Marci Bracco Cain (831) 747-7455
Paradise Catering: Celebrating “From Farm to Flavor” For More Than 25 Years
CARMEL VALLEY, CA — For the last quarter century Paradise Catering has created memorable culinary experiences using the finest fresh ingredients available. Co-owners Jon Kasky and Nancy Rohan set a high standard in the catering world, growing most of the produce they use on their 1-acre farm in Carmel Valley Village.
“We aren’t organic because of a trend; it is our nature,” Nancy said. “When we can’t use our own produce, we support local farmers, always selecting based on season, using vegetables when they are at their best. We have been preparing food in this manner for 25 years. Our clients love it and we love seeing them happy. “
Knowing the value of good food and its importance to any event is just the beginning. Jon and Nancy have been working together for more than 22 of Paradise Catering’s 25 years in business. They support local ingredients, and they also create menus for their clients based on inspiration from their travels.
On their farm in Carmel Valley, Jon and Nancy embrace the seasons and grow unusual and heirloom vegetables, including:
- Tomatoes, squash, peppers and beans (from seeds purchased in their travels)
- Various lettuces grown to color
- Herbs including Absynthe
- Greens and garnishes ettavers to decorate their presentations
- 100 Zinfandel vines, to make their own wine
- 10 varieties of citrus trees (have you ever seen a Buddha’s hand?)
Their farm also houses a few fanciful touches, including unusual succulents (Monsters and Crests), giant Staghorn ferns, the infamous “Pink Apples” recovered from Earthbound Farm, working greenhouses, and an adult tree house.
Jon and Nancy love to buy rare seeds wherever they travel, growing them in their greenhouses to bring rare specialties to their clients. For example, Jon found Orchidea Cicoria (orchid-colored radicchio) during a trip to Umbria, Italy, in 2009. Also, heirloom tomatoes are an ongoing passion: They always participated in the Carmel TomatoFest and love to seek out unusual tomatoes not found in markets. This years, “Indigo Rose” has blue foliage!
The kitchen at Paradise Catering generates a lot of compost, which it uses to enhance the farm’s soil. “If you think about it, that’s a huge plus. It means that we peel and process tons of vegetables and fruits,” said Jon. “We believe this says loads about our focus on serving fresh, unprocessed foods, as well as our commitment to minimizing our footprint.”
Over the span of their careers, Jon and Nancy have cooked intimate dinners for two or at large festivals for 2,000 people. “At Paradise Catering we know the value of good food and its importance in your event,” said Nancy. “We can cater your event in any type of venue, from indoor to outdoor; and in any style, from plated to buffet to family style.”
At Paradise Catering, there are no set menus. Instead, Jon and Nancy meet personally with each client to plan a unique menu for any event.
For more information about Paradise Catering, go to www.paradisecater.com or call 831-659-3417. Follow Paradise Catering on Facebook for monthly contests and promotions http://www.facebook.com/
Follow throughout the month of May on Facebook to learn all about National Salad Month. Tell us about your favorite lettuce. Do you like Bibb, Butter, Iceberg or Romaine? Share one of your favorite recipes using the lettuce you love. Post on our Facebook page during the month of May and the winning recipe will receive a $250 credit toward their next party!
Here are some fun lettuce facts:
• Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family.
• Iceberg lettuce takes about 85 days from sowing to maturity (leaf lettuces average 45 to 50 days).
• Americans eat about 30 pounds of lettuce every year. That’s about five times more than what we ate in the early 1900s.
• Darker green lettuce leaves are more nutritious than lighter green leaves.
• The ancient Greeks believed that lettuce induced sleep, so they served it at the end of the meal. The Romans continued the custom. However, the dictatorial Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) served it at the beginning of his feasts, so he could torture his guests by forcing them to stay awake in the presence of the Emperor.
“Lettuce” is “Laitue” in France, and “Lechuga” in Spanish … both words mean mil and refer the milky sap of lettuce plants.
Happy salad days!