Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meet Le's Kitchen Catering

My friend, Patrina, introduced me to Ava Le of Le's Kitchen Catering a couple years ago and ever since, I've been a fan and have even hired her for a couple events. If you're looking for contemporary Asian cuisine, look no further. [By the way, the banh mi, or Petite Asian Chicken Baguettes (see above; sliced and marinated chicken in five spices served with pickled cucumbers, carrots and daikon radish over buttered French baguette) are amazing!]

Here's my interview with Ava:

1.  Why did you decide to go into catering? What are you passionate about?

I was very fortunate to grow up in a large family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. 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 college 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 and ventured into business with my mother.  With my business and management background, and her culinary excellence, we created Le’s Kitchen (she is the Le of Le’s Kitchen!); a boutique family-run catering company with a passion for bringing together the very best flavors from my childhood memories and her rich history.  In my experience, nothing brings people closer together than warm and inviting meals, whether you are creating them, or simply enjoying them together.
2.  How would you describe your style? What do you think sets you apart from other caterers?

Traditional yet Elegant and Simple.  I believe Le’s Kitchen has been successful because we have been able to bridge together the gap between today’s chic generation of Asian Americans with that of our parents and ancestors.  We are one of the very few offsite Asian wedding caterers, and we are able to take the traditional Asian wedding banquet out of the restaurant and bring it into our couple’s beautiful venue of choice, whether it is a winery, grand ballroom, art gallery, museum, or even their  backyard. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.  We allow our couples to honor their families with a traditional banquet, and at the same time, the couple can bring in their own contemporary style and sophistication.

3.  What is your favorite part of a wedding?

For me it would have to be the dancing portion.  When all the “I do’s” are said, people are fed, drinks are served, and cake is cut, it’s time for people to let loose and just relax.  By this time of the evening, the bride and groom are fully relaxed with most of the day's activities behind them.  Everyone just gets on the dance floor and you can feel the energy, love, and relief of pressure exuding from the dance floor. 

4.  What has been your favorite wedding so far? What made it so special?

I don’t know if I can pick a favorite wedding, but I definitely have favorite moments from the weddings we’ve catered over the years. I catered a wedding where the couple was probably the most reserved people you’ll ever meet.  But when the day came, they surprised their guests with a live serenade while both playing the guitar. Both had been taking lessons! All the guests were shocked and amazed when they took the stage.  It was a great gift from such an unlikely couple!

5.  What would be your dream wedding to cater?
Over the years we have catered for so many wonderful clients and in many beautiful venues.  But I would have to say any destination wedding would be lovely.

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