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February 23, 2015 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

Gala at Grace Cathedral: The Year of Technology

In a city celebrated for being a tech industry hub, it seems fitting that Grace Cathedral’s fifth annual fundraiser gala celebrates this coming year as The Year of Technology. Two weeks ago the Carnivale was a sold out banquet dinner for nearly 400 patrons. The special evening supports the Cathedral’s innovative programs, service ministries, educational offerings and arts programs. The night’s guest speaker was Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. Mr. Khan’s vision is to provide free, learning resources that use modern technology to personalize education to each student based on their individual strengths and needs.

Attendees dined and socialized within the beautiful walls of the gracious church. The McCalls kitchen team served up a delectable three-course meal that included a Deconstructed Lemon Gremolata Cured Salmon Niçoise, a 16-Hour Braised Beef Short Rib with Farro Risotto, Coriander Carrots and Romanesco Broccoli, and ended with an Heirloom Apple Galette topped with Caramel Walnut Ice Cream.

In preparation for the gala and extending throughout the period of Lent, the church removed all of its pews for a new program called Spacious Grace, an exploratory platform for open seating and using the physical church space in different and creative ways. Make sure to stop by the Cathedral during this time to see and interact with the church in a whole new light.

For this great event with an even greater mission, McCalls was honored to be a participant in Grace Cathedral’s annual affair.

October 22, 2014 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

Pier 2 Celebrates its New Look!                 


Last month The Fort Mason Center, in partnership with the National Park Service, was excited to celebrate the reopening of Pier 2 after more than a year-long “rehabilitation.” The $21 million restoration provided updates to preserve part of the City’s historic waterfront, as well as integrated the park’s second largest solar power system supported by the Silicon Valley-based SunPower Corporation.  These renovations were made possible by generous gifts from the Herbst Foundation, Columbia Foundation, the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, the Center’s board of trustees, along with many individual donors.

Petite TacosMcCalls was overjoyed to cater the opening night event for this revamped space. The 103-year-old pier celebrated with 250 guests that mingled and marveled over the 35,000 sq. ft. venue – a site with a capacity for up to 3,000 people – while enjoying an assortment of mouthwatering appetizers, including a crowd favorite of Petite Tacos with Tomatillo Chicken and Cilantro Crema. A stunning acrobatic performance welcomed attendees as they sat down for dinner. The supper ended sweetly with a dessert of Lambrusco Poached Pears, Mascarpone Crème, Biscotti and Zabaglione Mocha Gelato, all topped with a Chocolate Raspberry Cigarette and Hazelnuts.




Congratulations Fort Mason on your fabulously renovated space.  We look forward to partner together on many more parties at Pier 2!

To see more photos and get more information about the space, please visit the McCalls Venue page at or Fort Mason’s Venue Rentals page.

September 5, 2014 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

Carnevale Comes to Sausalito!


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Last weekend, Marinship Park in Sausalito came alive with the sights, sounds and flavors of Carnevale. The 2014 Sausalito Art Festival Foundation kicked off its annual Labor Day weekend of art from 270 local artists, live music and food with its Friday night preview soiree: the 2014 Carnevale “Unmask Your Imagination” Gala. The evening was replete with cocktails and a Carnevale inspired banquet dinner and dining tent. Brazilian dancers spiced up the night and danced along with revelers to the musical stylings of the Dick Bright Orchestra. Even our own Chef Josip enjoyed some of the fun!

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Before taking part in the spectacle, Chef Josip and our team of culinary artisans served up quite the feast. Chilled Carrot Gazpacho Soup topped with Curried Prawns tantalized the palettes of artists and art enthusiasts alike, along with a vibrant salad of Heirloom Tomatoes, Melon, Di Stefano Burrata and Wild Arugula, drizzled with Micro Basil Olive Oil and White Balsamic Reduction. A hearty Grilled Filet of Beef with Champignon Crown, a medley of summer vegetables and a sauce of Cognac and Cream followed suit, and a Frozen Elderflower Soufflé Glacé Parfait with a Raspberry Macaron rounded off the meal on a cool note.

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But underneath this fabulous evening and the ensuing art festival lays an important mission. The Sausalito Art Festival Foundation is founded on an objective to bolster arts in the local community.   This year the proceeds of the weekend will be funneled into Artists Teaching Art, a fresh but highly successful program that engages young Marin students and working artists in order to foster artistic stimulus, imagination and experience.


We are always honored to be part of such a fun and inspirational evening celebrating our local creative community. If you missed the gala and festival this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next years’ Labor Day weekend and boogie the night away at the “Studio 63” Gala.


August 27, 2014 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

Shadow Play

AtmosphereThe San Francisco Exploratorium is a playful place to explore, learn and ignite curiosity. When McCalls was given the opportunity to coordinate the design for The Exploratorium’s Annual Gala, we wanted the principles of the Museum to be translated into the design.   Our designer met with our lighting specialists on the subject of color shadows to create something that would be fun and interactive for guests, and that also emulated the Exploratorium itself.







What are color shadows and how do you make them?  Colored shadows occur when two or more different-colored lights shine on the same spot on a white surface; the light reflecting from that spot to your eyes is called an “additive mixture” because it contains the colors from both lights. Utilizing all white tables, our design team created a table scape with unique and thoughtfully- placed flower arrangements; serving dishes in bold geometric shapes, and reflective glassware to amplify the shadows.  All of these elements drew together to create the perfect configuration for the color shadows to be the focal point of the overall design.

Photo credit to Drew Altizer Photography

For more photos of The Exploratorium Gala and to see the other room designs, please visit our Pinterest Profile.

To experience the Exploratorium first hand buy tickets here.

January 13, 2014 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

New Year, New Ventures: A Glimpse at McCalls’ Latest Venue Partnership with The Wattis Room


McCalls is always excited to unite with novel and unique sites on special events. Ringing in 2014, we are thrilled to showcase The Wattis Room as one of our newest venue partners.

Located in the cultural hub of San Francisco’ performing arts district, The Wattis Room is an intimate, exclusive locale nestled in the heart of the celebrated Davies Symphony Hall. Designed by distinguished architect Andrew Skurman, the room features deep crimson red walls, a beautiful existing U-shaped marble bar and three spectacular paintings on loan from SFMOMA.

WattisRoom_3dec13-005v2The room’s cozy and inviting surroundings are perfect for anything from a corporate dinner or business reception, to a rehearsal dinner, wedding or birthday celebration. This exceptional venue can accommodate up to 80 guests for a seated dinner and 200 guests for cocktail receptions.


So if you are looking for an intimate yet vibrant space to host your next event or gathering, The Wattis Room may be the perfect fit.

To inquire about catering packages or to schedule a site visit, please contact Trisha Heigl at 415.503.5333 or theigl@sfsymphony.com .

December 16, 2013 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

A Ring-a-ding-ding Event

One of October’s greatest Bay Area highlights was the 32nd Annual San Francisco’s Fall Antiques Show Gala benefiting Enterprise for High School Students held at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.


The Gala’s 1930’s glamour was exquisitely portrayed in the Jazz Modern: Art Deco and the Avant-Garde theme. Guests were immediately greeted by towering urns designed by Andrew Skurman that transported them to a bygone era. In line with the Avant-Garde theme, the cuisine mirrored the Antique Show 2013American Industrial and European-influenced era with wondrous displays of caviar, fine assortments of cheeses, and decadent desserts.

Students from the Enterprise Program helped pass hors d’oeuvres while guests perused the selection of fabulous antiques. Attendants indulged in chilled Blue Angel Vodka paired with American Sturgeon caviar sprinkled with lemon on homemade IMG_4006-004potato chips and topped with a touch of sour cream. Guests continued to enjoy the Lamb Karsky on a bed of Potatoes au Gratin with an Apple Mint Relish.

As a grand finale, dessert-lovers satisfied their sweet tooth with an array of sweets: from Espresso Crème Brûlée to Raspberries with Crème

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de Cassis and Kirsch-Soaked Cherries with Chantilly Cream.

The successful gala raised funds for an excellent cause and provided an enjoyable experience to all involved. We look forward to seeing what next year’s show will bring.

To find out more about EHSS mission and its programs visit their website at: http://www.ehss.org/index.html

September 13, 2013 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

The San Francisco Opera Ball 2013: The Party of All Things Good, With a Healthy Splash of Evil

This year’s opening night gala for the San Francisco Opera’s 91st Season was a Bay Area cultural soiree for the books. Internationally-renowned event designer, Colin Cowie, was selected by the Opera Guild to visually bring to life The Opera Ball 2013: The Garden of Good and Evil with his acclaimed eye for design.

As stilt walkers clad in greenery and leaves meandered among guests outfitted in ball gowns and tuxedos, audible bird chirping and ambient green lighting completed the experience for City Hall’s nighttime “garden party.” Cowie’s design featured whimsically eerie, yet mysteriously beautiful, crystal-draped and black feather-topped chandelier centerpieces that towered over the green velvet and copper sequin dinner tables. Attendees enjoyed dishes of Chilled Three Green Pea Soup with Apple and Smoked Trout and Grilled Grass-Fed Lamb Chops with Monterey Fog Artichoke-Potato Gratin and Late Summer Squash. Rounding out the banquet, White and Dark Chocolate Skulls filled with a Berry Parfait and Madagascar Vanilla Anglaise pleased both the good and the slightly evil alike at this enigmatic garden fete. After dinner, guests enjoyed a glittering opening night performance of Arrigo Boito’s Mephistopheles conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. After the performance, the opera-goers followed fire dancers back to City Hall for the slightly more sinister after-party, where we tempted guests with bountiful savory stations, decadent hand-rolled chocolate truffles and cocktails as guests danced the night away.

While the grandness of the Opera’s opening night ball is always impressive, it is most important to note the driving cause: the Opera Guild takes all proceeds from ticket sales and funnels them into arts education for Northern California students in over 230 schools. Between this great mission and the added benefit of a great party, it is no wonder the Opera Ball sells out so fast!

Prior to the gala, The Avant Gardist, a fashion blog based out of San Francisco, got some inside information from the Opera Guild and the design skinny from Mr. Cowie himself. The article also referenced McCalls for our impending catering services. To learn what Mr. Cowie had to say about the then-upcoming Opera Ball and to see our mention, check out the article by Cynthia Riddell here: http://theavant-gardist.com/stay-tuned-with-colin-cowie/

To see photos and to read more about the Opera Ball, take a look at this article from SFGate: http://www.sfgate.com/performance/article/Opera-gala-s-glittering-Garden-of-Good-and-Evil-4797318.php

To find out more about the Opera, its performances and its programs, please visit their website:

Be sure to check out our Facebook page next week to see some behind the scenes photos of the Opera Ball as well as the Symphony Gala!

July 26, 2013 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

An Opening Night Gala at the Asian Art Museum


On June 26, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum put on a lovely dinner and cocktail reception in honor of the debut of their latest exhibit, In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection.

AsianArt_Christies_26June13-055Inspired by the collection, the menu focused on Japanese cuisine with our own California twist. Sake was paired with bites of Seared Loin of Lamb with Japanese Eggplant Puree on Rice Chips as well as Sushi Balls of Maguro, Hamachi and Avocado. Guests continued to dine on a salad of Smoked Duck Breast, Cherries, Hearts of Palm, Petite Lettuce, Tatsoi Spinach, Pickled Daikon drizzled with a Yuzu Basil Vinaigrette followed by a Seared Wild Northern Halibut accompanied by Bamboo Rice Risotto, Tokyo Turnips, Wilted Japanese Spinach and a Shoyu Shallot Butter Sauce. Under the warmth of the sunset flooding Samsung Hall, attendees enjoyed their meal at intimate wooden farm tables adorned with cascading white orchids, succulents and bamboo– the perfect floral touch to evoke the spirit of the Japanese Art.

AsianArt_Christies_26June13-034While the opening night party is over, the exhibit is open to the public and in full swing. An avid patron of Japanese art and culture, Larry Ellison provides us a glimpse into his private

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the works themselves as well as the dynamic relationship between collector and the collected. Make sure to head over to the Asian Art this summer to catch this exhibit before it ends on September 22.

To learn more about this exhibit, please visit: http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/in-the-moment

To see more photos from the opening night event, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/McCallsCatering



June 17, 2013 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

Music to My Ears: The Stern Grove Festival

It must be summertime! San Francisco’s annual Stern Grove Festival kicked off its 76th season yesterday afternoon with “The Big Picnic” – a celebratory benefit concert and luncheon supporting the Stern Grove Festival Association. Overjoyed to be a part of the outdoor music-filled event, we served up summer-ready dishes to over 400 guests such as our house-made Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Deep Dish Quiches, Poached Salmon with “Dill Mousseline” and Blueberry Caulfoutti with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The sun was shining as Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs headlined the event in support of Stern Grove’s mission of providing admission-free performing art shows throughout the Bay Area.

With many great artists on the Stern Grove’s 2013 line up – including Ramsey Lewis and Dee Dee Bridgewater, the San Francisco Symphony and Pink Martini, to name just a few – don’t let the summer pass you by without checking out a concert. The Stern Grove Festival takes place every Sunday through August 18 at 2:00pm, but be sure to get there early to snag yourself a good seat!

To learn more about the Stern Grove Festival Association and to find out who else will be featured on the 2013 lineup, please visit the Stern Grove Festival website at: http://www.sterngrove.org/

May 31, 2013 | by Kirsty Gumina | Share

Proud to Be a “Great, Big Caterer!”

The McCalls team is overjoyed to be featured in Special Events magazine’s May-June cover story on “25 Great, Big Caterers,” and we are honored to be the only representative from Northern California!

Featuring fun tidbits of information on the selected 25 biggest caterers worldwide, the article shares some of each company’s strategies for success in this recovering economy while also highlighting their standout traits. Special Events gives us accolades for our long-standing tradition of impeccable service thanks to our knowledgeable and dedicated wait-staff, many of whom have been with us for a decade or more. While we are a catering company built on a history of excellent service, the magazine also gives a nod to our drive to keep the industry on its toes with our trendsetting food and beverage programs.

With over 700 events on our calendar this year, we are absolutely thrilled to be ranked with these 25 top international companies all working to propel the catering industry into the future!

To read more on our listing and

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learn more about the other international caterers that were listed, please visit Special Events digital magazine issue at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3c8312e3



Welcome to McCalls SF Loading Proud to Be a “Great, Big Caterer!”