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Saturday, February 28, 2009


Palmares is a cycling term meaning a list of great accomplishments. Our version of palmares.

A note from Cheryl in Dayton regarding the buffet dinner we did last month. We have been to Dayton twice now in our two and a half years of business. Hopefully we will return many times over.

"Thanks so much, John. It was just wonderful. People raved about the food. I was trying to find my checkbook when Traci said you would bill me. Feel free to do that by email. I called Traci this morning to thank her. Would you please thank Nick for me and let him know there is a gratuity coming. I’ll send it along with my payment.Many thanks again, and several people have already inquired about your catering service, so I bet you’ll get some more business from others down the road."



Friday, February 20, 2009

Summer Vacation

I was a junior high/high school science teacher in my previous life/career. When the family and I headed North from California I got the crazy idea to cook for a living (more like enacted, I had the ‘got’ part a long time prior). I liked teaching and was pretty darn good at it, but the siren call of the sautĂ© pan was too much to resist.

I loved summer vacation, as do all teachers. There was a saying that the bad teachers really liked to laugh at “what are the three best reasons to teach?… June, July, and August” In the catering world we are just ending “June, July, and August” and the real work begins again. Oddly enough, during this ‘Summer Vacation’ my previous life has resurrected itself; I am teaching two classes for the culinary program at the junior college. It is a kick in the pants to teach what I love (my wife says the thrill has more to do with talking to/at a captive audience than the teaching part).

Here are my students for the quarter. Six individuals I get to mold and influence (hopefully for the good!). They have made tremendous progress in only six weeks. This week in a five hour class they produced:

  • 5 gallons of veal stock
  • 3 gallons of roast chicken stock
  • Two versions of French tomato soup
  • French onion soup
  • Asian vegetable soup
  • Two different chicken and tortilla soups
  • Three versions of bĂ©arnaise sauce
  • Four versions of avgolemono (Greek lemon sauce similar to hollandaise)
  • And three cut fingers.

Pretty impressive! Cheers.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's that time of year again. Time to start working again (albeit very casually until the weddings hit). We did two small things this week, a hospital luncheon and a drop off dinner for the school district, and have a couple of mid-sized buffets next week. Below is the note from our new friends at the Walla Walla School District.


I want to thank you and GRAZE for a delicious meal last night. Everything was perfect - presentation, taste, clean up. We will certainly use GRAZE again for future events. - Betsy, WW Public Schools"
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The wife and five year old boy are in Portland this weekend visiting friends and family. It got me thinking about our Fall trip to Portland and the beautiful farmer's market dinners we cooked up at K&L's house. I can hardly wait till May for the Walla Walla Farmer's Market to start back up.

A saute of heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh cayenne peppers, garlic, and basil. That weekend was my first experience with a padron pepper, a small mild green Spanish pepper. We got an order at Lovely Hula Hands, quick fried with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and a few cherry tomatoes. I was smitten... we all were. Found the grower at the farmers market but they were all sold out (they did have fresh coco beans though, and that my friends was a very good thing, which made a great accompaniement to the fish, this rambling has got to stop)

An about to be roasted wild mushroom and potato gratin, no cream, chicken stock, butter, herbs, covered for the first roasting and uncovered for a bit of caramelizing. Yummy.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome to the Family

We are proud to announce the lastest addition to the Graze Catering Family. Tracy Hartwig has been added as our event manager.

Tracy managed Homestead Catering for 20 plus years. She has a tremendous amount of experience with groups large and small. The addition of Tracy gives us a greater ability to handle smaller luncheons (a service we have rarely provided).

If you would like to contact Tracy she can be e-mailed at or 509-529-7354.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Palmares is a cycling term meaning a list of great accomplishments. Our version of palmares. A note from Erika and Steve Lessard regarding their wedding reception.

"A belated but very sincere thank you for doing the great food for our wedding. You guys did a terrific job, and it was also just a pleasure to get to know you. You're a great guy (now I am blushing).

We'll be seeing you around I know - but till then, best of everything! Thanks again so much"

The Lessards