Caterer’s focus: twist on comfort foods | VailDaily.com

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Caterer’s focus: twist on comfort foods

Business name: NewAmericanFoods.com LLC.

Location: Minturn, but I deliver to wherever you need me.

Date opened: January 2015.

Owner: Lauren McElroy.

Contact information: Email LaurenMc123@gmail.com, call 214-206-7865 or go to http://www.New AmericanFoods.com.

What goods or services do you provide? I provide personal chef and catering services from freezer meals for one to prepared drop-off meals for a family to food for a private party for up to 200 and everything in between (corporate meals, open houses, personal chef in your home for breakfast, lunch and dinner, apres hour, food stocking, picnic lunches during the summer, etc.).

What's new or exciting at your place? I specialize in comfort foods with a twist — the twist is usually something seasonal or an ingredient you wouldn't normally expect. I try to keep my menus new and exciting. Try my blackberry-jalapeno pork tenderloin — it's delicious.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? NewAmericanFoods.com LLC is independently owned and operated, so when you work with the company, you work directly with the head chef and owner. That helps cut down on costs and ensures your orders are professionally handled from start to finish.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? I try to be open and up front with all customer requests, making suggestions when needed. My customers can expect delicious food with great attention to detail, delivered on-time taking into consideration dietary restrictions, personal food preferences, freshness and seasonality, food allergies and budget.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I am originally from Texas — the home of good ol' Southern cooking. I have a business marketing degree from Colorado State University with experience in real estate, pharmaceutical sales and graphic design. After 11 years of marketing, I switched gears and obtained my associates degree in culinary arts from Keiser University in Sarasota, Florida, in 2012. I worked at several high-end dining establishments before deciding to move back to the mountains and open up my own business.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? After a long break, I was back in the kitchen prepping for a huge wedding event and forgot to turn the hoods on. I started grilling up some chicken and realized (too late) that it was really smoky in the kitchen. As soon as I noticed, the fire alarms started blaring. What stunk the most was that above the kitchen are a bunch of apartments, so everyone started filing out of the building while I was frantically trying to wave smoke away from the alarms. The firemen came and I helped them locate and reset the sensor, but I felt so dumb for startling everyone upstairs. Oops. Sorry!