We started this local series last year but haven’t been too good about keeping it up. Well…we are reviving it this year and will feature a new local Gorge vendor each month. We are kicking off with one of our favorite local caterers – Boda’s Kitchen. We had the pleasure of working with them on several weddings this year including one with a pretty rad burger bar and one very foodie wedding with lots of local flavor. If you are looking for a caterer to work with you to craft the perfect special menu for your day look no further – Boda’s can do just about anything and with a smile!
We recently caught up with Sirota (a.k.a Boda) and here is what she had to say about seasonal favorites, advice to couples searching for a caterer and Thanksgiving traditions.
How long have you been catering?
I began doing event management for a large caterer in Portland 11 years ago – so that’s how long I have been in the industry. It was love at first wedding. After moving to Hood River 7 years ago, I worked with several local caterers in serving and catering management. I have been on my own catering for the last 2 years.
What do you love about catering weddings?
So many things! I love that we get to be intimately involved in a day that is arguably the happiest and most important day of a young couple’s lives. I love that every wedding has its unique personality and set of challenges. I never get bored. I still have to stay away during the ceremony because no matter what, I still cry at weddings. It may seem sappy, but they make me cry every time.
What advice do you have for couples seeking a caterer?
Don’t be shy about asking lots of questions. Caterers know that this is probably the first time you have ever planned an event like this and there are probably lots of things you don’t understand about how the day will come together. In addition to your venue and planner, your caterer is one of the most important components to making sure the day goes how you envisioned. Make sure you understand how they will operate. When will they arrive? What is included in their labor? Will they set up tables/chairs? Will they Set out decor? How will the servers be dressed? How will the food be presented? How will it be prepared? Will it be cooked on site? Any caterer should be open and honest about how they operate. Feel free to ask for pictures. A catered wedding is not inexpensive, so make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.
Can you tell us some of the unique things that you have done at weddings that stand out?
The Ice cream bar we did was really fun. The bride wanted an ice cream truck but couldn’t find one to serve at the wedding, so we created a fun table full of toppings like salted caramel sauce, huckleberry coulis, Marcona almonds, candied hazelnuts, Assorted Valrhona chocolate chunks,fresh berries, etc. Our staffed served up 5 different ice creams and guests had a blast!
What are 3 favorite seasonal ingredients to cook with and serve for each season?
Winter: Fresh Dungeoness Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade. I can’t get enough crab in the winter time!
Spring: Wild Spring Chinook is arguably the best salmon you can get! Simply grilled or en Papillote with Fresh Asparagus, Morels & Hollandaise – YUM!
Summer: Corn Anything! Our Grilled Corn Salad with Cotija, Mint & Red Bell Pepper is wildly popular. Corn Fritters with Spicy Guacamole & Chicharrones, Corn on the cob with Paprika Butter… I could keep going. I include Fresh Fruit and Veggies in everything! Grilled Peaches with Maple Marscapone. Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad.
Fall: I LOVE Brussels Sprouts. I do a Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprout dish. Our Korean Brussels Sprout salad has a cult following now. Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw with Garlic toasted Pumpkin Seeds. The Porchetta stuffed with House made Italian Sausage and served over braised Apple & Cranberry Chutney is a very nice fall entree.
What are your personal favorites and culinary traditions for Thanksgiving?
Obviously I love feeding people – that’s why I do what I do. Along with our dearest family and friends, we always invite the “orphans” along for our Thanksgiving dinner. I hate the idea of people being alone on what is one of my favorite holidays. As far as culinary traditions, we don’t always do the same thing except our turkey always goes in a brine for 2 days. My husband likes his turkey smoked and I prefer the traditional roast, so we will always do one of each. The potatoes are always made in HUGE quantities and always my roasted garlic buttermilk potatoes that we are known for. I play around with different side dishes though. I like to try new things and usually use the dinner as a chance to experiment on very willing guinea pigs.
Anything in particular you are looking forward to for next season?
Just more… more people, more friends, more food, more joy. I love it!