Dec 022011
Authors: Kara Sawinska

Being someone who enjoys food, Chef David Daggett turned this passion into a business when he and his wife Gay formed Tastebuds Epicurean Café and Catering in Fort Collins around 10 ½ years ago.
Although Daggett, who attended California Culinary Academy and is the owner of this company, has worked in various food settings throughout America, 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,” he said. Another aspect of his catering company Daggett said he likes is the amount of diversity the ever-changing menus present when they are customized to meet people’s needs. These menus, which include ones for hors d’oeuvres, breakfast, lunch and dinner, consist of foods that are mostly local, use fresh ingredients and feature a wide range of ethnicities, Daggett said. “We have a high comfort level whether it’s Asian influences, Spanish, Mediterranean, French, Italian [or] American,” he said. Since there is so much variety, Daggett said it is difficult to identify the most popular food catered to events like private celebrations, business gatherings and weddings that are held mostly throughout the northern area.
While this may be the case in regards to catering, it is easy for Daggett to state the food commonly purchased at the café, which he said was created so he and his staff could interact with the public. “Paninis, without a doubt, are the most popular,” he said. In addition to paninis being served at the café, Daggett also said primarily baked goods, salads and soups are offered and sold mostly during the lunch hour.
Aside from preparing meals allowing Daggett to fulfill one of his interests, the three types of cooking classes his company offers also lets him satisfy his passion for teaching. One of these classes, Daggett said, is for businesses and involves doing a cooking demonstration to teach topics like team building or healthy eating. The other two consist of going to people’s homes and either giving private instruction to one or two individuals or having a cooking class party with a small group of people, Daggett said.
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 these 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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