Reviews

REVIEWS
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Amazing Experience!

December 10, 2018

We went to Costa Rica for an adult vacation. We hired Garrett and Pure Vida catering to come in and do many of our meals. We loved the service and the fellowship we shared with him and his family as he cooked the meal and answered our questions. His food was amazing in every way, we used him over and over again and I cannot recommend him more! We love the fact that he was from California (like us)and moved to Costa Rica, so he could answer all of our questions and was familiar with what kinds of foods we like to eat. Pura Vida catering was one of the best decisions we made for our vacation! Waking up and having breakfast homemade in your house was a true delight and we will be using him again when we come back to CR! Pura Vida!

—Jana Harrelson

Not one, but two incredible meals!

November 7, 2018

While planning our stay at a home in Playa Negra we decided to contact Garrett about preparing a meal for our family. His menus were so amazing that we couldn’t decide on just one! We spoke a few times via email before our trip and settled on a meal for our first night and our last night. PERFECT. I cannot put into words how outstanding our experience was and in the month since we’ve been back home, when describing our vacation, we have told everyone about the dishes he prepared for us. Marcela and Garrett brought everything they needed….all they asked me for was the location of the barbecue grill:) We chose the ‘Taste of Costa Rica’ (of course!) for the first night and were treated to out of this world Patacones, Macadamia-encrusted Mahi-mahi and to-die-for chocolate lava cakes. My children (15, 19 and 22) were thrilled that Garrett and Marcela would be coming back at the end of the vacation. The service was so incredible. They went about their tasks with such precision, but then in between our conversations made us feel like we were all old friends. And meeting them at the start of our week in Costa Rica was perfect; we told them what our activity plans were and they were so helpful in giving us ideas of things to do. Of course, every meal we had during the week was compared to what Garrett prepared for us….and I have to say while the food was delicious everywhere we went, nothing tasted like our first night. We chose the ‘Taste of the Hawaiian Islands’ for our last night there and we were not disappointed. I didn’t think anything could taste as good as the lava cake, but the pineapple upside-down cake came close! What a way to finish up our vacation. If you are planning a trip to the Guanacaste area, definitely consider contacting Garrett and Marcela. You will be as amazed as we were and your taste buds will thank you!! Pura Vida!!

—Beth Toolen

Nailed it!

September 1, 2018

Garrett and Marcela are AMAZING!!! They provided our family of 5 the most extraordinary dining experience. We ended up using them for every dinner and many of our breakfasts. It was truly one of the best parts of our vacation. Some of our favorite dishes were the patacones (I still crave them), arroz con mariscos and the cold soba noodle salad. Honestly everything blew our minds. They also provided delicious “kid food” for my 3 young children. Traveling with a 1, 2 and 4 year old can be challenging to say the least. We were actually quite nervous about the entire experience. Garret and Marcela made it SO easy. As the sun was going down we’d enjoy the sunset and a cocktail while they prepared our feast. After dining we continued to relax and enjoy our kids since they did all the clean up. They are wonderful people and we truly enjoyed their company. With the help of Pura Vida Catering we nailed this family trip!

—Kristin Cohen

All Around Amazing

August 14, 2018

First things first: Garrett & Marcela can cook! We invited them to cook for us for our first family dinner in Costa Rica and we were more than impressed. Not only was each dish perfectly prepared, the presentation was beautiful! The Patacones were incredible, Italian Menu was so delicious with well balanced flavors and Chocolate Volcano Cake disappeared in seconds.
Beyond the tasty food, Garrett was great at communicating and perfecting our menu leading up to our trip. I appreciated his working with us on our dietary needs and mixing up the menus to appease everyone 🙂
He and Marcela arrived on time, were fun to have around and left the place squeeky clean (they even hand-washed the dishes!).

We loved the special atmosphere that having a private chef created and would not hesitate to have them cater in the future!

—Lisa Nutting

Amazing birthday experience!

July 31, 2018

We had an amazing birthday dinner thanks to Garrett! We were down there for a family reunion and he had been recommended to us. And we can understand why! He and his wife showed up on time, were very easy to communicate with, the food was outstanding, and the service perfect!! There were 9 of us, and everything went smoothly. They were very friendly and fun to talk with, knowledgeable about the area. Only downside was we only scheduled one meal instead of all of them with Pura Vida catering! Awesome job and highly recommend!

—Sara Witter

Great Private Dining Experience

July 31, 2018

Garrett and Marcela were absolutely fantastic. We had them come 2 nights. They provided a complete private dining experience. From Marcella’s special touch of cutting flowers from the yard and making a center piece, to Garrett’s presentation of the food. We had 4 adults and 4 kids, Garrett prepared an adult dinner and separate dinner for the kids. The ingredients were super fresh and prepared perfectly. Garrett was very flexible and allowed us to mix and match items, even created an off the menu desert for us.

Was a great experience and would absolutely do it again.

—Friends from NJ

Absolutely Amazing!!

July 15, 2018

We had Garrett and Marcela prepare two meals for us while renting a home in Playa Negra. One was on our first night there, and after a long day of travel it was such a relief to sit down to his culinary creations. Our children (21, 19 and 15) said ‘What’s for dinner?’ when we told them and we said ‘You’ll see!’…. I’ve never seen them eat like that! Each dish was more incredible than the next. Patacones–unbelievably good! Garrett’s explanation of each dish was something we loved. The fact that they brought everything they needed and the kitchen was spotless when they left was so greatly appreciated. I think our kids dreamt about the chocolate lava cake that night…and then each night’s dinner was a comparison to what Garrett prepared for us:) We were very fortunate to have them come back for us on our last night at the house and provide us with another amazing meal. While venturing to the local restaurants during the week was fun and almost as delicious; we are so glad we had Pura Vida catering to provide us with our first and last meals in Costa Rica! If you are planning a vacation here, then DEFINITELY use Pura Vida:)

—Beth Toolen

Birthday Dinner

July 3, 2018

Garrett and Marcela made us an amazing Costa Rican gourmet dinner during our stay in our lovely villa. We enjoyed the evening and being able to learn more about Costa Rica from Garrett and Marcela. Each course was explained and using the freshest local ingredients. It was a true treat to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy such an amazing meal. I would highly recommend them for your catering needs!

—Diana Vargas

Pura Vida Feast

June 21, 2018

I contacted Garrett to cook for our family group, 13 adults and 3 children. We went back and forth on email several times and Garrett was always responsive with great options. The meal was simply marvelous. We’re from San Francisco and are accustomed to fine sea food. Garrett and Marcela really out did themselves. The Patacones melted in your mouth. The Mahi-mahi was tender and juicy. And the Chocolate Volcano Cake with Vanilla ice cream was to die for. Garrett and Marcela were fun and answered questions regarding the preparation and cooking of the meal. Finally, considering the ease and joy of eating in a beautiful vacation home and not having to cook or clean up, Pura Vida Catering is The way to go. Thanks Garrett and Marcela!

—Bill Rose

Fantastic!

June 12, 2018

Garrett prepared 3 separate dinners for our group of 7 during our stay in Costa Rica. Every meal was outstanding! Although we chose our meals in advance, he surprised and delighted us with his originality and delicious flavors for all 3 meals. Having him and Marcela prepare our meals was one of the highlights of our trip. We didn’t have to do anything. They brought everything, cooked everything, set the table beautifully, and cleaned up so there was nothing for us to do except enjoy our fabulous view and relax. Garrett and Marcela kept out of our way during the meal prep process, but if we went to talk to them, they were a delight to have around, interesting to talk to about culinary options in Costa Rica, and also offered advise on local restaurants and attractions. When planning our trip, we split the various dinners amongst a couple different chefs, but Garrett was by far the best. When we go back, we will only use Garrett for all nights. It was like eating in a 5 Star restaurant but in the comfort of your home. Excellent!

—Karen Rivara

Beauty for eyes and tastebuds

April 18, 2018

Garrett and Marcela made us a wonderful Pacific Rim Feast that was delicious, healthy, and locally sourced. And served in the best location ever, our own home. Treat you and your guests right and hire them to cater your next evening in or event! I can’t wait to return and keep working through their extensive menu.

—DENISE SALTOJANES

Fantastic Feasts

March 31, 2018

Garrett and Marcela have fine tuned their catering service to make the most enjoyable meals you will experience in Costa Rica. We (group of 4 adults and 2 teenagers) used Pura Vida Catering for 2 dinners prepared at our rental house. Being lovers of all foods, we chose the Hawaiian and French menus. Garrett is super friendly and passionate about cooking, and his wife Marcela assists the cooking, sets the table and even cleans up afterwards. Loved that Garrett sources out local fish, and produce etc., and adds Costa Rican freshness magic to every meal. He even accommodated my son’s lactose intolerance! All courses were explained to us and wow were they fabulous. Fine details such as presentation were never overlooked. Even a vase of flowers from our garden adorned our dining table thanks to Marcela. We will be sure to use Pura Vida again and highly recommend their service to all.

—Karen Bochmann

Fantastic Feasts

March 20, 2018

Garrett is a true genius – from food preparation to presentation to clean up – everything was artfully and divinely done. Kudos to you Garrett – I wish we could clone you and Marcella and bring you home. We really enjoyed both outstanding dinners you prepared for us and would highly recommend Pura Vida Catering over a sit down restaurant hands down.

—Bobbi

Pre-wedding welcome celebration.

March 11, 2018

My experience with Garrett and his crew was outstanding. His seamless production of an amazing dinner for what was supposed to be far fewer people (!) made for an incredible kick off to my son’s wedding week in Costa. He handled the overflow with the best attitude and made me feel totally at ease with my party. The food was delicious and artfully presented. The staff was diligent, professional and all smiles. I wish I could have brought Garrett and Marcella and Amy back to the states with me!!

—Mimi Tashjian

Celebration Week-end

February 26, 2018

Right off the bat our experience was totally seamless.
We went with one of the menus online, exchanged a couple of e-mails & had 20 people over for dinner – it was that simple.
As a couple that has run a catering business in NY for 25yrs we understand the teamwork needed to run an event flawlessly & Pura Vida Catering delivered.
Garret –Relaxed & easy going
Marcella – so charming & efficient
Roger – mojitos ( hint of coconut to soften the acidity)
Appetizers including patacones & local caught jumbo ( & I mean JUMBO ) shrimp cocktail, fresh fish cooked on our grill & the evening topped off with Garrets spin on crème brulee. Clean up- as if a party never happened in the house.

The next day we hired Garret & the crew to prepare hors d’oeuvres for part of a local celebration for roughly 150ppl, & as expected everything was ‘spot on’.

We couldn’t recommend Pura Vida Catering more highly.

—Gary & Liz

Awesome Girls Trip!

February 10, 2018

It was such a treat to have Garrett and Marcela of Pura Vida Catering prepare an outstanding dinner for us upon our arrival to Costa Rica. We were delayed arriving and Garrett was very accommodating with our schedule. We chose the Costa Rican dinner and loved every bite, along with excellent wine paring choices! The Patacones with Guacamole and Tuna Poke were awesome. The seafood was very fresh and abundant in the Arroz Con Mariscos. Garrett and Marcela were so warm and friendly throughout the evening, sharing their knowledge of the area . They both were very professional serving and cleaning up. It was truly one of our best meals during our stay in the Guanacaste area in Costa Rica. It was a pleasure working with them and would highly recommend using Pura Vida.

—Kristen

Wonderful Evening

January 25, 2018

We are residents of the area and have followed Garrett since he was the chef/owner at Amigos Restaurant. Last week we had some friends for dinner and asked Garrett and Marcella to cater for us. They came completely equipped and settled in while we enjoyed the sunset. He was efficient and unobtrusive, announcing the menu at each course. Afterwards he quietly cleaned up and exited without causing a stir. The food? Fantastic! Give him a try. It is part of the pura vida experience. I recommend the volcano chocolate cake (gluten-free), a specialty of Garrett.

—Wes and Judith

Pure Pleasure!

January 7, 2018

It was an absolute highlight of our family vacation in Costa Rica to have Garrett cater several dinners for us. Everything about our experience with Pura Vida Catering from planning to dessert was awesome. Garrett is a truly professional trained chef and also an incredibly nice guy loves what he does. He was very responsive to my emails setting up menus for our dinners. He arrived on-time with everything he needed to prepare fabulous meals. The night we arrived we had Garrett leave us a Costa Rican dinner that could be eaten room temp or reheated, because we knew we would be exhausted after a long day of travel. Two other nights we enjoyed the Taste of France and Taste of Italy menus. Marcela accompanied Garrett both nights. She is absolutely lovely and made serving and cleanup look like a breeze. Garrett and Marcela are fun and engaging and we all really enjoyed our time with them. We could not recommend them more highly, and we hope to get back to the Tamarindo area and have the pleasure of working with them again. Pure Vida!

—Karen Resnic

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME...!!

January 5, 2018

If your birthday is two days after Christmas (like mine is) when everyone is usually so tired….including me…nobody wants to bother with another party until the New Years Eve one..!

So, up until now, my birthdays have been more or less uneventful and often not celebrated at all. . WELL…this year I planned, with the help and encouragement of my wonderful husband, my own Happy Birthday To ME Party and it turned out to be quite the event because of Garrett and Marcella..!!

I told them what we all wanted from their dreamy menu choices and they completely took over and created a birthday party for me that I will remember always..!!

We started off with a lovely Mimosa toast to ME ;D and then Garrett and Marcella began to work their magic in the kitchen…!! They showed up completely prepared, organized and maintained their professionalism throughout the night. Their menu choices are very diverse and varied and all our food was prepared exquisitely…!! My lobster literally melted in my mouth and my steak was cooked to perfection…!! We all had the Caprese Salads to start and then the Surf and Turf, Macadamia Encrusted Mahi, Herb encrusted Mahi as the main courses…..The food was not only prepared perfectly but served so lovingly as well and Garrett educated us about our food choices and the specific way everything was prepared…!! As an educator and a foodie, I really appreciated this part of the night..!! Then for dessert, we all had the Volcano Chocolate Cake (mine with a candle) with Vanilla Ice Cream…!! It was one of the BEST Birthday Parties I have ever had thanks to the professional attention of Garrett and Marcella.

If you have not had a catered dinner party by Garrett and Marcella in the privacy of your own home, TREAT YOURSELF JUST BECAUSE…you don’t have to wait for a birthday…!! Garrett and Marcella and my wonderful husband made my birthday SO SPECIAL this year..!! I was treated like ROYALTY and I loved and appreciated every minute of it….!!! It’s good to be the Queen if even just for one night…!!

YUMMY….YUMMY…YUMMY…..!! We were all SO contented and satisfied with the entire evening and will definitely be treating ourselves on other occasions in the future….!! P.S. My kitchen was left in excellent condition which I also appreciated because I love it when I don’t have to cook or clean up after parties, don’t you..??

THANK YOU, GARRETT and MARCELLA SO MUCH..!!! ;D

—Sharon and Wayne Gibson

FANTASTIC!

December 13, 2017

Rented a house near Tamarindo in March of this year with another family.
Garrett was recommended by the property manager and he did not disappoint!
We booked Garrett and Roger for two meals during our stay. The food was awesome and the company even better. Real delight in chatting with Garrett and Roger during the evening.
Would highly recommend Pura Vida.
Thanks Garrett for some great meals and company.

—Vic & Alison, Toronto, Canada

Stunning food

November 4, 2017

Garrett made us a four-course dinner that was easily the best meal we have eaten since moving to Costa Rica nine years ago. He is an extraordinary chef and his creations are always a perfect combination of great flavor, impeccable preparation and creativity.

—Matt

Weekend getaway with friends and our kids

October 27, 2017

Words can’t describe how amazing this way from start to finish
Perfect for families with kids! We had a chef that cooked food that was out of this world. We can’t wait to go back!

—Erin Blazek

WOW!

October 13, 2017

Our crew can’t say enough about Garrett’s culinary skills! We had 3 families and 5 little kiddos in a home in Playa Negra. None of us wanted to cook so we pre-planned and booked Garrett out in advance. Travel plans changed with the weather and Garrett & Marcella were more than accommodating. They fit right into our crazy crew and the food was WOW, phenomenal, over the top! We loved the experience so much we were lucky to find out he could possibly accommodate us again the following day and we booked him on the spot. We even had a Dad, who does not like seafood and he was in love with Garrett’s tuna poke. Day one was surf and turf with filet mignons and mahi and day 2 was Mongolian glazed ribs and so much more we were in culinary heaven! We highly recommend Garrett for your in-home fine dining and we definitely look forward to booking Garrett for his services when we go back to Costa Rica every year! 🙂

—John & Gina Barras, Houston, TX

Restaurant Guru

September 24, 2017

I was looking at Garrett to have a special dinner for my wife’s Birthday. I live in Marbella and have for over 15 years, I’m an expat that has a really good taste for exotic meals. I’m going to tell all of you that this young man opened the Tiki Hut Restraunt on the beach in Marbella with me. His professionalism and cuisine is exceptional, great personable person who I highly respect. He decided to go out on his own and opened up Amigos Restaurant which was a great success and I visited often with my Real Estate clients and Family.
1st class food and service is his way of life. So happy to see the catering business is underway and very excited to have him in my home to treat me and my family to another wonderful meal.
Sincerely
Jeffrey Allen

—Jeffrey Allen

Birthday Party Excellence

September 13, 2017

Garrett prepared an awesome feast for my girlfriend Lisa’s birthday, we loved it. Each of the dishes from appetizer to desert was 5 star. He was on time, prepared, and very professional. I highly recommend his services!

—Gary

Group Vacation not complete without Garrett and Marcella!

August 12, 2017

Recently contracted Garrett and Marcella for a group of 18 staying in Guanacaste area. The menu and head count fluctuated daily but Garrett rolled right through every hurdle quickly and professionally. The food was out of this world. My kids are still comparing everything we cook to “Garrett’s…”. The vacation wouldn’t have been complete without them. Highly recommmend anyone and everyone to experience the same perfection we all did.

—William

Vacation cooking

July 10, 2017

Garrett and his wife were great–they blended in like they were part of our group vacation! They cooked for 8 of us, and everything was presented well and communicated!

—Janie

Taste of the Pacific Rim

July 1, 2017

Garret was such a pleasure to have in our house & quickly created a wonderful atmosphere and dining experience. He was completely self sufficient! Our food was exceptional, fresh, and beautiful. He completely took care of us and it was a treat!

—Mary

Wonderful Mother's Day Dinner

June 8, 2017

Garrett prepared the most amazing dinner for all of us on Mother’s Day. We had the steak & seafood menu which I would highly recommend. The food was of the highest quality and prepared just right. Garrett was very accommodating for our non-meat non-seafood eater as well. We would definitely call him to come over to cook again!

—Michele

Fantastic Food!

May 3, 2017

The food was amazing and the wine pairings were spot on. Besides preparing and serving great food, Garrett and his assistant Roger were very helpful telling us about interesting places to go while we were in Costa Rica.

—Fran

Wonderful Dinner

April 30, 2017

We had a great dinner with Garrett and his assistant. They arrived on time, were friendly and professional, and made a delicious dinner. They made healthy kids’ meals (and also dealt with kids who had been traveling all day very well!)

—Emily

Great Experience!

April 30, 2017

We had a wonderful meal with Pura Vida Catering. They took care of all the details, and served some amazing food. Will definitely be calling them again! Thanks Garrett!

—Laura

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