Chef’s Corner: Jolly Brothers Catering

Donald Hardin and Ian & Diane Trenwith Feed the Masses

Donald Hardin and Ian & Diane Trenwith of Jolly Brothers Catering
Paul Wellman

Tenure: In 1978, Ian and Diane Trenwith founded Jolly Brothers Catering and started nearly four decades of serving to myriad private and corporate events. Five years ago, Donald Hardin left his job at Idaho Hillcrest Country Club in Boise after 15 years to buy the business from the Trenwiths, to whom he was once related through marriage. “He still loved the business, but he didn’t want to do the business side of stuff,” said Hardin of Ian. “[The country club experience] helped me with running the front of the house a lot, organizing parties.” So Ian and Diane remained as head cook and sous chef, respectively, and together the trio caters events from Los Angeles to Lompoc.

Recent dishes served: For a housewarming party: fajita-style carne asada, peppers, onions, guacamole, vegetables, homemade chips, and brownies; for a birthday party: rosemary chicken, roasted potatoes, cilantro lime shrimp, and angel food cake; and for a veterans group: BBQ ribs and grilled chicken, vegetables, beans, garlic bread, quinoa arugula salad, fruit salad, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies.

Unusual assignments: Most of Hardin’s clientele requests Mexican food and Santa Maria tri-tip, though they do French and Italian frequently and Asian on occasion.

Some gigs get more obscure, including one wedding with a lavender theme that wanted lavender mixed into the food, and another where a woman requested ribbon sandwiches, which are a loaf of bread sliced laterally and filled with different layers in the center, including chicken and ham-and-egg salads, and then frosted over with cream cheese and served in a cake-like presentation. “I had never heard of it,” said Hardin.

Ups and downs: “I love meeting people, the planning process, working the parties, and making good memories,” said Hardin, who likes to see new homes and different venues, adding with a laugh, “I love everything until it’s time to do all the dishes.”

(805) 791-5593; ;


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