There's a new catering business in town. Chef J. Randy Pacheco has relocated his business, All About Catering, from Eagle County over to Summit County. Pacheco has been in Colorado for nearly 40 years and has been cooking for 30 of them.
"I've been wanting to expand to Summit County," Pacheco said. "I know a lot of people there, I hang out a lot there. It's where I want to be."
Pacheco started his catering company in 2011, after graduating from the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder. Previously, he had done catering work, but mostly for friends and family. His motivation for going to culinary school, he said, was to refine his technical skills, to add to his hands-on experience.
"There's a big leap from having a dinner party at home with 20 people as opposed to catering a dinner for 100 people," he said. At the school, he improved his techniques. While many of his classmates were training to become chefs in restaurants, he kept the goal of a catering company in mind.
"I always wanted to be a caterer, because I think there is a difference between a catering chef and a restaurant chef," he said, explaining that each deals with food in a different way. "I really love to entertain people and making people happy through food."
Food and cooking have been a part of Pacheco's life for about as long as he can remember.
"Food has always been my passion," he said. His first experiences were in the kitchen with his mother and sister. He enjoyed following them around, learning by watching and then experimenting on his own, something he still does.
"I experiment with a lot of things, make a lot of concoctions," he said. "I think a person has to make those different things and try different things, or else you'll never know. You have to try different things in life."
His first job, at age 15, was as a dishwasher at a restaurant. Although the dishwashing itself wasn't all that fun, it was a start. At that time, however, Pacheco still wasn't sure he could make a living with his cooking. He attended University of Colorado Boulder, where he graduated with a degree in psychology, which he says still comes in handy.
"It goes hand in hand, almost, having a degree in psychology and food," he said. "You can tell a lot about people through food."
Pacheco went on to work with other companies and businesses, but he could never forget about food. Eventually, the dream of his own catering company could not be ignored.
"I wasn't happy. I need to do something that I'm passionate about," he said. "I might not make as much money, but I know I'll be doing something I'm passionate about."
Now, with All About Catering, Pacheco feels he's doing just that.
All About Catering ranges across the service spectrum from catering a small event or gathering to catering an entire wedding.
"It's not just about food; it's about taking care of people," Pacheco said. "I always try to give them something that's memorable."
Pacheco said he's willing to make any style of food that his customers want, although is specialty is American cuisine, because that's the food he grew up making and what he loves to eat himself. He also loves to go out to restaurants and try the food that other chefs are making.
"I try to go to a different restaurant every weekend," he said. "There's a lot of good food out there, for sure."
When he cooks, he prefers to make whatever he can from scratch, using fresh ingredients.
"I try to cook as much as possible with fresh, seasonal food. Even if it's in the winter, the vegetables that I use are seasonal," said Pacheco, who believes eating healthy is an industry trend that's really going somewhere. "It's extremely rare for me to use anything out of a box or a can."
Overall, Pacheco considers an event a success if people enjoy the food and enjoy themselves.
"It's a concept that's more than just food," he said. "I try to cater to people. With 'catering' people automatically think 'food,' but to me, catering is a concept of taking care of people."
For more information, visit the All About Catering website at www.allaboutcateringinc.com or call (970) 409-8684.