Yes, I met another personal chef and caterer. I love them all. Each has something different to add to the mix. (Google me to see who I’m talking about!) And Shelly Maddocks, that got my attention a little differently, is the latest.
A week ago a Facebook friend e-mailed me about some Hurricane Lamps she saw as holiday, or any day, centerpiece. I’ve seen Hurricane Lamps before, big whoop, but…at first glance saw something different.
These were made from single, double and even triple-sized wine magnum-sized bottles. I decided I needed to see them for myself and e-mailed the local resident responsible.
Going to Shelly’s house in Stevenson Ranch, I was greeted not only by a warm home but also by Shelly’s not-too-bad-on-the-eyes Air Force test pilot husband, Brian.
Transferred, and readying for Brian’s military retirement, the Maddocks (which also includes their 12 year-old son Mason) chose Stevenson Ranch to make their permanent home. That was three years ago, and exactly when Shelly began her catering business full-throttle in our community.
“I love Santa Clarita,” began Shelly. “I started out by donating catered meals to our schools, Special Olympics and wherever it’s ‘humanly possible’. It helped me meet some very nice people. I’ll be catering the WE of SCV (Women Entrepreneurs) Holiday Party in December and am considering joining that group as well.”
Looking over to their exquisite dining room Brian then showed me the bottles up close. The bottles are manufactured first, and then the bottoms removed. “The Hurricane Wine Lamp is our ‘flagship’ item in our new gift line,” Shelly explained. “I think it a great alternative gift to bring to a wine-loving couple. Especially if the gift-giver doesn’t know what wine to bring…why guess and bring the wrong wine? Or, why bring what everyone else does?”
When I asked about the bottoms, Brian showed me how well they worked to hold small corkscrews and corks. But they were unsure if they would pursue having them finished off for sale as well. (But are willing to take reader’s suggestions!)
I wanted to learn more how Shelly, a Texan that cooks with a South West flair, makes her meals “personal.”
“I cater anywhere from 2-60 guests. I have florists, buy my foods and wine locally, and I decorate if that’s what my client wants. But I also stay after the meal is made to make the experience intimate for everyone. I don’t do 100 guests, as I’d be stuck just worrying about how to keep 100 plates warm. It’s not all about the food for me. I stay for every meal until the last person drops.”
“I think that’s why I came up with the gift line of Hurricane Wine Lamps. I wanted to personalize a dining table or bar and these make such a nice statement. I also offer Gift Certificates so you can choose whether to have a long-remembered catered event or a permanent centerpiece.”
What about wine?
“My favorite thing to do is wine pairing, as it’s all in the flavor. Pairing sweet or salty food with the right wine makes the food. You can’t drink any Cab with any thing. I love all reds all the way to Ports. And of course I cook with wine. I make wine reduction sauces, wine goes into my spaghetti sauces and my lasagna.”
A “client considered” Shelly meal might include Filet Mignon with caramelized shallots, rustic garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and finished with a chocolate mouse and fresh whipped cream.
“I did a wedding for 55 people with 7 different cheese displays and different wines. The guests couldn’t believe the pairings with creamy, sweet and even Stilton Bleu cheese. Then I added with fruits, like fig over Brie, honey with Spanish Manchego cheese, which brought out even more flavors in the wine pairing.
Contact Shelly for catering and gifts at http://www.savoringthymechef.com/.