Two special holidays are coming up soon, Easter on Sunday, April 8, and Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13. Why not give your mom a break from the kitchen by reserving a table at either of the outdoor brunch celebrations for these occasions at The Farm at South Mountain? Then, spend time with your family exploring the farm grounds and lounging or playing under the pecan trees.
The Farm’s 12-acre pecan grove will be decked out with festive floral-decorated picnic tables, a delectable buffet brunch, and an appearance by the Easter Bunny on April 8th. Always a popular attraction, catered by Santa Barbara Catering Company, this year’s Easter event offers ten separate seating times beginning at 9:00 a.m. through 12:15 p.m.
Menu offerings on Easter Sunday include an extensive buffet with Freshly Baked Pastries, Fresh Salads, Farm Style Scrambled Eggs, Pecan Honey Glazed French Toast, Country Potatoes & More! And Easter wouldn’t be complete without an assortment of Baked Goods and Candy such as Carrot Cupcakes, Pecan Diamonds, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Short Bread Cookies.
For Mother’s Day, guests can choose from an array of food stations including an Omelet Station with customized Meat, Cheese and Vegetable fillings, to a Pastry Station featuring assorted breads and sweets. The main buffet offers a selection of Salads, Quiche, Pecan French Toast, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Potatoes and more! The grand finale, and a favorite of all families, is the Dessert Station brimming with a delicious array of treats!
The Farm at South Mountain is located at 32nd Street and Southern in Phoenix. Call (480) 471-5224 to reserve your table for Easter today! Please Note that cancellations will not be accepted after Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 for this event. All seating for these special events will be held outdoors, so remember to dress accordingly.
Check back for more details and reservation information for Mother’s Day after Easter!
[Republished with permission of McClendon's Select, 2/13/12]
In the past I have worked for Fortune 500s, government agencies, national charities and local 501c3s, but there is nothing quite like working with your family. Having a family business means everyone has to pitch in, that weekends and national holidays don’t always mean a day off, that you had better learn new skills fast, and that job titles don’t mean much, since everyone has their name on the door. It is a blessing that I count daily. It is also not for the faint of heart.
Pat Christofolo is someone who understands this all too well. She grew up working for her family and has carried that tradition onward. She is a legend in the Valley, but while restaurants and catering may be her business, it is family that is her life’s calling.
First and foremost, can I share that Pat greets you like a long-lost friend, even if you are newly introduced. She did the first time I met her and she still does. She welcomes with a hug, not just a hello. She wastes no time offering you a seat, something to drink, asks if the temperature is okay. That is just who Pat is. She wants to make sure that you are served, comfortable and at home. No wonder she has been in the business of serving people since the early 70′s.
Pat comes from a family of restauranteurs. Her father opened up the Italian deli Capistrano’s in Tempe in 1974. Pat started out by going in to work with her Dad every day. She watched her father give up a lot to start the business, but she also learned how customers respond when you give them what they are wanting. The deli was renowned for its hand-made foods and for delicacies in from New York that you couldn’t find elsewhere in the Valley. The work was hard, but gratifying and she says this exposure to the family business early in her life has shaped her family and own businesses as an adult.
By the early 1980′s Pat was a new mother and was looking to create a business that worked for her and her young son, Dustin. She started a sandwich shop, Out to Lunch, and then another and another. After a decade, she sold the business and ventured into catering. It has by chance that she was called for her first catering job when a law firm called wanting an omelette bar for an event they were holding. She started Santa Barbara Catering as a result. But the difference between a restaurant and catering weren’t lost on her, and Pat got involved with the International Caterers Association looking to learn more about trends, food styling, and how to build her business. She now serves as their President Elect. Her success did not go unnoticed. In 1997, Wayne Smith, the owner of the Farm at South Mountain, asked Pat to take over the Farm Kitchen. She then went on to start Quiessence and the Morning Glory cafe. Chef Greg LaPrad is now at the helm in those kitchens and Pat continues to run both Santa Barbara Catering and the Farm Kitchen. She is not one to sit still.
In the past year and a half she went into business with family once again. This time with her son Dustin, opening the House at Secret Garden.
She and Dustin have always been very close. They were bonded in a way that only a family that does business together can understand. It was very much shaped by the relationship Pat had with her own family growing up with their restaurant. She had watched Dustin in the kitchen over the years and saw how natural it was for him. She saw his attention to detail, his thoughtfulness about the food he was preparing, and importantly in the restaurant business, his palate and understanding of flavors. Her son has the same spirit and passion for preparing and creating good food that she saw in her father and herself. As any good mom, and business owner would, Pat made sure that if Dustin was serious about cooking that he learn the business. He worked in the front of the house at Quiessence and then went on to culinary school at the French Culinary Institute in New York and then in Italy. I wrote once about Dustin and what he is doing at House at Secret Garden. His years of growing in the family business have certainly served him as well. The culinary talent in that family is inherent. (You can read that post about Dustin and the House at Secret Garden here.)
Pat has always been passionate about cooking seasonally. She shares this with Dustin too. As a caterer she knows that to serve foods in season, means planning in advance. With events being planned sometimes up to 18 months in advance, Pat has taken care to educate her staff on what foods are in season throughout the year, so they can help their clients plan accordingly. She has seen the shift in customers education and passion about eating seasonally and having organic, local produce served. Pat was the first caterer in town to change to greener, more environmentally-friendly paper products. She says that it is not acceptable to not be interested in where your food comes from, or how it is grown.
Pat’s newest venture is Palette, the cafe at the Phoenix Art Museum. Just looking at the menu makes me hungry. Once again, Pat has taken her love of good food, her years of experience and her dedication to fresh, simple flavors and created an outstanding menu. Truffled wild mushroom macaroni and cheese alone is worth a trip to check it out. The Farmer’s Market Omelet on their brunch menu is another I want to investigate. It comes as no surprise that Pat has been able to turn a museum cafe into a destination dining spot. Palette is open during the day Wednesday thru Sundays and on First Fridays for evening events. Palette offers catering for special events at the museum from Santa Barbara Catering. If you are looking for a caterer somewhere else, Pat’s Santa Barbara Catering is the preferred caterer for many of the top event venues all over town. Just thinking about all she does is exhausting. I am not sure where she finds the time or energy, because Pat clearly gives every venture 100% of herself.
This past fall, Sean and I were invited to enjoy a evening at the House at Secret Garden for a dinner honoring local food producers. It was a beautiful evening with a fun mix of people who share our same passion for producing and enjoying good food. With Dustin’s incredible dishes coming out course after course, and Pat’s perfect touch for bringing people and food together, it was an evening we are still talking about. Pillsbury Winery, Crow’s Dairy, Hickman’s Family Farm, Black Mesa Ranch, The Meat Shop, Queen Creek Olive Mill were but a few of our dinner companions. If you wanted to know where local food comes from, it was all around the tables inside the Secret Garden’s Urban Barn. And like us, these businesses are not just local, many are also family ventures. Which made it all the more fitting that it was Pat at the head of the table, where the matriarch of Valley dining should sit.
To read more the evening, you can find the article The Arizona Republic wrote here. All photos courtesy of Santa Barbara Catering.
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.
One of SBCC’s favorite events to be a part of in the valley is serving as partner and official wedding caterer of The Farm at South Mountain. For those of you who haven’t been to The Farm, we highly suggest you make it your next outing. The serene property is set on 12-acres of grass lawns lined with canopies of pecan trees, creating a truly picturesque fairytale setting. This historical land has been carefully nurtured and kept pristine since the 1920s, and the organic gardens elucidate the main focuses of The Farm: tranquility and sustainability. Being an outdoor venue, the lush setting gives any event that beautiful garden-party charm. Clearly we can’t get enough of this organic oasis, which is why we are passionate about creating delicious menus for their spectacular wedding events.
We recently got the inside scoop from our friends at The Farm and learned they have one time slot still available for booking on one of the most desired dates of the year: October 10, 2010. Brides-to-be, you’re in luck! 10/10/10 is an incredibly highly sought-after date to get married for a few reasons.
The number 10 represents total perfection. Many brides believe having a wedding on the 10th is good luck for the wedding to run smoothly and for the marriage to run forever.
Furthermore, the number 10 three times in a row represents perfection all around – the perfect 10 wedding! Aside from the having the date that your guests will never forget, couples can rest assure that everyone will be able to attend. The Monday after October 10th is Columbus Day, so most friends and family members will have the day off and ready to celebrate a long weekend.
There are endless possibilities for styling save-the-dates, invites, and monogrammed wedding favors around 10-10-10. Of course, getting married at 10:10 AM at The Farm (warmly named “The Valley’s Favorite Escape”) will make the wedding even more memorable, and an absolutely Perfect 10.
For morning weddings such as this, the Wedding Brunch Buffet is one of our most requested menus. It features a collection of gourmet breakfast and lunch dishes that range from light to more indulgent. First, guests may enjoy an assortment of breakfast breads, bagels, pastries, or a bakery basket. Some favorite items include cheddar-chive biscuits, blueberry-almond coffee cake muffins, and glazed orange cakes served with whipped butter and homemade blueberry-ginger preserves. For the main entrée, popular choices include Poached Salmon served with grilled asparagus and lemon-mustard dressing; Chicken Panini with wild mushrooms and brie cheese; or the Breakfast Scramble made with farm fresh eggs, goat cheese, red onion, and zucchini. Side options include a fresh fruit trifle made with the season’s freshest fruits, a vegetable caponata, and many more fresh and delicious choices.
Learn more about weddings at The Farm at South Mountain online or call The Farm at (602) 243-9081 to book your Perfect 10 wedding.
Healthy eating and sustainable foods were among the topics discussed by the Arizona Chapter of the International Special Events Society at its inspiring meeting this month. Arizona’s professionals gathered to relax, enjoy delicious food and discuss personal balance. Santa Barbara Catering was happy to share its exquisitely made cuisine while industry peers gathered and discussed sustainable living, time management and healthy cooking.
Santa Barbara’s fare truly highlighted the healthy eating discussions with dishes such as Lemon Parmesan Chicken Skewers with Garlic, Baked Brie en Croûte with Apricot Preserves, and fresh cheese and fruit platters—perfect examples of why Santa Barbara was the right choice for the ISES meeting.
We at Santa Barbara pride ourselves in providing innovative and delicious cuisine with our clients’ goals always in mind and are glad to have done this at the ISES meeting.
The night was sensational. The combination of The Farm at South Mountain’s peaceful surroundings and Santa Barbara’s delightful fare provided both a serene atmosphere and tasty delights.
The Farm at South Moutain and Santa Barbara Catering Company hosts Where Magazine's gala awards
Hundreds of Arizona’s top concierges, managers and travel industry members from the state’s elite resorts, hotels and publications will gather under the glittering Pecan Grove canopy of The Farm at South Mountain for Where Magazine’s Silver Plume Awards.
On Sunday, November 15th, Where Magazine will honor the Valley of the Sun Concierge Network with its annual Silver Plume Awards to acknowledge the industry’s Concierge of the Year, the top Up and Coming Concierge, the Anna Snider Distinguished Service Concierge and the General Manager of the Year Award.
As a major partners and sponsors, Santa Barbara Catering Company and The Farm at South Mountain will host, manage and cater the gala event. Chef Gregory LaPrad of Quiessence Restaurant will kick off the event with fall-inspired hors d’oeuvres during a cocktail reception. Next, Santa Barbara Catering Company will serve a rustic multi-course farm dinner showcasing the season’s bounty.
“Santa Barbara Catering has an established reputation for its pristine cuisine, over the top events and ultimate care for guests,” said Sarah Green, Where Magazine’s marketing manager. “That’s exactly what this event is meant to celebrate.”
Invitations to the Silver Plume Awards were distributed exclusively by Where Magazine. The Farm at South Mountain is one of the Valley’s top event venues for weddings, corporate events, company picnics or gala dinners.
The 12-acre oasis features rows of grass lawns and a canopy of historic pecan trees that provide a pastoral setting for casual afternoon lunches from the Farm Kitchen, or an exciting outdoor venue for large events.