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ChileCo Catering

A Profile on The Main Event


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Imagine a dinner party at a scenic San Diego location, filled with 60 or so of your closest friends — or friends-to-be. Now imagine that you don’t have to prepare anything, you don’t have to clean up, you don’t even have to bring a bottle of wine for your host — everything you could ever imagine is provided for you. You’re at a Social, one of ChileCo Catering’s monthly dinner events, where you’re not only treated to a feast for the senses, but you just may spark new friendships in the process.

Under the direction of executive chef Scott Wagner, ChileCo Catering focuses on organic, eco-conscious cuisine in its unique menu selections. In addition to welcoming the public to its Social events, to be held at unique San Diego venues at sunset throughout the year, "Chef Scotty" and ChileCo also offer catering services for weddings and other large events.

The first Social of 2009, held at Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, proved to be a whimsical start to the new year. Kicking off with tasty hors d’oeuvres in the Lux entryway, including duck confit on a crisp won ton, a delicious spiced hummus lettuce cup and a champagne cocktail, the evening provided an opportunity to mix and mingle among a crowd who clearly was interested in the combination of fine food and drink, artistry and camaraderie.

Moving into the Lux Art Institute’s bright and roomy gallery space, Social guests were instructed to select a seat and proceed to another room, where a buffet of fresh fruits, vegetables, prawns and more was set up to launch the first course. We prepared our plates and headed back into the gallery, where the fun and creativity began. We were instructed to tap into our "Top Chef" creativity and design our plate, using the food we selected from the buffet and a tempting selection of sauces and "Marinettes" from Chi Cuisine, the sister company to ChileCo Catering, which is set to introduce its condiments (think berries and sage, spicy mustard and delectable curry) to local Whole Foods stores in the coming months.

As we let our creative juices flow, we were welcomed to the Social by Keith Overland, the chief operating officer of Chi Cuisine, who greeted us with several definitions of the word "social" to choose the one that best fit our personal reasons for attending, and explained Social etiquette. Example: As a "green" event, we were instructed to keep our silverware throughout the meal; additionally, the same wine glass would be used for both red and white wine. Chef Scotty welcomed us as well, highlighting the love and vitality that underscores each Social and encouraging us all to embrace the joy of partaking of great food in a warm environment surrounded by art, beauty and companionship.

With the spirit of Social set, the courses continued: A porcini popover with truffled filet tip and wild rocket salad; an intermezzo of "Summer Isn’t Here" sangria sorbet; a sweet and succulent entrée of fennel-encrusted pork medallion with bing cherry confit, vanilla bean mascarpone mashers, grilled anise bulb and sprinkles of crispy fried shallot; and a beautiful dessert sampler that included saffron pot de crème with pink peppercorn-lavender-laced pistachio praline, cajeta-draped dagoba dark chocolate torte and house-churned spumoni gelato. Each course was perfectly paired with wine or champagne provided by Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido.

From the setting to the socialization, the food to the festive atmosphere, the ChileCo Social is the way to go for a different take on a dinner outing. For a listing of upcoming Socials or for more information about ChileCo’s catering services, visit www.chilecocatering.com.

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