Prep Work

Photographs by Noah Fecks
Above: Cathy Brower and Evelyn Isaia cook up good food and good opportunities for women

What guests don’t see is the good they’re doing—part of its mission is to empower women. In 2017 founder Evelyn Isaia and partner and Chef de Cuisine Cathy Brower teamed up to create Ratatouille and Company as a catering company that offers a teaching platform to less-privileged women. “Training women from all backgrounds is what we live for,” notes Evelyn, a former private wealth manager of over thirty years who is now a partner with Social Venture Partners Connecticut and serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Business Development Council of Connecticut (WBDC). “We are providing opportunities to people by sourcing our staff from trade schools, community colleges and nonprofit organizations focused on workforce development.” The business has partnerships with WBDC, Building One Community and Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.

“These wonderful women who we have the privilege of working with come from all backgrounds and skill levels,” adds Cathy, who studied at the Culinary Institute in Florence and specializes in Italian and Mediterranean cooking as well as pastries, skills she picked up after thirty years in publishing. “It’s thrilling to see women returning to work with a passion for cooking, refugees and immigrants who share their culture and their recipes, chefs in training, and others who share a love for the culinary arts and entertaining.”

The party may start with beef tenderloin sliders with blue cheese mousse; tuna/salmon tartare and sesame dressing in mini seaweed cones; porcini and truffle pizzettas; and shawarma bites with garlic-infused sauce and pomegranate. By the time the champagne is popped at evening’s end, it can also cheer women moving forward.


A WORLD OF TASTE
From the party-goers point of view, Ratatouille and Company (ratatouilleandco.com) is a catering company— one with an ambitious menu.

1 THAIMEE TASTING (THAI)
Thaimee Tasting (Thai), with spicy and sour tom yum soup, curry dishes, baked salmon in banana leaves, and coconut goat cheese cheesecake.

2 D’AUTOMNE
“If you are unsure, then pick a main color you love and want to feel in the space you are applying it to. Accent it with colors within the same family, or monochromatic scheme.”

3 TUSCAN
Arugula with shaved Brussels sprouts and pecorino, homemade spaghetti al limone with seared scallops, bistecca Fiorentina with fresh herb sauce and wilted spinach followed by pear crostata with rosemary cream.

Syrian kibbeh truffles