When you hire Ascot Catering, you can expect to find yourself working with seasoned professionals who’ve both worked at and catered for thousands of events during their careers. What might surprise you is how passionate we are about delivering only the very best food; how open and innovative we are when it comes to new ideas; and how much we value our flexibility in designing a menu that will perfectly support the theme and atmosphere of your event. As a family-run business, we pride ourselves on our customer service.
We treat our staff like family, and we like to think that we make our customers feel like family, too.
Now a veteran in the hospitality industry with over 34 years’ experience, Tom manages the day to day operations of the business. Tom knows it all, but he’s most at home when he’s working with clients; throughout the planning process and on the day of the event, Tom ensures that every element of the day is executed flawlessly.
Born and bred in hospitality, Tom realized his passion at a young age. Inspired by his grandfather’s Italian restaurant, Frank’s, once located on Asylum Avenue, Tom dreamed of one day owning his own catering business. His career began at 18 when he landed a job as a bartender at the prestigious Hartford Club, serving politicians, executives, celebrities and royalty. For 14 years he worked his way through the ranks, eventually securing a position as Assistant Beverage Manager, before moving to work with The Max Group for over 3 years as their Beverage Manager. In 1998, with enough knowledge and expertise in the industry to finally turn his childhood dreams into reality, Tom bought Ascot Catering. Over the many years he’s spent running the company, Tom’s passion has only grown. He continues to work hard on developing creative new ways to bring smiles to people’s faces through food.
As Ascot’s Executive Chef, Tom’s focus is on delivering the fresh, delicious and satisfying food that Ascot is known for. A true creative, Tom is passionate about coming up with new recipes and ideas that will impress clients and their guests. He works closely with his dad to design custom menus for every event, combining client’s needs and ideas with his own expertise to create first-rate food that looks and tastes amazing.
Tom grew up in the kitchen by his father’s side. Watching his dad cook, Tom became intrigued by food and began learning the art of combining different flavors, textures and techniques to create dishes for his family to enjoy. Tom’s career at Ascot began when he was aged just 13. Keen for him to learn the business from the bottom up, his dad set him to work in the dish room. By the age of 15, Tom was working in the kitchen, where his childhood interest in food developed into a career path that he was surely always destined to follow. Following high school, Tom went on to obtain two associate degrees in Foodservice Management and Culinary Arts, before finishing his formal education with a dual bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management. Tom gained further work experience as a Sous Chef at Peppercorn Grille and as the manager of The Manchester Community College Wine Auction. He is the recent recipient of the CCSU/Shipman & Goodwin Business Idea Award for his pre-packaged gluten free entrees.
Responsible for booking both corporate and social events, Valerie works closely with Ascot’s clients, venue partners and other event service providers to confirm that plans are firmly in place for every event. Paying close attention to the finer details and communicating clearly with all involved, Valerie uses her vast experience in the industry to ensure that everything runs smoothly both during the run up to the event and on the day itself.
With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Valerie has held a number of roles across several restaurants and catering businesses in the area. After gaining a BA from the University of New Hampshire in Hotel Management, Valerie was accepted into the Sheraton Food & Beverage Program. She worked for the Sheraton Hartford first as the Assistant Banquet Manager before being promoted to Skybox Manager. Valerie has also held the role of Meeting Planner with the CIGNA Corporation and was a part of the opening team at the Simsbury Inn. Whilst managing the Willows Restaurant in Hebron, Valerie also managed the business operations for their catering company. In a later role as the Private Events Manager at The Riverfront Recapture Boathouse, Valerie was responsible for event coordination, beverage management, staffing and liaising with contractors – including vendors, rentals, entertainment and caterers. Valerie’s vast experience in the industry serves her well in her role at Ascot and her all-around knowledge of the business makes her an essential part of the team.
As well as being responsible for the accounting, payroll and staffing, Julie manages the day to day operations of the business and often coordinates events. She works closely with Ascot’s team of event staff, ensuring that everyone understands their role and has everything they need to make the event a success. Julie’s logical, analytical mind makes her both an excellent problem solver and an admirable organizer.
Before joining the world of catering, Julie worked as a successful Money Market Portfolio Manager for Goodwin Capital Advisers. Her experience in the finance industry provided a strong foundation for her to build on when becoming a co-owner of Ascot Catering, where she now manages all of the company’s financial processes.
They were so friendly. We communicated completely via email which was very helpful to me. Kris…answered ALL of my crazy questions. I was on a very tight budget and they worked with me to help cut corners. All my guest raved about how good the food was! The day of the wedding , the servers were so nice and so genuinely attentive and kind.
Ascott was great to work with and did much of my communication with them through email which was helped me out a lot. We received many comments about the delicious food. We went to a tasting early in the process, which we all LOVED. Although they had a bunch of options, and it made it a little hard to choose. They were also very flexible with their packages and we were able to make changes to better fit our needs/wants. I would definitely recommend this caterer!
Delicious food presented beautifully by a friendly, helpful staff. I will choose Ascot every time!
The food and quality of service was outstanding. All of our guests were thoroughly impressed and they made our event flow smoothly so I could enjoy myself as well. Will be using again in the near future. Thank you to everyone at Ascot!
Thank you Ascot Catering for working with us to determine “new” menu items! You have wonderful on site staff–friendly, dependable and helpful, as always!