Ideally, when you get married you do your best to eat the food you’re offering guests.
I’m still kicking myself because – just a month ago – I got married. And like most brides, I was kind of busy.
So I didn’t do a great job of tasting all of our food, and I would give anything to have another bite of the heaven served by Chef Peter Carpenter and his team from Gourmet to You Catering.
Mind you, I’ve become kind of a food snob. In my years as a hospitality reporter in DC and around San Diego, I’ve been served lots of incredible food. So I blame it on the great chefs and restaurateurs who I’ve come into contact with.
SoCal-based Carpenter did not disappoint.
I was told his food was good. I truly didn’t prepare myself for the depth of what I was about to taste.
The menu was simple: Four appetizers, a served salad (mesculine lettuce, caramelized walnuts, roasted shallots, roasted red and yellow peppers, bosc pears, and a house-made fig balsamic vinaigrette), and a buffet that featured chicken with a wild mushroom sauce, grilled salmon with Mediterranean sauce, a grilled vegetable medley, roasted red potatoes, and herb orzo.
Carpenter and his team even set aside a plate of appetizers for my groom and I that was loaded with deliciousness: Peppered ahi tostades, portabello skewers with cilantro aioli, coconut Shrimp skewers with mango coulis, and sun dried tomato, asparagus, and gouda roll ups.
The food alone had me at hello. The chicken … and I don’t even eat meat that much.
Honestly, working with Carpenter was such a pleasure – even when I started to mildly unleash Bridezilla on him. He took it in stride. He was professional and pleasant to work with.
A couple of weeks before the wedding, we swapped emails daily, just to stay in touch on headcounts, menus, and rental arrivals. He suggested I even have extra vintage napkins for the bread baskets to add more personal flare at our tables.
Australian-born Carpenter has been cooking for 25 years. He started his catering company, which is based in Torrance, when his son was born (that was 10 years ago).
Carpenter said he spent 15 years cooking in restaurants, but he loves catering more. It allows for more time with his family, he said.
“Catering is the best,” he said. “I get to meet a lot of people. I do every event I book.”
No two events are alike. In recent weeks, he catered two weddings in one day (that doesn’t happen very often) and handled four weddings in two weeks. Some months, he’ll serve upward of 3,000 guests.
And did he cater his own wedding? You bet. Carpenter made everything the day before and the morning of.
(Where in SoCal am I? Follow me on Twitter.)