Local catering company opens Evanston kitchen

Tori Latham, Reporter

Feast and Imbibe, an event planning and catering company started by two Evanston residents, officially opened its first permanent location Wednesday at 1601 Simpson St. with a ribbon cutting.

Executive chef D’Andre Carter and sommelier and event coordinator Heather Bublick worked together at Chicago restaurant Moto before they decided it was time to break out on their own and start a company.

“We needed to spread the word, so we did pop-up dinners in Evanston and around Chicago,” said Bublick. “Eventually, people who attended the dinners asked us to cater events in their homes, so we started to do that as well.”

Carter and Bublick operated Feast and Imbibe out of shared kitchen spaces and friends’ restaurants for a year and a half before opening their space in Evanston, according to a news release. Although the transition has been fast-paced, Bublick said she and Carter have just followed the direction the company has taken them.

“It seems like its been a long time coming, even though it’s really only been about two years,” she said. “But (Evanston) is our home and it just felt right.”

Mark Muenzer, the city’s community development director, said the company is a distinctive fit for the city.

“First, they’re reusing the space of a former restaurant, which I think is great,” Muenzer said. “Second, they’re adding to the good environment and synergy that exists for small food businesses in the west side of Evanston.”

Elaine Kemna-Irish, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, echoed Muenzer’s statement, saying new businesses like Feast and Imbibe are choosing to open in the city.

“The new restaurants and caterers are sure to attract more foodies to come and experience Evanston,” Kemna-Irish said in an email to The Daily.

Bublick said she has received positive responses about the company.

“I had a lot of fun at the grand opening,” she said. “It was a mix of friends, family, business acquaintances and everyone is just super excited.”

Feast and Imbibe caters events ranging from birthdays to bat or bar mitzvahs. They are also available to help plan full events. Bublick said they will still host the occasional pop-up dinner, but fewer tickets will be available for those events.

“One of our goals for the future is to start catering more weddings,” Bublick said. “We were recently voted one of the top ten wedding caterers in Chicago, so we want to keep that going. Our first bride was even at the ribbon cutting and that was so special.”

Although they are expanding, Bublick said they hope to maintain the quality and core of the company.

“We want to keep the events personable and the food good,” she said. “We have such a close connection with the people we work with; they’ve become part of our family. We work hard to capture their moments and make them special. We just want to make people happy.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @latham_tori