Christopher and Ciara Greenwald share an obsession with good food, a passion for genuine hospitality, a wanderlust to see the world, and a keen entrepreneurial spirit. These provide the inspiration for Bay Laurel Culinary’s Private Chef and Boutique Catering services.
Founded in 2008, Bay Laurel Culinary combines Chris and Ciara’s years of culinary creativity, wine knowledge, and business expertise, focusing on the goal of providing guests with an exceptional seasonal culinary experience. From whole pig roasts, chef’s tasting menus, and cooking classes, to intimate weddings, pop-up dinners, and winery events, Bay Laurel Culinary prides itself on treating guests in a hospitable and memorable way. We are committed to meticulously sourcing the best ingredients the region has to offer. Our custom kitchen and event planning rooms are located in Petaluma — halfway between Healdsburg and the Golden Gate Bridge.
“Chris and Ciara catered a private dinner for a special birthday celebration in the wine country. It was fantastic. We loved how they took care of our family and guests. We didn’t have to worry about a thing. Based on our preferences, they created a beautiful and delicious menu. The presentation was simple and lovely. From the gorgeous and tasty appetizers, to the mouthwatering cauliflower soup, to the delectable duck, to the scrumptious cheese plate, and the amazing apple galette dessert, it was all perfect.” — Jennifer M., Palo Alto
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Chris began his career at Joyce Goldstein’s famed Square One restaurant in San Francisco. In 1996, he headed east to Austin, Texas, to join the kitchen staff at Jeffries Restaurant & Bar, cooking eclectic Southwestern cuisine with French techniques.
A Northern California native, Chris returned to California and started the Organic Garden Project in 1998 with help from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation, teaching troubled youth in Sonoma County the rewards of growing, cooking and appreciating natural food. In 2003, He joined Iron Horse Vineyards as Executive Chef, creating exquisite menus around the seasonal ingredients found in the estate’s extensive gardens paired with sustainably raised meats and fish from local sources with estate wines from the Green Valley region of Sonoma County. Continuing his quest to deepen his relationship with the culinary bounty of Sonoma County, he founded Bay Laurel Culinary in 2008. Today, Chris continues to push the boundaries of creativity in the kitchen, always looking to the freshest seasonal local ingredients to inspire his menus.
“Christopher and Ciara have catered multiple events for me over the past couple of years and all have been absolutely incredible. They are both so wonderful to work with, their food is beautiful, creative and delicious, the staff is always lovely. I’ve referred them for weddings, corporate events, dinner parties and everyone has always been blown away by how amazing they are. Christopher and Ciara are not only incredibly talented, they are a joy to work with from beginning to end.” — Katie C., San Francisco
Ciara is a native of Dublin, Ireland, where she was schooled early in the deep connection between sustainable growing and meticulous ingredient sourcing…and the pleasure of the resulting epicurean experiences. Ciara’s career began in international marketing, which led her to the Sonoma County Wine industry in 2003.
Though her love for and knowledge of wine expanded, her passion for food and hospitality became her calling, and she enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California, where she was classically trained as a chef. Before joining Chris to run Bay Laurel Culinary in 2012, she worked under James Beard award-winning Chef Michael Tusk at Quince in San Francisco, developed her wood-fired oven cooking skills at Diavola in Geyserville, and was a consulting Chef at Iron Horse Vineyards where she created food and wine pairings, recipes and culinary events showcasing the winery’s still and sparkling wines.
When not in the kitchen, Chris and Ciara will likely be found travelling in some far-flung corner of the world, sampling the local fare to be tasted at markets and street stalls.
“They did a gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian menu for my daughter’s birthday. It was fantastic. On time, set up and clean up was perfect, lovely staff. Bay Laurel was absolutely wonderful to work with..” — Jeanne P., Healdsburg