My food service career started at the University of Illinois where I was in charge of running the kitchen in my fraternity. I was responsible for feeding 100 hungry college guys three meals a day, seven days a week. While at the U of I, I started working for a hotel close to campus in their catering department. I quickly became someone they trusted to pull o All the china from storage for a specific event based on the menu for that particular event. Over my four years of school, I was promoted to their Fine Dining restaurant where I did table-side, flame cooking and other table side preparations.
Once back in Chicago, I improved my skills by waiting tables at Fine Dining restaurants in Chicago with a two-year stint as a fine dining restaurant manager. My Champagne knowledge came from a few years working at a Champagne Bar. Then back to being a catering waiter and supervisor.
Events a la Carte was born in 1991.
In the beginning, I was the staff person that went on these jobs. My clients started asking if I could supply more staff, maybe help with catering or rentals. The progression to a full-fledged business came quickly. I was hiring staff and using my connections from years of work in Chicago to plan events for my clients.
From large to small, we do as the name says; Events … a la Carte, from one part to the entire event, we are your, One STOP SHOPPING SOURCE.
My philosophy is pay someone well for their time. Treat them as you would want to be treated. Show that I stepped in and washed the dishes for an event while my staff tended to the front of the house. I took the worst of the tasks.
As a manager, I have been both the authority figure and the waiter\bartender.
I know what my staff goes through. I trace my success back to when I threw a 50th birthday dinner for my mother at Ravinia. Ravinia is a music venue where you sit on the grass picnic and listen to a concert. I planned a three course meal complete with real dishes, glasses, flatware and linen. I wheeled all the supplies, food and beverage into the park and set up on blankets and a folding table. While enjoying the meal, someone sitting next to our group marveled at how I “catered” the event like a pro. They said “Maybe you should be doing this for a living”. It was a few more years before Events a la Carte was opened, but that person sitting next to us at Ravinia was were the idea came from.