Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Julie² or Just Call Us Dining Details

Two of the San Diego food community's favorite Julies have just announced a unique collaboration that begins August 1.

Julie Franz (l) and Julie Darling (r)
Julie Darling of Just Call Us -- Catering, Volunteers, and Kitchen Rental -- and Julie Frans of Dining Details personal chef and catering business have just signed an agreement that turns over Dining Details's El Cajon commissary kitchen to Just Call Us Kitchen Rental so that Julie Frans and her husband Robbie can move to Miami and Julie can spend more time with her two young kids as well as follow her dream to write a book, develop recipes, and participant in the local food movement as it impacts children.

Frans explained that five months ago she and her husband started re-evaluating what they wanted and realized that they needed to make some big changes. They love catering, but with two small children and a growing business, their family life was being short changed.

"I was back at work four days after Cassidy was born," she said. "The path was to get busier, busier, busier at the expense of raising the kids."

So Robbie decided he'd be the primary breadwinner and Julie would get some flexibility. He got a lot of offers but decided to return to work as a private chef for a family in Miami he'd worked for before. He's already started with them and the family will join him in Miami in October. Julie plans to dig into the local Slow Food group, develop her blog, and get involved with lunch programs at local schools as she did with her Chickpeas program here. And, yes, Julie, who has a lot of family here, will regularly return to San Diego to work with her Dining Details clients and their events.

Julie Darling, who runs a rental kitchen in Clairemont and has been looking to expand the business, will take over the Dining Details space and inventory and keep working with their chefs to work events. She's already got a couple of businesses interested in becoming tenants and is hoping to attract East County food artisans who need a licensed kitchen where they can make their products.

"I'm as excited for Julie as I am for us," Frans said. "The universe brought us together for a whole new chapter for each of us."

For Darling, it means she has an additional 1,750 square feet of kitchen space for what's been an under-served culinary community in East County. "The joke is that's out in the wilderness, but close to the kitchen there's North Park Produce, Sprouts, Harvest Ranch, Costco, and Smart & Final," she noted.

And, the space will continue to be a CSA pickup location for Be Wise Ranch. Julie Frans will continue to create recipes for the CSA, which are included in each week's bags of produce.

"This has been a very cooperative transition," Darling said. "Julie will still be here periodically for events and the Dining Details food will be consistent because her staff will remain. And, I can offer a great space for people who need to rent a professional kitchen in East County."

If you're interested in renting space from Just Call Us Kitchen Rental, you can reach Julie Darling at chefjulie@me.com. If you have an event you want Dining Details to cater, you can reach Julie Frans at julie@diningdetails.com

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