Vinessa Mulinix: Creating delicious memories, one great catered meal at a time

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX/Chinook Observer</I><BR>Chef Vinessa Mulinix, owner and operator of the Beach House Catering Co., serves prime rib and other tasty options at a recent wedding in Oysterville.

SEAVIEW - After years of dreaming about the possibility, local chef Vinessa Mulinix finally has the job to showcase and challenge her skills - the Beach House Catering Co. Some may remember Mulinix as the well-praised chef from Beach House Café near the Sid Snyder beach approach.

"I really enjoy catering and I always thought there was a need for catering here. There just wasn't any time or staff for it," she says about making her business move after the closing of the Beach House Café. "I enjoy it because every menu is different, every client is different. The events are different and it's a change of pace. There's also a lot less waste [of food] and a lower turnover of employees."

Also working there is another local chef, Jeff Marcus, who Mulinix describes as her "go-to man" for the business.

Hoping to fill a gap in the community's need for a full-service caterer, Mulinix says she looks forward to catering a variety of social events, including the Ocean Beach Education Foundation dinner on Oct. 4. She has also paired up with Peninsula Wine Merchants to put together gourmet picnic baskets in the future.

Since her first day of business in February and working out of her Seaview shop since April, Mulinix says her full-service catering business is perfect for weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, reunions, anniversaries, business lunches and meetings, and other social occasions in Pacific and Clatsop counties. Whether it's plated dinners, a buffet, or a meal drop-off you are looking for, Beach House Catering can do it. With 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Mulinix networks to provide an event organizer, flower arrangements, servers, bartenders or any other service that might be needed.

A sample menu from Beach House Catering has entrees such as: petit beef tenderloin roast with caramelized Mayan sweet onion demi sauce; poached Atlantic halibut with roasted garlic, grape tomatoes and shallots in a rich chardonnay cream broth; eggplant napoleon layered with fresh mozzarella, grilled eggplant, arugula and heirloom tomato sauce; and herb-crusted chicken breast with sweet onion marinara and shaved parmesan. Sample appetizers include steamed Northern Manila clams with chardonnay aioli; smoked salmon and white cheddar quesadilla with strawberry salsa; cheese and fruit platter; and fresh Dungeness crab and salmon cakes with roasted Anaheim chili sour cream. Flavorful salads and desserts are also options.

While she tends to focus on local favorites, she is open to trying anything once. Some old favorites include a strawberry-coconut salad with vanilla vinaigrette, a cranberry barbecued salmon entrée, and hand-carved beef tenderloin stuffed with blue cheese, pecan and red grapes. Clients are also welcome to schedule a menu tasting prior to their event.

"This is not your standard catering service," she explains. "I can make any meal special. I'm flexible, I can customize the menu and every customer is special."

Some clients come to her in hopes of getting another taste of a dish she prepared at Beach House Café - and she's more than happy to do it. She also enjoys a challenge, such as creating a menu with a Portuguese influence.

Mulinix says the best part about her job is that she gets to create new menus on a regular basis and prepare food with her friends. She also is thankful to have more time with her family.

Beach House Catering is located at 4200 Pacific Way in Seaview and can be reached by calling 642-0064; e-mailing: (; or by mail at P.O. Box 327, Ilwaco, WA 98624. Also check out (

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