What’s one of the things guests always remember about a party? The food! Who would know better about this than our featured vendor, Le’s Kitchen. We have had the pleasure of working with Ava and her team in the past and she was gracious enough to share some of her own thoughts and experiences with us. Our mouths are watering just looking at these photos by Jerry Yoon.
What inspired you to start Le’s Kitchen?
My mother has been a chef ever since I can remember, so growing up, I consistently found myself in the family kitchen or at my mother’s restaurant watching her create delicious meals that brought so many people together. Even after graduating from university with a degree in business and economics, culinary arts continued to play a large role in my everyday life. So it was natural that I ended up back where it all began for me when I created Le’s Kitchen. In my opinion, nothing brings people closer together than sharing delicious food, so being able to do this for others as a living is truly a dream!
How would you describe your style? What do you think sets you apart from other caterers?
Traditional, Elegant and Simple. I believe Le’s Kitchen has been successful because we have been able to preserve the authentic Asian flavors that we are all familiar while being able to bring a certain level of artistry and sophistication to our menus. We have been able to make Asian cuisine classy and elegant, while still keeping the flavors traditional and most importantly, keeping it reasonable for our clients. Also, although we cater for all types of special events, we do specialize in weddings. And as one of the very few offsite Asian caterers in the bay area, we are able to take the traditional Asian wedding banquet out of the restaurant and bring it into our clients’ beautiful venue of choice, whether it is a winery, grand ballroom, art gallery, museum, or even their backyard. I think it has worked for us because we make Asian cuisine upscale yet affordable for our clients.
What are the most important things to consider when hiring a caterer?
In my opinion, selecting a caterer is within the top 2 most important decisions you will make during the whole planning process for your event. Here are some things to consider to ensure a successful event.
- Find out where and how your food will be prepared. Is it being prepared beforehand and brought to be warmed on site before being served, or will the caterer be preparing the menu fresh onsite?
- Ensure that the caterer works with fresh and not frozen food.
- Ensure that the caterer is properly licensed. (This means her business has met health department standards and has liability insurance.)
- See if the caterer will allow you to customize the menu not only to fit your budget but also to allow your own style to be incorporated.
- Be sure to check references! Find out from previous clients: a) Number of guests they had and the menu selection b) Was the meal delicious, well presented, and served hot? c) Was the caterer accommodating and professional? d) How was the overall service of the staff? and e) Were there any surprises or hidden costs on the final bill?
What’s the most outrageous request you’ve received from a client?
So far no menu request has been too outrageous for us.
Since you’re an experienced caterer, what details distinguish an ordinary event from a spectacular one?
Obviously great food would be a good start! But apart from that, I would say picking a theme is critical. A theme doesn’t have to be extravagant; it can be as simple as a color scheme, a logo, a hobby, a favorite city, or even a penchant for certain tasty treats. What is important is that you carry the theme from the beginning to the very end, (from the invitations, to the menu, to the table décor, to the music, to the party favors, etc.). Make sure it’s consistent and your guests will leave with a lasting impression, guaranteed!
What do you like most about catering?
There has always been something very comforting in sharing even the simplest meals with people over the table. So as a caterer, we are always honored when asked to be a part of any special occasion where we can bring family and friends closer together over our menus.
What are some of the new catering trends you’ve been seeing?
Within this past year, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for the following themes: