An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Looking Back to Share a Catering Success Story

Looking Back to Share a Catering Success Story

By on Dec 31, 2008, 4:33 pm in Celebrations, Food and Drink, Reflections on the Catering Life, Shameless Self Promotion- Sharing Successes | 0 comments

I am spending this afternoon finishing up my goals and plans for 2009. Part of that process has been reviewing 2008, the shortcomings and the successes.

I'd like to share with you one of my greatest successes of 2008.

In September I catered the Golden Gala of the Shawl Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley which celebrated 5 decades of dance in the East Bay.  I walked into the Shawl Anderson Dance Center as a young woman of 20 years old, fresh out of college with a degree in Dance and Theater Design,  and began a wonderful relationship with the owners, Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson, that has followed me throughout my life. So I was greatly honored when they offered me the opportunity to be such a big part of their special moment.

It meant taking my show on the road, so to speak, but I had wonderful assistance from Carrie Dove Catering in Emeryville, who helped by renting me kitchen space, and with staffing.

Frank and Victor are amazing people. They left behind careers in New York City 50 years ago, and pioneered in creating the first modern dance school in the East San Francisco Bay. They have trained and mentored countless young (and not so young people) over the years, including me. In my New York years, I had the occasion to deepen my relationship with Frank, as he spent a good deal of time there in the 1980's. I hardly ever walked down the street in lower Manhattan where many dance studios are located, without someone stopping Frank and commented that they had studied or performed with him, and thanking him. He has just celebrated his 77th birthday last week, and Victor celebrated his 80th this past summer. And they still both do a dance warm up every morning ! Now there are role models for you.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to work with their great young assistant director, Jill Randall, who got a quick education in event planning. She did a fabulous job.

I've posted some pics below of the food, and of Jill, checking in guests, Frank and Victor, welcoming and thanking them. Check out the petits fours platters decorated with little feet shortbread cookies, supplied by Anni Amberger. Call her if you're in the Bay Area, and want a dessert which also happens to be an art project (510) 236-4084.

Besides saying he was so proud of me (like a good papa) here is what else Frank had to say:

“It was so wonderful. You did a spectacular job.
Everyone was very complimentary and commented how wonderful the food was.
It went like silk…the event was a wonderful success. You did a splendid job!”

    -Frank Shawl

Ciao and Happy New Year!






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