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  • Hailey Carlson

Industry Insights: Chowgirls Killer Catering

Who is all behind the scenes at Chowgirls Killer Catering? So many incredible people work tirelessly to create standout experiences with Chowgirls clients and guests each day: Arianna Baker-Kern and Liz Mullen are our executive chefs, leading a team of over ten people in the kitchen. Abe Ziai-Mehr and Emily Richards are our sous chefs and Marlayna Thomas is our pastry chef. Our Bar Manager is Sol Huddleston. Our equipment team is made up of Equipment Manager Erika Friesen, stylist Meg Gilliland and two equipment assistants. Our GM is Jillian Zins and our COO is Tony Perella.

Our ChowSales & Events crew consists of two teams: At our award-winning and exclusive venue in Northeast Minneapolis, Solar Arts by Chowgirls, we have Jenna Anderson -- Senior Sales & Events at Solar Arts by Chowgirls, and Daria Kushnir -- Sales & Events at Solar Arts by Chowgirls, and Nethanya Clayton-- Venue & Events Manager at Solar Arts by Chowgirls

Our Chowgirls HQ/Off Premise Team includes: Meghan Larsen & Leah Quinn, who are the Sales & Events Team Managers, Lindsay Erstad, Aurora Anderson and Ann Jacobson are our Event Specialists.

Amy Lynn Brown and Heidi Andermack are Chowgirls Owners. I’m Maari Cedar James and I’m the Chief Experience Officer.

We also have over ten talented site managers that lead our 80+ unique, skilled servers and bartenders.

How did you get started in the wedding industry? Chowgirls started out catering small events more than 13 years ago, mainly in the arts, and once the first couple asked us to cater their wedding there was no looking back!

What do you enjoy most about working with your clients? We love to connect with our clients and find out what they love to eat, how they enjoy themselves and how they want their guests to feel at their event. We love catering weddings and have been thrilled to serve hundreds of weddings over the years! I am honored to have been a part of them all.

Where do you find your inspiration? Our clients, our vendors, and those innovators in the catering industry who have come before us to raise the bar of catered food. I also love to eat so every time I enjoy a meal I think about how I can translate that enjoyment to our clients!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, and who was it from? Be yourself. Know your limits and your strengths in this industry. Be real with your clients about what works and what doesn’t. I can’t remember who told me that but I use it every day!

What’s the most memorable moment from your career in the wedding industry? A wedding in the rain at Gibbs Farm years ago. The bride made limoncello in her bathtub and gave a bottle to each guest and to us as her catering team. The couple and guests danced all night in the rain, the bride’s dress was covered in mud and everyone had the absolute time of their lives. My shoes were never the same, and the limoncello tasted amazing after that shift.

Just for fun, what are the three most important things on your desk right now? Water, my computer, and my teal Moleskine notebook.

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