Event Catering Services
Greater Francisco Bay Areas
Since 1997, Chef Margaret Riesen and her team at The Vegetarian Gourmet have been providing plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, and non-vegetarian catering services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for weddings, corporate events, bar and bat mitzvahs, memorial services, holiday parties, family events, and private retreats.
Whether you’re planning a small, intimate gathering, or a large event The Vegetarian Gourmet is at your service. Our comprehensive catering services include a broad, eclectic, plant-based menu from around the world; full menu design; and professional staffing services. With over 25 years of experience catering events in the Bay Area, we coordinate with the area’s most trusted event professionals such as planners, photographers, venues, and more, to help ensure a hassle-free event so you can truly enjoy the day. At The Vegetarian Gourmet, we make it easy to wow your guests with vibrant, delicious, plant-based dishes from around the world, and we make you look good.
We love the challenge of a crowd-pleasing vegetarian wedding menu, especially when it involves relatives from the Midwest who want to know “where’s the beef?” Sharing food in community is one of our oldest rituals – and one of life’s great pleasures – so give the wedding meal enough time.
For many vegetarian and vegan couples, their wedding day is the perfect opportunity to invite friends and family to experience an all vegetarian or vegan meal. It may be a new experience for many of your guests. I say go for it – it’s your party, celebrate it your way, with the food that you love. And if you feel the need to include a non-vegetarian option, we can do that as well. Our menus span the globe and are prepared with love and expertise from local, organic ingredients, custom-tailored to fit your budget and needs.
A corporate event is the perfect opportunity for showing employee or client appreciation, so why not set the tone by honoring multi-cultural backgrounds and resulting dietary preferences? Tech companies and companies with a young workforce know that there’s a growing demand for vegetarian and vegan menu options that are nutritious, healthy and flavorful. Companies in the health care business are leading by example, and offering healthier snack options for staff by replacing the contents of their vending machines, and by updating cafeteria menus.
Bar & Bat Mitzvahs
We love the challenge of creating kosher-style menus that appeal to all ages. Year-round favorites are the cuisines of the Mediterranean, which offer variety and fresh local ingredients, including fabulous selections in the Sephardic tradition. Appetizers may include a hummus bar, smoky baba ganoush with pomegranate, or spicy Moroccan muhammara. Main course favorites include creamy polenta with tomato and gorgonzola, Spanish paella with fish or beans, Moroccan tagine, or Sephardic lentils with braised vegetables, among others. On the side – grilled seasonal vegetables, Israeli style chopped salad, couscous with julienned vegetables, or watermelon salad with feta and mint. An ice cream bar for the young crowd is a hands-down winner, with artisanal ice creams and toppings. For non-alcoholic beverages, we have a tasty Italian soda bar with sparkling waters and syrups.
Planning a memorial service is stressful enough without having to worry about what to feed your guests.
We make recommendations based on our experiences with these kinds of gatherings, and can recommend a menu that works for your occasion. What works best for a memorial service is a menu with a selection of foods that don’t require a knife and fork, so that guests can mingle. We recommend a variety of savory finger foods – e.g. finger sandwiches, wraps, skewers – and one or two sweets. We also provide coffee, tea, and non-alcoholic beverages. Let us know your special wishes, and we’ll create a custom menu for you.
Holidays & Family Events
Planning a holiday gathering, birthday, or anniversary party? A memorable menu is one that delights and surprises – with options that offer variety and take special dietary needs into consideration, e.g. gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, etc. Our menus are created from the bounty of locally sourced, seasonal organic ingredients. If your party is a cocktail reception, our wide selection of heavy appetizers will keep your guests from dashing out for pizza. Our holiday menus span the globe and include seasonal specialties like gravlax, English plum pudding, European Christmas cookies, and Jewish Holiday foods.
Meditation & Yoga Retreats
Planning a yoga or meditation retreat? Meal times are an essential part of any retreat. Some of the ideal food choices should be meals that are energizing, clean and easy on the system, mostly vegan with limited soy and dairy options. Yoga and meditation retreats are opportunities for participants to heal, to reflect, and to practice healthy self-care. The process often makes people very hungry, and it’s important to provide generous portions of healthy, vital and energizing foods. Our suggested retreat menus are mostly vegan, with limited amounts of dairy and soy. Breakfasts include cashew yogurt, organic fruit, gluten-free granola, and perhaps a frittata (with egg or egg substitute). Lunches are hearty, with whole grains, legumes, lots of greens, and a vegan dessert bar. Dinners may include a Sephardic lentil & chickpea stew with saffron, short grain brown rice with julienne vegetables, organic greens and a fruit crisp with berries and gluten-free crunchy topping.
“When I hosted a party, everyone enjoyed the delicious spread, even my meat-eater friends.”
“Wow! The dishes were fresh, full of flavor, nutritious and delicious.”
“Margaret’s Vegetarian Gourmet is simply the most impressive cuisine for anyone – vegetarian or not!”
“Margaret was fabulous to work with. We had our private event catered by her company and it was amazing!”
“I can’t even begin to say what a gift it is to eat the Vegetarian Gourmet’s food.”