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Bringing Fine Dining Expertise to Camping Fare

Oct 16, 2023Oct 16, 2023

Santa Barbara–Based Jamie and Jayson Poe & Co.'s Folk Foods for the Win

After a long, hot day on a trail, you reach the peak of a mountain just in time for sunset. You pitch the tent, throw off your heavy backpack, and crack open a beer. What would best complete this picture-perfect outdoor moment? A nourishing and delicious meal, of course. But where's the personal chef when you need one? That's where Folk Foods — catering company Poe & Co.'s new line of gourmet camping food — comes in.

Chef couple Jamie and Jayson Poe, who love the outdoors and camping with a passion only matched by their love of food, launched Folk Foods to help elevate your camping dining options.

"Camping presents a few challenges when it comes to meal planning well, like limited space in our car or backpack, finding a way to keep product cool, and having to clean dishes without access to running water," Jamie said. "Plus, we’ve never been the type to settle for boring, cold meals, so we started searching for better food options."

The duo has already been helping provide delicious weeknight family meals with their Santa Barbara–based catering and meal delivery business, Poe & Co. It was only a matter of time before these Michelin–trained chefs — who have worked at such acclaimed restaurants as Gramercy Tavern in New York, Solbar in Napa, and The Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara — would find the fix for foodies who camp.

"Most of the backpacking food on the market didn't impress us in terms of menu offerings or the ingredients themselves. We saw a real gap in the market for high-quality, plant-based meals that are better for you and actually enjoyable to eat. That's what inspired us to start developing recipes," Jamie said.

Their new line of gourmet, plant-based, just-add-water camping meals requires zero refrigeration, and the meals are lightweight but heavy on deliciousness.

"We wanted to replicate the same food we’d serve for friends at a dinner party, camp-side. For us, that meant dishes that are approachable but loaded with bold flavors," Jamie said.

They currently have three options, including a black garlic ramen bowl with carrots, edamame, and nori; a gluten-free coconut chickpea stew with basmati rice, cauliflower, and turmeric; and a gluten-free quinoa–sweet potato skillet with black beans, tomato, and chipotle.

"The black garlic ramen has been our debut leader: It's a serious umami bomb, but without the sodium overkill," Jamie said.

While these meals are perfect for outdoors, the ease of preparation also makes them perfect for busy workers. I savored their delectable coconut chickpea stew for a quick and tasty lunch from the comfort of my classroom, and I love the fact that these meals can easily be dressed up with the addition of proteins, herbs, or bread.

Jamie shared her vision of how she pictures the sweet-potato skillet served: "I imagine surfers parked outside of Rincon in their van, spooning it onto a tortilla."

Whatever your preferred setting, these meals are sure to satisfy. To enhance your experience, check out their website for creative tasting notes and recommendations for beverage pairings such as sparkling sake for the ramen or a hard kombucha for the chickpea stew. They’re planning to release more meals in the next year with the addition of breakfast items as well.

Folk Foods can be purchased for local pickup or delivery, and they also ship nationwide. See

Santa Barbara–BasedJamie and Jayson Poe & Co.'sFolk Foods for the Win By Rebecca Horrigan | June 8, 2023 Read more of our Blue & Green 2023 stories here.