Freuently Asked Questions
Q. What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
A. I prefer to learn more about the event, client and dietary needs before deciding on a menu. Because I don't force clients into pre-set menus i.e. baked chicken, rice, green beans, guests tend to enjoy my meals more. Once I know the vision for the event, I help to construct food that is a compliment not competitor to the occasion.
Q. What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
A. I am currently enrolled in a baking and decorating class. I believe many of my talents to be innate. However, culinary training refines my skill set. I take learning very seriously. So I continue to enroll in courses that interest me as time permits. Ultimately I'm seeing culinary school in my future.
Q. Do you have a standard pricing system for your service?
A. I love working with themed events and creating creative tablescapes and meals that are affordable. For many clients I will work backward from their budgeted amount to produce something beautiful for them. I am able to do this because 80% of the food I serve I make from scratch. I make quiche, I don't buy them. I bake cakes. It allows me to control the quality hence the name of the business.
Every quote I prepare regardless of price point includes fresh fruit and vegetables, hot items, two sides and a salad. As a compliment I always prepare a small dessert sampler of some sort.
Most quotes are done at a per person price. However I have done many $500 and back events. That means the clients says I have $500 and we work backwards to build for them. I also am asked to do a la carte items sometimes. Especially for crowd favorites like my bbq turkey meatloaf or eggplant parmesan.
Q. How did you get started doing this type of work?
A. I have been in the kitchen since the age of 6. My grandmother was the matriarch for eight siblings. A typical holiday gathering in our family home was 80 - 150 people. We cooked for three days. I have always loved baking and entertaining. It was however always felt that I was 'too smart' for it to be a profession. As a marketing executive and healthcare administrator, i found my greatest joy in creating and hosting marketing activities. We held huge luncheons and open house event to showcase our services. Attendees were always shocked to learn I prepared all the food when the inquired about the caterer. I did one event for a facility as a favor to the administrator. The rest is history.
Q. What types of customers have you worked with?
A. Large companies, healthcare billing associations, sororities, individuals getting married, celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. I've catered awards banquets, workshops and training sessions. I've done private parties and worked as a personal chef. I've also collaborated often with event planners to create dessert buffets and or contribute to them.
Q. Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
A. The annual awards banquet for Keller Williams Realty. Their Oscar theme was perfect for building a menu of simple, elegant items. They asked for prepared buffet items and items their vendors could serve as they posted as waiters. It was great fun! I was active in the kitchen of the office. We actually created something new for every tray that went out. The wow factor was the most entertaining part of the day!
Q. What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
A. I would say to any customer anywhere, food should be like wardrobe to your event. If you were a police officer, you wouldn't go to work in scrubs. The same is true of your menu. It should flow into the theme and vision you are trying to create. Work with someone who appreciates and encourages you to step not only out of the box but ON TOP OF IT!
Q. What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
A. 1. What tastes good to ME? A lot of brides order with everyone else in mind. It's your day. Let them stop at McDonald's after if they don't like your food.
2. Is there a buffer in the count? Meaning, if I say 125 does the caterer prepare for 120 or 140.
3. Realistically how much can I spend? Remember you ultimately get what you pay for!
4. Am I asking for something that will not work at the venue? If there is no kitchen for ensuring food is hot when served, then it's not best to ask for something that won't be good warm.