Chef/Owner Karen Ferries-Yoon (a French Culinary Institute graduate) trained in the catering division at Daniel Boulud’s three-star Michelin flagship restaurant, Daniel, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side from 2009-11. Starting off in hors d’oeuvres, she happily discovered that the intricacy and labor-intensive techniques required to get each one just right was an ideal fit for her talents in the kitchen, and cocktail parties were her niche. Making thousands of perfect hors d'oeuvres for upscale events, under the intense pressure of maintaining the high standards of cooking at Restaurant Daniel, taught Karen life-long lessons in food and catering.
It was here that Karen's prior freelance food styling experience in magazines from 2008-09 came in handy. Working as an assistant with well-known lead food stylists, Heidi Johannsen-Stewart & Stephana Bottom, encouraged her to see the intrinsic beauty of food, in all in its forms, even vegetable peelings. So she began saving all sorts of scraps that were headed for the garbage - purple artichoke leaves, cherry tomato tops, asparagus ends, watermelon rinds - and repurposed them to decorate hors d’oeuvres trays for cocktail parties. Transformed, they became chic tray decor and guests loved the creative presentations.
These transformative years profoundly changed her view of cooking. Most of all, it inspired Karen to start her own catering company, fittingly called The Cocktail Party Chef, in March of 2013. By the fall, she was selected as one of the “fresh faces” of up-and-coming event companies by Bizbash, the leading industry publication.