Skip the standard catering fare and opt for a specialized chef who will wow your guests. Lean into indigenous foodways with Court Beem of Lakota By Chef Court, who was born on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. Court’s cooking harkens to a time of simple, harvest-driven cooking when his tribe leaned on a diverse wild berries and nuts to flavor and fortify sauces, and weeds were bold bases for salads. A Court menu may include sumac-seared venison, butternut squash gnocchi and wojapi sauce—a thick, jam-like berry sauce of the Lakota people that concentrates the flavor without adding sweetness.
Infusing health into dishes is increasingly important to caterers, and Chef Daniela’s Daniela Craciun does it particularly well. The president of the Collier Fruit Growers blends gourmet cooking with superfood ingredients and her Eastern European roots, often drawing from her 2.5-acre garden (think: kale and moringa ravioli). Ask about Daniela’s organic and vegan menus. And, when you’re looking for the elegant touch of a fine dining-trained chef, Chef David Rasty is your source. The chef worked with Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Michael Schwartz before launching his personal chef business in Naples (he also flexes his skills as head chef at Naples’ The Cave Bistro & Wine Bar). David, who is also regional coordinator for American Red Cross, can come with all needed accouterments—from linens to flutes—and can help orchestrate your florist, entertainment and bar. There’s a chef with heart.