Caterer, Jo Kadis never met a person that she couldn’t dazzle with her catering food. Even after her retirement she continues to carry on that tradition. Many call her the Chocolate Lady and for good reason, she can often be found carrying a bit of chocolate especially when chaperoning trips. Is her name familiar? Perhaps that was as a SF Bay Area caterer or perhaps you read about her in Sunset Magazine. This caterer extraordinaire had a ‘shortcut’ published in Sunset Magazine to make speedy preserved Meyers lemons. Many faithful catering and Sunset fans swear by that method today.

mid century modern homes

Jo Kadis lives in an Eichler home. For those not familiar with this type of home it is names after a well-known real estate developer, Joseph Eichler. He created these distinctive looking homes to have a contemporary look and a lot of glass to let in natural lighting and in many cases incorporated courtyards and plants. They are beautiful homes especially with the natural lighting. These gems can be found in neighborhoods in California, up and down the San Francisco Peninsula, in the South Bay and beyond. I have even read about a few Eichler homes on the east coast too.

Unfortunately, the heating had failed in Jo Kadis’ Eichler home and she was uncomfortable. Our customers and good friends, Cathy and Randy “The Tax Man” Warshawsky have known the Kadis family for years. Fortunately for us, they referred Jo Kadis and her daughter, Cheryl to us to help fix the heating in her home. The dilemma with fixing the heating is that Eichler homes are heated with radiant heating. That means that there are tubes or pipes embedded in the concreate slab that circulate warm water, the heat radiates off these tubes and warm the concrete and that warms the home. The predicament that many Eichler homeowners face is that once the system breaks, to repair these tubes in the flooring requires breaking apart the cement Flooring to locate the leak, and for many that is just not an option. Instead Cold Craft’s Engineering team designed a variant refrigerant flow (VRF) system so Jo Kadis can not only have custom heating in her home but cooling too. This system is zoned so different parts of her home can be at different temperatures. She can feel comfortable in her home again in both summer and winter.

I wanted to make sure that Randy and Cathy Warshawsky remain comfortable referring us to their friends, I accompanied our engineer, Dan Parent to meet Jo and her daughter Cheryl at their home for the planning meeting. Immediately upon meeting Jo Kadis, I knew she was special. Just glance at the décor filled with treasures of her travels. I lost track of the number of camel figurines and interesting glass treasures. Her unique furniture complimented the Eichler style nicely and she hung oil paintings that were collected over the years but fit seamlessly and perfectly in her home, each of them had a special story.

Just after a brief encounter with Jo, I learned that Jo was a strong woman and her life was influenced by many famous people including Leonard Bernstein, Lawrence Fuchs, Elliott Silverstein and John Matthews while going to school at Brandeis University. Abraham Maslow was also at Brandeis and she remembers him as being quite a character. Ironically, if you get a chance to listen to her describe her adventures you just know that Jo had reached Maslow’s self-actualization level of needs. She is very creative, spontaneous and incorporates both into her problem solving.

brandeis university Over the years Jo and her husband, Dr. Leslie Kadis, traveled extensively and lived abroad. Their lifestyle was filled with a large variety of tastes and scents to explore and they both thoroughly enjoyed the variety and availability of the various cuisines of the world.
The locally accessible restaurants at the time left them wanting more. When they heard about a Moroccan restaurant in San Francisco Jo, Dr. Kadis and another couple were intent on heading out for a night in San Francisco.

The restaurant was beautifully decorated but make no mistake they were there to fulfill a food craving. Just one bite all four were hooked.  Infatuated with the Moroccan flavors, the wife in the other couple relentlessly called the restaurant daily for the recipe. Reluctantly, the chef gave in, but not before securing a promise never to come to the restaurant or bother him again in exchange.  With the recipe in hand she exuberantly shared the recipe with Jo.

shirley temple frownIf you knew Jo Kadis you would ask how anyone could have kept her in bed when she had the Asiatic flu. Bored out of her mind she awaited the arrival of her mother. She knew that her mother wouldn’t disappoint. Upon her arrival, Jo suddenly found herself owning a variety of books and magazine to review and ponder as she recovered. Jo specifically remembers one magazine featured a Moroccan restaurant in Paris. She thoroughly enjoyed the article and imagine her surprise when she turned the page to find all of the restaurant’s Moroccan recipes.  Who would’ve guessed that these recipes in that magazine would be the inspiration to launch a another line in her rewarding catering business later to be named The Catering Caravan.

Her firm not only fed the rich and famous on the SF Peninsula (Hillsboro and Atherton area) but her VERY first catering job had a famous guest, Shirley Temple Black.  It was a big success and she loved every minute of it. Jo gladly grabbed the bull by the horn when she was offered to cater the graduation party for a famous Stanford graduate, Chelsea Victoria Clinton which took place after the 110th Stanford University Commencement Ceremony. She was delighted to be introduced to President Bill Clinton and she was taken by the special gestures he made to make her feel welcomed. After all, this was the charismatic president.

It was at about this time that Bill Clinton was on a very strict diet. So, when Jo met him, he apologized in advance that he will only be able to have one of the appetizers.  Discretely, while others were distracted, Jo gazed over at the food to make sure everything was perfect and caught Bill Clinton sneaking another bite, or two and that just made her day.
If you knew Jo, you are well aware of her thirst for adventure, good taste, charm and good intentioned Chutzpah. After meeting Jo Kadis I couldn’t wait to get her a heating and cooling solution to make her comfortable once again in her Eichler home.
If you are experiencing an issue with your heating or cooling or you need a solution to thermal discomfort in your beautiful Eichler home – call Cold Craft, Inc. 408.374.7292 Lic # 631837

By Published On: May 10, 2018

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