Jacob Lovejoy debuts private catering in Paso

Before he received a shipment of new chef coats and his website went live, Jacob Lovejoy booked nearly 20 parties within weeks. Just like that. His long-awaited business, love.joy.eat Private Catering, has hit the ground running. And this time, Chef Jacob is rolling solo.

Photo by Rick Evans
Chef Jacob Lovejoy

Inspired and determined, in February 2009, Jacob brought culinary schooling and restaurant experience to Cass Winery in Paso Robles. There, he developed a successful catering program and café, where his guests have ranged from locals to foreign dignitaries.

The middle of three brothers and a younger sister, Jacob’s upbringing is what cultivated his desire to create food that is unfettered and uncomplicated.

“In Clovis, my parents had three and a half acres of cows, sheep, turkeys, a garden and miscellaneous fruit trees. We pulled weeds in the garden, grew vegetables and butchered our own steers for meat. I grew up living the farm-to-table experience before it was a thing,” said Jacob. “They had a vision and style that I always wanted to replicate.

“At Cass Winery, I started a chef’s garden, brought in chickens and ducks, and we started an estate beef program. When I mentioned the idea of a chef’s garden, Steve (Cass) was out there the next day, tearing out decorative landscape. Over five years ago, we began house-smoking our bacon. The impetus for that in a vineyard as big as Steve’s was from when he replaced some vines. We ended up with a big pile of grapevines. I said, ‘Let’s save them. We can smoke the bacon over grapevines.’ So that’s what we did. We’ve used fallen oak wood from the vineyard, too.”

“Now, I want to provide a boutique dining experience using organic and farmers market produce as much as possible, and continue what I’ve already been doing,” said Jacob, “I’ve wanted to offer an entire experience for people looking for something special. And it was time to branch out on my own and be with my family a lot more” said Jacob. “My wife is a nurse who works wonky hours. Cass provided a backbone to support our children, and I worked real hard to help put my wife through nursing school until she graduated and found a job.”

At love.joy.eat, Jacob is essentially a one-man show, but he’ll call on a minimal crew when needed.

“I’ve provided all types and sizes of catering, from weddings and birthday bashes, to business and chamber luncheons. I want quality, local and fresh – not overly fussed with,” insists Jacob. “You won’t see me doing much molecular gastronomy; I’m more of a food purist. But I’ll do a five-course meal in a kitchen I’ve never been in. I like the challenge.”

Diversity, flavor and simplicity are mainstays – from classic French or Asian cuisine, to fresh-picked produce and traditional comfort food with smoked meats, like briskets, bacon and Santa Maria-style tri-tips. Count on favorite desserts, too, like crème brûlée or chocolate tortes.

“I’m humbled and blessed,” said Jacob, of the votes of confidence he’s received thus far. “I appreciate everyone who’s reached out to me and I’m looking forward to this next adventure. Stay tuned!”

Now, if only he could get those new chef coats to show up…

Email Jacob at lovejoyeatcatering@gmail.com,
visit him on Facebook at love.joy.eatcatering,
or his website at lovejoyeat.com.