Sunday, May 23, 2010

Catering a Teenaged Fiesta

My little sister called me up a few weeks ago and asked if I'd cater her high school yearbook staff party. I thought, sure, why not - 35 kids, mexican-ish food for a bunch of Southern Californians, unsurpassed access to inexpensive, fresh, "seasonal" produce. Tomatoes, avocados, and citrus in May? Almost enough to make me think twice about swearing I'll never move back to the Southwest. Almost.

Some of my ingredients were incredibly local - the lemons were from my parents' back yard, and most everything else from the local ethnic stores, Middle Eastern markets and latino supermercados catering the diverse population of Los Angeles. That's not to say these kids were necessarily discerning foodies - I provided both lime crema and plain ol' sour cream, cotija and cheddar, pork chili verde and grilled chicken, fresh pico de gallo and salsa from the jar, shredded iceberg lettuce and pickled jalepenos.

Plenty of goods for the vegetarians - my trademark butternut squash and corn enchiladas, yummy black beans and spicy Spanish rice. For desert, pan dulces, cherries, berries, and watermelon. My little sister even mixed up some mock-margaritas, while parents and I sipped on not-so-mock cocktails in order to drown out the shouting of thirty seventeen-year-olds playing Apples to Apples.

No, the food wasn't super authentic, but everyone had fun, my dad got to man the grill, and I got to munch on a few hard-edged tortilla chips before getting my wisdom teeth out this morning (by the by - OUCH. This blog post brought to you by Vicodin and puffy cheeks full of gauze and bruises). A few more days and I'll be good as new, back in the City of Roses. Hopefully, by then, the rain will have subsided and we can get into that lovely Portland Summer that recharges our batteries. I hope my tomato plants have survived my absence!

Eat well, friends.


  1. The fiesta looks amazing! I know what you mean about the rain... rain, rain, go away!! I'm ready for sunny summer days in Portland ; P

  2. Thank you for all the wonderful cooking! It is definitely worth the mounds of dishes to be washed to get this great food, and your company in the South land is much appreciated.

  3. Man, I could have stayed in high school just for that meal!

    We should cook together sometime! I think you would love some Peruvian recipes I have up my sleeve :)

    Love you!

  4. I can't help but get jealous! The food looks so appetizing. It's as if a catering new york service prepared it.

  5. If you do decide to do this professionally, make sure to get restaurant insurance to back up your business. Congratulations for pulling off such a great event!

  6. Lot of great information which can be helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog,looking forward for more contents.