Monterey and Carmel area. Will travel as far North as Marin and as South as Santa Barbara.
Services OfferedRead More Show Less
Local, seasonal, sustainable and farm-to-table. Words that perfectly describe AQUA TERRA Culinary’s responsibly sourced, high-quality ingredients. You won’t find run-of-the-mill wedding food here! AQUA TERRA prides themselves not only on their fresh food, but also their fresh ideas.
While they do have a vast collection of pre-set menus to choose from, AQUA TERRA really excels at creating client-specific menus based on their couples’ wedding vision and theme. From family-style to food stations to small plates and everything in between, they’ll take a creative and collaborative approach to designing your perfect wedding cuisine.
And if impeccable food weren’t enough, AQUA TERRA Culinary also offers top-notch customer service and professional attention to every detail. This full-service catering company can assist with every aspect of your special event—from staffing needs, to equipment rentals, and more.
Off-site menu packages start at $80.00 per person. A la carte services and beverage options available.
ReviewsRead More Show Less
“Every guest LOVED and RAVED about the food!!!!! Everyone has been posting on various social media outlets: ‘BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER,’ ‘BEST CATERING,’ ‘TOP CHEF: THE WEDDING SERIES.’ We could not be more pleased with the professionalism, excellent wait staff, excellent bar staff, the flavors in every single item we ordered, and overall execution. It was TRULY PERFECTION!”
“AQUA TERRA Culinary’s food is presented in a very unfussy way that lets the food shine. The food was of highest quality and we heard nothing but compliments.”
“Holy cow! Food was amazing! Several times throughout the night they came to me with passed appetizers to make sure I was able to eat as well. The food was served perfectly on time and there wasn’t too much of a delay between dishes. I was stuffed by the end.”
“Rather than sending us over set menus, we met with Dory and Allison and discussed the theme of our wedding and how we envisioned the food and drinks. Dory started throwing ideas at us and was excited—which only made us more excited!”
“Every single guest I spoke with complimented the food and service. I never expected that…I mean, who likes wedding food?! They were all so impressed with AQUA TERRA, and I was as well.”
“They were so on top of everything. They were efficient and timely. Food was awesome. Staffed more than appropriately. I would recommend them to all my friends and family.”
“We made several modifications to the menu to reduce the costs, and Allison and Dory were very accommodating the whole time.”
“Several of our guests had food allergies, including one that was allergic to gluten, dairy and egg (that’s everything but lettuce!). AQUA TERRA was so flexible in making changes to the menu, and on the wedding day, made sure the correct people had the correct dishes (even though it was family-style dining). Never once did they flinch at this. That is amazing to me.”
“We would come up with ideas and AQUA TERRA would give their own expert suggestions. For instance, we were thinking sliders but when they found out my husband loves whiskey, they suggested sliders with a whiskey barbecue sauce and bacon. Yes, please!”
“My husband and I loved the food and my only regret is that I should have eaten more crab cakes!”
Did you know?
Here Comes The Guide contacted this vendor's brides and grooms directly for reviews -- so we know they're the real deal. #controlfreaks
We only list vendors that we'd recommend to our own sisters and best friends.
Questions and AnswersRead More Show Less
Answered by Chef Dory Ford:
Tell us about a favorite, unusual or very interesting moment at a wedding:I remember when a bakery dropped off a buttercream-iced tiered cake to a hot outdoor wedding. After advising the bakery of the heat, the cake remained where they placed it. Later, I glanced over as I saw this cake literally melting into itself…and FALLING over! Rest assured, my team and I fixed the cake by re-arranging it with flowers and positioning it accordingly.
What have weddings taught you?Adaptability—going with the flow but being ready for anything.
What's your favorite quote?"If you only accept the best, that is all you will get."
What's your favorite marriage advice?Patience—it's a give/give relationship.
If you weren't in your current profession, what would you do instead?Stockbroker or photographer.
What's your favorite way to wind down after a hard day?To sit back, relax, and re-cap on the day with my favorite beverage in hand.
Tell us about your pets, if you have any.Four black cats: Lulu, Cleo, Max, Gigi.
What are some of your favorite places to eat—either everyday spots or special occasion splurges?Wide range—from In-N-Out Burger to French Laundry. Newest splurge since I've been traveling back east is Eatly in New York.
About This Company
Award-winning chef Dory Ford’s life-long passion for food began in British Columbia, where he grew up fishing for Dungeness crab and salmon, and roasting his own just-caught oysters over an open campfire. This is the type of food he grew up on—incredibly fresh, naturally sourced, and cooked simply—and it continues to inspire his work. To this day, Chef Ford personally selects the food for his menus locally, from farmers he knows and trusts.
After steadily advancing through the ranks in kitchens of the Pacific Northwest, Ford headed to the culinary hotbed of Hawaii, where he enthusiastically immersed himself in Pacific Rim cuisine. He moved to California in 1996 where his culinary career really took off. He’s held a multitude of prestigious positions, including Executive Chef for Gai Klass Catering, the Huntington Museum Library and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Today, Ford owns and operates AQUA TERRA Culinary, and continues to focus on the freshest ingredients from both land (terra) and sea (aqua). His vision and the staff's exceptional execution has earned them frequent awards for Best Catering Company by Monterey County Weekly, Carmel Pine Cone and the Monterey Herald.
AQUA TERRA Culinary Covers These Areas:
- Bay Area
- Monterey and Carmel
- Napa and Sonoma Wine Country
- North Bay / Marin
- San Francisco
- SF Peninsula / Half Moon Bay
- San Jose / South Bay
- Santa Cruz
- Paso Robles and the Central Coast Wine Country
- San Luis Obispo and Central Coast Beach Area
- And other areas by special arrangement.
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