Business Spotlight: Summer dishes yield to autumn favorites at Waters Fine Food and Catering in San Diego



With warm days and cooler days still taking turns, cool summer gazpacho and spicy fall-flank steak (cooked with jalapenos, cilantro and citrus) share the menu at Waters Fine Foods and Catering.

“Our dishes are always seasonally and forecast driven, and we’re in a transitional period because the weather is still warm, but we’re also having some cooler days, so more fall foods are reflected in our changing menu,” said Courtney Isaac, senior event designer.

After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Waters founder Mary Kay Waters, applied her talents at the Four Seasons and in the White House pastry department. In 1990 she moved to San Diego and opened the first Waters Foods & Catering on Morena Boulevard. New locations followed in Solana Beach and downtown San Diego.

At Waters, catering takes center stage and event planning is a specialty. Teamed by designers Isaac and Monica Ancresen, the event planners take pride in working collaboratively with their clients to create personalized menus that perfectly fit each affair — be it private or corporate entertaining or a San Diego wedding.

Isaac and Ancresen recently worked on a gala for a health science industry client who wanted to provide his guests with a unique menu. “Instead of traditional steak or chicken, our client wanted fun, interesting, edgy menu choices, so we went far away from anything ordinary and helped him select fresh grass-fed bison ribs with a pan rendering sauce of Spanish Rioha wine and Rancho Gordo heirloom black beans,” Isaac said. “This is the type of food people associate with our hands-on client collaboration.”

In early December, Waters will cater Nordstrom’s Holiday Reward Party for 5,000 customers, Isaac proudly boasted.

“We have 40 full-time employees and 200 event staff and when it comes to food production we make everything from scratch and use our specially trained in-house staff.”

Water’s starts booking in August and September for holiday events and by the end of October and November, they’re booked tightly for holiday weekend dates (Thursday- Saturday) but may have availability for other days. The website ( showcases Water’s everyday favorites — including various sandwiches, salads, paninis and quiches with gluten-free options — and sides and pastries (such as Valrhona chocolate brownies) and dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

--- Waters Fine Foods and Catering ---

• San Diego headquarters: 1125 West Morena Blvd. (619) 276-8803

• Solana Beach: 125 South Highway 101. (858) 509-9400

• Downtown San Diego: 555 West C St., (619) 696-7555

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