Roasted Duck Lasagna from Local Mama Catering

Roasted  Duck  Lasagna from Local Mama Catering

In the midst of a busy and heavily-booked summer, a long-standing client of Local Mama Catering approached chef/owner Beth Anna Raynock about catering a birthday dinner for her husband – and 40 guests. Although the Bethlehem-based company was engaged for a large, full-service event on the Saturday requested, Raynock was determined to find a way to accommodate loyal customers Carol and Michael of Bucks County. 

Normally, when working with a new client, Raynock poses the question “What is your dream menu?” during an initial phone interview. However, being familiar with this couple and their penchant for traveling in Italy, she knew Michael would always order duck when it was on the menu. (Although duck remains an icon of classic French cuisine, Italian and Sicilian chefs know their way around this succulent bird.) Carol happily agreed to a fully prepped and cooked made-ahead meal – with complete and simple instructions for reheating and serving – that could be dropped off as the catering team headed to the other event. When Raynock proposed a roasted duck lasagna for the entree, Carol responded, “Oh my gosh, yes! Michael would go crazy for that.”

The original, one-of-a-kind dish Raynock envisioned was white lasagna with layers of caramelized leeks, Italian porcini mushrooms soaked in white wine, and sautéed kale with fresh toum, a house-made Lebanese garlic paste – all layered together with fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese, and, of course, a layer of slow roasted duck. She also decided to prepare a duck fat béchamel with fresh sage to ladle over individual servings of the lasagna.

To assemble the large array of ingredients needed, Raynock headed to Joe Jurgielewicz & Son in Shartlesville to pick up ten freshly processed Pekin ducks. (Home cooks can skip the road trip by ordering online at and getting a huge spectrum of premium quality duck products delivered promptly.) She then drove to a friend’s farm, The Baer Necessities in Richlandtown, to lend a hand at picking black magic kale. Next stop took her to Holicong for a pound of dried, imported Italian porcini mushrooms to be rehydrated in pinot grigio. Ricotta was sourced from Klein Farms Dairy & Creamery in Easton and The Mozzarella Man in Bethlehem – a business operated by a family that recently relocated to the Lehigh Valley from Brooklyn, NY – delivered freshly prepared and still-warm mozzarella. 

The sheets of lasagna noodles, crafted in-house, included a separate batch of gluten-free pasta to accommodate guests with special needs. “I work closely with each client to fine-tune every detail of each event,” Raynock says. “We have the capability to prepare each meal in a meticulous fashion to ensure that the food is safe for each and every guest attending our events.” She also takes an understandable amount of pride in never preparing the same menu twice. With a whole wide world of foods to choose from, this energetic chef is open to making anything, contingent upon the availability of ingredients. 

The roasted duck lasagna, which Raynock acknowledges as “extremely decadent – not something you’d eat every day!” – was partnered with a side dish of vegan-roasted vegetables and an antipasto starter. The meal was paired with an inventive white peach sangria mocktail that incorporated peach kombucha from High Point Kombucha in Allentown with a sage simple syrup and diced fresh peaches, then whipped with a lightly sweetened meringue – “just for fun.”

The birthday celebration was a delicious success and Local Mama Catering was also able to pull off a major event on the same day, a shining example of multitasking at its finest. “This is the magic of what we do,” Raynock comments. “We create custom culinary masterpieces for each of our clients.” 

Local Mama Catering


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