Executive chef Elaina Vazquez, 28, opened Boutique Bites, a luxury catering company for the sophisticated palate, two years ago. She says she's now living her dream to be a chef and an entrepreneur.
"It is luxury catering company. I have so much experience in fine dining that I wanted to bring fine dining into people's homes. People love the idea of having restaurant-quality style food but they don't have to leave their house so that's what we did," said Vasquez.
The 28-year-old Chicago native wanted to be a chef since she was 5 years old. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and accepted a position at Chicago's famed Tru restaurant. Next she worked at the Avenue Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel. Then she traveled to Las Vegas to work for Joel Robuschon at the Mansion MGM Grand.
"It's one of the best restaurants in the country so I kind of had to do it. And it's just a very fine dining, French restaurant, attention to detail. It's beautiful," said Vasquez.
Vazquez is the face of the brand. She handles everything from the initial client introduction to the final production of the event.
"I'm at your event, I create your menus and your proposals, I work with the rental companies. So people really like that personal touch," said Vasquez.
Vasquez discovered her true passion - a desire to blend the fine dining she loved with the essence of entertainment outside the restaurant realm. What began as a few upscale private dinners developed into a full-service fine catering company with a passion for chic cuisine and professional presentation. Her advice to future entrepreneurs:
"Get as much experience as you can...and always keep your contacts because people love to help you," said Vasquez.
For now Vazquez says she does not plan to expand but at some point she wants to go national.