HomeJuly 2012Not Your Father’s Kosher Caterer

Not Your Father’s Kosher Caterer

Break out the bibs and loosen your belts; a new and ambitious catering company has hit the OC catering market.
I’ve attended a lot of different galas and catered Jewish events in the OC over the past few years. While some had food that was great, the majority were catered by companies that served the same kind of food I’ve seen at all-you-can-eat buffets: chow mein, grilled chicken breasts and the like.  After looking through their menu – which only offered food of the same caliber – I was left confused, since they usually claimed their food to be “gourmet.”  It seemed that while a lot of catering companies offered Kosher food, they didn’t really put any oomph into cooking it.
Silk Catering calls itself a gourmet Kosher catering company as well, but unlike the other catering companies I’ve experienced, it looks like the company actually brings its A-game to the table.  Silk’s owner Veronique Belhassen described to me a small selection of the choices on the menu, which left me more than a little puckish.
“One dish we offer is Chicken Morels Flambé,” Belhassen said. “It’s a gourmet French dish with creamy Parve sauce flambe au Cognac.  There is also our Moroccan Lamb Tagine, one of our many succulent international dishes.  For dessert, I’d suggest ordering the Chocolate Ganache… We especially recommend our gourmet dessert selection, which we make entirely from scratch (like everything else on the menu).  We offer choices like piece montée and petits fours.”
These aren’t just fancy dishes meant to spice up an otherwise bland menu.  The rest of Silk’s menu is just as robust and diverse.  The company also cooks Kosher for Pesach.
“Our team is pretty diverse,” Belhassen said of Silk, “and I think that’s part of the reason why we go above and beyond with our food.  One of us has an eastern European background, and another is French Sephardic.  So we’re able to cover a large variety of ethnicities with very particular recipes.”
Silk Catering is currently a two-woman operation.  Leslie Miller is the official business manager, cook and centerpiece creator.  Belhassen is the owner, cook and baker.  The operation started a few years ago in Florida, when Belhassen decided to open a small restaurant with her husband.  Belhassen was eventually asked to cater for the synagogue she belonged to at the time.  After catering her own son’s Bar Mitzvah – an Ashkenazic Kiddush lunch and an “Arabian nights” themed party – word got around, and Belhassen soon found herself catering all of her son’s classmates’ parties.  When Belhassen moved to California, she decided to set up shop once more here in Orange County, where she met Miller through Chabad of South Huntington Beach.  As Miller was also a caterer, the two decided to join forces and create an even better business.
“I found the perfect business manager in Leslie as she keeps me in line,” Belhassen said, laughing, “but also, a great cook and a very professional decorator.”
The women of Silk take enormous pride in being as close with their customers as possible, Belhassen said, and love to customize their menus and themes to their customers’ satisfaction and personalities. The two of them are very big on presentation in terms of matching the themes and colors for an ultimate aesthetic experience that is not only pleasing to the senses but accentuates the food they serve as well.
Silk already has a track record of catering Chabad of South Huntington Beach’s Purim party – a very big annual event in the Chabad community – for three years running, each time with a different theme and different food.
“The first year, we used a Mexican theme,” Belhassen said.  “Last year was an African party; we cooked very interesting African dishes, very unusual but good food people would not normally encounter.  And this year we used the theme Purim in the US.  Everyone had a great time at all the events, and we had a great time serving them.”
“Our goal,” Belhassen continued, “is to introduce fine and sophisticated Kosher food to the Jewish community.  And even though our menus are set, we always personalize our clients’ menus with their personality, ethnicity and event.”
Silk’s menu offers unique food you’d expect to see on the menu at a fine dining restaurant.  And considering it’s all Kosher, this is no small feat.  Where the lackadaisical attitude some catering companies take to their Kosher food is apparent in the taste and display of the food, Belhassen and Miller’s catering operation is a true breath of fresh air.
For more information call (949) 313-7876 or visit www.silkcateringcuisine.com

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