully delicious dining experience.”
Palette focuses on fresh, local, sustainable regional menu items that out-of-town visitors and museum guests alike, will be delighted to experience. This concept supports SBCC’s goal of showcasing Arizona farmers and producers.
Palette’s logo depicts a fresh and natural color graphic of four bowls of seasonally inspired-soup highlighted beside the name of the restaurant. This design can be interpreted as a play on the words “palate”, meaning a “sense of taste”, or viewed as “an artist’s palette of a pool of paint colors.”
• Truffled Wild Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese with Gruyere, Fontina & Buttered Bread Crumbs
• Seasonal Tart with Wilted Spinach, Mushrooms, Feta Cheese & Pesto. Served with Baby Lettuce Salad
• Angus Burger, Crispy Bacon, Pickled Red Onions, Aged Cheddar & Arugula. Served with Parmesan-Herb Fries
• Salmon Filet, Roasted with Lemon and Herbs, Local Vegetables, Arugula & Mustard Sage Vinaigrette
• Chocolate Brownies and Lemon Bars
Guests can choose to dine in the spacious dining room, outdoors on the Sculpture Garden Patio, or take-away a coffee and bakery items to enjoy later. Palette’s hours:
Wednesday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thursday–Saturday 11:00 am – 3:30 pm
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
First Fridays Special Events: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
• Fresh Spinach Benedict with Local Ham, Creamy Hollandaise & Roasted Vegetable Potato Hash
Brunch is served weekly on Sundays featuring an array of delicious breakfast, egg specialties and brunch items.
Palette offers something special the First Friday of every month. From wine tastings to pop-up dining with local chefs, guests are treated to a fun and interesting experience each month.
Palette proudly supports and appreciates Arizona farmers and producers for their dedicated efforts and commitment to sustainable methods. The restaurant exclusively features wines and beers made in Arizona. Visitors will find an array of local fare products from olives and oils, to homemade salsas, pastas, crackers and honey, all available for sale to enjoy at home.
Further details about the Fall/Winter Menu at Palette, including Sunday brunch, can be found on the website: www.PhxArt.org/Palette Reservations are not necessary, but can be made by calling 602 257 2191.
Palette is the third venue added to the family of restaurants that Santa Barbara Catering manages. The other popular local-fare focused restaurants include The Farm Kitchen at 32nd Street & Southern, and The House at Secret Garden at 25th Street and Baseline Road.
Santa Barbara Catering Company catered the 2011 First Crush Charity Gala on Friday, October 21, 2011 at Tempe Center for the Arts. Lauren Guthrie, President of the Tempe Community Action Agency Board, and Director of Sales & Event Production at Santa Barbara Catering Company had this to say about the successful fundraising event “Santa Barbara Catering is thrilled to be a Sponsor of TCAA’s First Crush Gala. This fabulous event raises valuable funds supporting the great work TCAA does in our community, and helping thousands of families every year!”
The profitable event drew over 250 attendees, and raised over $41,000 in funding for programs that help children, seniors, homeless individuals and working-poor families in Tempe.
The festive setting at Tempe Center for the Arts allowed guests to mingle and dine inside the Lobby, and outdoors on the North Patio beside the sparkling Reflecting Pool. The views of the newly-opened, brilliantly-blue Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge made the perfect backdrop to showcase this event.
Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge
Music was provided by renowned musician Alice Tatum and her Jazz band.
Alice Tatum Jazz Band
Guests were delighted with the menu featuring four food stations with ingredients inspired by Native American, Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, as well as a focus on local Arizona ingredients. Guests enjoyed:
- Pork, Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas made Tableside
- Dos Equis-Braised Beef Short Ribs and Poblano Whipped Potatoes Topped with Baby Arugula and a Dollop of Mexican Crèma
Sautéed Sweet Mexican Shrimp with Smoked Tomato Grits
- Sautéed Sweet Mexican Shrimp Served atop Smoked Tomato Grits and Petite Cilantro
Nopales Fritters with Chipotle Aioli
- Nopales (Cactus) Fritters Topped with Chipotle Aioli
- Sweet Potato & Green Chili Tamales with Ancho Braised Pork
- Sweet Corn Tamales with Queso Fresco
- Grilled Salmon Skewers with Lavender Butter Sauce
- Grilled Vegetable Platter, Finished With a Honey Glaze
- Local Tepary Bean Purée with Grilled Breads
Butternut Squash Soup Sips with Shredded Beef Empanadas
- Butternut Squash Soup Sips presented in Espresso Cups and Topped with Toasted Coriander and Crème Fraîche, and served with Shredded Beef Empanadas
- Local Citrus Fruit Salad including Tangerines, Tangelos, Oranges,
Grapefruit and Blood Oranges
Pecan, Brown Sugar and Sweet Potato Empanadas
Southwestern Dessert Minis:
- Pecan, Brown Sugar, and Sweet Potato Empanadas
- “Farmer’s Cheese” Organic Cheesecake Bites
- Tres Leches
- Caramel Pot De Crème
- Local-Date Cake
A very special thanks to the vendors who contributed to this event:
Alice Tatum Jazz Band
Aztec Specialty Produce
European Imports, Ltd.
Four Peaks Brewery
Pro Em Professional Event Management
For information about being a First Crush Event Sponsor or volunteering at the Tempe Community Action Agency:
Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA)
2150 E. Orange Street, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Telephone: 480 350 5822
“Modern Twist on a Garden Wedding” was the theme of a festive, floral-inspired
wedding held last month at two separate art galleries in Phoenix, all seamlessly
catered by Santa Barbara Catering Company.
The festivities began at the historical 1918-built Bentley Projects, a 22,000
square-foot venue with soaring bow-trussed ceilings and clerestory windows
located in downtown Phoenix. The bride and groom were married in front of a
custom backdrop featuring a Manzanita Tree, decorated with gorgeous hand-
After the ceremony, guests noshed on:
Raw Seasonal Vegetable Shooters Served with Pesto Sauce
Edible Porcelain Spoons filled with Spicy Tuna Tartare, Micro Arugula and Wasabi Aioli
Mini Panini’s served on a Baguette with Prosciutto, Soprassata and Fontina Cheese
Tempura Squash Blossoms Filled with Herbed Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts in a Broth of Roasted Tomato Sauce
Plus, an exquisite Fruit and Cheese display.
Favorite Mocktails included a Lemon-Mint Spritzer topped off with a floating candied orange chip.
And a Hand Squeezed Citrus Mintade Garnished with a Sweet Glazed Fresh Pansy Flower.
Guests were then shuttled up the street to the Phoenix Art Museum for the reception. As they entered the museum, they were greeted by a floral “wall” and uniquely showcased seating assignments nestled in fresh orchids.
Upon entering the Great Hall, guests were wowed by decked out twinkling white-lit trees, elegant tall floral bouquets, an array of vintage books, and modern leather lounge furniture surrounding an oversized dance floor.
The happy bride and groom took their turn on the dance floor enjoying their first dance as a newly married couple. Guests then enjoyed their first course:
A Favorite of Breanne & Chris; the Deconstructed Chopped Salad was Served with a shot of House Made Italian Vinaigrette.
Toasts were made, stories were shared, and four unique “small plate” food stations opened for the main course, giving guests the chance to sample favorites of the happy couple as they made their way around the Great Hall.
Herb Roasted Chicken Breast Served with Fingerling Potatoes and Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables in a Natural Jus
Open Faced Ravioli made with Herbed Semolina Pasta, Sautéed Spring Vegetables, Goat Cheese, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Arugula Pesto Sauce
Tenderloin of Beef with Whipped Potatoes and Wild Mushroom Sauce
Seasonal Station Creamed Corn Herbed Summer Risotto Roasted Tomatoes Grilled Asparagus with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Seasoned Sweet Potato Spears Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables with Olive Oil and Fresh Garlic
Guests ended the meal by dining on wedding cake, Mini Pies and of course a Chocolate Dipping Sauce for Petite Churros
The celebration continued throughout the evening with dancing and photo booth pictures (with wild props!) captured for cherished memories of the beautiful event.
This fabulous wedding was made possible by the dedication and talents of many vendors, including:
Wedding Coordinator & Event Décor: Victoria Canada Weddings & Events
Ceremony Venue: Bentley Projects
Reception Venue: Phoenix Art Museum
Florist: Petal Pusher
Photography: Melissa Jill Photography
Linens: Wildflower Linen
Make-up: Corinna Cooke
Cake: Sedona Cake Couture
Calligraphy: Jennifer Schmitt Calligraphy
Programs: Celebrations in Paper
Ceremony Music: String Serenade
DJ: Desert House Productions
Guest Transportation; Ollie the Trolley
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Videographer: Bright Bokeh
Catering: Santa Barbara Catering Company
We were happy to be invited to join the Agave on the Rocks Event again this year at the Desert Botanical Garden. The 2011 theme was Southwestern and Mexican dishes. Guests were greeted with specialty margaritas as they entered and visited all of the different booths. Everyone brushed up on their salsa dancing skills with Latin-inspired music and a special performance by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. We loved coming up with our booth’s concept and also debuted some of our new marketing strategies!
This year’s station featured stone ground corn hotcakes topped with spicy white bean dip, adobe pulled pork and roasted corn relish. Guests watched on as our chef’s flipped hotcakes and topped them off to order.
The SBCC team got into the spirit wearing custom made menu t-shirts that read “Hotcakes!!!” and “Chocolate, mmmm” as they passed out food to the 1400 attendees. (From left to right, Jake, Nicole, Melissan, Steve)
Amazing seasonal and local vegetable arrangements were the perfect touch to our station this year. Thank you to Tamara Noack from Petal Pushers for donating the beautiful arrangements.
Produce was locally sourced from Mclendon’s Select Farmers Market and handpicked by our owner, Pat. We were even able to use the produce after the event!
Voted “#1 Caterer” By Ranking Arizona, there were lots of brochures and goodies for guests to read as they awaited their delicious food.
You have never seen anything like this before! Steve and Jake took turns passing out chocolate Churros while wearing this custom “balloon backpack” where a giant illuminated balloon seemed to magically float above the guests.
People got a riot out of chasing down the “Churro Men” with the big SBCC logo balloon lighting the sky wherever they went.
Over 70 students from Sullivan University’s Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry Arts programs were in town last month, and were fortunate to spend a half-day touring South Phoenix’s historical Farm at South Mountain. The Kentucky based University students got to talk with the property’s business owners about the impact of sustainability in an urban community.
When Pat Christofolo, owner of Santa Barbara Catering Company, and operator of The Farm at South Mountain, learned the students were visiting the area, she saw the opportunity to help them discover more about urban agriculture, what it takes to manage a small family farm, and how chefs support farm-to-table locally produced products.
The sunny afternoon began with The Farm’s owner, Wayne Smith, sharing the story of how The Farm at South Mountain, 32nd Street and Southern, Phoenix, was originally developed. The students learned that the 12-acre organic, sustainable oasis sitting in the heart of Phoenix was first conceived by Dwight Heard, benefactor of the famous Heard Museum, in the 1920’s. Smith shared that Heard, a real estate investor, had the vision to subdivide the property into two-acre parcels which he sold for $1,150 each. With each purchase, the new owners received a cow and fifty chickens to provide sustenance and continual food sources. Smith continues to preserve the rural tranquility and vision of sustainability by offering independently owned small businesses the ability to contribute to the cultural, educational, restorative and economic environment of this historic property.
A buffet lunch, created by The Farm Kitchen (owned by Santa Barbara Catering Company), was served on the patio of Morning Glory Café. Delicious local, seasonal fare was featured on the menu.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
The students were delighted to hear from Chef Greg LaPrad, Executive Chef at Quiessence Restaurant. Chef Greg is well recognized for his culinary philosophy dedicated to serving the best food products that Arizona has to offer. He uses traditional culinary techniques in his cuisine, such as creating handmade charcuterie, and focusing on daily menu creations inspired by the season’s best products. His menu includes items from his favorite suppliers of Arizona wines, olives, pork, beef and produce. He talked about the challenges involved with committing to this practice while operating his successful restaurant.
Phoenix’s Most Famous Farmer, Maya Dailey, took the students on a tour of her beautiful gardens and discussed the steps she takes to develop specialty produce products to meet the desires of local Phoenix chefs, who now support her unique garden varietals on their menus.
The students wrapped up the afternoon by touring the Farm’s other small businesses including Square Food Academy, The Artists Studio, The Retreat and the Cactus Greenhouse.
Summing up the afternoon to a fellow attendee, we overheard one of the culinary student’s share his take on the day’s activities. “What a great session! I have a much better understanding of the connection to what I create in the kitchen to the links between farming, food, health and the local economy.”
The Farm at South Mountain was delighted to offer this unique experience to help educate tomorrow’s future chefs and culinary leaders about the importance of sustainability practices.
Each year the Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) gives the Barbara Norton Service in Action Award to one outstanding individual who gives with his or her heart and goes above and beyond the call of duty to address the needs of others in our community. Here at Santa Barbara Catering, we are honored that our owner, Pat Christofolo received this year’s award.
The TCAA has formed many programs to assist low-income and fixed-income families in the community. They have recognized Pat for her continual advocacy and contribution to the programs, people and areas of need in the city of Tempe.
Every year, TCAA hosts a fundraiser called the First Crush Charity Gala with gourmet food stations for guests, live music and silent auction. Pat graciously donates the food, linens, and decor every year for the fundraiser. She also assists with event coordination, securing a full donation of tables, chairs, lighting and other rentals for the event. Additionally, Santa Barbara Catering donates food each year to the I-HELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program) program through TCAA for the homeless. This program strives to provide lodging and comfort for those without shelter and supplies this to an average of 30 homeless people a night, seven nights a week. Pat has been a major contributor to this program.
In addition to donating food to TCAA, Pat was president of the board of the Tempe Community Action Agency. Her efforts have been an integral part of the TCAA, as well as the Tempe community in general.
Please join us in congratulating Pat. It is an honor to work with her. She is truly deserving of such a special award.
Santa Barbara Catering Company has once again been chosen by Banner Hospitals to be the catering company for Banner’s grand opening event for their newest hospital. Banner Ironwood is a state-of-the-art facility located in gorgeous Queen Creek, Arizona and serving many residents all around the East Valley. Banner Ironwood is not only a full service medical facility but features a calming modern design, making it the premier healthcare facility in Queen Creek.
Serving over 3000 people for this event, Santa Barbara Catering Company has proven itself once again to be the Valley’s premier catering company. This is the second year in a row that Banner Hospitals has selected Santa Barbara. This event was almost a daily occurrence in the month of October, and every day we made sure to create a new and exciting experience for our guests. We are grateful for the main tent that Tri Rentals donated which was set up in the parking lot to help accommodate many of the events. We appreciate their support.
Below is the outstanding menu, created for 3000 people at the Banner Ironwood event, to both stimulate all palates and cater to the health conscious.
Light & Fresh, Dips & Chips Pita Crisps, Tortilla Chips, Garlic Toast Rounds and Bountiful Display of Seasonal Raw Vegetables Served with Roasted Garlic Hummus, Red Pepper Hummus, Garden Vegetable Salsa and Sun Dried Tomato Dip
The Great American Chili Cook-Off Light House Made Turkey Chili Slow Cooked and Seasoned to Perfection Served with Crusty Breads Guests to Top it off with Scallions and Cheddar Cheese for a Little Extra Kick
Custom Yogurt Parfaits The Ice Cream Sundae for Health Nuts Start with Your Favorite Flavor of Yogurt And Top it off with Your Choice of Chopped Nuts, Coconut, Granola, and Diced Fresh Fruit
Sensational! Chef’s Choice of Assorted Cookies and Brownies Bites Sweet, Sweet, Sweet….
October was an extremely busy month for Santa Barbara Catering, with the major theme for all of the Banner events focused on health conscious food choices, prepared right on site. Not only did Santa Barbara cater the grand opening of the new hospital, but they also catered an employee family night for over 700 people. Orientation and team building was another successful event with over 400 people to serve; and another was the dedication which hosted over 500 people. Along with these large events, there were also smaller luncheons and meetings that were catered. Leave it to Santa Barbara Catering to take on any size event and have everyone talking about the top quality service and cuisine for years to come.
You’ll be hard pressed in this day and age to find a sizeable group of people without food allergies. As people’s knowledge of food allergies becomes more prevalent, the food service industry is working towards solutions to accommodate clients while still impressing them. Serving a plate of raw vegetables is no longer an acceptable solution, and Santa Barbara Catering is up for the challenge.
Personally, having a gluten allergy, I am all too familiar with the struggles that people with food allergies face and how important it is for food purveyors to be knowledgeable about food allergies and the food they are serving to ensure that it is safe for guests.
Recently at the Phoenix Art Museum, Santa Barbara Catering executed a wedding for over 200 people where the fare was 100% gluten free. In addition, we catered to lactose allergies, onion allergies, peanut allergies and a variety of other individual dietary restrictions at the event.
As the bride and her family had severe gluten allergies, they wanted to make sure that they would be safe to eat the food at the wedding but also wanted to show people how delicious gluten free food can be. And delicious it was!
The menu contained a variety of indulgent treats to entice guests from start to finish. The event started with hand passed appetizers such as:
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Served with Hazelnut Pesto
Beef Short Ribs Risotto Cake Served with Sweet Potato Risotto and
Chipotle Braised Beef Short Ribs
Spicy Cold Clear Tomato and Crab Gazpacho With Diced Avocado
Brie and Green Apple Quesadilla With Raspberry Dipping Sauce
Fingerling Potatoes Roasted in Rosemary and Olive Oil
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Grilled Summer Vegetables Seasoned to Perfection
The meal did not end there. In addition to a gluten free wedding cake, guests were invited to sample chocolate mousse, pistachio crème brulee and were even surprised at the end of the night with late night munchies including:
Quesadilla with Corn Tortilla with Salsa & Sour cream
Gluten Free Mac & Cheese
French Fries Served with Ketchup, Ranch and Mayo
Given the array of the menu, maybe eating gluten free isn’t so bad after all?
-Blog post written by Executive Event Manager, Melissan Falcone
When we learned Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman had previously been in the catering business, we worked with Hallman and members of Tempe’s City Council to put on an event that would give back to the community.
On June 9th our employees and their families met at the Community Christian Church to help serve dinner to those in need through IHELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program). Helping to serve the food from the Tempe City Council were Vice Mayor Shana Ellis, Councilmember Corey Woods, Councilmember Joel Navarro and his children, and Assistant City Manager Jeff Kulaga.
While many people leave the Valley of the Sun during summer months, the need for food, water and cool shelter still exists for the area’s less fortunate. The summer climate can be deadly for those who are in need.
Tempe Community Action Agency’s IHELP program provides lodging and comfort for an average of 30 homeless people in the community at different faith-based locations each night. Dinner and overnight shelter is provided seven nights per week.
Our executive chef Lex Heijiligers prepared a barbeque-themed meal, which included St. Louis-style BBQ ribs and chicken, jicama coleslaw, homemade red potato salad with apple cider-bacon dressing, corn cob bites, ranchero beans slow-cooked with Southwest spices and herbs, freshly-baked corn bread and Granny Smith cinnamon-apple cobbler with streusel topping and vanilla ice cream.
The IHELP dinner was a great success! Our employees and their family members were excited to have this opportunity to reach out and help those in need in Tempe. We appreciated the opportunity to volunteer, and we look forward to partnering with IHELP and TCAA again soon.