When working with Victoria Canada Weddings & Events and Tamara with Petal Pushers, we always know we are in for an adventure, and a treat. Recently faced with the task of planning a wedding themed around the iconic painting, The Son of Man by Rene Magritte, we were excited and intrigued. This unique vision came together into the most memorable event; one to talk about for years to come.
As guests entered the Phoenix Art Museum (where else could you honor such a painting so well?) they immediately knew what they were in for. The Santa Barbara Catering team, all dressed the part in red ties and top hats, greeted guests with a glass bubbly to start the night off right.
Once the lovely couple finished their ceremony in the lobby of the Museum, everyone was invited back to the reception. After picking up their favors (bowler hats for the men, apple green wraps for the women) guests were welcomed with more Champagne (can you ever have enough?), Apple Martinis and Hors D’oeuvres.
There was something for everyone at this reception. The selection included brie and green apple quesadillas with raspberry dipping sauce, tempura battered squash blossoms filled with goat cheese and corn (YUM), chicken caesar skewers, and Dungeness crab salad on edible spoons.
The party did not end there. After a heartfelt toast, food stations opened in every direction. Guests noshed on Rosemary Scented Shrimp over Creamy Parmesan Grits, Beef Tenderloin a top Gorgonzola Risotto, Squash and Ricotta Ravioli in Spinach Bisque and a table of favorite Cheeses, Hummus and more, served on a custom table made just for the occasion by Petal Pushers (it was so beautiful we didn’t want to put food on it!).
As the guests enjoyed a jazz quartet and took in the scenery the night continued to unfold around them. No wedding would be complete without a cake, but this one had a special touch, a table made of red ties and a cake stand made of pants!
Santa Barbara finished off the night with a few touches of our own- Chocolate Cheesecake Lollipops, Raspberry Shortcake and what else but Baby Caramel Green Apples.
Congrats to the happy couple, Ruth & Jay, and thank you to Victoria Canada, Petal Pushers, the Phoenix Art Museum and everyone else who helped to make such a creative vision come true!
At Santa Barbara Catering, we love nothing more than creating fun and unique food stations! For a special nonprofit gala approaching, we set out to create modern stations featuring a fresh take on classic American food favorites. The Tempe Center for the Arts, a contemporary venue, provided the perfect backdrop to display these creative concepts.
Soup & Salad Bar
A sleek, modern white bookcase was the perfect structure for this de-constructed soup and salad station. Instead of standard greens, guests had a choice of beautiful cucumber-wrapped romaine or lolla rosa. Guests selected from more traditional toppings such as cucumber, shaved carrots, and chopped tomato, or they could be a little more adventurous with kalamata olives, feta cheese, shaved apples, toasted pecans, and chickpeas. The selections were displayed in martinis, cosmos and other modern glass vessels. The custom gourmet salads looked more like mini works of art than a meal! This station was eye-catching and a fun twist on healthy favorites.
Next stop- Clam Chowder! In only a few steps guests created their very own soup.
Step 1 – start with creamy New England or Zesty Tomato Manhattan broth.
Step 2– add diced potatoes, diced carrots, and corn kernels sprinkled with herbs
Step 3 – top it off with fried clams, buttery sautéed onions and housemade oyster crackers
Step 4 – Enjoy!
After four easy steps guests were left with a personalized bowl of soup – now who can resist that?!
Food Bar- Not Your Ordinary Buffet
We decided to revamp the traditional buffet and instead created a large, interactive station. Chefs sautéed, grilled, seared, and designed a variety of beautiful small plates. Needless to say the Food Bar was a hit!
The dramatic infinity pool, striking fire features, and the brilliant blue lights of the Tempe Town Lake Bridge made for a breathtaking view from the TCA patio, but it was the gourmet plates at the food bar that kept the guests coming back all night! The stars of the night included pork belly sizzling on Himalayan salt blocks and finished with fig and honey gastric, chicken fried steak served with buttery mashed potatoes, open-faced Philly sandwiches prepared to order on large griddles, and grilled shrimp atop avocado-cucumber salad. The open-format of this station allowed guests to see all the action without having to wait in long lines.
There is nothing more all-American than a BBQ. Our final savory station was a combination of delicious fresh-from-the-grill favorites with a fabulous presentation. Flavorful mojito grilled chicken, sweet grilled pineapple, and colorful grilled peppers, purple onions and other veggies were displayed on skewer stands. Guests customized their plate by choosing their favorites among the fresh-from-the-grill meats, veggies, and fruits on the stands. The originality of the presentation and the flavor of the food made for a stand out skewer station!
All American Pies + Flaming Doughnuts
Favorite Pie Flavors + Cute And Easy-To-Eat Presentation + A Modern Tiered Display = The Perfect Dessert Station.
Popular pie flavors were paired with fun new presentations. Blueberry, Cherry and Apple Pie “Pops” were a bite sized versions of classic favorites. Red Velvet and Chocolate-Caramel Whoopie Pies were fun and delicious! Banana Cream, Chocolate Cream, Pecan, and Pumpkin Mini Pies kept guests coming back for more! These mini versions were easier to eat for guests mixing-and-mingling at the event, and allowed guests to sample more than just one flavor!
And for the grand finale there was Flaming Doughnuts! Yes you read right, FLAMING doughnuts! Oohs and aahs were heard in the crowd as Chefs flambéed housemade doughnuts. The flames lept off the pan and soared into the air! The doughnuts were then paired with vanilla gelato and a salted caramel sauce- a perfect flavor combination! It was the perfect end to a perfect event!
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.
“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.
“Well, I’ve never felt more like singin’ the blues” was the beginning words to the No. 1 chart hit written back in 1956 performed by Guy Mitchell. This song was on the top of the charts for thirteen straight weeks and become even more popular when Marty Robbins recorded a similar version that same year.
For the past two months, no one is singin’ the blues at The House at Secret Garden (Santa Barbara Catering Company’s sister property) since it started “Blues in the Barn,” a no cover charge event held every first Wednesday of the month, from 6-9 PM. Located in the property’s rustic Urban Barn, Paris James has been rockin the “house”, or should we say “barn” down, every month while patrons snack on pork sliders, cheese platters, and discounted bottles of wine while listening to the soulful sounds of Phoenix’s favorite bluesician.
Due to the popularity of the event, reservations are not accepted and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis in The Urban Barn.
The January performance was filled to capacity ten minutes after the doors opened. When a few guests found themselves arriving to late for a seat in the barn, they elected to enjoy dinner in The House prior to joining in on the musical festivities later that evening.
According to Co-owner Pat Christofolo, “Once the weather turns warmer, The House plans on expanding our Blues night onto the grounds surrounding the barn. We’re preparing for next month’s event now, and making plans to add additional seating so more guests can enjoy Paris’ great country-blues music.”
Details: First Wednesday’s of the Month
The Urban Barn
(Located behind the House at Secret Garden)
2501 E. Baseline Road
Phoenix, AZ 85042
602.243.8539 www.houseatsecretgarden info@houseatsecretgarden
Our sister company, The House at Secret Garden, has been making headlines with its scenic dining areas, creative drinks and eclectic dishes. With recent articles in The Arizona Republic, Arizona Foothills Magazine and a review by local restaurant critic, Michele Laudig of Phoenix New Times, curious diners have made their way to The House to experience what all the talk is about.
Laudig shared her thoughts on some of the heavier menu items with her readers: “I inhaled the housemade pasta one night, an excellent butternut squash ravioli with port demi-glace. The filling was like edible velvet. Almost as sensual was a heap of creamy Anson Mills grits topped with sautéed shrimp and sweet corn, with a hint of serrano chile kick.”
For those of you who think a lunch visit would be best, Laudig had this to say: “Both the grilled romaine (lightly smoky bunches of lettuce topped with feta and pickled red onions — enough to eat as an entrée) and the seasonal salad (mixed greens tossed with mint, Italian parsley, carrot, shaved fennel, paper-thin slices of watermelon radish, pistachios, and goat cheese) were slicked with delicately balanced vinaigrette that enhanced the stellar, just-picked tenderness of the greens. Consider me impressed.”
And impressed you will be when visiting the historic Spanish-style mansion with gigantic carob tree and candle lit patio for happy hour, dinner date or impressive business lunch.
International guests recently gathered at the Phoenix Art Museum for a delightful evening event catered by Santa Barbara Catering Company. Guests were greeted with a glass of champagne as they began the stunning evening which the Phoenix Art Museum and Santa Barbara teamed up to arrange. Those attending were directed to the museum’s Sculpture Garden as they dined on hand passed hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed the cool spring weather. The hors d’oeuvres menu included:
Squash Blossomsstuffed with Grilled Corn and Goat Cheese
Grilled Baby Lamb Chops served with a Cojita Cheese and Jalapeno Fondue
Local Tepary Bean Hummus a top Crisp Herbed Pastry Round topped with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Guests later moved into the Great Hall for an elegant dinner and festive, live music. Attendees dined at tastefully arranged tables; adorned by exquisite southwestern floral created by Petal Pushers floral. Dinner began with a plated citrus salad, which included a mixture of local greens and crisp romaine, along with a juniper berry dressing, fresh citrus sections, pumpkin seeds, and garnished with a ciabatta bread spear. The main menu presented a variety of dish choices consisting of:
Tenderloin of Beef with Anaheim Chilies and Leeks topped with a Roasted Shallot-Sage Sauce
Pan Seared Chicken Breast topped with Cilantro Beurre Blanc
Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash topped with Herbed Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce
All Entrees were accompanied with Summer Squash, Roasted Tomato, Roasted Asparagus & Southwestern Sweet Potato “Spears”
The entertainment was a lively, Latin band playing an eclectic mix of salsa, Merengue and Bachata.
The band integrated vocals, conga, trumpets, keyboards, drums, timbale, guitar and bass to put on an outstanding performance. Guests finished the evening in the Rineberg Gallery to view the museum’s unique collections. While enjoying the art, the attendees partook of a gourmet desert buffet including delectable items such as:
Layered Pumpkin Spiced White Chocolate Truffle Tortes topped with Pumpkin Brittle
Chestnut Cake “Pipettes,” Moist and delicious, these petite bites of gourmet cakes are displayed with mini pipettes filled with a perfectly a perfectly paired shot of Frangelico liqueur to exquisitely compliment the flavor of the cake
Chocolate Pot de Crème served in an Espresso Cup & garnished with a Mini Almond Cookie
Honey-Glazed Beignet “Doughnuts” served with an Ancho-Chocolate Sauce and Local Fruit Preserves
Santa Barbara is proud to announce that we have partnered up with Inspirador, in Historic Downtown Chandler, as the preferred caterer for their weddings and events. Inspirador is known for their unique and chic event planning ideas—making us the perfect duo for any event.
Santa Barbara has created three catering packages to suit any Inspirador wedding. The Delightful, Delicious and Decadent packages include hors d’oeuvres, buffet dinners, fun food stations and even a breakfast brunch option. These packages are ready to meet a bride’s every need.
Once a month, Inspirador hosts a themed open house. It’s the perfect opportunity for brides to check out the venue and sample some of Santa Barbara’s exquisite menu creations: Peach Almond Empanadas, Mini Tuscan Pizzas, Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta, Mini Brie en Croûte, Mini Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Desserts, and a Signature ‘mock’-tail of Bubbly with a Sweet Hibiscus Flower.
Also at Inspirador, The Inspiration Lounge is a complimentary shop and browse retail boutique showcasing a collection of event professionals for today’s bride, an aspiring hostess with the mostess, or a clever DIY party planner.
Inspirador is located at 63 E. Boston Street Chandler, AZ 85225. For more information you can visit them at www.inspirador.com
Santa Barbara Catering joined several wedding and event vendors at the Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens in North Phoenix for an event hosted by the Wedding and Event Network. The Boojum Tree is known for its exotic property, filled with tropical plants and multiple water features.
For the event, Santa Barbara Catering created a variety of dishes that could complement a diverse array of occasions. A trio of Roasted Garlic, Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Hummus, served with Tortilla Chips and Pita Crisps were presented first. The Hummus dishes were accompanied by beautifully arranged Farm-Fresh Vegetables, served with Pesto-Sour Cream Dip and accented with Fresh Herbs and assorted Olives.
Additionally, a gourmet Mac & Cheese “Martini” was tailored to each guest’s taste with the available combinations of Herbed Bread Crumbs, Bleu Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Green Chilies.