Dec 052011
Authors: Kara Sawinska

As someone who enjoys food, Chef David Daggett turned this passion into a business when he and his wife Gay established Tastebuds Epicurean Café and Catering in Fort Collins around 10 and a half years ago.

Although Daggett, who attended California Culinary Academy, has worked for several food service businesses, catering provides a different experience.

“It gives us an opportunity to do more upscale-type foods instead of having a full-service restaurant where you’re kind of dictated a little bit more by everyday clientele,” Daggett said.

Daggett also enjoys crafting the customized menus to meet his customers’ individual tastes and needs. The course on these menus, which may include hors d’oeuvres, breakfast, lunch and dinner, are mostly made using fresh and locally grown ingredients.

“We have a high comfort level whether it’s Asian influences, Spanish, Mediterranean, French, Italian [or] American,” Daggett said.

Since he caters to a variety of customers, Daggett said it is difficult to identify the most popular food people order for their private celebrations, business gatherings and weddings.

In addition to running a catering company, Daggett and his wife also operate a cafe, which they opened in order to interact more directly with the public.

“Paninis, without a doubt, are the most popular,” Daggett said of the meals offered at his restaurant. In addition to paninis Daggett also serves baked goods, salads and soups during lunch.

Aside from meal preparation, Daggett also offers three types of cooking classes to satisfy his passion for teaching. One of these classes, is for businesses. It involves doing a cooking demonstration to teach topics like team building or healthy eating. The other two are private instruction with one or two individuals and cooking class parties with a small group of people.

Although Daggett’s business dominates a majority of his time, he is still able to enjoy what Colorado has to offer.

“I love being in the outdoors, skiing, biking [and I] love the mountains,” he said. Despite his other interests, Daggett’s passion for being a chef remains.

“I thoroughly enjoy it [and] I think it’s been a good career,” he said.

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