08 Mar 5 Black Women Caterers for Wedding Season
By Victoria Graham
Spring brings flowers, warm weather and, of course, wedding season. For caterers, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. While venues, centerpieces, photography and The Dress make up large portions of the $55 billion wedding industry, the menu is always a critical aspect. Memories that last lifetime are made over meals.
But the racial and gender disparities that have been called out across industries, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, are also present in the catering world. According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a notable gender gap among executive chefs in the U.S., with only about 20% identifying as women and an even smaller 4% identifying as Black women. That’s a $55 billion wedding industry that Black women chefs don’t have equal access to.
This year, to celebrate Women’s History Month, Black Restaurant Week is taking a look at a few owners who are working to expand ground for Black women in the catering industry while creating dishes that will help make your wedding, special event, or intimate setting even more memorable.
Le Rouge Cuisine
Chef Amber is the owner and executive chef responsible for bringing Le Rouge Cuisine to the Dallas metroplex. Le Rouge Cuisine, which stands for “The Red Kitchen” in French, is an ode to Chef Amber’s Créole and Texas roots. Le Rouge Cuisine seeks to offer fine dining expectations and execution with comfort Creole-infused tastes. Founded in 2014, Le Rouge Cuisine offers customers corporate catering, special event catering, private chef experiences, and virtual cooking classes.
For Chef D’Ambria, food, family and love have always been a way of life for her. Growing up, she cherished the memories of making food with her family and knew she wanted to share those same experiences with others. After nearly a decade working in hospitality, Chef D’Ambria opened Sophisticated Delights. Aimed at providing an unparallel customer service experience, Sophisticated Delights offers a range of catering services including, but not limited to, weddings, corporate events, and social gatherings. Chef D’Ambria also provides private chef services for those wanting to make an intimate event even more memorable.
Founder Adeola Sokunbi describes Yola’s Kitchen as “a lifestyle brand that connects culturally inquisitive friends, over an intimate, unique, dining experience.” Sokunbi, a self-taught chef, created Yola’s Kitchen in 2017 because she wanted to combine her love of food, culture, and bringing people together. Inspired by her traditional Nigerian cooking, Adeola seeks to honor her culture and others through food. While the pandemic has caused a halt to Yolaskitchen Dinner Parties – the food remains the star of the show. Adeola continues to operate as a catering company out of Atlanta, offering personalized menu options for private dinners, birthdays, brunch, bridal showers, and more.
Chef Yo of Nuksy’s Fine Catering brings over twenty years of catering experience to each client she serves. Offering everything from fine dining to comfort food favorites, Chef Yo seeks to provide an exceptional culinary journey with each bite. Proudly serving the Houston and Louisiana region, Nuksy’s range of services includes full-scale catering, an event venue, and private dining. Chef Yo also provides etiquette training through the J. Louise Institute for Etiquette, Training, and Development for Young Adults and Business Professionals and the Dining with Chef Yo – The Etiquette Series.
When friends Urdee and Ms. B came together to form Urdee B’s Southern Size Servings, they wanted to provide their New Jersey community with an exceptional catering service experience. Offering full-service catering including servers, set up and break down, linens, chafers, cutlery, and even food staging – Urdee’s is perfect for any size wedding, bridal party, or special occasion. Urdee B’s Southern Size Serving also offers “Pass and Pan” options which provide exquisite food without the full-scale add-ons.
By The Numbers
According to Forbes, Black women are the largest growing entrepreneur demographic in the country. The desire to serve the community, innovate and solve problems, and build generational Black wealth persist despite the challenges. Yet, Black women continue to earn 21% less than White women, and 38% less than White men.