When, a few days ago, we crossed paths with Jules Catering’s Assistant Pastry Chef Wilmar Aristizabal outside Jules’ fragrant kitchen, a flurry of questions rushed to mind:
- Where is your chef’s jacket?
- Why aren’t you rolling out cookie dough?
- Why don’t we hear the beep-beep-beep of your oven timer?
- What in the name of Ebenezer Scrooge are you doing out here?!
We were baffled by this encounter because we knew that during the month of December, alone, Wilmar is charged with preparing thousands of holiday cookies, many requiring elaborate decoration.
“Yes,” Wilmar smiled. “This time of year I’m at least as dedicated to my work as Santa’s most diligent elf. But this morning, I get to take it easy. Sure, I did the baking. But that was yesterday. Today, I’m relieved of my usual decoration-duties, because…
“…the kids are in charge!”
“Food should be fun”
So declared chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer Thomas Keller, and Jules couldn’t agree more. Another true believer in ‘the fun factor’ is Joyce Georgakopoulos, Director of HR at Murphy&King, PC, Counsellors at Law, who explained that children’s parties at the firm are a holiday tradition for at least 30 years–and that for the past 10+ years, Jules Catering has provided both the ready-to-eat and decorate-your-own holiday fare.
Jules provides the edible tools, kids create cookie art
Jules’ longtime party chef Alex Restrepo knows a thing or two about the fine art of cookies, so–given that it was Wilmar’s day off–we asked Alex to weigh in on the creative swirl around us.
What follows is a small sample of Alex’s commentary….
“I applaud this young artist’s careful approach to the composition of ‘the cookie canvas,’ and how she hearkens back to the Pointillist tradition.”
“Her use of strong diagonals is superb!”
“Here we see a work in progress…a wonderfully lush evergreen…perhaps part of a larger landscape. And my guess is that before the ‘paint’ dries, she may work in some sparkly texture.”
“It’s hard to tear myself away, but I’ve got to get back to the kitchen. But before I go I must say that this particular cookie (the artist’s self-portrait), like all of today’s cookie creations,…
“…makes me smile.”
It’s not just about kids
Family fun is of course about parents, too, and Jules likes nothing better than to cater family parties, not only in the workplace, but beyond. Jules’ wide-ranging events involving children include family reunions, anniversary parties, birthdays, and–when warm weather returns–barbecues and picnics.
Photo Credits: Liz Muir