Katia Mangham’s next course brings her culinary skills from platter back to the plate
Instagram-worthy images of colorful charcuterie trays, multi-tiered cakes with garden roses and platters of prosciutto, brie and bourbon fig tartines beckon guests to the buffet when the event is catered by Gourmet Girls. Beautifully edible delights are the forte of owner Katia Mangham. But catering is not her only specialty. This former restaurant owner loves preparing a proper meal and sitting down to enjoy it, especially with friends and family.
“I’ve wanted to offer farm-to-table dining for a long time,” says Mangham. “I’ve been asked to open a restaurant, but it’s so time consuming. Pop-up dining gave me the chance to offer fine dining when time allowed.”
Mangham, owner of Gourmet Girls catering, launched a Sunday Supper series a few months ago, offering a multi-course dining experience for up to 16 guests outside her shop in the courtyard at Studio Park. Through this series, she is focusing on dishes that are labor intensive and elaborate. Mangham hosted a Midsummer Night Meze that included lamb kata and couscous stuffed dolmas. Her Southern Supper night offered fried green tomatoes with jumbo lump crab Louis and tomato caper salsa. And an event called Tapas and Paella featured a seafood paella and a flourless chocolate torte.
Martin Wine Celler opened a new location in Studio Park near Gourmet Girls and pairs appropriate wines with the dishes Mangham prepares.
“Before I plan a menu, I always reach out to Grant Guidroz with Fullness Organics,” says Mangham. “His farm is certified organic, and he always has beautiful things. Items I can’t get in a store.”
Creating beauty through her food is essential to Mangham. After all, she received a degree in fine arts that focused on drawing and painting. She hand paints seasonal images onto cookies, cakes and chocolate bon bons for the Gourmet Girls storefront and catering venture, and she believes in bringing that beauty to each plate served for catering or dinner. It has been well received.
“It’s been so popular that each dinner I’ve created has been repeated two or three times, “says Mangham. “From the communal dining suppers, individuals have gone on to book private parties for 10 to 12 of their friends.
Indeed, it is the experience itself—the sit-down communal dining with a delicious lineup of delectables—that Mangham appreciates the most. Although she adores the catering part of the company, she is not present when her items are actually eaten. Plus, for the most part, most catered items have to be edible at room temperature. Cooking for dinner allows her creative juices to flow and lifts the boundaries on what can be produced for an event.
“Sunday Suppers gives me a chance to be a part of something from beginning to end. I love to set the table and make the environment pretty,” says Mangham. “I love to come up with an amazing menu. Things I want to create that other people want to have. Every step of it is something I enjoy doing.”
TRUFFLE DEVILED EGGS
8 large eggs, boiled and peeled
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. Tabasco Sauce
¼ tsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. truffle oil
Salt to taste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 oz. salmon roe
Microgreens for garnish
Additional truffle oil for drizzling
Slice eggs in half and remove yolks. In the bowl of a food processor, combine yolks, mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, curry, Dijon mustard, truffle oil, salt and cayenne pepper; process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt. Place filling in a piping bag and fill egg cavities generously. Top with a little salmon roe and microgreens. Right before serving, drizzle eggs lightly with additional truffle oil.
MOGHRABIEH (Israeli couscous salad)
10.5 oz. Israeli or pearl couscous
1 cup vegetable oil, divided
6 shallots, peeled and sliced into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. seven spice
1 cup orange juice
3 oz. sliced almonds
½ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Cook couscous in plenty of salted boiling water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool until lukewarm.
Meanwhile, heat ¾ cup vegetable oil in a large frying pan, and fry shallots until deep brown and slightly crisp. Remove shallots from pan and season with salt, pepper and seven spice. Bring orange juice to a simmer in a small saucepan and reduce to less than half. Set aside to cool.
Heat remaining ¼ cup vegetable oil and fry almonds until golden brown and crisp. Let cool on a plate. Grate zest of 2 oranges over almonds, then peel and segment oranges. Whisk cooled orange juice with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Mix couscous with orange juice dressing, fried almonds, shallots and orange segments. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper and seven spice.
SESAME COOKIES (Rosquillas de Ajonjoli)