Westchester's Top Caterers: Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods
The signature dish of Chef Mark Kramer at Susan Lawrence Gourmet: an ostrich egg with caviar, truffled whipped eggs, and Russian black bread crostini.
Randi Brosterman Hutchens of Chappaqua probably wouldn’t be as popular with friends, family, and co-workers if it weren’t for Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods. The married mother of two and principal/management consultant at Deloitte Consulting, LLP has hired Susan Lawrence for 16 full-service events during the past 12 years, including significant birthday parties and occasional business events. Additionally, she orders food for dinner parties at her home about six times a year.
“Mark [Kramer, executive chef and creative director] and his team consistently exceed my expectations,” she says. “They’ve transformed my home on many occasions and the food presentation is gorgeous. The chocolate-covered red velvet cake at my husband’s fiftieth birthday party is memorable.”
Kramer has, clients say, “a creative and curious mind.” After an initial conversation with the client, Kramer puts a theme or framework to the event and then suggests a menu, while Event Coordinator Laura Ragaini works on other party elements, such as the linens, flowers, tables, and chairs. Affairs they’ve thrown have been all over the creative map, including a Victorian summer rose garden wedding, a casual winter soup party served in a kitchen with giant hammered-copper stockpots, a formal museum gala with opulent Venetian table settings, and a Midsummer Night’s Dream banquet with Shakespearean actors.
Tricia Freeman of Katonah has collaborated with Susan Lawrence on three events in the past four years, including one as co-chair for a 350-person Katonah Museum of Art fundraiser. “With other caterers, you go for a tasting and it’s great, but they can’t reproduce that same quality in volume. With Mark, you get everything that you expected and more.”
CATERER: Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods (26 N Greeley Ave, Chappaqua 914-238-8833; susanlawrence.com) COST PER PERSON: $30-$115; WILL FEED: 2-2,000; FAVORITE VENUE SPACE: Hudson River Museum; MOST UNUSUAL EVENT CATERED: “A surprise party on a commuter train headed to Grand Central,” Kramer says.