Questions and Answers with Chef Tamara
Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. We specialize in passed appetizers and platters for cocktail events. We procure the freshest ingredients – organic, sustainable and local where possible. We are always challenging ourselves with inventive, delicious cuisine and love integrating seasonal fruits and vegetables.
We’ve also provided gourmet boxed lunches for large corporate events, brunch bridal showers and themed food for entertainment clients – see below.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you’ve completed.
A. * Holiday cocktail party for CPXI – 225 guests, passed appetizers, stationary platters, bar and staffing provided. We also turned their 20,000+ sq/ft office into a winte wonderland
*bridal brunch – 80 guests, full brunch and bubbly cocktails plus baby boy decorations and cake.
*AMC’s The Walking Dead party – 200 guests ‘zombie’ theme cuisine – (ie ‘zombie fingers’ – procuitto wrapped asparagus charred and ‘brians on a plate’ – cauliflower with red pepper couli in puff pastry)
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Please look at our website for ideas, however this is just a starting place – we like to work closely with you to create the perfect atmosphere and cuisine for you and your guests. We live by our moto – fresh food, hand made with love… always
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Making food is something that comes for a passion to cook, create and share, otherwise it’s just a chore or something you do to feed your stomach!
Our chef’s are constantly creating, trying, tasting, to bring something new to the table – to make the experience exciting.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Firstly a consumer should understand if they are not specific in their initial request, they may get a broad range quote and menu. If this is not to your liking, they should reach out to the caterer and ask for more specifics Thumbtack is fantastic in that it does ask some great qualifying questions.
The more specific you can be in your request the better.
If the caterer can’t specifically meet your request, then onto the next one.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Buyers should understand that when working with us, we’re not providing something they could pick up at Costco or Wholefoods and warm in the oven.
Each item is hand crafted with the freshest ingredients, organic and sustainable where possible. We do prefer full service rather than drop off as to ensure the cuisine is delivered to the guest with the presentation and temperature it was intended.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. After attending a multitude of events over the years and seeing the same cuisine – with little flavor – our focus is on artisanally crafted delicious bites that are either unique unto themselves or an old favorite given life again! We are consistently creating fresh appetizers and pride ourselves on closely with our clients to create the perfectly tailored menu.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. As a former actor and theater producer, I personally love putting all the pieces together. The producer – the host, the director – me, the play – the menu, the actors – servers/bartenders, the audience – guests, set – decorations, props – rentals etc.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What’s your answer?
A. Will you be there?
Yes! Other than the rare occasions we have 2 events at the same time – as the Executive Chef and Owner, I will be there!
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. We just performed an event last month – it was a surprise birthday party – where the birthday girl not only had guests from across the country, but we were able to create (with the help of a family member) an 8 course tasting menu with wine pairing of her favorite dishes. She was ecstatic – as were we. As we presented each dish, squeals of excitement and ‘how did you know I love this’ comments were made (we were family members by the end of the evening! so much fun! – we have to more events planned with them in the coming months)
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. There is SO much planning that goes along with each event. We don’t simply go to the grocery store to get all of our ingredients and (unlike restaurants) we don’t have the same thing delivered every other day. We have at least 20 vendors from which we order specific amounts for every event… (and some of them don’t deliver). The shopping alone can take hours and the careful preparation is time consuming. It takes love and patience to do what we do… and we do love it!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. A healthy addiction to the Food network channel…. seriously!
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Gastronomy is an ever changing art. Also the changing needs of our clients (gluten free, paleo diets, etc encourage new techniques and sourcing authentic ingredients.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Not complicated. Our pricing can be broken down per each request.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. You have to love to create and serve…. and be prepared to work HARD, to cut your finger(s), burn your hand(s), understand ‘trial & error’ , have an excellent knowledge of food safety and have fun practicing new things for family and friends.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. Our ability to work professionally with the specific needs of our clients… we’ve been told by several clients that we have the friendliest staff and were the easiest to work with, (with the tastiest cuisine.)
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. Always – it’s the only way to grow – keep what works exceptionally and work on new dishes and business models in line with the growing needs of our clients.