Sunday, December 26, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Oui Cater, Sonoma Wedding Caterer

We spoke with Randi Kauppi Oui Cater in Sonoma and she’s pretty fabulous. Hailing from family of foodies, Randi was raised around a big table where every night was spent at home at the dinner table. She remembers her first job at her favorite Italian restaurant in Philidelphia where she washed spinach, made gelato and other tricks of the trade for no money- but it paid off. Ironically, Oui Cater was started by her mom and sister in 1978. Together, her sister, a chef from the Culinary Academy and San Francisco and protégé of renowned French chef, Yvonne Boulleray, and mom, an old fashion home economist, opened Oui Cater. They rented a kitchen at Rodney Strong winery and Yvonne served as their consultant for many years. Dinners were commonly French themed and held in the barrel room. With a background in art design and education, Randi joined in 1981, excited to share her equal passion for food and wine with her family. Eventually, her mom began restoring Victorians in Geyserville as bed-n-breakfasts full-time and her sister moved on so Randi took over the business. 10 years ago, her husband Randall, a produce industry expert, joined her.

Randi tells us she loves creating menus and food for weddings. Doing about 20 weddings a year, she only does on per day, which means you get her all to yourself. You also get her for the duration of your planning and her experience makes her more than just a caterer, but a mentor, too. You’ll also get delicious food cooked with total love. She says her true rewards, besides watching people enjoy her food, is the letters that come after the weddings.

As for creative inspirations, Randi says, “My husband says I should have been a chemist!” Because they have no single working recipe, she and Randall customize and tailer all menus using seasonal and local foods. She calls her cuisine straightforward and fresh. Not a fan of heavy sauces and arranged plates, Oui Cater's food is meant for enjoying. This lovely husband and wife team love experimenting with ethnic cuisine and welcome any challenges thrown their way, saying they often do renditions of ethnic dishes. The response? "Always positive!" We love it. Totally Bridebound approved.