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Hello! I’m Chef Amy Jurist, and I'm the Chef and Owner of Amy's Culinary Adventures. We've been in business for 15 years and have over 45 on call staff and can accomodate parties from 2- 500 guests. We're proud to have just been voted Best Caterer in LA on the LA Hotlist for the 6th year in a row!
Choosing a caterer in Los Angeles can be difficult and time-consuming. I want to make your Los Angeles catering experience easier -- by creating better more creative dishes that you and your guests will enjoy and remember long after the tables have been cleared.
I grew up around good cooks and surrounded by great food. My father was an excellent and creative cook. And totally passionate about food. He lived to eat a great meal. The success of a trip, whether near or far, was almost solely predicated on how the food was.
I like to think about it, shop for it, travel to it, prepare it, read about it, enjoy it...all of which (and more) is longhand for the fact that I am consumed by food.
I started cooking for my parents around 4 years old. I would stand on a little step stool (that I still have) and make scrambled eggs for them. But, my parents had different ideals as to what the perfect scrambled egg texture should be (amongst other things!) So I started at a very early age to create customized food for each of them. And got pleasure, and still do, from being able to deliver food prepared to each person’s liking. I never saw this as a burden, but rather as a delicious challenge. Much like the way a bartender remembers the explicit way you like your martini each time you come in.
My mother was an excellent cook too, and I cherish the recipes and cooking knowledge she passed down to me. I challenge anyone to make a better brisket than she did. OK, except me. I have to say, proudly, that last year, using her recipe for the first time, I did improve upon it, though slightly and it was outstanding.
I have to blame my father for spoiling me on good food and fostering my love for cooking and eating. My father refused to let me eat at any fast food restaurant and we ate out at least three times a week. When he died at 75, he had never been to a drive thru! He often took me to great restaurants. But, I never sat down until my father approved of the table. I have to confess that I have inherited this trait. It’s about respect and not settling. You shouldn’t have to hear the dishes being jostled around at the bus station while savoring your meal. You shouldn’t have to move your elbow every time someone walks by. My father would become incensed if they didn’t put him in the “right “ room. Like it was a personal affront.
And one of the best parts of the meal was critiquing the food. I have always loved to critique restaurants (and probably ruin many experiences for my companions) --improving the food and/or service in my mind. I’m known amongst my friends for never ordering right off the menus. It amazes me that most people just accept things the way they come. How could any one else possibly know my personal food nuances. It never occurs to most people that they don’t have to eat bell peppers if they don’t like them. They’ll either just put up with it, or not order it.
My father and I also shared a love of sweets. A meal was not complete without dessert. Plus, my father always had a box of Sees candies in his nightstand. When I would get scared, I would come into my parents room, and instead of crawling into bed with them, like most kids…I would lie on the floor next to my dad and open the nightstand door so I could smell the mix of musky wood, chocolates and caramel. Always nuts and chews… who buys the fruits and creams assortment anyway?
We even wrote a restaurant review column together for a small newspaper I used to work for in LA when I first got out of college. It gave us a chance to spend time together doing what we loved. Strangely, he never liked to put bad reviews in the column. He preferred to spend the ink letting people know about good places, not wasting it with reviews of bad ones.
In the past 20 years I’ve taken over 50 cooking classes at The New School of Cooking and Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories, to brush up and fill in my cooking skills. I traveled to France and Switzerland and took cooking classes through the CIA -Hyde Park. Then 16 years ago, I decided to formalize my training and attended the Professional Program at the Westlake Culinary Institute. I’ve been catering full time ever since. 9 years ago I also graduated from the Professional Pastry & Baking Program at The Academy of Culinary Education. I also do product development, helping to create new food products for companies like Trader Joe’s. This is just proof that you really can change your life, and pursue your passion. I am finally fulfilling my dream of cooking for a living and enjoying every minute of it. I wish my parents could see me now, I know they’d be so proud.
So, I hope that we get the chance to share a culinary adventure together soon. Feel free to call us and we will work with you to create a gorgeous menu and event you’ll never forget.
- Chef Amy Jurist 323.252.3696