Catering Spotlight: Bi-Rite Catering
The Bi-Rite name has been a San Francisco tradition for over 75 years, providing responsibly-grown food and genuine service since opening its doors in 1940 for its inceptive brick-and-mortar grocery store – Bi-Rite Market.
Over the decades, the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses has grown to include a second locally-based neighborhood market, as well as Bi-Rite Creamery, Bi-Rite Farms, its non-profit food education project, 18 Reasons, and Bi-Rite Catering.
When The Pearl was first envisioned, owners Adam and Kurt could think of none other than one of the city’s most renowned culinary tastemakers to take the role of our in-house catering partner. And so, The Pearl’s new partnership with Bi-Rite Catering set sail.
“When we were approached by Kurt and Adam around 3 years ago, with their vision for The Pearl, it was an exciting relationship that we wanted to be a part of. The space itself is gorgeous, and so aligned with our values that we see it as the perfect showcase for our food and service. Weddings with ceremonies on the roof, all-day corporate conferences…there is nothing that is impossible with this beautiful space.” – Michael Aldridge, Catering Operations Manager
“We strive to inspire and delight our guests because we believe the most memorable moments are created over Good Food – we love that emotional connection when people gather around a table to share a good meal. It’s the foundation of who we are; it’s an ethos that runs through each business.”
– Michael Aldridge, Catering Operations Manager
Bi-Rite Catering is the creation of Chef Sam Mogannam, who founded the company following the success of his special events catering service. A master of the culinary arts, Sam and his team spent several years cooking for guests of Bi-Rite Market and crafting his culinary brand before establishing Bi-Rite Catering as an independent business in 2013.
Bi-Rite Catering works with close to 60 farms in Northern California to source their ingredients and design menus that highlight seasonal produce. Inspired by everything from international cuisine to traditional San Francisco dishes, Bi-Rite chefs integrate their kitchen influences and learned culinary trends into their recipes to create a unique experience for your tastebuds.
Bi-Rite grows their own food as well, with two farms located throughout Northern California–a three-acre Bi-Rite Farm in Sonoma and a one-acre Bi-Rite Orchard in Placerville–where staff engage in farming practices and field research to better understand their recipes. But in the timeless art of cooking, the recipe is never finished.
“Some recipes are never done – like jam. The fruit is always different: whether it is more or less ripe, sweeter or more tart, all these things come into play when making jam. We pride ourselves on using the finest ingredients, from locally grown produce to sustainably-raised meats and seafood, so our aim is to have the ingredients shine in every recipe. To that end we constantly push ourselves to refine our recipes to be the best.”
– Jason Rose, Culinary Director
Bi-Rite chefs are always seeking new ways to improve and refine their recipes through research, innovation, and of course, collaboration. Bi-Rite has recently began collaborating with Hikari Farms, a local grower of Japanese vegetables and other foods, as well as the artisan sriracha producer, Sosu, and the San Francisco-based gourmet chocolate crafter, Guittard Chocolate, to help curate new menu ideas.
The reach of influences in Bi-Rite’s kitchen goes far beyond The Bay Area as well, pulling inspirations from their staff’s cultural backgrounds and travel experiences across the globe. Bi-Rite chefs are currently exploring culinary traditions regional to Vietnam and Japan, experimenting with ingredients like cauliflower rice and other diverse vegetables as the focus of each meal, an innovative switch from the protein-based standard.
But running a catering operation entails more than just delivering delicious food and respectable service, it calls for a high responsibility to the community as well–one that Sam and his team are honored to uphold. The Bi-Rite Family of Businesses is a certified Green Business by the city of San Francisco recognized for its high environmental standards and sustainable practices. Through cultivating strong and dynamic relationships with their growing partners, Bi-Rite is able to maintain high quality and conscientious product practices in place to ensure that their food is safely and responsibly produced.
“Our focus on using local and organic produce, meat raised without the use of hormones or sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics, local organic dairy, responsibly caught fish from healthy seafood populations, helps to mitigate the environmental impacts caused by industrial food production. The effect of Good Food as the engine of our business cannot be understated.”
– Liz Martinez, Director of Product
The Bi-Rite Family of Businesses is also a certified B Corporation, which merits companies with a proactive agenda dedicated to social and environmental responsibility as a for-profit business. Bi-Rite engages in a number of sustainable practices from the implementation of energy and water conservation techniques, such as LED lighting and dry-farming, to waste reduction efforts through rigorous compost and recycling programs, and other measures of carbon footprint reduction.
“The Bi-Rite Family of Businesses falls into that unique category of companies that inspire all whom they touch – their employees, their partners, and the community at large. We feel honored by the opportunity to collaborate with them and learn from them as we grow as a company and family.” – Adam Mendelson, Owner and Managing Partner at The Pearl
Check out Bi-Rite Catering’s website for details on their current menu, showcasing some of the key ingredients headlining their kitchen this season. As we near the end of summer, you can count on diving into some of these palatable plates from Bi-Rite Catering’s fall and winter menus in the coming months at The Pearl.