Catering in Santee

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In addition to catering and one-time meal services, Bent On Cooking provides private groups and solo food scholars with interactive cooking lessons under the expert tutelage of Chef Rosie Bent. With more than 13 years of experience as a personal chef and certification as a raw chef, Chef Rosie possesses the know-how and natural ease to teach any fledgling flambéist the pleasures of cooking. Relish the epicurean excitement with a two-hour cooking class for two that can take place in the privacy of your own home or on-site using Bent On Cooking's equipment. During the two-hour culinary lesson, Chef Rosie will guide you in making two to four delicious recipes while demonstrating various techniques such as the backhanded cucumber chop and the double-knot sautéing slide. Ingredients are not included for either location but a shopping list will be provided.

13617 Celestial Rd
Poway,
CA
US

Edible Arrangements' more than 50 fresh, artful fruit baskets combine the aesthetic elements and emotive properties of floral arrangements with the juicy edibility of fruit. The sweetery's designers stud the Delicious Daisy, a bouquet of sliced honeydew, pineapple, and cantaloupe, with strawberries and strings of grapes that can double as a 25th-anniversary gift for a Smucker's jam heiress ($35). Decadent, gluten-free layers of white and semisweet chocolate coat fruit in a 12-piece box of hand-dipped strawberries and bananas ($25). Customers can also put today's Groupon toward a larger centerpiece, such as the Melon Delight, a decorative spray of watermelon wedges, pineapple daisies, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and double-dipped bananas sprouting from a watering can ($76). The preservative-free treats are all handcrafted at the apex of freshness, readying hand-dipped dainties to be hand-shoved into eagerly awaiting mouths.

12222 Poway Rd
Poway,
CA
US

Patricio Esquivel draws on more than 20 years of culinary experience to impart gourmet food preparation technique through hands-on instruction. Gastronomic gurus guide up to 12 students through 2.5-hour courses designed to hone a variety of kitchen skills. Hone chopping chops in Essential Knife Skills, which is designed to help pupils become more confident at the cutting board, fine tuning basic knife skills and fundamental cuts for vegetables including mincing, dicing, and swashbuckling. The Grilling Seafood course teaches pupils to create immaculately grilled fish and shellfish, and Easy Chinese at Home classes explore the complex blend of seasonings and lifelike panda calls that create great Chinese cuisine. Patricio Esquivel also offers courses for kids and teens to nurture fledgling food-prepping prowess.

3030 Plaza Bonita Road
National City,
CA
US

Located between the barrel room and the vineyards at the historic Bernardo Winery, Café Merlot combines Europe cuisines with Southern California flare. Café Merlot co-owner Toni Kraft grew up in a home with the smells of baking bread, and counts planting, harvesting, and consuming fava beans with her grandmother among her fondest childhood memories. After a career in catering in the Midwest, where she worked alongside the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Wolfgang Puck, Toni brings an experienced but experimental philosophy to her current restaurant’s seasonally-changing menus. And with the help of executive chef Ferdinand, Toni also helps with the cooking classes, which range from cooking with wine to Super Bowl snacks, spreads, and marinades.

The bistro uses the 123-year-old winery’s rustic surroundings to great effect. On the patio, olive trees and grapevines gossip above diners. Indoors, a warm-toned Tuscan ambiance welcomes guests. Sundays see Chef Daniel roll out some of his specialties on the brunch menu, such as lobster eggs benedict and Kahlua French toast, making the cafe an enticing destination for a romantic breakfast date or a confusing business meeting.

13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte
San Diego,
CA
US

June Owino remembers growing up in a small Kenyan town where, he claims, "we didn't have a choice but to cook for ourselves." He started out with basic prep work, learning how to chop and waffle-cut onions and tomatoes, but he steadily learned more of his mother's and grandmother's techniques for forging fragrantly spiced African stews with turmeric and curry-seasoned salts. After immigrating to San Diego, June decided to re-create these distinctive recipes and incorporate some of his own culinary inspirations, eventually founding Flavors of East Africa as a way to share his Kenyan-inspired menu of meat, vegetarian, and vegan dishes.

As related in a rave review from the San Diego Reader, the restaurant immerses diners in the sights, sounds, and smells of Kenya, with the dining room's lemon-yellow walls brimming with African arts, crafts, and cooking utensils. From time to time, the chefs also take their cuisine beyond the restaurant, hawking curries and stews at local farmers' markets and using their food’s enthralling aroma to lure chupacabras from out of hiding.

2322 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego,
CA
US

Though it’s firmly planted in San Diego soil, Gourmet on 5th mimics the epicurean traiteur shops that pepper European roadsides. The store empowers its visitors to eat healthy, and at the same time helps them do so without having to dawdle over a hot stove or buy out a local vegetable farm. Brimming with French influence, Gourmet on 5th’s blackboard menu changes seasonally. It features full meals, including lamb shanks, duck confit, and coq au vin. But the store also has nutritious bites for on-the-move munchers, such as crepes and signature sandwiches, along with energizing drinks, such as espresso concoctions and exotic teas.

2505 5th Ave
San Diego,
CA
US