I'm back for my Sunday tradition so I'll keep the other chatter to a minimum. Here are some great people I met this week:
1) Chris Constantine, D'Absolute Catering: Chris and I actually met a couple weeks ago at a networking event at the Stan Mansion. Chris came into the catering business many years ago working for another Chicagoland catering company. After moving up within that company, he decided it was time to strike off on his own about 5 years ago. He began by doing smaller events and has gradually increased his capacity and staff--D'Absolute recently catered an event for 1,000 people! My favorite story that Chris told was when he gathered his small staff early on and told them that he eventually wanted to become as well-known within the area as Blue Plate or George Jewell. One of his chefs laughed and Chris informed him that Blue Plate didn't start out as Blue Plate and that if he didn't believe that D'Absolute could become as successful as the larger companies then he didn't belong on staff!! D'Absolute can do everything from drop-offs for an intimate luncheon to elaborate multi-course plated service. If you are dying to have your favorite restaurant cater your next event, but don't think they can handle the logisitcs, D'Absolute would also be happy to provide staff to serve your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant's lasagne. Definitely visit their website to check out other options for your next event! Here are a few food pics to whet your appetite :)
from D'Absolute Catering
2) Dennis Lee of Dennis Lee Photography: Dennis was another great Kelly recommendation. We met at the delicious Lula Cafe (seriously can't stop going back there--it's DELICIOUS!). I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Dennis and hearing all about how he got started in the business--and let me tell you it was one of the more surprising stories I'd heard! Dennis had the opportunity to take a month-long vacation away from his job in technology. He travelled to Northern Africa and Europe throughout the mediterranean region with point-and-shoot camera in hand (pre-digital). When he developed the photos after his monthlong life changing adventure he said they were the WORST photos he'd ever seen! Dennis was so perplexed that he decided to spend the next four years learning all about photography, which he did--training with photojournalists, nature photographers, basically everything BUT wedding photographers. However, once he got the opportunity to assist on his first wedding, he was hooked. I love how he put that "shooting a wedding was photojournalism, it was architectural photography, it was fashion photography, it was portraiture--all in one day!". Dennis now photographs weddings exclusively, and considering his mentor is a pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist for her work in Iraq, you know you're going to be working with someone who knows his stuff. On top of all of his credentials, Dennis is just a really fantastic guy! You're going to love having him as a part of your big day. You can check out his work here and below are a couple samples of his work as well.
So Dennis and Chris are the only people I met this week, but I also want to shout out to Kelly because I saw her last week when Fleur celebrated its 8th birthday! And today I got to spend some time with the ever fabulous Jaclyn Simpson who helped me out by shooting some new photos for the website which will be revealed in a week or two.
Have a great week everybody!