As owner and executive chef of Elyse’s Catering & Events, Elyse Harrington discovered her passion for food while growing up in New York. As the only daughter in a family of six, Elyse began cooking at the tender age of nine, while her mother spent time caring for her grandmother. She tired of her father’s fried bologna sandwiches and longed for an appetizing meal. She opened up her Betty Crocker cookbook, a gift from her godmother, and went to work! As it turns out, she had a knack for cooking that has endured into adulthood.
In 1973, Elyse and her husband Steve relocated their family to the state of Washington. Elyse quickly recognized that New York style delis did not exist in the area. She began preparing her own east-coast style deli salads and cheesecakes and received rave reviews from family and friends. Before long, local restaurants requested her products as wholesale items and Elyse began one of the first home-based businesses in the area, baking cheesecakes, cookies and brownies out of her converted garage-kitchen.
Eventually, she supplied over 19 local eateries with her desserts and deli salads. Customers began requesting Elyse to cater parties in their homes and so began her venture into the catering business. Eventually, she expanded her operation and opened several small delis and a full-service restaurant, while simultaneously running her catering business.
Elyse operated her restaurants for over 20 years and earned a reputation for providing fresh, delicious homemade food with a focus on presentation and outstanding customer service.
In January of 2004, Elyse narrowed the focus of her business by selling her restaurant and closing the retail deli to focus solely on catering and event planning. This shift has allowed Elyse the opportunity to provide more personalized services to her catering clientele. She is also able to spend more time in the kitchen, developing new recipes and perfecting her menus, which she truly enjoys!