Thursday, March 24, 2011

What a Dish cafe & catering and IT'S ALL ABOUT the Cake: a Dana Point, CA Finest

The Richey family, an incredibly devoted family whose commitment to bringing dining experiences to the heights of “foodie delights” has truly raised the bar in excellence in every endeavor.
Jordan Richey is the owner/operator of What a Dish café & catering in Dana Point, CA. Diane Richey, Jordan’s mother, is the designer/owner with her husband David Richey, of IT’S ALL ABOUT the Cake. Both thriving businesses are operational in one location (just across the street from the Dana Point Harbor shops and restaurants) at Dana Marina Plaza, 24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Studio B100, Dana Point, CA 92629.
The Richey family has a wonderful life story and like many of us, had dreams and desires to aspire to greatness in their individual talents. As life brought each of them to different segments throughout the years past, they are now altogether at What a Dish café & catering and IT'S ALL ABOUT the Cake.
Here’s how the story goes: Catherine McKnight is currently the Executive Chef for What a Dish café and catering and was the original owner in 1995. Catherine was raised in Grass Valley, CA and had a kindred spirit with her grandfather who loved to cook. At a young age, Catherine knew that cooking was something her heart felt a connection to. As the years moved forward she studied pre-law, nutrition and viticulture. Following her years of education and continuous study in culinary arts she moved to Orange County, CA, married, and started a family. Catherine loved entertaining friends and really loved to cook. All her friends loved her cooking style and prompted her to open a catering business. She opened her first business in Lake Forest, CA in 1995 as owner/chef and named the operation “What a Dish.” She additionally opened a second business location in Cote de Coza, CA.
During many years in this business, Catherine was feeling a big internal push to move in a different direction and work for a large restaurant corporation. One day, one of her daughter’s friends, Jordan Richey, came to see her. Jordon had a catering business with a friend during his college years and was looking to create a new business opportunity. Both Jordan and Catherine spent time talking together about his dream to have a catering business and of course, now that Catherine wanted to move on, here the magic begins.
Jordan Richey purchased the business in 2005. During his journey as the new owner, he found that he really missed Catherine’s special unique culinary talents and superior quality style of cooking and asked her to return. And ------ she did!
Jordan Richey is a very talented artist, designer, chef and influential marketing and sales person. He prides himself in total quality in all endeavors and provides ongoing support to keep his restaurant a truly amazing dining experience for his customers.
The entire Richey family along with Catherine McKnight believes in the highest form of good food and proper nourishment for healthy bodies and mind. Each member of the family has a rich belief in proper foods to nourish oneself and to only offer the finest of ingredients to be included in each and every dish presented to their customers.
All the food items and ingredients for each day’s meal selections are purchased fresh daily, and one can truly say “It’s from the farm to the table.” Catherine says that “We eat with our eyes first!” And you will surely recognize this statement in all the many foodie varieties served amongst the guests.
Family members including Catherine will drive up to Masumoto’s Family Farm in the Fresno, CA area. The farm offers many fruit varieties however the Heirloom Peaches are a favorite customer delight. These peaches are purchased in large case quantities and brought back to their Dana Point customers. The creative juices spin and many special delicacies are finely prepared and dazzle the customers with delight. The desserts are picture perfect and each little morsel melts in your mouth. When one’s palette feels the purity of all the natural ingredients within each selection, you will savor the moment and probably come back again and again.
All meat selections are Prime and come from Meyers Meats in Montana. The proprietors of Meyers Meats believe in truly caring for their cows health and well being. The beautiful sounds of Mozart are played daily which soothes the cow’s senses and this is a good blessing for healthy cows. Amazing that this quality of living is given to our dear little cows; but in truth, it makes for a healthier animal. The cows are also herded by horseback, another long lost process and one that is also a healthy choice for their livelihood and good health.
Chickens are purchased through Mary’s Free Range Chickens. And all vegetables, fruits, baked breads and dairy products are purchased fresh daily and all from local organic and natural environments.
Every member of the staff at What a Dish café & catering believe in giving their customer the best of everything and of the finest quality. You’ll also have a chance to meet Alexandra Richey during your visit. She is such a wonderful hostess and has a huge smile that will make you glad. She truly prides herself in taking excellent care of all the guests and handles all customers needs with total grace and charm.
Let’s talk about Diane Richey, Jordan’s mother and the owner and designer of IT’S ALL ABOUT the Cake. Diane’s talent and design creations are magnificent and truly beyond one’s own imagination. She has so many special cake designs available and is always creating new ones. Diane calls her masterpieces “Edible works of art.” You can view the website at for many photographs. Not only will you and your guests be in awe at the presentations, but the taste will absolutely wow you and your guests to indescribable gratefulness.
Diane is an amazing, delightful and highly spiritual being. She was born in San Francisco, CA and grew up in the east bay. She studied psychology in her early years of education. Following her education she joined Victoria’s Station Restaurant in San Francisco. For those of you who remember this restaurant, it was a unique dining experience with a railroad-theme and featured great Prime Rib dinners. During this part of her career, she met and married David Richey (now married for 37 years). Diane made her next decision to leave the restaurant industry and begin a career as an airline stewardess. Both she and David traveled the world together. Following this career she joined a women’s apparel company and found she had a great talent for design.
Diane lived and pursued all the opportunities she was given at hand. She found so many talented gifts of creativity inside herself and grew and gave to others were she was planted. However, all along the way, Diane felt a strong inner pull to do something that would bring out her own identity and meaning and bring gratefulness to others.
Both Diane and David loved to cook. Diane has such a creative gift and a special touch for the artistry of food; a special talent in itself. She has always had strong beliefs in God and miracles and feels that she has been given many talents. As we look at all the fields of training in her life, we see that where she is now planted is exactly where all the years of her past has lead her to be.  She and her husband, David joined their son, Jordan Richey, and established IT’S ALL ABOUT the Cake.
Diane acknowledges that she had no formal training and that what she has attained is “God’s Given Talent.” However, she truly aspired to it all!
The family has built their businesses, “one customer at a time.” Each family member cares deeply for their customers and has built relationships throughout the years. They are doing the college graduation events for the children whose family hired them for that child’s baptizing event. Most all of their customers come into the restaurant by word of mouth and many are “Locavores.” (Persons who are interested in eating food that is locally produced, and not moved long distances to market.)
The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday – 10 am – 3 pm and brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 am – 3 pm.
What a Dish offers full service off-premise catering for ALL OCCASIONS and can accommodate up to 500 persons.  And on a special note, you can request a special dinner gathering of friends during any evening at the restaurant or at your home or special event location. Please contact the restaurant at 949-276-4884 for more information.
There are so many incredible meals available and one of the favorites is the Chicken Salad Sandwich. This includes tender chicken, dried cranberries, apples and celery served on homemade cinnamon raisin toast with lettuce and tomato $11.
For a full menu viewing click this link:
The restaurant additionally offers fine wines, champagnes and assorted beverages.
Children’s meals are also available.
Location address:
24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Suite B100
Dana Point, CA 92629
What A Dish café & catering:
IT’S ALL ABOUT the Cake:

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