Interview with Eating Off the Vine
Eating Off the Vine promotes healthy food in San Diego
Eating Off the Vine
Who doesn't love healthy, organic and locally grown produce? Eating Off the Vine is a catering and meal–delivery service that creates delicious and organic meals from locally grown ingredients. The owner of Eating Off the Vine, Sonia Perez, is also one of the hosts of the cooking show Cooking Off the Vine. We spoke with Sonia Perez about her business, her favorite recipes and her cooking philosophy.
So tell us, what is Eating Off the Vine?
Eating Off the Vine has several arms: first, we produce products that are made with locally grown produce and are free of preservatives or artificial flavors. Second, we provide fun cooking classes that are themed with the season to keep it locally delicious, and we also host farm–to–table events. Third, we produce a cooking show called Cooking Off The Vine on Fios channel 45 or Time Warner on channels 26 and 105 on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm.
What inspired you to start cooking and to create Eating Off the Vine?
I have been cooking since I could reach the kitchen counters with my grandmothers. When I moved to Temecula, I was so surprised to see that we had so many local growers and artisans. I felt nostalgic remembering my summers with my grandparents, who raised their own chickens, rabbits and pigs and had fruit trees. I remembered my promise to my grandmother when she fell ill, that one day I would write a cookbook and menu dedicated to her. So I began to use my memories to make my signature dishes, sauces, spreads and dressings. Once I had down the flavors, I started my meal delivery business and took my dressings and spreads to [an] FDA–approved kitchen in San Diego to bottle and package my products.
What kind of events do you cater or attend most often?
I create farm–to–table events where I plan a menu based on the local growers produce and set it on a beautiful outdoor venue, usually in the vineyards of Temecula. I also do fun, small gatherings of outdoor cooking and nutritional classes.
Where do you get most of your ingredients?
[I get my ingredients from] local growers at farmers markets and my favorite Temecula Roots grocery store that carries produce from Riverside to San Diego.
At our recent European Market event, you sold some delicious salad dressing and cheese spread. Where can people find these products? Are they available to order?
My new line of products will be available online on my website, Eating Off the Vine, within the next couple of months, and I hope to have them in specialty stores as well.
What is your favorite type of dish, sauce or dressing to prepare?
I have fun preparing Paella, which is a Spanish entree made with seafood, poultry and Spanish chorizo. It is a colorful dish with great flavors. Chicken Piccata is another favorite; I enjoy the blend of lemon, capers, butter and wine. They are palate quenchers.
Finally, what is your food philosophy?
I believe that health is wealth. We live in a fast–paced world, and making the choice to eat whole foods is essential to the source and sustenance for our bodies!