The dining experience at weddings is one of the most important aspects of the day, and Chef Jeff Catering understands this to the full extent. As a boutique caterer, their menu items are fully customizable and are thoughtfully designed in their scratch kitchen. Lea Distad, the team’s Wedding Specialist, is passionate about creating a personalized experience for couples that their guests will remember for a lifetime. Get to know more about their delicious offerings, and taste them for yourself in person at the Tasting Bar at UNVEILED Sunday, January 8th!
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s Chef Jeff Catering’s specialty?
A: Full-service boutique-style event catering
Q: Where can we find you?
A: Our shop is located in New Hope, but we serve the greater Twin Cities area and we bring the food to you!
Q: Tell us when and how your business began.
A: Chef Jeff Riley has always had a deep love for cooking. He started in the family business (Ted Cook’s 19th Hole BBQ) and worked his way through several upscale kitchens since then. One of his great passions has always been teaching and mentoring. In 2004, Chef Jeff was part of a program at Broadway High School, teaching teenage parents from diverse backgrounds how to cook. This is what inspired him to start his catering business, where he could serve the community and give people opportunities.
Q: What makes your company unique from others?
A: We are a family-owned company that really stands by quality food and excellent service.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: I have been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years now, starting when I was 15. Over the years I think expectations for service and food have changed due to social media. You are getting a much more in-the-moment experience/photo/comment of someone else’s dining experience.
Q: Walk us through your average workday.
A: I have a wonderful flexible work schedule, some days I sit on my computer and work on proposals and emails with my clients, and on other days I get to help my team on an event!
Q: What would you want couples searching for catering partners to know?
A: We are experts; this is all we do. Our job is to think of every detail and guide you through the planning process so that everything is covered. This leaves you free to be 100% present all day.
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with Chef Jeff Catering?
A: Most couples inquire around a year out. We aim for bookings to be confirmed by 6 months prior to their date.
Q: What’s trending in party food right now?
A: We are seeing a lot of stations lately; interactive, build-your-own type foods. Pasta bars, slider bars and Appetizer Stations.
Q: What do you think we’ll see more of in food trends?
A: Live-action stations, live chefs, family style/long table/community-focused food experiences.
Q: What are your other hobbies and passions besides creating delicious eats?
A: I have a young family and love spending time with them and exploring different events in the Twin Cities.
Q: Who’s your most played artist on your streaming service?
A: I enjoy listening to the radio. If I was to put on some music it would be Adele, Sam Smith or a good 90’s Jam.
Q: Mountains or Beach?
A: I’m really into them both!
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: I really like a White Russian
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I thought I was going to be working with animals!
Q: You’re at brunch. Are you going for something sweet or savory?
A: I will always find the BACON and Chocolate!
Q: Go-to comfort food?
A: A great homestyle burger.
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
A: Duck Duck Grey Duck
If you’re ready to discover more about this amazing company and how they will make your wedding menu amazing, get in touch on their website!
All images courtesy of Chef Jeff Catering