What could be better than having a personal chef come to your home, cook a personalized meal, serve it to you and clean up after? ST. LAURENT Personal Catering does just that for any event, big or small, working with you to create a customized menu full of fresh flavors. They specialize in intimate wine parties but are equiped for larger functions as well. Check out our Q&A with Jason St. Laurent, where he fills us in on what makes his catering business unique.
How did you get your start in the cooking world?
I was always in the kitchen helping my mom, so I have to give her some of the credit for becoming a chef. I started the culinary arts program at NAIT in 2003 and graduated in 05. I ran various kitchens and restaurants in Alberta and BC before coming back to Edmonton to join the culinary arts faculty at NAIT as an instructor in 2011. I also obtained a higher certification above the Red Seal called the Certified Chef de Cuisine or CCC in 2011 which was a huge achievement at only 29. I have always been big into fresh flavors and clean cooking so no one can ever say my food is bland.
When did you start your catering business and why did you decide to start it?
I started doing catering this past year with a few small intimate wine dinners working up to a wedding for 60 in June which went really well. I really enjoy executing a meal and the satisfaction that goes with that. Hearing from guests that the meal was amazing will always be a great reward.
What’s unique about your catering businesses?
I think there really is a market for custom personal catering where we create a unique custom menu to suit any event and on top of that we do it in your home or on the venue site. I really want to specialize in smaller wine dinners and intimate gatherings but can execute larger functions as well.
What type of food do you love to cook?
I really can do any type of cuisine I set my mind to but again clean fresh bold flavors is what I am truly passionate about.
What can customers usually find on your menu?
As a personal custom caterer I can do anything the client wants, building a meal around a theme, wine or both! Meals can also be created around or for specific dietary restrictions.
Do you use local ingredients?
I pride myself on trying to purchase local as much as I can but will all depend on seasonality of ingredients as well as client budget.
What type of functions do you usually cater for?
I can cater large events up to around 80 people but again want to specialize in intimate gatherings and dinners. Could be an anniversary or a birthday... why not hire a personal chef to come to your home and cook, serve as well as clean so you don’t have to.
What’s been the most challenging part about starting your own business?
The most challenging thing would probably be promoting and getting my name out there but because this isn’t my main job, I am ok with growing the business slowly.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were staring your business?
Hmm not really sure, not that I know it all but I haven’t really encountered anything major that has made me say I wish I knew that.... There have been things during events where I say, that would have been a great idea! But that is what starting a small business is all about, learning will come with time and experience.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?
I would like to see my business with steady bookings over the Christmas and summer months.
Check out ST. LAURENT Personal Catering on Made Urban: chefjason.madeurban.com or contact them for your next event.