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Quechol, Great New Caterer from Chef Mariano Ramos


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We had a dinner party this past weekend for ten friends. The nature of the event and the number of people were enough that we decided to have it catered.  We used a newer caterer called "Quechol" and I want to sing their praises very strongly so others here can consider them as needs arise.

The principals behind Quechol are Mariano Ramos and his wife Cathy. Mariano is a chef who has worked at the Inn at Little Washington and Central among other spots around town.

We asked them to prepare a southwestern menu with some different options for guests with various dietary restrictions (one GF, two no shellfish, 2 no red meat, etc.).

Here's what we had:

- Two different charred and stuffed poblano dishes (stuffed with meat or cheese).  These were delicious and went really fast.  The stuffed poblanos, served on large white dishes rested on a delicious sweet tomato sauce Chef Ramos had prepared.

- Ceviche-style fish salad.  To make this, the fish was first marinated with lime and seasoning before being flash seared and then chopped.  The flash searing was great because it still allowed the freshness of the fish to come through but also gave some texture to the dish.  Interesting and delicious.

- Refried black beans.  Perfectly seasoned, executed and paired.

- Cactus pad salad.  I didn't get all the ingredients for the dishes but this had the cactus pad chopped finely and mixed with diced red pepper along with whatever seasonings were used and maybe a bit of oil.  Really tasty.

- Green salad,  Lots of fresh seasonal veggies and well dressed and seasoned as so many green salads in restaurants often are not.

- Corn tortillas were purchased from a Latin market around 14th St (forgetting the brand and the market's name even though Chef Ramos enthusiastically told me about them when I asked) and then warmed over burner flames on our gas stove.

- Plantain slices perfectly carmelized, tenderized and sweetened; these were also much loved by all.

- Rice with peas and some lovely grilled veggies rounded things out along with wine, beer and a Praline cake we provided ourselves.

As important as the food, Mariano and Cathy are just delightful to work with. They were both exceedingly nice; and talented! They accommodated the dietary restrictions happily and skillfully.  They set up our dining room with colorful Latin American linens to decorate the serving counter and table.  They decorated with some raw vegetables including both raw and charred poblanos, along with some small, hand-painted bowls containing a few beans, seasonings and bay leaves. They wore chef whites since they stayed long enough just to make sure the food was all hot at the perfect moment as guests arrived.

And, they were very reasonably priced.

Quechol doesn't yet have a website set up but I'd strongly recommend this lovely, hard working and talented couple and their team. They can be reached at:

catering@quechol.net

...and should have a website up within a few weeks. And, I think Chef Ramos is now one of the newer members of DonRockwell.com! Please post here or PM me with any questions and hope you'll post your own reaction here if you use them. We couldn't have been happier and our dinner was much more successful thanks to them.

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