Introducing Michael Hollingsworth, Catering Director

Kate Mantilini has just passed it’s twenty-fifth birthday, having opened March 17, 1987, we might add to glorious reviews.  Marilyn and Harry Lewis had just sold their chain, the Hamburger Hamlets, which raised the lowly hamburger to a royal status.  The idea for Kate Mantilini was an upscale food hall which it was and is.  It is also one of the favorite of the locals who walk to Kate’s for several meals a week. The recipes were tested in the company kitchens and on many loyal clients and friends which resulted in many of the same items still being on the menu all these years later.

Having served their time on the floor and in the kitchen, Marilyn and Harry Lewis have turned the reigns of Kate Mantilini over to their two sons, Executive Chef, David Lewis, and CEO, Adam Lewis, while they enjoy the fruits of their labors by dining out and visiting with friends.  With the restaurant business in their blood, Adam and David visit both restaurants daily to maintain the impeccable service and comfort food that Kate Mantilini offers.


Behind Kate Mantilini is a great restaurant heritage and tradition which Adam and David Lewis have pledged to maintain.  It’s interesting how many guests have asked about catering at their homes and offices and that’s where I come into the picture.  My name is Michael Hollingsworth and I owned my catering business for over twenty years.  With the recession and ageing of clients, things began to change in the catering world and had slowed to a trickle in 2009.  I had just about decided to pack it all in and head to Palm Springs when I received a phone call from Adam Lewis asking if I might be interested in creating a catering venue with Kate Mantilini Restaurant.  I took a couple of meetings with Adam and decided why not?  My beloved Palm Springs will always be there;  I still go a couple of times a month.  I have to tell you that it has taken off like gang busters.   As our blog progresses we will be sharing catering tips and recipes for you to try at home and occasionally go into the vault to include a recipe from the past.   By the way, since the Hamlets (as we knew them) are gone, we thought we would reproduce the recipe for you for the Zucchini Zircles with the secret Apricot Sauce.  In this day and age there are many restaurant choices and the restaurateur’s main focus has to be on pleasing guests and insuring that every time they visit the restaurant the food and service are always at it’s best.

Zucchini Zircles With Secret Apricot Sauce

Scrub with a brush, but do not peel, 3 small zucchini.  Cut them in circles like poker chips, about a ¼ inch thick.   Place on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

Heat a generous amount of oil at least two inches thick in a deep fat fryer at 375 degrees.

Set out three shallow plates and fill one with ¾ cup milk, the second with 1/2 cup flour, and the third with 1 cup seasoned dry Italian breadcrumbs, and now place them on a wire rack.

Using tongs, fry a few zircles at a t time, until golden (20-30 seconds), and drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle the zircles with a little powdered sugar, and serve with Secret Apricot Sauce for dipping.



In a blender, puree:

½ cup Pineapple Juice

2 ½ Tablespoons Dry Mustard

1 ½ Tablespoons, soy sauce

Transfer to a bowl and stir in:

1 ½ cups apricot preserves.

I suggest you serve the sauce warm, and if you like it smooth, puree the sauce once more.


Our next blog features trends in cuisine for 2012.


Michael Hollingsworth, Catering Director

[email protected]

About Kate Mantilini Restaurant