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Who Spent Their Summer With ReKon Productions: Camille’s Catering


September 19, 2014

In honor of the back-to-school season, ReKon Productions has decided to take the classic “What I did on my Summer Vacation” assignment and give it a little twist. Everyone knows we spent our summer working on productions, what they might not know is who we spent the summer with. “Who Spent Their Summer Vacation with ReKon Productions” is a five part interview series highlighting some of the cool kids we’ve gotten to work with these past few months.

Who Spent Their Summer Vacation with ReKon Productions Part Four:
Camille Napolitano, Camille’s Catering

I think the moment that truly encompasses Camille’s Catering and ReKon Productions working relationship took place a bit after midnight in the early Spring of 2013.

We were sitting on the second floor of Stanford street having just finished a budget call (with Justin Bell from last week’s Summer Vacation interview) and discussing some prep for an upcoming show[JMK-most likely it was Woodland]. Now, I can’t entirely remember the specifics: if the show started the next day or the next week, what exactly the show was, or why we had decided on having this conversation at midnight. I can say with absolute certainty that at some point, Jon Michael Kondrath stated the show needed a caterer.  It was one of those whim stress concerns during prep, something that needed to be locked hours before but for some reason had slipped through the cracks. Immediately, I asked a few key catering questions and before Jon knew what was happening I was on the phone. I had spoken to Camille about an hour before, about an urgent order of two dozen ghost cookies (I needed for an entirely different show) so I knew she was awake and still working.

Camille answered the phone and we chit chatted about my cookies for a second, before I asked her if she remembered Jon Michael Kondrath from A Leading Man (which she catered on for one day) and then asked her availability. Within about fifteen minutes, sometime between midnight and 1 AM that fateful Spring evening – the love affair of ReKon Productions with Camille’s Catering began.

Since last spring, Camille has catered over a dozen jobs for ReKon Productions (including Covergirl, SK-II and Zumbao). We don’t call too much past midnight anymore, but we know she’ll answer with laughter if we do. Our team and our crews have delighted in tasting each of her seasonal menus. All of our producers speak in reverent tones about her seven layer desert bars. And our team has even managed to be charming enough to inspire Camille herself to stop by when she’s near the office to bring us treats and hang out on the couch. Camille has become something of a staple at ReKon Productions and we couldn’t be happier to have her.

What is it exactly that you do as a catering company?

Camille’s Catering is a mother-daughter full service catering company. We specialize in making fresh Californian style food incorporating coastal, bright bold flavors that are traditional of Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. We take traditional family recipes and remix them, giving our food a fresh but familiar taste. Our artisanal baked goods take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane that you are sure to never forget.

How long have you owned and run your catering company?

We started the company in 2008 after both being laid off. We started with gift baskets filled with our delectable baked good, then sold in numerous farmers markets across LA until we dove into catering full time.

In 2010 we started doing production/set catering after assisting a friend on a set he was hired to cater. The experience of serving on set and seeing the immediate reaction to the food really energized me. Little did I know that 2 weeks later we would be hired to cater a set of our own. I like to think of that as a fateful day as that is when I met Lesley and have been working on numerous productions with her ever since!

What is it like running a business with Judy, your mom?

Owning a business with my mom is easier than one might think. Naturally there are disagreements, as with any business partners, but it’s a natural fit. Some days she’s the leader telling me what needs to be done and other days I’m the one running the show. It all comes down to trust… And if you can’t trust your mom who can you trust?!

When did you meet ReKon Productions?

We first met Jon Michael Kondrath on the set of A Leading Man in 2012 and have been working on productions with them ever since.

What is your favorite ReKon Productions story?

A few months ago, we got an email from Jon Michael Kondrath about catering a commercial. Excited to work with them as always I created a new menu to offer them something different. After working with ReKon for about 2 years we know what they like to eat and will tailor menus to their specific likes. But this time Jon responds that the new menu sounds great but the client thought it would be fun to serve Russian BBQ. “Is this something you can do?!” Of course” I responded “YES! No problem at all!!”  as I quickly google “Traditional Russian BBQ” as it was something completely foreign to me!! I then reach out to my Russian neighbor asking for recipes and advice.

The day came and I had researched and made the meal a few times but am not sure how it was going to go being as the client was from Russia! We arrived on set, set up the buffet, stepped back and prayed that they didn’t hate it!! Within minutes I was praised for the traditional flavors and was told I passed the test!!! WHEW!!!! MAJOR sigh of relief!!!

Do you have any war stories or any moment which you think really defines your relationship with ReKon Productions?

Fortunately for us business is growing and obviously we can not be in 2 places at once so sometimes we send our servers to deliver and take care of the meal… Well, Jon has become accustom to me personally serving him his lunch as he is sitting behind a computer in the production office. I always want to make sure everyone eats and has fresh hot food right away, and have noticed producers are constantly working and don’t always take a full lunch break, so I try and put a little extra attention when it comes to the production team getting their food.

HOWEVER, there was one instance back in November 2013 when we were working with ReKon catering all 3 meals for them. We sent our server with breakfast and lunch to set and I might have forgotten to tell them that I always make Jon’s plates… I arrived with their 3rd meal of the day Jon gave me a look and I immediately knew “I was in trouble” BUT the saving grace was the bag of our Signature Bars that I had brought him just because I know he loves them…  And of course I plated his food and brought it to the office moments later!

Signature Bars are those famous seven layer bars, what are the seven layers?  

Our Signature Bars are inspired by the Toll House 7 layer bar, but I wanted to make a bar that wasn’t so intensely sweet. So we got rid of the layers and made a mix of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, roasted pecans, toffee and toasted coconut which we spread evenly over a graham cracker crust, cover it with dulce de leche and once it’s done baking and is cooled we drizzle it with a Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate ganache. The bar is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, nutty heaven!!!

What is your experience working with ReKon for the last couple of years?

Working with ReKon Productions is always a pleasure!!!! The whole team is great! From producers to interns, everyone is a pleasure to work with.

More About Camille’s Catering:

Camille Napolitano-McDowell is a proud Los Angeleno and self-proclaimed unapologetic Valley Girl.

Following her passion for music, Camille attended the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA, after high school, majoring in Vocal Performance and Studio Recording and Production. She then went on to intern at The Talent House, an artist management and film and TV song placement company, and found herself spending her free time cooking and baking at home. She began reworking recipes she had grown up with and was quickly inspired to recreate a dessert bar. After MANY trial rounds, greeted with smiles and critiques from her bosses, she perfected what is now known as “Camille’s Signature Bar.”

She was then encouraged by her mother Judy to start making gift baskets for the holidays as a way to get some extra spending money. After 2 years and both mother and daughter being laid off, they decided to dive in and start Camille’s Culinary Creations. Initially selling their products at church boutiques before moving into local farmers markets around Los Angeles. The overwhelming response from people led them to expand the business and focus on providing people with food that would make them smile and come back for more. Camille’s gained traction and support and quickly expanded from selling baked goods to running a full service catering company with clients ranging from film sets, where they provides meals and craft service, to baby showers, weddings and high end charity events.

Now in their 6th year of business, Camille and Judy are still going strong and looking to expand their business even further in the upcoming year.

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