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pasadena wedding caterer?

Hi All,

I am looking for a very afforadable caterer for a wedding with 70 guests at a home in South Pasadena. In May 2007.


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  1. Teresa,

    I have done the same for the same but, maybe for us 85-90 guests. After much research my S.O. and I decided on Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock. What we liked best was the relaxed and casual but, quality of service provided to us from both Terri (owner) and Elyane (catering rep). I was really interested in The Kitchen for Exploring Foods - Pasadena. I went over a menu (via email only) exchanged a few emails but, then the link broke and no one ever got back to me. So, we chose Auntie Em's.

    To keep cost down, we are staying away from shellfishes, expensive meats and passed hors d' ouevres. Instead I am creating a wine/cheese bar prior to the ceremony and including smoked salmon and supplying my own wine/champagne. Then we're having chicken and beef tenderlions for dinner. Additionally, Auntie Em's makes incredible dessert treats. So, I'll get a small inexpensive wedding cake (Porto's or ?) then compliment with A.E. desserts and fresh fruit. Elayne was really accommodating listening to all my ideas and desires. She really made an effort to incorporate all I wanted. Give her a call and take a ride over there. Let her know I sent you. (Shari -AKA Kitchen Queen, May 12, 2007). Have a meal, take home a to die for cupcake. We were there for Brunch today. S.O. had baked banana and pecan french toast. Outstanding! I met Jodi, the very gregarious wine/cheese/hors d'ouevres expert and she introduced me to a few "tasties" from the cheese counter. They're all really terrific. Good Luck!!! :)KQ

    1. Hi Teresa,

      I used a young catering company in Pasadena called Elements Catering for my wedding at the Pacfic Asia Museum for 100 people. I looked into Kitchen for Exploring Foods, but after several frustrating run-arounds, I went with Elements and found them fabulous and very reasonable to work with. I wanted an Asian theme, so they served hors d'oeuves of stuffed chicken wings, pork satay with pineapple/spicy peanut sauce and roast duck vegetable rolls; then, a dinner of steamed salmon w/ginger, red onion,lemongrass, caramelized ribeye steak with jasmine rice and fresh veggies. Delish! The set-up and execution was marvelous and I am still getting compliments months afterwards on the decor and food! Carol Grogan was the contact at 626-440-0100 or at www.elementskitchen.com She and the young chef O'Neil are the owners. Good luck!

      1. The Kitchen for Exploring Foods catered our wedding. They were excellent - professional, responsive, and darn good cooks. They are willing to work with you on price so just tell Peggy what your budget is.

        2 Replies
        1. re: shimpiphany

          Great food, but very expensive. I had some friends look into it, and even their lower-end food is quite outrageous.

          1. re: Clare K

            actually, for the food we got they were by far the least expensive. of all the references we got for them, not one considered them pricey. not sure what kind of food your friends wanted, but the KFEF was at least 30% less than most other caterers - with no compromise in quality.

        2. As posted, we were ready to go with the Kitchen based on reputation even though they were 25% more expensive foodwise than two other caterers in Pasadena, and that was before the table and chair equipment set-up(another 20% on bill, which would have made them almost 50% more than Elements, which we went with. The Kitchen is definitely not inexpensive, in our minds.

          1. I used Duxbury Catering, they are located in South Pasadena on Huntington.


            1. The Kitchen For Exploring Foods catered our wedding as well and we thought they were fantastic - no complaints and the guests raved about it. We were working within a budget as well and did not feel as though we had to cut back in any areas. The appetizers were fantastic - tuna tartare, roast beef on cristini, shrimp ceviche, etc. For dinner, there was a chevre souffle with mixed greens and fresh flowers to start followed by wild salmon with basil risotto and heirloom tomato confit. Our guests raved about the food and the presentation that the kitchen does is gorgeous!

              1. We used Truly Yours for our wedding 4 years ago at my parents' home in Pasadena for 300 people. They were amazing! We liked them so much that my parents have used them a few times over the years.

                The food was delicious! People said to us that they had never had such good food at a catered event/wedding. Plus, they made everything so easy. They own their own tables, table settings, etc., everything you need, so it's like one-stop shopping. You get to pick your colors, etc. I didn't have a wedding coordinator that day, and I didn't need one because they took care of everything. Plus, it was significantly cheaper than other caterers we looked at, primarily because you don't spend any money on rentals. I really can't recommend them enough. Check out their website at trulyyourscatering.com

                As for the Kitchen for Exploring Foods, I have to say I was seriously underwhelmed. They have a great reputation in Pasadena, so we checked them out. We made an appointment, but she made us wait 40 minutes because she was talking to someone else. She wasn't very apologetic about it either. I thought that was not a good sign. We talked to her for about an hour and a half about what we wanted, and she said that she would get back to us with a quote, etc. We never heard from her again. I even left a message and still no response. Based on my own experience, I don't think I could trust them to try them out again, no matter their reputation.

                1 Reply
                1. re: norton44

                  The Kitchen gets busy, but usually worth the wait and a little bit of chaos at their office. The managers are great and much more attentive than the overburdened office staff. My experience is that once you have direct contact with the designated manager, everything flows really smoothly... What really matters is the results on the actual party.

                  Bottom line is that they are most the reliable and experienced caterer in the area, which is why they're so busy. Fantastic food and presentation.

                  Lots of other good choices in the area, though. The smaller caterers will give more direct attention to clients, but the party results are a little more iffy.

                2. You might want to check out Firefly in South Pasadena. They will definitely work with you to provide a great spread of food within your budget. I know the restaurant gets mixed reviews on this board, but in my experience their catered food is always fabulous.


                  1. I would recommend http://www.palettechef.com/

                    Jason is simply wonderful!!