Local Harvest Catering
Organic Food Simply Prepared
Downtown Santa Cruz
I am thrilled and fortunate to have been born and raised in such a bountiful and copious region of the world: Santa Cruz, CA. I take great pride in taking advantage of the abundance this area has to offer and can’t imagine residing anywhere else. I have always envisioned creating beautiful organic food for enthusiastic and appreciative clients. My passion for cooking is long lived. It began for me as soon as I could reach the stove. Some of my best childhood memories take place in the kitchen.
After being laid off from my office job, I decided it was time for me to go back to school and start a career doing something that I passionately love ... cooking. I graduated from the Professional Culinary Institute and received the Burt Cutino Award for Outstanding Culinary Student. I also completed a 12 week Wine Program and became a Certified Sommelier. After graduating, I decided to pursue an endeavor of my own, and started Local Harvest Catering. My food philosophy is simply to use the freshest local, organic ingredients; the least amount of time between the ground and the table, the better. I am dedicated to supporting our local community by purchasing as much of our products from local farms and businesses. I want to bring my knowledge, integrity and ability to your event or into your kitchen to make your life easier and a little more delicious.
We work with local organic farms and artisans from Santa Cruz County to promote the local food industry; supporting farmland preservation and the social and environmental benefits of local/organic farming. By supporting our local bounty, minimizing our carbon footprint, we give you fresh seasonal and organic products with flavors at their prime.
An important part of buying local is making an effort to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season in your area. Although today's global marketplace allows us to buy foods grown virtually anywhere in the world all year round, these options are not the most sustainable.
By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And it simply tastes better!
Even if you don't want to change any of your eating habits, you can at least make sure to buy local produce when it's available, rather than purchase the same type of food from 3000 miles away!
Local Harvest Catering provides full service catering for all occasions, and we will work with you to create a menu that is special and unique. From a romantic fireside dinner for two to a birthday party poolside with 25 guests to a wedding of 300, we will take the pressure off by catering your special event.
Our menus are based on the seasons and we can accommodate any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, sugar-free, low-sodium, low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free, paleo and others.
1. Taste the difference.
At a farmers’ market, most local produce has been picked inside of 24 hours. It comes to you ripe, fresh, and with its full flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been picked weeks or months before. Close-to-home foods can also be bred for taste, rather than withstanding the abuse of shipping or industrial harvesting.
2. Know what you’re eating.
Buying food today is complicated. What pesticides were used? Is that corn genetically modified? Was that chicken free range or did it grow up in a box? People who eat locally find it easier to get answers. Many build relationships with farmers whom they trust. And when in doubt, they can drive out to the farms and see for themselves.
3. Meet your neighbors.
Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmers’ markets have 10 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket. Join a community garden and you’ll actually meet the people you pass on the street.
4. Get in touch with the seasons.
When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season. You’ll remember that cherries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup and pancakes just make sense–a lot more sense than flavorless cherries from the other side of the world.
5. Discover new flavors.
Ever tried sunchokes? How about purslane, quail eggs, heirloom carrots, or pineapple guava? These are just a few of the different foods you can sample from local eating. Our local spot prawns are tastier than popular tiger prawns. Even familiar foods are more interesting. Count the types of pear on offer at your supermarket. Maybe three? Small farms are keeping alive nearly 300 other varieties–while more than 2,000 more have been lost in our rush to sameness.
6. Explore your home.
Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist on your own home turf, with plenty of stops for snacks.
7. Save the world.
Most produce grown in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles before it gets sold. Trucking, shipping and flying in food from around the country and the globe takes a toll on the environment and on public health. Take grapes, for example. Every year, nearly 270 million pounds of grapes arrive in California, most of them shipped from Chile to the Port of Los Angeles. Their 5,900 mile journey in cargo ships and trucks releases 7,000 tons of global warming pollution each year, and enough air pollution to cause dozens of asthma attacks and hundreds of missed school days in California.
The way we eat has an enormous impact on the health of the planet. By choosing to eat lower on the food chain, and focusing on local and organic produce, we can curb global warming and air pollution, avoid toxic pesticides, support local farmers and enjoy fresh, tasty food!
8. Support small farms.
Many people from all walks of life dream of working the land–maybe you do too. In areas with strong local markets, the family farm is reviving. That’s a whole lot better than the jobs at Wal-Mart and fast-food outlets that the globalized economy offers in North American towns.
RESPECT. For farmers, for food, for the earth and for our bodies. I recognize that we don't live in a vacuum. There is no such thing as an individual. We are all connected.
HONESTY. Nothing will be compromised in the process of bringing food thoughtfully and mindfully from farm to table. And nothing will be needlessly shipped from around the world out of season.
COMFORT. Comfort is about feeling at ease, soothed, fed well, respected, welcomed, taken care of, included, and at peace. I want you to feel all of these things when I am catering your event.
We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry!