Catering in Spring Valley

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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

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.

380 3rd Ave
Chula Vista,
CA
US

Before any cuts of corn-fed Nebraskan beef grill above The Steakhouse on Broadway's mesquite coals, Executive Chef Ramon Gomez ages them himself for 28 days. Between the aging and the cooking, each juicy cut of steak arrives infused with smoky flavor, complemented by locally sourced veggies and sauces such as chimichurri or sweet apple creamy horseradish. Steak isn't the only culinary card up Ramon's sleeve. He serves succulent crab legs by the pound, crafts housemade pastas, and carves up to 32-ounce pieces of mouth-watering prime rib from a 20-pound Nebraska rib roast.

Manning the walnut-paneled bar behind a granite countertop, barkeeps complement Ramon's meat-focused entrees with a wide selection of beer and wine. Honoring the steakhouse’s roots that date back to 1968, bartenders stick to tradition cocktail-wise, making libations such as the Manhattan and Old Fashioned with top-shelf spirits.

The old-school drink menu meshes well with the red leather booths of the 1960s-era dining room, whose ambiance has changed little since the steakhouse opened. Back then it was a hotspot for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Jack Lemon, Jack Lemmon’s pet lemon. Today, it hosts live entertainment almost nightly, including crooner Ray Correa, who the San Diego Reader praised for his "crafty guitar playing and alluring voice."

556 Broadway
Chula Vista,
CA
US

Baba Foods is a source of delicious nourishment, providing healthy Mediterranean foods. Originating in San Diego, California, they make such Mediterranean delicacies as hummus, pita chips, baba ghanouj, tzatziki and tabouli salad. Their specialty is hummus, as demonstrated by the many flavors available, including but not limited to: spicy pepper, roasted sweet bell pepper, Kalamata olive, roasted garlic and more. The many flavors certainly are not limited to the hummus; the pita chips are made in a variety of tasteful flavors as well: cinnamon sugar, garlic and herb and lemon pepper are just a few of the options. Their products can be found at Costco wholesale stores nationwide as well as at local markets in Southern California.

693 Palomar St
Chula Vista,
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