Eat & Smile Catering

about us

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Our HISTORY

We are proud to be the first and original locally sourced caterer in the Washington DC area, with strong support of local farmers, bakers, cheesemakers, fisherfolk, and other producers. Our meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and bread are purchased from farmers within 175 miles of the city.

Established in 2007, Eat & Smile Catering continues to grow as a boutique business, working with clients to create unique events that meet their culinary and budgetary needs. Adding to this repertoire, the Eat & Smile team also hosts occasional supper club in our commercial kitchen space: The Bespoke Kitchen, where food-loving diners can find the freshest and best seasonal produce finessed into memorable dining experiences.

Learn more about Our Staff, or Contact Us to tell us about your event! We look forward to hearing from you.

 

local sourcing

We believe that local ingredients are more ecologically friendly, economically sustainable, better for you, and taste fantastic!

More and more, consumers are learning about where their food is coming from, and how it was raised or grown. This attention to locally-sourced items is very important to us, not only because every dollar spent with a local farmer and producer goes directly to them, circulating within our community many times and strengthening our local economy, but also because the ingredient that was picked locally and recently tastes so much better than the one picked a week ago in South America. We maintain a number of relationships with local producers — please take a look at Our Partners page to learn more about them!

 

going Green

Our business is founded upon the many principles of Local, including a strong core of environmental friendliness and sustainability. In addition to sourcing our ingredients locally whenever possible, we’ve incorporated the following practices into our business:

  • We buy direct from our producers whenever possible. Buying directly ensures that more income goes directly into the hands of the producers themselves, which is great for them as small businesses and also a great contribution to strengthening our local economies.
  • We avoid using disposables at our catered events, but when required or desired to do so, we use biodegradable and compostable cups, cutlery, and plates.
  • We compost all of our organic waste, as well as most of our serviceware, and are working with local business Fat Worm Compost to streamline and make more sustainable all of our waste streams. We also recycle our used fryer oil into biodiesel.
  • All of our electric power is sourced from renewable wind and solar energy sources via great local company Ethical Electric. For a few extra pennies, you too can switch from environmentally-degrading default energy to cleaner and renewable sources of energy — tell them we happily sent you!
  • We encourage our staff to carpool to events and provide incentives (featuring our local partners like Zeke's Coffee and District Doughnut) to do so!
 
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Meet our Team

Our servers, chefs, Bartenders, & staff...

are like family to us! Rather than use a staffing company, we have our own roster of staff that have come to us over the years from clients, friends, and serious dedication to our mission. We are a collection of environmental enthusiasts, creative minds, returned Peace Corps Volunteers, foodies, and service-oriented folk! We are not only a team, but also a family, and we are proud of the exceptional work our team does time after time. We wholly embrace the diversity of our staff, are proud LGBTQ allies. To learn more about our full time staff members who will help you plan each step of your wedding, click here!

 

 

 

 
 
 

 
 

Questions?

 
 

Staff

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  Oliver Friendly- Owner   Chef Oliver Friendly started his exploration of the kitchen as a child, devouring recipes and cookbooks, and moving on to create original meals and recipes as he grew older.  A graduate of the local L’Academie de Cuisine, Chef Oliver completed an externship at PS7s under the tutelage of Chef Peter Smith before then moving on to work at the recently opened Hook restaurant run by Chef and friend Barton Seaver. There, he further honed his cooking expertise, as well as his deep-seated support of sustainability as it connects to the kitchen.  A 4th generation Washingtonian, Chef Oliver moved on to independent efforts opening a local foods-oriented catering company in 2007 with the advent of Eat & Smile Catering. Here, he was able to focus on learning to do local on a budget, working on a range of events from dinner parties to weddings, all featuring local and seasonal ingredients from about a 175 mile radius of the city.

Oliver Friendly- Owner

Chef Oliver Friendly started his exploration of the kitchen as a child, devouring recipes and cookbooks, and moving on to create original meals and recipes as he grew older.

A graduate of the local L’Academie de Cuisine, Chef Oliver completed an externship at PS7s under the tutelage of Chef Peter Smith before then moving on to work at the recently opened Hook restaurant run by Chef and friend Barton Seaver. There, he further honed his cooking expertise, as well as his deep-seated support of sustainability as it connects to the kitchen.

A 4th generation Washingtonian, Chef Oliver moved on to independent efforts opening a local foods-oriented catering company in 2007 with the advent of Eat & Smile Catering. Here, he was able to focus on learning to do local on a budget, working on a range of events from dinner parties to weddings, all featuring local and seasonal ingredients from about a 175 mile radius of the city.

  Rasheed Abdurrahman- Executive Chef   Chef Rasheed is an accomplished graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (’94). He has more then 20 year’s culinary experience, including positions with Kinkeads Restaurant and the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington D.C., and as owner and Executive Chef of the Wild Onion Cafe. While at Wild Onion Cafe, Chef Rasheed was twice featured in the Washington Post, April 8, 2009 and again in Jan 10, 2012. Chef Rasheed was also distinguished for his winning recipe for Governor O’ Malley’s “2011 Buy Local Challenge” kick-off event.  Chef Rasheed is a 3rd generation Washingtonian, and his focus is on healthy, organic and delicious, seasonal farm to table fare. He believes providing the best quality locally produced foods combined with impeccable service is always the key to a successful meal.

Rasheed Abdurrahman- Executive Chef

Chef Rasheed is an accomplished graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (’94). He has more then 20 year’s culinary experience, including positions with Kinkeads Restaurant and the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington D.C., and as owner and Executive Chef of the Wild Onion Cafe. While at Wild Onion Cafe, Chef Rasheed was twice featured in the Washington Post, April 8, 2009 and again in Jan 10, 2012. Chef Rasheed was also distinguished for his winning recipe for Governor O’ Malley’s “2011 Buy Local Challenge” kick-off event.

Chef Rasheed is a 3rd generation Washingtonian, and his focus is on healthy, organic and delicious, seasonal farm to table fare. He believes providing the best quality locally produced foods combined with impeccable service is always the key to a successful meal.

  Katie Rotramel- General Manager   Originally hailing from Philadelphia, Katie has called DC “home” since early 2005. After serving in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and a decade of a global career focus in international development, Katie made the shift to a hyper-local focus of sustainable food systems by joining the Eat & Smile team full time a few years ago.  Katie first found E&S while on the quest for her own wedding planning back in late 2010, and immediately fell in love with the E&S mission of locally-sourced foods and the overall positive attitude. About two years later, Katie joined the awesome cadre of part-time event staff, and then in early 2014 made the jump to full-time employee.  When not eating & smiling at work, she enjoys exploring new places and cuisines, maintaining her “Wild Kingdom” at home of two cats and a dog, dragging her husband out of his woodshop to explore things outside of the house, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, reading decent fiction, and imbibing good microbrew porters. She is also known among the E&S crew as having both a discerning palate, but also a very hearty appetite for pretty much everything (except cilantro). Simply put, this gal loves food.

Katie Rotramel- General Manager

Originally hailing from Philadelphia, Katie has called DC “home” since early 2005. After serving in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and a decade of a global career focus in international development, Katie made the shift to a hyper-local focus of sustainable food systems by joining the Eat & Smile team full time a few years ago.

Katie first found E&S while on the quest for her own wedding planning back in late 2010, and immediately fell in love with the E&S mission of locally-sourced foods and the overall positive attitude. About two years later, Katie joined the awesome cadre of part-time event staff, and then in early 2014 made the jump to full-time employee.

When not eating & smiling at work, she enjoys exploring new places and cuisines, maintaining her “Wild Kingdom” at home of two cats and a dog, dragging her husband out of his woodshop to explore things outside of the house, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, reading decent fiction, and imbibing good microbrew porters. She is also known among the E&S crew as having both a discerning palate, but also a very hearty appetite for pretty much everything (except cilantro). Simply put, this gal loves food.

  Eilish Zembilci- Sales & Operations Associate   Growing up right outside of Milwaukee in the small Village of Menomonee Falls, Eilish found herself constantly engaged in various activities, whether it be hiking, swimming, or practicing the French horn. Her favorite past time, much to her mother’s frustration, was to bake. She would do everything from simple zucchini bread to ornate cake pops decorated as brides and grooms. Eilish has always enjoyed expressing her creativity through food and honoring the beauty of the ingredients she uses.  Eilish studied International Affairs, Global Public Health, and Sustainability at the George Washington University. While at GW, she continued to follow her passions by working for awesome local organizations like DC Greens and FRESHFARM, as well as managing the GW GroW Garden. Eilish is incredibly excited to continue her work in sustainable food systems with Eat & Smile where the appreciation for sustainable small businesses & food justice meet at a delicious cross roads. That, and she can eat as much of the house made aioli her heart desires!

Eilish Zembilci- Sales & Operations Associate

Growing up right outside of Milwaukee in the small Village of Menomonee Falls, Eilish found herself constantly engaged in various activities, whether it be hiking, swimming, or practicing the French horn. Her favorite past time, much to her mother’s frustration, was to bake. She would do everything from simple zucchini bread to ornate cake pops decorated as brides and grooms. Eilish has always enjoyed expressing her creativity through food and honoring the beauty of the ingredients she uses.

Eilish studied International Affairs, Global Public Health, and Sustainability at the George Washington University. While at GW, she continued to follow her passions by working for awesome local organizations like DC Greens and FRESHFARM, as well as managing the GW GroW Garden. Eilish is incredibly excited to continue her work in sustainable food systems with Eat & Smile where the appreciation for sustainable small businesses & food justice meet at a delicious cross roads. That, and she can eat as much of the house made aioli her heart desires!

 
  Nikki Witt Bravo- Sous Chef   Nikki originally hails from West Virginia, but her travels have taken her all over the world and back. She has spent time in North Carolina; Boston Tampa, FL; Australia, Peru and Italy.  It was when she was in North Carolina that Nikki decided to take the plunge into cooking. She had always loved to bake, but while in between jobs she found herself constantly thinking about cooking, reading about cooking, and actually cooking. Nikki received her culinary training from Central Piedmont Community College.  Prior to joining the Eat & Smile team, Nikki had the opportunity to work at the Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi in Italy. She’s brought her passion for cooking, pastry and local sourcing to the Eat & Smile team. When Nikki’s not cooking, she loves being outside, exercising and running.  .

Nikki Witt Bravo- Sous Chef

Nikki originally hails from West Virginia, but her travels have taken her all over the world and back. She has spent time in North Carolina; Boston Tampa, FL; Australia, Peru and Italy.

It was when she was in North Carolina that Nikki decided to take the plunge into cooking. She had always loved to bake, but while in between jobs she found herself constantly thinking about cooking, reading about cooking, and actually cooking. Nikki received her culinary training from Central Piedmont Community College.

Prior to joining the Eat & Smile team, Nikki had the opportunity to work at the Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi in Italy. She’s brought her passion for cooking, pastry and local sourcing to the Eat & Smile team. When Nikki’s not cooking, she loves being outside, exercising and running.

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  Sabine Jeanty- Sous Chef   Sabine considers herself a food nerd. She has lived in Maryland her entire life, and began her path to Eat & Smile in the 8th grade while watching cooking shows. Sabine received her culinary training at Prince George’s Community College and was previously working in a restaurant.  What Sabine loves most about cooking is the ability to connect people to food using the freshest ingredients possible. When she isn’t working, Sabine is still thinking about food. She enjoys reading about different cuisines and trying new recipes.

Sabine Jeanty- Sous Chef

Sabine considers herself a food nerd. She has lived in Maryland her entire life, and began her path to Eat & Smile in the 8th grade while watching cooking shows. Sabine received her culinary training at Prince George’s Community College and was previously working in a restaurant.

What Sabine loves most about cooking is the ability to connect people to food using the freshest ingredients possible. When she isn’t working, Sabine is still thinking about food. She enjoys reading about different cuisines and trying new recipes.

  Kevin Tate- Master of Inventory   Kevin, born and raised in Washington, DC, is Eat & Smile’s inventory master – making sure everything that’s needed to make your event great gets to where it needs to be in perfect shape! Kevin also helps the chefs prep in the kitchen when extra hands are needed.  When Kevin isn’t working, you’ll find him spending time with his kids and friends, and cheering on his Washington Wizards.

Kevin Tate- Master of Inventory

Kevin, born and raised in Washington, DC, is Eat & Smile’s inventory master – making sure everything that’s needed to make your event great gets to where it needs to be in perfect shape! Kevin also helps the chefs prep in the kitchen when extra hands are needed.

When Kevin isn’t working, you’ll find him spending time with his kids and friends, and cheering on his Washington Wizards.

  Jasmine Smith & Co - Our Wedding Planner Partners   As a military dependent, Jasmine grew up all over the world which explains her love for culture and experience. For the last few years, the DC area has been home for Jasmine, who is fueled by her natural ability to organize, collaborate and plan seamlessly. She has produced 25+ events and coordinated more than 200 weddings. She is proud of her color coded closet and admittedly is addicted to coffee and truffle fries, but not together.   Ja'el is from Richmond and is known on the team as the person most likely to embody Olivia Pope during a wedding. She started in the event industry first as a server and host and moved into the wedding scene as a coordinator several years ago. Ja'el has traveled to 11 different countries in one year and speaks 3 languages (English, Spanish, Italian). She frequently changes the lyrics to known songs and convinces herself that the artist got them wrong.

Jasmine Smith & Co - Our Wedding Planner Partners

As a military dependent, Jasmine grew up all over the world which explains her love for culture and experience. For the last few years, the DC area has been home for Jasmine, who is fueled by her natural ability to organize, collaborate and plan seamlessly. She has produced 25+ events and coordinated more than 200 weddings. She is proud of her color coded closet and admittedly is addicted to coffee and truffle fries, but not together. 

Ja'el is from Richmond and is known on the team as the person most likely to embody Olivia Pope during a wedding. She started in the event industry first as a server and host and moved into the wedding scene as a coordinator several years ago. Ja'el has traveled to 11 different countries in one year and speaks 3 languages (English, Spanish, Italian). She frequently changes the lyrics to known songs and convinces herself that the artist got them wrong.

Watch the Eat & Smile team in action...