Meet Terry and Karyn!

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We’re excited to introduce you to two Heartfelt Catering team members.  Terry Gearld is our Lead Server-Captain and Karyn Hobfoll is our Pastry Chef!

How did you begin your culinary or food service career? 
Terry: I began more than 28 years ago as a dishwasher for a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota as a way to make ends meet. I worked my way up to busboy and then server.
Karyn: I started at 15 years old making desserts for a restaurant.

What are some of the food trends that you’re excited about?
Terry: I love the fact that people are beginning to think about what they put into their bodies and the importance of healthy eating.
Karyn: The classics coming back. A really great chocolate chip cookie, using less (simple) ingredients. Also, making great vegan desserts.

Name a food trend that your tired of seeing?
Terry: I personally don’t like the lax attitude that a lot of these new restaurants are taking when it comes to appearance and service. If your paying $35 dollars for a steak, it shouldn’t be served to you with someone in a t-shirt and jeans.
Karyn: Anything molecular gastronomy.

What should someone know before hiring a caterer for there event?
Terry: You should do research on the company and see what type of reputation they have with previous clients.
Karyn: Know what kind of food you want to have, how much you are willing to spend and how the seasonality of food may affect pricing.

Describe your earliest food memory?
Terry: When I was in kindergarten and I would come home from school and my mom would always have for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a cold glass of whole milk waiting for me. To this day that is one of my favorite meals; I feel a sense of home.
Karyn: I was 6 years old, icing a cake with green icing and colored marshmallows with my Grammy for my sister’s birthday.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure? 
Terry: Butter Pecan ice cream.
Karyn: 3 Musketeers candy bar at bed time.

How do you prepare for an event?
Terry: I make sure I know of any special requests a client may have to ensure that requests are met to a tee.
Karyn: Go over my menus, write my prep list, take a deep breath and be ready to go!

What does it mean to you to provide service the heartfelt catering way?
Terry: Unforgettable delicious fresh food and impeccable, reliable service.
Karyn: I like that we show people great food in such a way that they don’t miss all the fat/bad stuff that some dishes are traditionally made with. We utilize great cooking and baking techniques that showcase the natural flavors of our food instead of drowning each dish in fat and prepared sauces to make it “Southern”.

After a long day of catering for groups of people, what’s your favorite meal to cook at home?
Karyn: Lemon Pine Nut Risotto or Tomato Orzo Soup.

Some chefs listen to their favorite music to get inspired, how do you gain inspiration for the food that you cook?
Karyn: Food adventures, thinking about what wine or beer I would pair with the food I am making. Talking food with friends.

What advice would you give to someone considering culinary school?
Karyn: Learn from everyone and don’t stick to one specialty. A well-rounded chef isn’t afraid to learn other specialties.

List three staples that are must-haves in your fridge.
Karyn: Lemon, Parmesan cheese and butter.

We’re in the middle of wedding season. As couples prepare for their big day by registering for wedding gifts, what are the top 2 or 3 must-have kitchen tools? 
Karyn: Kitchen scoops, a set of tongs and a cast iron skillet.

Why are you passionate about providing healthy catering options?
Karyn: These days there are healthy options and the Internet. I grew up in a Kosher home and now that I am a vegetarian, I have learned how to cook gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. It’s important to make food that tastes really good so that you won’t mind the substitutions.

What are your favorite gluten-free flour alternatives?
Karyn: I think gluten-free is an easy one to substitute by using meringues, or flourless chocolate cake as cake layers with ganache or butter creams. The goal is that the diner shouldn’t miss what they can’t have! And the dessert should taste better than what they thought it would be!

Cecelia Hamilton