We recently got in touch with Kate Lynch, new owner of “Forks and Corks Catering” in Corvallis.
What makes Kate tick? Read on…
How did you get into catering?
When I was 12 years old I read an article about a woman who had opened a catering company out out of her home. I thought she had the best of everything – a family, a job she loved, a flexible schedule and she was her own boss! Best of all, she made a living throwing parties. I thought that was really cool and seemed like the best possible job in the world. From that day on it was my goal to be a caterer. When I was 20 I put an ad in the local paper advertising that “Kate’s Katering” was now in business. My first call came from Westinghouse Electric Co. asking me to cater their annual company picnic. That was my very first paying client – and they remained my client for the next 10 years before I sold what by then had grown into a significant sized company.
What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love to cook fresh fish. Simple and clean – with bright, fresh flavors. Fresh cod with braised kale, tomatoes, sauteed leeks and capers is one of my favorites to make.
What’s your favorite food? (French, Italian?)
I’m Pennsylvania Dutch born and raised. I love good German sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes and all things Irish. Then again, fois gras and port are really high on my list too. Oh, and I love southwestern cuisine. And sushi.
What is your most memorable catering experience?
One that immediately comes to mind was when our catering van was hit from behind en route to a wedding reception. That was a really difficult experience – frantic employees, damaged vehicles, masses of gravy and fruit punch all over the place. Of course I have many very memorable good experiences too!
Tell us about your business:
Forks and Corks Catering was conceived a year and a half ago when my husband and I were living in Austin, TX. We had been transferred from Corvallis to Austin for two years with his job at HP and were really wanting to move back. I had been looking at the catering market in the Willamette Valley for some time and thought there was an opportunity for a business that offered a higher caliber of catering. Food quality and presentation are very important to us, and our understanding of event logistics has been valuable to our clients. We cater all sizes of both social and corporate events. In the last eight months our largest event has been for 400 people and our smallest was for a party of eight – everything from backyard bbq to elaborate five-course plated meals. So far we’ve surpassed our projections and we’re really encouraged about the success we’re experiencing.
What’s your cooking background?
Trial and error. Lots of it over the past 22 years, in a broad array of positions. I’ve been fortunate to have amazing employment and educational experiences all over the country and Europe. I’m very grateful for that and still learning every day.
My favorite thing about living in the Valley is:
…the peace I feel living in this area. I’ve lived in several places across the country and I’ve never felt more at home than since I moved here. The lush abundance of green and water and trees and all things beautiful feeds my spirit every day. Most importantly, the people here seem to have a keen sense of what’s really important. People and quality of life are a clear priority – and it makes it a really lovely place to live, cultivate friendships and own a business.
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