Our thriving, growing business came to a grinding halt, along with much of the world in March 2020. Heartbreaking call after call, couples cancelling or postponing their weddings, daily corporate clients suddenly switching to work from home, and everyone else for that matter – one by one, events were gone. We went from being on the cusp of our most successful summer season in Kiss the Cook history, to almost zero orders – overnight.
To be completely honest, wishful thinking went on for several months on my part. I think maybe it was a mixture of hope and shock. Many of our daily corporate clients also believed they would be returning to work soon, with projected dates for the Fall. However, social gatherings still proving risky has meant the target continues moving further away.
Our last months of the summer were spent helping many couples who had lost their venues and changed the plan to a backyard wedding with a drastically reduced guest list. Loads of events which had taken us countless hours to plan, were completely reinvented. This requires double the work and less than half the capacity. At times it has felt like the wheels are spinning, but you are going nowhere. The only reward has been the tremendous gratitude from the couples and clients that we’ve been able to help.
I’m always looking for the silver lining and during this unprecedented time, it has been our community. We’ve catered birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers and weddings for many locals over the years, but never anything smaller than a 10 person party. Large social gatherings are what we do. Regularly serving hundreds of people and sometimes thousands. I would never have expected so many of our clients and community to reach out with great care and concern for our business. Many people are going through challenging and devastating times, yet there have been these unexpected pops of kindness. Call after call, you asked – “Are you offering pick-ups and deliveries for couples or families?” Food for the bubble? So we picked ourselves up off the “no-social-gatherings floor” and said, Why not?
We’re very meticulous in how we plan our menus. There are the necessary standards such as seasonality, sustainability, and sourcing. We also think about the message behind every plate. We want you to take that first bite and say to yourself – that’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Every recipe goes through a process of testing and adjusting, measuring and perfecting. Our chefs work tirelessly to get every last detail just right. The decision to pivot to offering home deliveries and pick-ups wasn’t something we came to overnight. It took us months of planning and tweaking, until we felt prepared to give you our best.
What we all need is a bit of comfort food right about now. And comfort food, is our middle name. Many of the dishes we are serving up are things that would take many, MANY hours for the home cook to make. French onion soup for example (a classic winter favourite), goes through a two day process. We start by roasting beef bones to make the stock, glaze them in tomato paste and roast them again at a low temperature. The stock then simmers for 8-9 hours before it’s cooled overnight. The following day we boil, strain and cool the stock again. Next onions (we do the crying so you don’t have to) are cut precisely so they brown evenly as they caramelize. The onions get spiced and a hit of sherry to give the soup it’s distinct French Onion flavor. Then we shred the cheese, make the jumbo croutons, put it all together and kiss the cook’s.
Folks, this aint’ fast food. I’ve grown up in this community and I think we have some very good options if you’re wanting to head down that path. What we are doing here at Kiss the Cook is a little different. We ask for 48 hours notice because – well, good things take time.
You can’t just roll up to the window and get a beef bourguignon on the fly. However, you can plan your week of meals and transform your fridge into something magical. We think every time you open that door the tunnel of light should strike you along with the songs of heavenly angels in awe. You deserve it.
Looking back on 2020 I want to show some major gratitude for the people that have helped to guide us into a new form of catering that we have come to love. After all, the love of food is a very, very powerful thing.
Eat well, stay safe.
Fia Pagnello, CEO
To book your Kiss the Cook home delivery, contact us now!