Jewell Events Catering stopped by to discuss their amazing 50-year milestone and share what they’ve learned from working in Chicago’s catering industry for over half a century. All photos by SYPhotography.
What makes your catering service unique?
At Jewell Events Catering, we have a team specifically dedicated to weddings. There’s nothing like a Jewell wedding and this specialized team goes above and beyond to make each couple’s day perfect. We believe in teamwork, both internally and externally, and partnering with our talented vendor friends makes us a part of that bigger team that makes an event magical.
What does Jewell like best about catering for weddings?There is something so special about playing a role in one of the best days of a couple’s life. It’s an exciting time and being able to share our enthusiasm in their event is very fulfilling. Seeing couples and the love they share celebrated by their closest friends and family members is one of life’s greatest gifts.
Why do you love working in the culinary world?
There are so many ways to personalize a wedding and food is absolutely one of those ways! From exploring different cuisines to recreating old favorites in a new and exciting way, we’re in love with the challenge of helping create a menu to reflect the personality of our clients. Food should be both beautiful and delicious and “typical wedding food” is something with which we are not familiar.
How has Jewell kept up with catering trends but still remained loyal to their roots?
Trends are cyclical and what was once old and outdated can always be reinvented. Traditional dishes and preparations become trendy with a different culinary approach and deconstructed dishes and presentations are making old favorites new again. Our chefs are fundamentally trained, but encouraged to embrace their creativity. Our talented team is constantly coming up with new ideas that pay attention to trends without sacrificing culinary basics.
What are some of the most memorable weddings that Jewell has catered for?
We were hosting a tasting for a client and through conversations discovered that we had catered not only their parents’ wedding, but also their grandparents’ wedding! It was so much fun to provide a Jewell Wedding for three generations of this wonderful family.
Another memorable happened a few years back. On one of the busiest wedding days of the year, we discovered at 3PM that the venue for one of our clients had been double booked with a different reception starting at 6PM. Another catering company with an earlier report time had already arrived at the venue and was setting up for the other event. Our executive team immediately jumped in and started making calls to find a new location, additional equipment, and vendors. Multiple teams came together with a camaraderie like we had never seen. By the time guests arrived from the ceremony two and a half hours later, our teams had re-created the wedding at a venue down the street and our team was re-directing guests to the new location. Despite what could have been a disastrous situation, a flawless evening of celebration came to life thanks to everyone’s hard work and dedication.
Does Jewell do any post-wedding work with couples?
Wedding planning can be an overwhelming experience and one of the most surprising elements is the cost. We always recommend doing your research prior to booking vendors so that you have an idea of costs associated. We also recommend giving yourselves plenty of time throughout the planning to make sure that you’re enjoying the process. For example, booking your vendors early can greatly help to alleviate stress! This is one of the most exciting times in your life and you want to enjoy it!
Beginning with Mr. Jewell’s first “catered” party in Chicago, a tray of hors d’oeuvres that he prepared and delivered himself to a socialite’s home, Jewell Events Catering has grown into one of Chicago’s premiere catering companies. Fifty years later, we still understand that entertaining at home is one of life’s true pleasures.