There was no shortage of memorable moments for the Coho Restaurant catering team. Reflecting back on 2018 and the events we were involved with, there were many that stood out in our minds. Join us as we review the poignant, intimate and unforgettable experiences we had the pleasure of sharing with our patrons.
1. Mother’s Day Pop Up
The Garden Café at the Harrison House Suites is always the best table in Friday Harbor for breakfast. Who would have known that dinner is also an option? Coho Restaurant’s Chef made a pop-up appearance for Mother’s Day. He served a multi-course supper for 12, which included locals and guests staying at the Inn. The meal featured the spring bounty from the islands. It was a special way to honor mom.
2. Cooking Classes
There are no secrets in our kitchen and to that end Chef held a series of cooking classes to demystify what we do. The pasta class was hands down the most popular. Students tried their hand-rolling fettuccini and stuffing ravioli and tortellini. They made sauces for each pasta and ended the class tasting the fruits of their labors.
3. Long Shadow’s Winemaker Dinner
We were honored to welcome Gilles Nicault, director of winemaking at Long Shadow’s Winery and the 2016 Seattle Magazine Winemaker of the Year to Coho Restaurant. It was an intimate evening of food and vino as Gilles led us through the wines that were carefully paired with Chef’s curated dishes.
4. David Jones Memorial
Nancy Jones asked us to organize her late husband’s memorial. A celebration of life is no different than other events - ceremony, speeches and tributes, printed programs, food and beverage, flowers, favors, and venue coordination to name a few. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in June, to a standing room-only crowd, our community paid tribute to a man who was a father, husband, nuclear engineer, submariner, entrepreneur, mayor, firefighter, active member of the Town of Friday Harbor community, neighbor, co-worker and friend.
5. Pelindaba Lavender Festival Farm Dinner
Coho Restaurant kicked off the 2018 Lavender Festival with a farm dinner to benefit SAFE San Juans. Guests were greeted at the farm’s gate with a signature lavender cocktail to sip while strolling through the fields to dinner. As the meal was served, the sun set and a wash of purple light flooded over the fields. There were several curious deer that poked their heads from the bushes to check out what was going on. It was a magical evening.
6. South Beach Barbecue
We are so fortunate to prepare food in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This summer we hosted a pre-wedding barbecue for Christine and Nathan at South Beach on the southwest side of San Juan Island. We started with steamed mussels and clams from Westcott Bay Shellfish Company, followed by shrimp and beef kabobs, flat bread and the fixins’ cooked over a camp fire. Then ended with our signature s’mores – toasted lavender marshmallows atop a bar of rich dark chocolate on a freshly-baked graham cracker. We had to pinch ourselves as it felt like we were playing hooky!
7. Meg & Dan’s Wedding – Saltwater Farm
Coho Restaurant catered Meg & Dan’s wedding, the inaugural event at Salt Water Farms. The new venue was abuzz with construction workers as we set up for dinner. Contractors were grading the road, gardeners were hydro seeding the lawn, and electricians were finishing the kitchen and rest rooms. The county approved the permit hours before the wedding. Even with contingencies for construction delays, we had an unexpected challenge. The range hood was back ordered so we couldn’t use the range.
We executed dinner for 250 guests using portable propane stoves and a grill. Guests enjoyed a pie bar after supper and danced under the stars into the wee hours of the night. They had no idea of the challenges and the amazing transformation of the facility within hours of the wedding. We are looking forward to catering other events at Saltwater Farm.
8. No Coho at Coho Restaurant
- As of September 1st, Coho Restaurant is not serving salmon in deference to the health of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW). The SRKW are on the endangered species list. How to save the Orcas is a politically polarizing but everyone agrees that the number one cause is lack of salmon. Chinook or king salmon is the mainstay of their diet, as this particular species of Orcas does not eat mammals. Salmon are becoming more and more scarce in the waters of the Puget Sound where the SRKW frequent. Our decision for our little Restaurant won’t make a huge impact on the salmon population or whether a whale lives or dies. It will however send an important message to our patrons, neighbors, colleagues and politicians for what we stand for. Our restaurant and catering menus now include locally-sourced halibut, cod, petrole sole and arctic char.
9. Power and Kathleen's Elopement
Power and Kathleen stood under the weeping willow in the Tucker House Inn’s shade garden and exchanged vows. They relaxed with a couples massage before saying, “I, do,” and enjoyed an intimate dinner at Coho Restaurant afterwards. Their private elopement for two included all the elements of a large destination wedding – hair, make-up, flowers, cake, toast, and photographs, and not a care in the world. Très romantique!
10. Thanksgiving Dinner
Our team is always thankful to spend the harvest celebration with our patrons. We love sharing our families’ holiday traditions and recipes and creating new ones along the way. Hosting our 11th
Thanksgiving dinner this year; we welcomed back old friends who had dined with us over the years and others who will hopefully make Coho Restaurant part of their future Thanksgiving holiday traditions.
11. San Juan Community Theatre Holiday Festival
There’s no business like show business…For this special annual event we marry our culinary talents with a bit of show business. The theme for the 2018 festival is the roaring twenties. (Chef Ryan is right at home on stage having worked comedy stand up in Chicago in a past life.) Ryan and Pastry Chef Jessica collaborated on building a historically accurate menu drawing recipes appropriate to the era from famous New York hotels.
As we reflect on this list of notable events for 2018, it is heartwarming to see how much we are a part of our patron’s intimate life events – births, birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, weddings and celebrations of life. While we are first and foremost a caterer providing exceptional food experiences, we realize our role is much more. We assist, facilitate, realize visions, comfort, listen and ultimately create lifelong memories centered around food.
We hope you will join us in 2019 for one of our special dinners or events. Coho Restaurant offers a complementary event consult. Our team would love to realize your vision and create life-long memories for you and your loved ones.