Food and Friends

Very near to my heart and my stomach lie two people. One is someone I’ve known of old, the other is someone new. Neither are borrowed and I hope neither are blue. And yet weddings they do do. Alliteration too.

Enter Jamie Casady. One of my oldest friends, I have known this lovely lady since pre-school. From Pinky’s Promise Patrol (Vacation Bible School at Overlake Christian Church) to Camp Sambica on Lake Sammamish, there are very few memories of my childhood summers that don’t include Jamie and her brother Zach. 
And the funny thing is, as far back as I can remember Jamie’s always been a fierce-some entrepreneur with keen eye and attention to detail. I mean even our lemonade stand as kids had a well thought out business plan. This wasn’t just some dinky table with a pitcher of lukewarm lemonade… No. Our “stand” was not only covered with a clean white tablecloth, but we also had elaborately decorated poster-boards advertising our refreshing, ice-cold, thirst-quenching beverage. I feel like we even made our brothers walk down to the corner and wave them around. I could be making this up, but it honestly sounds like something we would’ve done. And if that weren’t enough, Jamie decided we needed to differentiate ourselves in order to corner the market from all the other beverage purveyors on the block. So we also sold flower bouquets.
If Jamie’s going to do something she’s not only going to do it right, but she’s going to go all out. There’s no half-way with this girl. I remember one birthday when we were really into the American Girls stuff, she had us perform the play that was part of the Felicity series. But this wasn’t just “stand around and read the parts” kind of thing. Nope. We had colonial costumes her mom and grandma made and even a canvas backdrop that I’m pretty positive Jamie painted herself. We were maybe 10.
But these character traits of Jamie’s are so minor when compared with her deep deep love for her friends and family and the Lord. There really is nothing Jamie wouldn’t do for the ones she loves… even planting ranunculus in her yard for a friend’s wedding she recently catered/planned. I mean who does that? Jamie does.
Which brings me to the present. After several years apart, J and J (Jessika and Jamie) were finally reunited, and of all places in the Big Apple. I was visiting my brother and she was attending the C.I.A. (the Culinary Institute of America, not the government agency). And over lunch we caught up on the past and dreamed about the future. She shared with me her passion for people and food, and how these two unite in one vision and venture.
Enter Jordan Cooper. Fellow C.I.A. grad, chef extraordinaire, and friend/cohort of the other J.C. – that is Jamie Casady – in this joint visionary venture they’re making a reality. 
I love Jordan. I’ve only known him for a a couple years, but he’s one of the most genuine people I know. Fully embodying the strong and silent type, he’s generally a man of few words, but what he says he means, and you know it too. He tells it like it is, and is honest and kind. In other words the kind of person you want to do business with. It’s called integrity. And while both Jamie and Jordan personify the best kind of business people, they are also artists of the highest caliber.
For as much as Jamie and Jordan aren’t just mere friends to me, the food they create isn’t merely the kind with which you fill your stomach. Nope. Much like themselves their culinary compositions are absolutely beautiful, meticulously crafted masterpieces. Every aspect is important to them, from the fresh local ingredients, to the wine pairings, to the ambiance of the table setting. Not only do they have a vision for their company, but also for every event they plan. They see the big, seamlessly cohesive picture. And yet I believe their strength lies in the intricate details and unique touches that they lovingly imprint throughout the meal, the party, the event. And in the end this is what resoundingly radiates: the love they have for their craft; the love they have for their guests; the love they have for their Maker. 

So cheers to you Jamie and Jordan! You inspire me, and I am so thankful to have such rad (as we’d say in the 80’s) friends. You bless my socks off!

And if you’re in need of a caterer/event planner be it for a wedding or a small dinner soirée, I can’t recommend these two amazing chefs more! But don’t take my word for it… see for yourself. Below are some photos of a surprise birthday party these two threw for their friend. You can contact them here. Enjoy!


4 thoughts on “Food and Friends

  1. Tyler Cooper says:

    Well done. You couldn't have described the JC's any better. Pics are great too. Barefoot Contessa would be proud.


  2. Jessika Anspach says:

    Thanks Tyler! The JC's are pretty incredible. But unfortunately I can't take credit for the pics… They're on loan from the Deru blog. Not sure exactly who's the photographer responsible for the amazing images – Jamie? Jordan? Connie? But glad you enjoyed this post… There will be more to come on this duo that's for sure!

    ~ Jessika

  3. Our Growing Family says:

    How funny that I found your blog! I went to Overlake Christian Church as a young girl, probably in your class, lol! I was asked to sing 2 of the solos on The “Pinkies Promise Patrol” cassette for the VBS. I was unfortunately unable to attend that year for some reason, but I am glad that such a wonderful friendship was formed with you and Jamie because of the VBS program 🙂
    As I am older now, it is so amazing to me where all my friends and acquantances have gone and what they've done and become. God bless!

  4. Jessika Anspach says:

    Thank you so much for leaving this comment! What a blessing it is this morning to read it. SO ENCOURAGING! Our God is pretty stinkin' awesome, especially the way He uses us in ways of which we're completely unaware. I will be seeing Jamie tonight and will have to share with her about you. Also I took a look at your blog and am so jealous that you have a farm! It's a dream of mine (and Jamie's too) to have a farm and hope one day the Lord will make that a reality. But I'll look forward to keeping up with your in the meantime. Congratulations by the way… 🙂
    Thanks again and may the Lord bless you and your growing family!

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