Nicole and Joey created their Smog Shoppe wedding bursting with soft spring colors, personality, and a timeless rustic style. Eco Caters, your organic Los Angeles wedding catering team celebrated this auspicious day with a delicious menu of local and in-season ingredients.
WEDDING VENUE: THE SMOG SHOPPE
Nicole and Joey tailored the style of their wedding perfectly with the Smog Shoppe’s rustic wood grains, eclectic décor, and lively personality. Our Los Angeles wedding catering team loves doing events here. Over the years we have catered and coordinated countless weddings and corporate events at the Shoppe. Our team helped Nicole and Joey utilize the space and shared with them a few tricks to optimize their wedding day.
IN-SEASON CALIFORNIA PRODUCE FOR SPRING
Our Los Angeles wedding catering company prides itself on not only using organic and local ingredients within our dishes, we also take advantage of the brighter flavors and freshness of in season fruits and vegetables. Springtime is always a popular time of year for weddings; it’s also a popular time for filling your wedding menu with an abundance of great in-season produce. Eco Caters is happy to customize our client’s menu with whatever ingredients fancy their taste buds, but here are just a few in-season fruits and vegetables we think you and your guests will enjoy here in southern California:
Asparagus, Avocados, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Blood Oranges, Grapefruits, Lemons, Kale, Mushroom, Passion Fruit, Peas, Strawberries, Basil, Cucumber, and Raspberries.
We always strive to use the freshest organic ingredients and so naturally Eco Caters opts to use in-season produce from the local farms we purchase our fruits and vegetables from. We don’t buy our products from Costco or Smart and Final the way a lot of our competitors do. We support local farms and our local economy; something we pride ourselves on over other Los Angeles wedding caterers.
LOS ANGELES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER: BRANDON KIDD PHOTOGRAPHY
You’re likely to catch us smiling behind our lenses, but when we aren’t we love to travel, drink coffee, devour Chipotle, and play with our pup, Millie.
To view more of their work check out www.brandonkidd.net
Thank you Nicole and Joey for choosing Eco Caters as your Los Angeles wedding caterer! Our crew talked about your wedding all week long around the office. Thanks to Brandon and Kristin Kidd for allowing us to fill our blog posts with all of your amazing wedding photography! And to all of you at The Smog Shoppe, we’ll see you again real soon!
Los Angeles Wedding Venue: Smog Shoppe
Los Angeles Wedding Caterer: Eco Caters
Los Angeles Wedding Photographer: Brandon Kidd Photography
If you’re recently engaged and living in New York City or Los Angeles, you’re in luck! There are two Wedding Salon bridal shows coming to you in March. Here are all the details:
The Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Salon will be held on Monday, March 3, 2014 from 4pm to 8pm at The Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. Whether your considering a destination wedding or planning a trip-of-a-lifetime honeymoon, this event will feature representatives from top resorts and destinations from all over the world including Curacao Tourism, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun, All Inclusive Hard Rock, Puerto Rico Tourism Board, The Villa Group, The Rack at Rock Creek, Iconic Weddings and more. And, oh yeah, celebrity wedding planner Colin Cowie will also be making an appearance. This event will also include cake tastings, cocktails, makeovers, gown previews, raffles, giveaways and an amazing goodie bag!
For all you Los Angeles brides, check out the Wedding Salon Los Angeles on Monday, March 10 from 4pm to 8pm at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. At this exciting event, you’ll find a TAO Bachelorette Suite where you and your pals can discover how to plan the ultimate bachelorette party, cake tastings from Charm City Cakes and Hansen’s Cakes, reception tablescapes from top designers, gorgeous wedding gowns, representatives from top venues and destination wedding sites worldwide, delicious treats from Eco Caters, beauty consultations, and an amazing goodie bag!
For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the Wedding Salon’s website!
SAN DIEGO GARDEN PLOTS AVAILABLE!
If anyone in the San Diego is interested in having their very own garden plots to grow organic vegetables and herbs, then you’re in luck! The wonderful people at Herb En Routes Community Garden have some new garden plots available! They have irrigated and non-irrigated plots and are very reasonably priced! Great for families!
For more details contact Herb En Routes Community Garden at Info@HerbEnRoutes.com
Eco Caters combines green wedding coordinating with all organic Los Angeles wedding catering for a wedding so perfect, it was like something out of the pages of a fairytale.
When Sonny & Ruvers wondered into our office one afternoon casually Inquiring about a green wedding coordinator and an organic Los Angeles wedding caterer for their upcoming wedding, neither of us had any idea how close of friends we would all become. It would go without saying that these two lovebirds are a good-looking couple, but on the day of their wedding they transformed into something out of a fairytale. The oak tree canopy, the flowers, the giggling bridesmaids, the bunnies… It just all came together in a magical way and we here at Eco Caters were so excited to be apart of Sonny & Ruvers most special of days.
Los Angeles Green Wedding Coordination
Whether you actually hug and talk to the trees, or just want a responsible wedding coordinator to help you find ways to reduce waste and recycle during your wedding day, Eco Caters has great advice and creative ideas to help you. Each couple is unique and has their own values. We will work with you to help you create the perfect, one-of-a-kind wedding.
One of the fun aspects of Sonny and Ruvers wedding was satisfying their inner child with a petting zoo and snow cones following the ceremony. Our Los Angeles wedding catering company found the perfect vendor to fit their budget that brought a few adorable rabbits and a goat for everyone to enjoy-and they were a big hit!
Being that it was 110 degrees (No lie! One hundred, and ten, degrees!), the snow cones were also a big hit. Maybe even a life savor. A life savor filed with alcohol…
Los Angeles Organic Wedding Catering
When it comes to food we only purchase the freshest, locally grown, and organic ingredients. Our Los Angeles wedding catering company loves putting together a feast, and Sonny and Ruvers wanted to go all out-which we were so excited about.
With the couple’s ideas and wishes we put together a fun spread for cocktail hour. We brought in fresh crab claws, an assortment of shucked oysters, locally grown cheeses, homemade preserves, ripe figs, salty cured meats, and some fun finger sandwiches to tray pass. For the main course our team organized a hardy family style dinner with enough dishes to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
Topanga Canyon Wedding Venue: The 1909
“The 1909 is located in the heart of the Topanga National Park, hidden under the canopy of protected California oak trees, and nourished by the sacred waters of Topanga Creek.
Centrally located off Topanga Canyon Blvd. , The 1909 is an ideal location, only minutes away from Woodland Hills to the north, and Malibu to the south.
The 1909 was envisioned to provide a unique platform for a variety of social and business events, and designed with special attention to the needs of those desiring elements of calm and harmony in their gatherings.”
From all of us at Eco Caters we would like to thank Sonny and Ruvers for choosing us as your Los Angeles wedding caterer and coordinator. Lastly, we would like to extend a big “thank you” to wedding photographer Sara Shreves for allowing us to share her work. We love these beautiful photos.
Los Angeles Wedding Coordinator: Eco Caters
Los Angeles Wedding Caterers: Eco Caters
Los Angeles Wedding Photographer: Sarah Shreves Photography
The Smog Shoppe is one of the most exciting wedding venues in Los Angeles. It has a laid back vibe with a unique balance of urban-hipness with the tropical feel of a garden. It’s a gem! It’s a hidden oasis in the heart of the sprawling metropolis that is Los Angeles. With our kitchen being right across the street from the Smog Shoppe, along with being a preferred vendor, we cater a ton of weddings along side them. Since our Los Angeles wedding catering company serves up all organic wedding food, the Smog Shoppe’s up-cycled, solar-powered, green-space makes a perfect marriage for any wedding.
Nicole and Joey also felt that the Smog Shoppe wedding venue would be a great choice to pair with our Los Angeles wedding catering company. We put our love of great food into each and every dish we serve. We also back it up by purchasing fresh produce the day before, tailored menus for in season fruits and vegetables, and from local farms that use FDA Certified organic practices. It’s more work and preparation than other Los Angeles wedding caterers put into planning their events, but the results and the smile it puts on our client’s faces makes it all worth while. Our Los Angeles wedding caterers prides itself on the extra steps we take in making sure your wedding special.
Choosing a reception dinner can take a lot of thought. Nicole and Joey wanted us to create an organic taco bar for their reception dinner, and it made for a fun alternative than the usual plated wedding dinner. Our Los Angeles wedding caterers braised spare ribs, grilled marinated chicken, sautéed onions and peppers, along with a spicy selection of homemade salsas. Sprinkle each taco with fresh cilantro, mist with a lime wedge, wash it down with a glass bottle of Coke, and you’ve found heaven. It’s the quint essential Los Angeles meal. If you have a lot of out of town guests attending your wedding, it’s a must.
A special thanks to Los Angeles wedding photographer Brandon Kidd of Brandon Kidd Photography for sharing these amazing photos of Nicole and Joey’s Smog Shoppe wedding. As always, Brandon did an amazing job behind the lens of his camera and our Los Angeles wedding caterers looks forward to the next time we work together. Brandon Photography does topnotch work and super pleasant to work with.
A few quick Tips for cooking the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
Awe yes, Thanksgiving… The day when all of us have to find the inner chef within us, and pull together all of our cooking knowledge we can muster, for the king of all family feasts. To a select few, (I’m looking at you grandma), this was a breeze. However, for the vast majority of us, being put on the spot for cooking a lavish Thanksgiving meal is a scary event. I mean it only comes once a year, and you only have one shot to get it right. Juggling six or more dishes at once while trying not to dry out the bird takes skill and a few tricks. Here is our list of Thanksgiving cooking tips that even your grandmother would be impressed with!
If you’re already purchasing organic food: great. If you’re not, do it! Organic food can coast more but the flavors and freshness you receive in return will shine through in your dishes.
FRESH HERBS OVER DRIED
One of the easiest ways to add beautiful flavors to your Thanksgiving dinner is leaving that spice rack where it is and using fresh herbs. It’s not always practical to have fresh herbs on hand when cooking, and every good cook has their own dried herb collection, but this is the Super Bowl of Dinners! Bring out your A-game!
DON’T DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF, DO IT POTLUCK STYLE!
I’m from the Midwest, so I’m not entirely sure the term “Potluck” is a universal concept, but it basically means that everyone brings a dish (or pot) to share with everyone. And with a little “luck” everyone has brought enough variety of food, that you have a complete meal with main dishes, side dishes, and possibly desert. Potluck.
AND NOW THE TURKEY…
What’s Thanksgiving without turkey? It’s the only time of year most of us ever even eat turkey so it has high expectations. It’s the centerpiece of the whole day really. You’re going to be eating leftover turkey for the rest of the week, so it must be cooked right.
Since turkey takes the most preparation, and the majority of us have never even cooked something this size before, the turkey can be a bit intimidating. Reading a recipe card on how to properly cook this beast does not make me feel better about it either. An oven temperature and an amount of time to leave it in, is far from adequate for something this important. Whenever I’m in need of a bit of steadfast cooking advice, I always turn to Alton Brown’s Good Eats on the Food Network. If you really want to learn how to cook, I highly recommend Good Eats. Sure, it gets a little corny at times, but it an education you will not forget:
This 4-minute video will explain everything you need to know on cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey:
UPDATE: Event Sold Out
Eco Caters co founder/Chef, Nick Brune, along with Chef Rick Gonzales of Green Truck SD, has teamed up with record label Todo Mundo to bring you a night of fun, flavors, and festive music. The chefs have carefully prepared 7 organic courses, for you to pair with 7 live songs. “We’re taking your ears and taste buds to Latin and South America. It’s going to be a magical journey; we hope you will join us.”
Founded by David Byrne in 2008, Todo Mundo has flourished into an important band here in California. Originating from Columbia, Todo Mundo has brought back the calibration of music to the west coast. Their bold, spicy music is sure to raise the heat levels in each course as the night unfolds.
|Guests will receive a CD, 7 courses, 7 live tracks, and 2 home brews for $65
1. Kraken Arepa
Marinated Octopus, Avocado, Venezuelan Corn Cake
2. Ensalada Betarraga
roasted beets, hearts of palm, mixed greens, onion sprouts,
honey beet dressing, local edible flowers
3. Smoked Pork Pibil
Springhill pepper jack pupusa, achiote roasted pork
4. Empanadas de Hongo
wild mushrooms, peas, carrot, raisins, salsa asada
5. Todos Mariscos
Fresh Local Seafood Ceviche
6. Argentinian Skirt Steak
roasted root vegetables, yucca frita, himichurri
7. Nutella Plantain Cake
Caramelized plantain, nutella icing, orange crema
For tickets and more info, please visit: Brown Paper Tickets
Studio 1342 hosts a ton of weddings, and photo shoots, so why not combine them! Our Los Angeles wedding catering team cooked a delicious dinner for our clients, and posed for a few photos in the process.
When couples get married, their wedding venue becomes the backdrop for their wedding photos. If a couple happens to have a wedding at a hotel banquet room, they’re kind of limited to hotel-banquet-looking wedding photos. However, if you happen to book your wedding at say… Studio 1342, you would not only have a killer Los Angeles wedding venue, you would also have access to all their cool lighting, backdrops, and their urban garden oasis. Studio 1342 hosts a ton of weddings, and photo shoots, so why not do both! It’s a wedding photographers dream! Such was the case for Adam and Caro’s wedding.
Our clients chose to have their wedding ceremony and reception at Studio 1342. Thanks to the help of wedding photographers Rachel and Sarah of ‘Rachel & Sarah Take Pictures’, Adam and Caro’s wedding turned out picture perfect.
Our Los Angeles wedding catering team prepared some delicious appetizers for cocktail hour. All the ingredients our kitchen used were organic, in season, and locally grown. Our Los Angeles wedding caterers brought out a savory collection of fall favors like our roasted salsas with house fried tortilla chips, a hummus trio, grilled flat break, marinated artichokes, and a selection of local olives.
For Adam and Caro’s main course, our Los Angeles wedding caterers served a hardy vegetarian dinner full of fall flavors. Guests started out with a simple salad with wild arugula tossed with in season fruit, crumbled Points Rye Bleu Cheese, and our house Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Friends and family loved our grilled Portobello mushrooms with angel hair pasta, fried rice with marinated tofu and crisp green beans, roasted potatoes with sage and rosemary, and grilled vegetables from the Farmer’s Market. There are not too many Los Angeles catering companies that would make Saturday morning trips to the local farmers market to buy fresh produce, but we’re not like other catering companies…
From all of us at Eco Caters, we would like to thank Adam and Caro for choosing us as their Los Angeles wedding caterer. We has such a wonderful time getting to know you two over the wedding planning process and we’re sad that its over. Our Los Angeles wedding caterers would also like to thank Rachel and Sarah of ‘Rachel and Sarah Take Pictures‘ (pictured above) for allowing us to share these spectacular wedding photos! You make everything look so perfect.
Wild Willow Farm is a beautiful San Diego wedding venue for those of you seeking that all-in-one green wedding location.
When you get married out in the desert, less than a mile from the Mexican boarder one would expect a healthy amount of drinking, bonfires, bridesmaids in cowboy boots, and a lot of hooting and hollering. Rachel and Andrew’s wedding, which took place at Wild Willow Farm, would have happily met your expectations. With help of a few local farmers, Eco Caters prepared a delicious, all organic fest, fit for the occasion.
Wild Willow Farm, which is located just a short 15-minute drive from down town San Diego, and less than a mile from the Mexico boarder, is six acres of organic farmland with a passion for growing and educating our community on sustainable farming. It’s also a beautiful San Diego wedding venue for those of you seeking that all-in-one green wedding location.
Our San Diego wedding catering company is proud to play a part San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project: “a network of citizens, farmers, chefs, gardeners, teachers, and students working to encourage the growth and consumption of regional food. From farm to fork, we focus awareness and work toward a more ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just food system in San Diego.
By eating locally, not only do you get fresher, better-tasting food, but you also help support family farms and encourage a vibrant local economy.”
Eco Caters, your all-organic San Diego wedding catering team, used all locally farmed ingredients to create the couple’s sustainable wedding menu. Produce for the wedding was grown at Suzies Farm (which Eco Caters uses regularly at all of our events), from our chef’s own backyard, and of course, from Wild Willow Farm. The food our San Diego caterers served was as fresh as could be. Guests even commented on how crisp, bright, and delicious all the vegetables were, which is something that makes us very proud. We love knowing that the guests we serve are conscious of the extra care and quality we work hard to put into each and every dish we offer.
Below is the menu our San Diego wedding caterers served to Rachel and Andrew’s friends and family:
Chef’s selection of assorted cheeses with Farmer’s Market fruit and preserves
Hummus Trio with Cucumber Yoghurt, Mixed Olives, and Grilled Flatbread
Salad and Asian Station
Kale and Beet Salad with Julienne Carrot and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Green Curry with Farmers Market Veggies and Mexican White Shrimp
Wild Willow Farm Stir Fry
Stone Oven Pizza Station
Spring Hill Cheese Pizza
Mountain Meadow Crimini Mushroom Pizza
Mexican White Shrimp and Market Vegetable Pizza with Jack Cheese and Pesto
Cinnamon Graham Crackers
A special “Thank You!” to Rachel and Andrew for choosing Eco Caters as their San Diego Wedding caterer, to Wild Willow Farm for all the wonderful work they do, and finally to the amazing photography of Mark Mehlinger! We look forward to seeing you all at our next event!
San Diego Wedding Caterer: Eco Caters
San Diego Wedding Coordinator: Eco Caters
San Diego Wedding venue: Wild Willow Farm
Vermicompost: Composting food in a small apartment is inexpensive, does not smell, saves the environment, requires almost no maintenance, and your plants will look amazing!
It’s true! My wife keeps a five-gallon bucket filled with worms and compost in the coat closet-and we’re normal, clean people! Really! I swear! After shivering at the thought for almost a year that there are hundreds of worms eating discarded vegetables just inches from my winter coat, I came to realize that there is nothing smelly or nasty about it! I have slowly gotten on board with this concept and I have to say, I’m converted! And now I want to preach my wife’s closet compost concept to you!
At first, I thought this was the grossed thing we could possibly do in our closet. My wife and I are both neat freaks so you can imagine my surprise when she suggested we start doing this. I even had a little script rehearsed in case I had to unexpectedly explain it to guests if they happened to stumble upon it while visiting. I also felt it was just a matter of time before there was a great worm escape; I would open the closet door one afternoon and find worms slithering in all directions. And the biggest fear I had was the smell. It’s going to smell! I thought this bucket of food scrapings comingling with living creatures would surely stink up our expensive coats, the closet itself and even worse, stink up our apartment. I think I may have even wanted it to happen so I could once and for all tell my wife what an awful ideas this was and get rid of this whole contraption. But, as the months turned into years, nothing bad ever happened and it never smelled! Ever! In fact, if you lift the lid and strain to sniff anything all you can smell is the faint smell of fresh soil.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for vermicomposting, but composting is for people with backyards, not renters of a small apartment. Boy was I mistaken. Having a compost bucket in your living space is incredibly easy and makes such an impact on your garbage. The worms do an amazing job of breaking down food. They’re also pretty resilient! We’ve neglected to drop any fruit and vegetable scraps into our worm compost bucket and they have held strong! So, it’s not even something that requires much maintenance either.
Composting newspaper, egg cartons, vegetables and fruit alone can really make a difference in the amount of garbage you throw away each week, but the truly amazing benefit to composting food in your closet is when you add this rich soil these little guys create in your potted plants. Every time my wife adds the fertilizer from our vermicompost to our plants you can actually see them grow a few inches in just a weeks time. This organic fertilizer is much more effective than any chemical fertilizer you can buy. We’ve even started giving our worm fertilizer to our neighbors after they commented on how much healthier our plants look compared to theirs.
So how can I start my own apartment vermicompost? Easy! All you need is a dark space large enough for two five-gallon bucket, and track down some worms. Most nurseries carry worms and they are plentiful. Due to the rise of folks starting their own vermicompost systems some places may charge $20 to $40 for a batch of worms. Don’t do it! We’ve given away hundreds of worms to our friends for free and it makes absolutely no impact on our composting. These little guys multiply like crazy and I’m sure if you find the right person, someone would give you all the worms you’ll ever need for free.
- Put pen sized holes in the bottom of one of the two five gallon buckets. Slide that bucket into the other five gallon bucket to catch worm droppings and extra water. Cut slits into the lid so that the worms can breath.
- Create your vermicompost bed by shredding 1-inch strips of newspaper or egg carton.
- Next, wet the paper with water. It’s important to ring out the excess water and fluff-up the wet newspaper. Place the fluffed-up wet newspaper into the container. The container should be one-half to three-fourths full.
- In a well-lit area or outside on a sunny day empty the worms on top of the shredded newspaper (making sure the light or sun is shining down on the box). The worms will quickly go down into the bedding material because they don’t like the light. Once they go into the bedding they will start making their new home in the bedding. Keep the bedding moist.
- Add a little soil over the bedding material. Worms need soil or sand to digest their food. Wait for about 7 days before adding other food to the worm bed. The worms need to become acclimated to their new environment for the first week.
- Add vegetables scraps and fruit as you go. Never add acidic foods like onions, citrus peels, ginger, or garlic. They’ll kill your worms.
- Never let food get high enough to touch the lid of your bucket.
- Every month or some slide your buckets apart, add water to your rich fertilizer mixture and feed it to your plants.
Having an apartment vermicompost system is easy and inexpensive so give it a whirl! If you’re intrigued to have your own compost but uneasy about doing so while living in a small apartment like I was, give it some thought! You’ll be glad you did!