Califonia Bountiful

The root of happiness

September/October 2021 California Bountiful magazine

Couple celebrates community and each other through culinary partnership




David and Kelly Gomez chose the name "Roots" for their catering business to reflect their ties to the community and the authenticity of their food. Photo: © 2021 Frank Rebelo

Destiny or coincidence? David and Kelly Gomez choose the former when reflecting on the genesis of a partnership that has yielded four children, four grandchildren and a thriving catering business.

Born in the same San Antonio hospital within two months of each other, the couple didn't meet until they were in their 20s, working in a convalescent hospital in Whittier, Calif. He was the kitchen manager and she was the activity director.

"We met because he saw a sticker in my office that said, 'Don't mess with Texas,'" Kelly recalled.

Twenty-five years ago, the Gomezes replanted their Texas roots in Northern California and gradually transitioned from employees to employers.

"We started catering on the side for people we knew, doing community events, things for our kids' school, fundraisers, donating food and then realized we liked it," Kelly said, with David adding that their ultimate goal was to find a way to work together again.

Now they do, as owners of Roots Catering in Hamilton City.

"We love hanging out together and we've always worked really good as a team," David said. "We really complement each other."

Kelly is the administrator and catering director, while David serves as executive chef. As such, he said his goal is to prepare each ingredient—sourced locally, when possible—in an authentic way, often doing extensive research if he isn't familiar with a cuisine or dish a client has requested.

That commitment aligns with the couple's desire to become more deeply rooted in their community.

"There's a saying we like that says, 'When you give people your food, you give them your heart,'" Kelly said. "For David and I, that's so often how we share ourselves, by making and celebrating the food."

Barbara Arciero

Recipes

Calabacitas (Pork-zucchini stew)

Fig, pomegranate and goat cheese salad

Frijoles de la olla compuestos

Empanadas de manzana

Roots Catering brown rice horchata


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