To understand the guiding principles of our kitchen, you need to know it’s all about our roots … and all the other fresh ingredients from our own garden and those of local farmers. Our commitment to serving the best quality is reflected in the care we take in choosing quality produce from the finest local purveyors. It is our aim to support Southern California growers and independent farms and ranches to bring you the freshest seasonal ingredients. Before items make their way to our kitchen, our purchasing team meticulously checks each daily delivery for the utmost perfection, inspecting each item individually.
We believe in a sustainable food system that informs our choices of the foods we prepare, guides us in being environmentally friendly in our methods, and keeps us mindful of effective waste management and recycling solutions. The Athenaeum adheres to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch sustainable seafood advisory list as advocates for ocean-friendly seafood. Items such as fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits are grown here, onsite in The Athenaeum’s own garden. Throughout the year, The Athenaeum garden supports the kitchen’s regular demand for such items as tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and many other herbs and spices, while the Institute’s historic Olive Walk provides The Athenaeum extra virgin olive oil to garnish select dishes.
The Athenaeum culinary team is comprised of a skilled and experienced staff, trained in diverse styles of cooking. Each member brings a unique food background and their own special strengths that combine the best traditions with versatility and a flair for the distinctive. It is a recipe that blends excellent talents to yield the best products; truly an “A” team with a harmonious balance that keeps dining innovative and exciting with each visit to our club.
True to the style of the architecture of our building, our menus reflect a strong Mediterranean and California influence. You might even see a whimsical touch, scientific in nature, upon your next Athenaeum experience. Whether it be an appetizer served by test tube or liquid nitrogen frozen dessert – our legacy with Caltech is one in which we take significant pride.
As a private club we aim to bring a variety of dining options to our membership in a single place. From elaborate banquets to a la carte dining; timeless comfort foods to innovative unique dishes, The Athenaeum kitchen caters to the vast and ever changing tastes of its membership and guests. Our bi-monthly International Nights bring authentic cultural dishes, while our Rathskeller provides fun, casual fare. We strive to satisfy the palates of all our patrons, and accommodate specific requests to suit every need and personal taste.
Athenaeum food & beverage photography courtesy of Dana Attebery and Robert J. Paz Photography.