Nothing happens without teamwork, and we’re very proud of the group that we’ve assembled. Several of us were adorable as children. See below
Superpower – At this point, staying out of the way.
Leland wrote his first business plan for a restaurant when he was in the 10th grade. As you might imagine, it was a terrible idea and it’s a blessing that he didn’t have the means to execute it or the half-dozen or so that followed it. He developed whatever skill set he might possess in luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants around the country, writing and contributing to a few cookbooks along the way.
Sinplicity Catering was a serendipitous accident created with the talented people that Mr. Atkinson was fortunate enough to surround himself with. Some of them are listed on this page and many more are still here making the magic happen every day.
Earliest food memory: “Hand-cranking peach ice cream on my grandmother’s porch. The milk, cream and fruit all came from not too many steps away on the long-gone family farm. As a child of the electric can opener generation, this was my first realization that things could be so much better if you made them yourself. I thought my arm was going to fall off but I’ll never forget the taste of it. My first ‘close your eyes and savor moment’.”
Lisa Anthony – Operations Director
Superpower – Ability to remember everything about everyone.
We all rely on Lisa’s experience, expertise and common sense to guide us through the weeds. Everyone here counts on her to keep us from doing something silly and on some days, we make that an impossible challenge. She began her foodservice career as a pastry chef and the organizational skills and precision that that position requires translate perfectly to our sometimes organization-averse group.
As one of our most tenured employees, Lisa’s seen it all and has been critical to our success. We miss the days when she split time with the kitchen while developing some of our best recipes.
Favorite Childhood Food Memory: “Grandma and Grandpa’s Fresh Coconut Cake. It was a team effort. Grandma started on the cake and my Grandpa would painstakingly shave fresh coconut for this massive showstopper cake. It was a true labor of love and everyone felt so special to be the recipient of this amazing treat. She never wrote anything down and I am still trying to recreate those recipes today! I likely went into pastry because of my love for my Grandma’s baking.”
David Burger –Executive Chef
Superpowers: Culinary Wizardry. Ability to cost any recipe in 12.3 seconds.
David’s done a great job of bringing order to the chaos of our kitchen. In addition to being a talented cook, he remains calm and steady in the eye of the culinary tornado. Coming in as early as 2 AM, he makes sure that our standards remain high and that everything’s ready on time. As the man says, with a name like Burger, a career in the kitchen was inevitable.
The Chef honed his catering & culinary crafts at Amphora Catering, Air Culinaire, and Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ before joining us in June of 2018.
Earliest food memory: “I think like most people my earliest ones revolve around family and the Holidays. I remember from a very early age my grandmother, mom and her 5 sisters all getting together every New Year’s Eve to make egg noodles. They carry on this tradition every year, and it has now grown to include their grown-up children and grandchildren.”
Jennifer Gual –Catering Coordinator
Superpower – Juggling a hundred thousand details at once.
Like many of our office team, Jennifer began her career in the kitchen. Like Lisa, she trained as a pastry chef at L’Academie de Cuisine and answered the rewarding call of preparing The Most Important Part of Every Meal. While still in school she externed at L’Auberge Provencale in White Post Virginia. Post-graduation, she donned a toque (at a rakish angle, no doubt) in the kitchen of Sweet Crimes, accepting the challenge of creating remarkable gluten-free baked goods and pastries. From there she took over as Pastry Chef for Bayou Bakery in Arlington for almost 4 years.
While she misses the smell of toasting cinnamon and the feel of a rolling pin in her hand, she’s embraced the opportunity to provide excellent customer service and event planning for us and we’re lucky that she made the switch. While doing a great job of taking care of people, she serves an equally challenging role of helping to make sure that the money’s where it’s supposed to be. For that we’re truly grateful!
Earliest childhood food memory: My mom was never big on cooking, so summer visits to Florida to see my aunt were the only times that I would get to cook. Out of all the things she taught me how to make, her beef & potato empanadas were my favorite. Aunt Nazli, or Titi Ness as I called her, was very special to me. She was the person that convinced me I should go to culinary school.