Hope Cafe and Catering: Delivering Delicious Food and Hope

Owners Chef Tony and his wife AnnBeef BordelaiseWine Country ChickenSmoked Chicken Pasta FlorentineCarne Asada SaladItalian Combo SandwichBBQ Chicken Wrap

Article and Photography by CANDICE MERRILL

6:27 pm | July 28, 2014


Not just your average catering company, Hope Cafe and Catering has the experience and staff to take on the biggest or the smallest of events

Housed in an unassuming location off Foothill Boulevard, Hope Cafe and Catering makes its home. Utilizing a cavernous space, Hope Cafe has a kitchen worthy of Master Chef and is able to cater any function. “We can serve anywhere from a few hundred to five thousand people,” said Chef Tony Lancaster, co-owner of Hope Cafe and Catering.

With experience catering for the likes of the Emmy’s, Grammy’s, People’s Choice Awards or our own Rose Bowl, Hope Cafe and catering can tackle any event, making it look easy and taking the burden off of you.

But how is the food, you ask? It’s fresh and delicious. On a recent visit I sampled an array of hot and cold dishes made just for me in Chef Tony’s sparkling kitchen.

Attractively plated and generous portions of Beef Bordelaise, Wine Country Chicken and Smoked Chicken Pasta Florentine were the hot dishes I was served. The beef was from a bistro tender, like a tenderloin but smaller and more consistent in size making it easy to grill and get the perfect medium-rare. It was topped with a savory red wine sauce with a generous amount of mushrooms and accompanied by garlic smashed red potatoes and a savory blend of fresh sauteed vegetables. I loved the play of the beef, wine and mushrooms. The potatoes had substance and a mild, sweet, garlic taste and the vegetables were cooked perfectly with a good amount of seasoning and a slight crunch.

The Wine Country Chicken consisted of a boneless chicken breast sauteed with mushrooms and garlic and enrobed in a white wine sauce. It was accompanied by a savory rice pilaf and the same great vegetables served with the beef.

Chef Tony has just acquired a new toy, a smoker. He used that to smoke the chicken in the Smoked Chicken Pasta Florentine. Bow tie pasta lavishly coated in a creamy mushroom, spinach, Parmesan sauce was combined with smoked chicken. Rich, creamy and just plain yummy, this was a great pasta dish.

Box lunches with an assortment of wraps, sandwiches and salads are made fresh to order. I sampled the BBQ Chicken Wrap, Italian Combo Sandwich and the Carne Asada Salad. Wraps and Sandwiches are accompanied by a fresh green salad, specialty salad (like potato salad or pasta salad, Chef Tony has many to choose from) and a cookie or brownie or bar. Prices range from $11.00 to $13.00/person delivered.

The rolls for the sandwiches are all made in-house and are fresh and delicious. The portions are generous and the taste is great. I loved the Italian Deli sandwich filled with cappicola, salami and provolone. The BBQ Chicken Wrap was filled with chicken and fresh greens and had a sweet/piquant bbq sauce that made the sandwich. The Carne Asada Salad was full of marinated and grilled Authentic Carne Asada, Black Beans, Crispy Corn Chips, Freshly Chopped Tomato, Jack Cheese and Avocado served with a House-Made Spicy Chipotle-Ranch Dressing.

These cold boxes can be order by the thousands or by the dozens.

But where does the hope come in? For Chef Tony and his wife Ann this is an integral part of what they do.

“Our mission is to reach the outcast, the outsourced and the overlooked,” said Chef Tony Lancaster co-owner of Hope Cafe and Catering. “Our goal is to teach them a trade to feed themselves and their families.”

Along with his wife Ann, Chef Tony practices what he preaches not only donating catering to Door of Hope, Walter Hoving Home, Salvation Army and others they also hire from these organizations.

Chef Tony knows first hand what being homeless is all about when in 2007 he lost his home, his job, basically everything. He has since rebuilt his life with wife Ann and his business, Hope Cafe and Catering.

When looking for a caterer for your next event, give Hope Cafe and Catering a try. Offering not only the fresh, inventive and good food you are looking for but also a little “hope” on the side.

Hope Cafe and Catering is located at 2094 E. Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena. For more information or to quote your next event call them at (626) 449-8757 or visit their website at www.hopecafeandcatering.com.