ZANESVILLE – For some, cooking is far more than just cooking. It’s an art form, a passion. That describes Steve Meredith – also known as Chef Steve, The Professional Caterer.
“I say my catering is set apart from others,” he said, “because this is not just a job I do, it’s a passion, and many people say it’s evident in the food I serve.
“I want people to be happy,” he added, “and have a good time at their event, whether it’s a wedding or a holiday party. Food plays a vital role when people come together to work or to celebrate, and I like to think I can help make that an easy part of their planning.”
Chef Steve Meredith, 42, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but grew up mostly in Zanesville. “My family moved around a lot and I attended several high schools,” he said. In 2000 he received a culinary arts degree from MATC (now Zane State). He also obtained a dietary managers certification from Columbus State.
“I was always an ambitious child,” he recalled, “and couldn’t wait to start working. I guess you could say I’ve always been around food service in some capacity. I liked the fast-paced environment – and food makes people happy.”
He started his current business by catering events at his church (North Terrace Church of Christ) for between 80 to 150 people once a month for the JOY (Just Older Youth) program – adults 55 and over.
“I loved everything about it,” Meredith said, “from the planning to the execution.”
“One day,” he continued, “someone asked me to cater a large birthday party for their 90-year-old mom and wanted to pay me to do it. That was when I realized I could do this full time.”
It was January 2019.
“I was able to see first-hand,” said Carol Humphreys, director of the FoodWorks Alliance, “the care and talent Chef Steve provides because he joined the FoodWorks Alliance Licensed kitchen, which provides him work space when he prepares larger catering events.
“On a personal note,” Humphreys added, “I’m one of his customers for the family-style meals he sells. It’s a great service and a win-win for everyone.”
“Since people mostly plan large events months, and sometimes a year in advance,” Meredith explained, “I got my business started with preparing home-cooked, family-style meals that were completely ready to just be popped into the oven. This meal service is for those who may not like to cook or have a busy schedule and don’t have time to cook.”
That said, his wife Meredith, also his business manager and social media coordinator, thinks her husband has “amazing culinary abilities. He will work on a recipe for weeks until he gets it exactly how he wants it. I admire that he puts his heart and soul into this business, and he wants every customer and every guest to be satisfied with their meal.”
“We got married 20 years ago,” she added. “Steve was still in culinary school and I remember him bringing home a bouquet of flowers made completely out of fruit. I knew then he was super talented.”
For more information about Chef Steve, The Professional Caterer, call 740-704-3583 or check out his Facebook page.
About the series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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