Nancy S. Watson Cook, Inc. Review – A Chicago Caterer You Should Know
By Barbara Keer
“C’mon eat!” is Robin Hoppenrath’s motto. And we did. Robin is the Chef/Proprietor of Nancy S. Watson Cook, Inc., a company I learned about from my friend, Ellen, who is a long time friend of the original owner. Learning about the new ownership, it seemed a great opportunity for a company going into their second year to cater for the “Chicago Splash Magazine’s” second annual brunch. Robin worked with Nancy for many years as a colleague and good friend. Robin had always wanted to have her own catering company, making so when Nancy moved away to run a bed and breakfast, Robin purchased the company in October, 2007, making this a win-win situation.
It was a frigid morning when Robin Hoppenrath and Faith Engler, Robin’s assistant, made an on time arrival at the home of "Chicago Splash Magazine" editor, Barbara Keer. They immediately filled the house with containers of wonderful foods, serving pieces, items for decorating and cleaning up, absolutely everything that was needed.
Brochure and menu with wonderful fruit behind
In a calm, organized manner, they took charge of the entire brunch. It was wonderful to be able to talk with fellow "Chicago Splash" journalists and not be concerned about serving the food, refilling plates, etc. Robin has been carrying on the personalized service, which entails working closely with the client to customize their event.
Brunch is served
Dressed in their black chef’s coats, they looked professional and were protected from messy spills. They struck a perfect balance between serving and interacting with the group, answering questions, describing the ingredients and food preparation when asked, and keeping things managed. They are a great team and are just the kind of people one wants in their kitchen. They were respectful of the space where they were working, careful and found their way around asking few questions.
The food was ready to eat at the perfect time, after people had the chance to meet and great one another. The table and food were beautifully decorated, but for only a minute or so because the group followed the instruction to “C’mon eat” and dug in and enjoyed everything. Some foods that drew very positive comments included: Baked French Toast, candied bacon, and salad Vera Cruz as well as the fruit and sweets.
“Time passes quickly when you’re having fun” and very soon plates were empty, people were sated and Robin and Faith were on clean up patrol. Using their own soap, they washed and cleaned everything, and put everything away. Recycling is very important to Robin. She is almost fanatic about reuse and recycle and following “green” procedures. Quickly and easily things were tidy and in order with very little left to do once they had left.
As a graduate of Chicago’s Kendall College Culinary School, Robin is well versed in the preparation and presentation of catering. “ Nancy S. Watson Cook, Inc. has delivered for almost 20 years but I also have been putting my own stamp on the company, offering my own creativity and craftsmanship”. Nancy commented that, "Robin has been my lead Chef for a few years now; the clients know her and trust that she will carry on the tradition of the company." With Robin’s training at KendallCollege the chance to learn about the “ real world of catering” from Nancy, Robin is poised to move the company forward.
The company offers a variety of catering services, which include private and corporate affairs as well as event staffing and planning. They are wonderful people to know about and to contact for holiday parties and special events.
Nancy S. Watson Cook, Inc. 6028 Dempster Street Morton Grove, Illinois 60053