In today’s vendor shout out, we are pleased to introduce you to ChefStable Catering! If you are looking for an amazing caterer, you are in the right place! ChefStable Catering is both a woman-run and woman-owned business, with their founder and fearless leader Catherine Pellegrin heading the team. Read on to learn all about Catherine!
1. Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
I’m from Texas originally but moved to Portland after attending culinary school in San Francisco. I’ve been in PDX for 23 years so Portland is definitely home. But my family is from Louisiana so I have a great fondness for the south.
2. What is your favorite thing about Portland?
Ah, so much. The food of course, is always inspiring. I love being able to show up at the finest restaurant in town in jeans. And summertime is glorious, we eat dinner outside almost every night from June- September.
3. What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?
Eat dumplings at XLB, drink wine at Coopers Hall. Explore pastry shops with my kids.
4. How long have you been working as a professional wedding caterer?
For 20 years! My event career began in the kitchen, which in my opinion was the best possible way to fully embrace this industry. Seeing what happens behind the scenes to produce good food at high volume in very compromised settings is everything!
5. What people,training,experiences, and opportunities led you to this career path?
I have been fortunate to work for some incredible business owners, I’ve never really had a “bad” job. At one of my first jobs, the owner would watch all of the plates being bused to the kitchen, and if there was too much food left she would check in with the guests to make sure they had a good experience. This taught me to never lose sight of the customer/client experience.
6. How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional caterer for their wedding day?
My role as an owner is to constantly provide support to my team. Building a great team takes time, and they deserve my time and attention whenever needed.
As much as I love the food cart trend, hiring a full service caterer ties all of the pieces together. More than any other vendor, the success of an event relies heavily on the caterer who will often stand in as lighting experts, furniture movers, you name it. The caterers really hold the entire event together which is sometimes hard to see from the guests perspective.
7. What is the best part of your job?
Tasting new menu items! And of course the final event execution. After working with a client for sometimes up to a year, seeing it come together on the final day is thrilling.
8. What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
Managing last minute changes. So much of what we order, prep, rent, plan, etc is managed weeks ahead of time. Last minute changes may seem insignificant but can create big challenges on our end.
9. Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?
We have a pretty large team, about 8 in the kitchen and 10 planners/coordinators/event managers.
10. What do you attribute to your success as a wedding caterer? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?
Our concept and partnership with ChefStable Restaurant group truly sets us apart. The mission is to truly provide a restaurant quality experience which applies to the menu, beverages and service.
11. At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
The sooner the better, a year is great. That said, we have planned some great weddings with tight timeframes. In a sense, this forces quick decisions which can be less stressful for the client.
12. Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
Local design, art, travel, textiles, and nature. We’re surrounded by so much nature in the Pacific Northwest that it’s hard not to be inspired. I always follow the color trends and have to say I’m particularly excited about this year’s classic blue pantone color. I look forward to seeing it work it’s way into upcoming event designs.
13. What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?
What are realistic menu choices for the selected venue? This is so important! It’s important that the tasting menu reflects what is actually possible.
14. What is your best advice for wedding clients?
Consider family style service- they are a favorite and create a convivial vibe.
15. Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
Our team of event planners are truly some of the best in town. The collective and varied experience of this group fosters solid client relationships that are critical in the process.
16. What other local wedding professional (s) are currently inspiring you?
- Mae & Co
- Honor Flowers
- Sea of Roses
We sure enjoyed learning all about ChefStable, and hope you did too! Check them out for your upcoming wedding or any event that will need to be catered!
All images in the post photographed by John Valls