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04
Jan

CeL 2013 Year in Review

Written by JJ Gonson.

When I asked Angie and my team to brainstorm a best of list of 2013 they came up with a wonderful picture of our year. I've posted that summery below, with links for you to enjoy, but there is something that cannot be captured in a list that must be added before we wrap up 2013 and put it on the shelf.
It is yellow. Bright, almost orange. The color of the yolk of an egg from a chicken who eats the scraps from our kitchen.
It is black. Shiny and new. The color of the twisted, short hair of a newly born lamb, helped from its mother by a farmer who has sat up all night to ensure its safe birth.
It is red. Hot, fiery, almost volcanic. The color of Winter Moon beets, sliced with a farm knife and passed across a table at a farmers market.
It is white. Dusty and pearlescent. Dead ash after a roaring fire, still heavy with the scent of roasted spring onions.
We are a community, connected by color. Bound by love and trust, and happy to share an adventure in food and art.
Thank you for making this list possible. Thank you for supporting local farmers. Happy new year.

We love you,

JJ and the Cuisine en Locale team.

JJ-New-Years-web

We could say this year flew by, but when you’re as tuned into the seasons as we are – putting a finger to the wind the predict the fate of our favorite fleeting crops week by week – one tends to remain acutely aware of time passing. While our hours-simmered Snow Farm beef and Slumbrew Porter braises are just about the only slow things we found time to do, we have marked each passing week with a package of meals, designed specifically from the food available from our farmers.

We started out 2013 with our third annual ONCE in Valhalla, and have come full circle to planning Valhalla IV: Worlds Collide – this year the monsters have their own realm! We are thrilled to be partnering again this year with Slumbrew and Green River Ambrosia and for the first time with old friends, Work Bar and Yelp.  Once again Miri Rooney has created a fantastic design for us.  If you can't make it let us know if you would like a poster.

On November 1st we opened The Modern World’s First Ever Locavore Function Hall (thanks to Zagat for the mention) Our first forever home is located at the historical Anthony’s Functions on Highland Avenue in Somerville, in a neighborhood we like to think of as WiSp (at the division of Winter and Spring Hills). We adore the ‘Ville and we’ve received the warmest of welcomes from the community: Scout Somerville named us Best Caterer in the city.  We are not quite completely open yet, but our first public showing of our new HQ was ONCE Muertos, a soft launch party featuring Walter Sickert and the ARmy of BRoken TOys.

In other news, the Scout Somerville's sister publication, Scout Cambridge, did a piece on its native daughter JJ and her role as a local job creator, and our cult-favorite ONCE a Week meal delivery program won Improper Bostonian’s Best Meal Delivery Service.  Now, this did sort of have us asking ourselves, aren’t we the only meal delivery service? But even if so, we're guessing it's not for long. We’re certain that 2014 will bring an influx of cooked food delivered to your door. We are pretty sure did it first, and we will always strive to be the best: The Boston Globe called out the surge in farm-to-front-door delivery programs, and gave us much appreciated recognition. Stay tuned for exciting new meal options we’re waiting to unveil  We are going to aim to make our service work better for more people, including vegetarians, families and adventuresome uber foodies. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to get your very own convenient, affordable and delicious food, delivered, ONCE or every Tuesday.

When we weren’t in the kitchen this past year, we squeezed in a bit of jetsetting, and brought back lots of cool ideas to meld other folks regional cuisines into our locavore repertoire. JJ went to Rome and returned enamored of dips made of whipped veggies.  Since then everything from steamed, pureed romaine and fiddleheads to curried and crushed pumpkin and carrots have brought color and flavor to our hors d’oeuvre spreads. Ken and Angie went to Cuba and came back with fantastic Ropas Viejas and beans and rice recipes, as well as some interesting revelations about growing food without the aid of US industrial agriculture supplies. JJ and Angie traveled to Charleston, SC for the Chef’s Collaborative Summit, ate two stunning meals at Husk, hung out with the darling Lee Brothers and fermentation grand poobah Sandor Katz, and brought back Gullah cookbooks we cannot wait to pull ideas from once corn and okra come back in season. Katrina went to her hometown of Austin and came back more inspired than ever. Keep an eye out for her terrific pop up taco events. During our annual pilgrimages to cook in NYC and PDX, JJ played around with her old photo stock and even played some rock and roll. (Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the New Yorker took notice.)

We’ve had a great time working with clients old and new, planning private parties from holidays to milestone birthdays to business lunches.  This year was both our seventh annual Thanksgiving Dinner and New Years bash, for two very special locavore families. We’ve also been honored to feed hundreds of wedding guests, in honor of a handful of special couples, and we have received accolades for our tasty nuptial nibbles in Boston Magazine Weddings. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to plan your next event, at our HQ or the venue of your choosing.

In response to our lovely customers and fans who ask how we do what we do, cooking local all year round in New England, we have started sharing monthly recipes in the Somerville Beat and Edible Boston. Chefs Mary and JJ spread the good word via private lessons and public classes at the BCAE, teaching everything from ice cream to preserves. We  also launched our own bimonthly publication called Zine en Locale to share ideas, recipes and games with the community. Three issues in, we have subscribers all over the country and have received lots of great feedback from our readership. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to contribute and/or subscribe.

There you have it: our year in review. Look forward to great public events that bring together local food, drink and music and lots of other surprises to keep you well-fed and ever entertained.  Thank you for making it all possible, because you do.

May your 2014 be bright

Love,

Cuisine en Locale

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Testimonials

"When my wife went back to work three months after having our first child, we found ourselves eating takeout for weekday dinners four or even five times a week. It took a toll on our finances and our mental and physical health. Then we discovered ONCE a Week. Now we eat easy, delicious, interesting, and locally sourced dinners -- and for far less than we were spending on all that takeout. Every Tuesday is like Christmas when we eagerly look to see what we'll be eating that week. Thanks, JJ & Co., for solving weekday dinners for us."

Jake

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31 March 2014 18:42
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JJ Gonson - Cuisine Enlocale
Telephone: 617-285-0167
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