We live in a remarkable region for cooking. The raw goods that are available to us, the sheer abundance of produce and meats, of wines and grains, is without peer. I purchase almost everything that I serve from regional farmers, direct from their farms and at the casual pageants we call farmers markets, which I scour weekly for new discoveries — as well as depend upon for staple favorites. (And what the Bay Area cannot grow it imports with gusto.) As a chef, I understand it’s my job to make food the center of your event — and I do this by making local ingredients the center of the food. I firmly believe that a meal, no matter the scale of the occasion, should be intimate. The basis of intimacy is proximity, and what could be more intimate than eating food on the same terrain in which it was cultivated?
The majority of my food is cooked and served in a very specific place: a wonderful kitchen and dining room nestled into a lovely swath of the Northern California coast. This place is the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County, just across the bay from San Francisco. The room is on the base level of a storied building on what was, for much of the 20th century, a U.S. military site. The hall is rustic and historic, its walls a rich patina, its kitchen fully exposed. As you take the opportunity to wander the expansive park area, there are views of the ocean and the hillside. Inside the Headlands buildings, some of the finest artists — from California and elsewhere — are at work on painting, sculpture, printing, and all manner of creative activities, their studios often open for view. Their artistry and the surrounding landscape inform the lively conversation that occurs within the dining area of the Headlands Center. Certainly, for special occasions, I am available to work offsite, but the Headlands is truly my kitchen, and for the duration of your event, it’s yours as well.
I’m a caterer — in the traditional sense of the word, and more importantly the literal one. In the traditional sense, I am contracted to provide food for events, to make certain the spices are just right, the chicken is succulent, the salads fresh and surprising. But it’s the literal sense that fuels me: I cater to the tastes and needs of hosts who entrust their events with me. I work with my clients — with you — to develop menus that fulfill your aspirations: dishes, recipes, ingredients that resonate with your interests, tastes, ambitions. We live in a remarkable moment for food; everyday dishes — from seared fish to crab cakes, from roast chicken to French fries — are being rightly honored for the flavors they’re capable of, for the comforts they offer. Refined to its essentials, a catered meal should be a wonderful experience. As raw materials are transformed into simple pleasures, it can even be a magical one. That is my goal.