Popular caterer moves to Lake Zurich
Kathy Pedersen in her business On Occasion Catering has recently moved to Lake Zurich. November 4, 2012. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 13, 2012 10:46AM
LAKE ZURICH — Typing “On Occasion” into the search field before pressing “enter” will have Google attempting to finish the phrase off with “catering.”
That’s because it’s a commonly-searched item for residents in Chicago and the northern suburbs.
Since opening in Palatine four years ago, On Occasion Catering has served up meals, hors d’oeuvres and desserts at parties that range from small gatherings to high profile events like the Chicago White Sox home opener at U.S. Cellular Field.
After a nearly four-month moving process, On Occasion Catering is tentatively set to open in its new location on Lake Zurich’s Telser Road before the end of November.
“We’ve been part of the Lake Zurich Chamber for years, so it was just a natural move for us,” said Kathy Pedersen, the owner and chef behind On Occasion.
She said she jumped at the chance to move from Dundee Road in Palatine to 700 Telser Road when the space became available.
But that’s not to say she didn’t have a successful run while in Palatine.
On Occasion’s 2008 grand opening in Palatine occurred on the same day she was asked to cater the White Sox’s home opener.
“I had to be at Cellular Field with the first order of their pies at 4:30 a.m. in order to get back to my place and open up there too,” Pedersen recalled.
Pedersen explained that On Occasion was picked to make about six types of pies for the U.S. Cellular Field’s Stadium Club for every home game the Sox had that year. Her pecan pie became a fan favorite because of its dark and white chocolate “White Sox drizzle.”
“The day I did the tasting down there ... I hope I remember it always because they really loved the pies, and they signed with me that day,” Pedersen said. “It was just really encouraging.”
In addition to White Sox games, On Occasion has catered the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place every year since its opening in 2008, as well as events for Michael Silvaggi, who is senior vice president of human resources at Sak’s Fifth Avenue in New York.
Pedersen attributes her business’ success to her 20 years of experience catering to both her clients and five children.
“I do have five children, so I’ve never been known to cook a small amount — ever!” Pedersen said laughing.
On Occasion Catering & Events works to suit its clients’ specific needs and appease the tastes of all event-goers. Events include, but are not limited to, corporate events, corporate lunches, social events, team building events and weddings.
Pedersen said that her “boutique” catering service won’t throw multiple menus at clients, either, as the food is customized to fit each individual event.
Sample menus, however, preview On Occasion’s capabilities. Notable items on the sample menu include the artisan rolls with herbed butter; wild berry cobbler with homemade biscuits and vanilla bean ice cream; Bloody Mary cherry tomatoes with celery salt and cracked pepper; and goat cheese mousse on endive spears.
“If you tasted our chicken beurre blanc, I think you would just about fall over,” she said.
Her desserts were successful enough to branch off into their own brand two years ago, now called Fat Bottomed Girls, which she launched at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. Serving everything from the “MGM Grande” deep chocolate cake layered with mocha ganache mousse, to the “Scandalous” chocolate torte with caramel and sea salt, Fat Bottomed Girls was welcomed to rave reviews from both men and women.
Pedersen’s decision to make the move from Palatine to Lake Zurich came about when she felt that the strip mall on Dundee Road was no longer a fit for her growing catering company. Although she hasn’t officially opened her new Telser Road location yet, she said she already feels as though the local corporate park is a better fit.