Heart & Soul

By on October 11, 2012

Coast 2 Coast Catering with Jennifer Love-Hewitt

Paramount studios, Universal, Hollywood Blvd, Sunset & Vine, Graumen’s Chinese and The Kodak Theatres (home of the Academy Awards) are just a few landmarks and previous neighbors to Coast 2 Coast Catering in California. So, why have they relocated to Jasper, Georgia in the heart of the North Georgia mountains? The keyword is HEART.

“After many successful years catering to the stars in Hollywood such as Nigel Lythgoe of “American Idol” and ” So You Think You Can Dance”, we felt ourselves losing focus of our true goals,” explained Gerard Monte & Hector Rosano, proprietors of Coast 2 Coast Catering & Events, Madeline’s Café & Bakery and the soon-to-open, Millie’s Diner in Tate. Gerard continues, “Sure, success and popular recognition have its perks, but truth be told, what we wanted all along was to cook and entertain directly for our clients and their guests at the highest level of performance possible. So much of that is lost as a company grows too large. We gain the greatest satisfaction when we not only work with our clients in the planning stages, but are truly rewarded on the event day when we can actually see the guest’s reactions to all our hard work.”

Once you meet Gerard and Hector, it’s easy to see why diners love them and customers want to work with them. They are a flurry of activity, ready to tackle a problem one minute or to pause to chat with a customer the next. Both men are enthusiastic and their creativity comes across not only in how they decorate their restaurant Madeline’s, but also in how they describe their mouth-watering food. It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of culinary possibilities. It is also obvious from a meal at their restaurant that the pair doesn’t believe in shortcuts. When most eateries use plastic or paper, at Madeline’s heavy silverware and antique-looking china line the tables of patrons. Only high-quality ingredients are used and always fresh when possible. “We are establishing relationships with local farmers to bring in fresh produce, herbs, and cheeses,” says Gerard. “It’s a great way to support the local community and get fresh ingredients in return.”

c2c dessertsSo much of their current success can be attributed to their attention to detail and, of course, their award-winning and truly inspired recipes. “Both of our backgrounds are Latin and Italian–two cultures that really cook with soul,” smiles Gerard. “I suppose that is what drew us to the South and North Georgia (discovered on a business trip to Atlanta in 2006). People seem very genuine here and appreciate all the extra touches we offer in the many facets of our business. That is why we have always offered staffing, décor, flowers and decadent cakes and desserts as part of our food and catering services. We want our clients not only to have the ease of one stop shopping, but most importantly we want the event to flow effortlessly and feel united.” 

Any visitor to their restaurant in Jasper can see that Gerard & Hector pride themselves on the quality and presentation of their foods. That same attention to detail carries over to their catering business. Their claim to fame is that guests will always tout “that was some of the best food I ever ate.” The food may not always be the focus of the event, but it will certainly be a draw with Coast 2 Coast’s stellar reputation.

Unfortunately, bad food usually costs the same as exceptional food,” explains Gerard. “We have sample menus available online to inspire our customers for their next event. We frequently customize menus to each customer’s personal taste.” Some of their famous creations include creole shrimp and grits martinis, mac & cheese cupcakes and pulled pork sliders on potato rolls.

For the customer wanting to create their own meal, Gerard and Hector made sure that their restaurant, Madeline’s Café & Bakery, had a deli section with some of the chef’s favorite meats, cheeses and ready-made take-home items like soups and breads. Specialty cakes can also be ordered by phone or inspired by the delectable creations in the pastry cases.

c2c xmas 3Weddings, charity events and holiday parties are the duo’s favorite events to cater because they usually are hired for their expertise, knowledge and ability to create a theme or execute the host’s vision. Their 35 years of combined experience give them the ability to turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Hector’s face lights up as he remembers a recent wedding. “We took a covered barn with a sandpit floor and brought in turf, whiskey barrel tables, yards and yards of burlap fabric, local artifacts and antiques, as well as the wedding couple’s personal memorabilia to hang on the walls. It created a stunning visual backdrop for a Southern wedding reception. The hosts even joined in on the fun by scattering personalized burlap pillows on vintage church pews and chairs, monogrammed burlap drapery panels at the entrance and even decorated a flatbed trailer to resemble a country bandstand for the disc jockey.”  “Any private or public space,” explains Gerard, “can be transformed into a venue with a little creativity and a lot of team work!”

Whether you visit their café, attend one of their local functions or are planning your next big event, there is no doubt that that Hector and Gerard, with their ability to capture a moment and make it into a lasting memory will capture you—heart and soul.

Coast2Coast has established relationships with local venues and event facilities as their talents are being solicited by professionals. They are currently working with Jasper facilities like Venue 2 Remember, Chattahoochee Technical College, the Pickens Chamber of Commerce and Sharp Top Mountain Arts Association, The Sconti Grill, The Canoe Lodge and the Swim Club at Big Canoe. They also work with The Gardens at Great Oaks in Roswell, The Water Tower in Coosawattee, The Stover House in Braselton, The Wheeler House & Gibb’s Gardens in Ball Ground, The Hall at Saint Brigid’s in Alpharetta, The Solarium at Old Scottish Rite in Decatur and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta to name a few. While some venues are open to all of their services, some have a preferred caterer  where they can only provide flowers, cakes, staffing or event planning and coordination services.

Contact them directly if you have any questions regarding a facility or venue not listed. For more information, call 770.870.9892 or visit www.coast2coastcatering.com.

Madeline’s hours of operation are Tuesday – Friday 11:00am to 2:00pm, Saturday breakfast 8:00am to 10:45am and lunch 11:00am to 2:00pm.  AC

The holiday season is right around the corner and this year, you want to plan a holiday party that will impress family & friends and be remembered for years to come. Sound like a lot of work? Not for those who hire professionals to do the work while they get all the credit. “From the theme to the music playing in the background, no detail should be left out in order to provide your guests the full experience of being entertained,” say Chefs Gerard Monte & Hector Rosano from Coast 2 Coast Catering in Jasper, GA. Here are a few of their tips to making your next party an event:

Setting the Mood
“My mother always said a good party starts at the curb and she was absolutely right,” insists Hector. “Making a good first impression for your guests will definitely set the mood and the rest will follow suit.” Porch décor, candles and a welcoming door wreath are simple effects that can help you set the stage.

Greet Them with a Bang
Nothing says “welcome” better than a signature drink or cocktail to greet your invitees just inside the door. Something as simple as a glass of hand selected wine or homemade hot cider can signal to your guests that they are here to be pampered.

Carry the Theme Through
Now that you have captured your guests attention, show them why you have invited them (a few supermarket balloons or putting a nativity set out with a few stray straw blades just won’t do). Keep your theme moving throughout the space by using colors, fabrics, flowers or décor that reinforces your theme. Show your guests that you have taken the time and effort to entertain them, but not overwhelm them. Your décor should be strong yet effortless so as not to look like a show off. Try an over scaled item like a life-sized nutcracker on the porch or an extra large live tree in the living room versus many a nutcracker collection or a tree in each room.

Don’t Skimp with Food
Make it fabulous! You have gone to all this trouble and you can’t stop now. The food is one of the most important items on your party planning list and planning a menu with a professional can make all the difference. Whether you have all the food catered or bring in some pre-prepared foods, a  cohesive menu will captivate your guests and solidify your party’s success. “The menu should flow with the theme, beverage selections and even the style of music playing in the background,” explains Gerard. “A pasta dish, potato chips and French onion dip really don’t fit the holiday theme while Bing Crosby croons “White Christmas”. One of our most successful holiday events was a “Latin Christmas” with bright tissue paper banners over the dining table. Bright colored ornaments in shimmering limes, pinks and blues complimented the garland hanging on the bannister. The menu included specialties like fresh made tamales, potato tacos with guacamole & homemade salsas, black beans & fried plantains. The bounty of desserts were stationed in three different locations to keep the guests flowing while classic flamenco, salsa and Jose Feliciano singing “Feliz Navidad” played on the iPod. Even a festive sangria and a latin hot chocolate were offered to keep the guests warm and toasty.”

Everybody Loves Dessert
When the holidays are here, all dieting must be relinquished. However, treat your guests to a bevy of bite sized desserts. Include some of your most popular family recipes along with a mix of unexpected treats stationed in different rooms. This will keep your guests flowing instead of laying on the sofa in a sugar coma.

Be a Gracious Host Success!
You have circulated around the room and thanked your guests for coming. You have graciously accepted all the kudos for including them in the party of the year. Now is the time to offer guests goody bags and insist they take home some of their favorite foods of the evening. Hector suggests, “Offer hot coffee to the designated drivers and night caps for the non-drivers and don’t forget to make sure all your guests have a safe way home.” He smiles. “Even if that means Aunt Josie will be spending another night in the guest bedroom.”
Originating in Hollywood and now celebrating their 6th year in the north Georgia area, Coast 2 Coast has the
experience and knowledge to plan your next red carpet event or your intimate dinner for two. For more information on planning your next holiday event, contact Coast 2 Coast Catering & Events at 770.870.9892 or
www.coast2coastcatering.com.  AC

Don’t miss Madeline’s 1st Annual Holiday Entertaining, Home Décor & Gift Trunk Show on Sunday, Oct 14th from 1:00 – 5:00 pm and Monday, Oct 15th from 10am – 2 pm. They’re bringing in some of their “Favorite Things” like tabletop décor, scarves, totes and fashion jewelry, gourmet foods, books and much more!  Bring a friend and enjoy light hor d’oeuvres and refreshments.

Photos by: Coast 2 Coast