Why is quality catering so much more expensive than going to a restaurant?

We are essentially creating a restaurant for you and your guests, for one amazing meal, one time. Highly skilled chefs and staff typically devote weeks of planning and ordering, including multiple eighteen hour days, just for you and your one very special meal. We are frequently doing events at a venue that was never designed for food service yet we pull it off anyway. Food ingredients can cost more for caterers. Our staff necessarily must be superstars and require top pay. We are typically the first to arrive and the last to leave, but when all is done we return everything to where it all started as if we had never been there. None of this is true at any restaurant.

Can I see pre-made menus with predetermined prices?

Caterers who provide one-size-fits-all menus at predetermined prices typically bring only limited culinary skills and cafeteria-quality food to the party; and, they usually cook their food off-site and travel with it in warmers, then serve it, degraded. We don't cater that way. Instead, we customize every aspect of your menu to your cuisine preferences, the venue, number of diners, dietary stipulations, desired style of service, budget, and best seasonal ingredients. Start a conversation with us!

Where do you cook your food?

Many caterers, including nearly all in central and northern Wisconsin, cook their food off-site then travel with it in insulated boxes to your event. Typically two hours have passed by the time your food is served, dry, hard, chewy, soggy. We refuse to cater that way. If your venue lacks a kitchen, we will bring in equipment. Our cuisine standards mean we may cost some more but you and your guests will be delighted.

Can you help me understand why I found a caterer who costs less than you?

Obviously, not all caterers are equal and not all food is the same. It's not even close. We have standards we won't go below and we'd feel beet-red embarrassed if we served what we have seen some caterers serve. For more, see the question "Where do you cook your food?"

What is the average that couples spend on wedding catering?

"According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, the average cost of wedding catering was $75 per person" (see reference).

Can you work with a limited catering budget?

We are not bargain caterers but work with reasonable budgets to create the most delish menu possible. For a wedding, there are very good reasons to make catering your highest budget priority, and we're not just saying that because we are caterers. Because we devote our whole hearts and resources to only one event per day, and because several clients are likely to express interest in the same day, we try to select events that are most likely to be financially best for us. For more, see the question, "Where do you cook your food?"

Do you have any venue advice, and do you have preferred catering venues?

Yes! Start a conversation with us! Overall, if you can, choose a venue with a kitchen that is fully usable by your caterer. This could overall save you money and it will most definitely open up your menu possibilities. Event barns may seem quaint or romantic, but your menu possibilities will necessarily be limited from the start. We will in all cases maximize the possibilities of any venue, delish-promise. For more, see the question "Where do you cook your food?"

Do you offer tastings?

Despite what some articles on the internet will tell you, about 50% of caterers, particularly caterers like us who only cook on site, typically don't. It wouldn't be the same even if we did because cooking for 200 just doesn't really translate into cooking samples for 2. Caterers who cook off site and bring typically degraded food in hot-containers normally want to do tastings because what they will be bringing to your event is not likely to be as good.

Check our qualifications, photos, and reviews. If you still wish to test us, we love being hired as private chefs for a small event in your home or other small venue. Start a conversation with us! If you end up hiring us for your event, we'll refund 25% of your private chef event.

We can sometimes arrange with the client of an event we are doing to allow you to drop in, but it's hit-or-miss.

How do date reservations and payments work?

Some caterers give you a smaller per-person price and then inflate it by adding on fees for travel, equipment, cleanup, tips, gratuity, etc. We don't do that. When we give you a price, it is all-inclusive.

For catering

  • Depending on anticipated guest count, a 15% to 20% deposit by credit or debit card reserves the date

  • 50% of the remaining is due by credit or debit card 45 days before the date

  • The remainder is due in cash only on the event day

As private chefs:

  • Negotiated on a case-by-case basis

What if I have to cancel or reschedule?

Our cancellation and rescheduling policies are entirely within normal industry standards. Basically, we want to recover costs we may have incurred, and in some cases lost opportunity, so the further away from the event day you have to cancel or reschedule the better for both of us. If you have to cancel because of something truly horrible that has happened, we just accept it as a loss. We plainly spell this all out in your catering contract.

Can you cater events that span more than one day?

Absolutely! For one example, Friday for a rehearsal dinner, Saturday for the wedding dinner and late night chow, and Sunday breakfast before guests leave. For situations involving three meals per day over three or more days, we are available as private chefs.

Are you trained in food safety management and do you carry insurance?

Yes on both counts.

Do you offer delivery/drop-off?

Only within a very limited radius and with a limited menu on days we are not already busy.