One day I had an empty calendar, bare feet, a great suntan and dirt clogging my fingernails, and the next day my phone was ringing off the hook and I was all booked up. Five events in one week meant my catering business was officially rocking and I retreated inside for many, many hours in the kitchen. I have been fortunate to get a lot of referrals from nice people who like me, and even more fortunate to book a lot of different kinds of events - variety is truly the spice of life. I swung from a private school garden party to a catalog photo shoot to a dinner at a crazy beautiful Belvedere home.
I did not know what to expect from the Pendelton catalogue photo shoot. I imagined a bunch of awkward crew members too busy to pay attention to what they were eating. I imagined them draining my pot of coffee and without a way to make more, I then imagined an angry mutiny against the caterer. I imagined nothing like what it turned out to be. The crew and models were charming and interesting, a mish mash of freelance artsy folk who were very into food. Because I went the extra mile, made them hot fried egg sandwiches, brought my own jams and hot sauce, warmed the big crusty country loaves to serve next to a slab of tempered butter, they were now very into my food.
Yes I had to drag myself out of bed when it was still dark out. Yes I had to transport and schlep a full carload of equipment and food. Yes I actually enjoyed it. The things I saw those mornings, fog slowly lifting over Tomales Bay, Tule elk munching through the sunrise at the Pt Reyes National Seashore, the kids loading up onto the school bus in Stinson on their way over the hill (just like we used to!), was so worth a bit of groggy eye. Best of all was the appreciation from the crew. The days are long and slow for them, and meal time is what they look forward to most. And when you're cooking from the heart, with attention to detail and some soul, it shows. It was a happy crew with happy bellies! They even let me hang around and watch them work, explaining the details of what each person's role is and how it all comes together. I was fascinated by the intricate dance of ten people working together to make one shot. On the last day, we all hugged.
So what's the name of the catering company? It's me! I'm not a businessman. I'm a business, man.