We sat down with Chef Bianca Alsip-Freeny, Chef and Owner of Tailor Made Custom Catering and the newly-opened Lilikoi Kitchen in Kailua, Hawai`i to talk story about how she came to be one of Oahu’s up-and-coming wedding caterers, as well as get her insight on wedding planning here in Hawaii!
We actually first met Bianca earlier this year at an Oahu Wedding Association speed-dating event (where wedding planners got to meet with up-and-coming vendors), and it was a match made in heaven! We have since done numerous events with the talented chef, and have big plans on collaborating in the future.
GROWING UP AND EDUCATION
Bianca’s passion and love for culinary arts started when making family meals with her
great grandmother and father at a very young age. Her great grandmother was a
chef, and her father was always in the kitchen creating new recipes. After high school,
she attended The Art Institute California-Los Angeles, where she earned a culinary arts
and management degree. Bianca is a classically trained chef that has worked in prominent
hotels and country clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She started Tailor Made
Custom Catering in 2019 on the island of O`ahu. Some of Bianca’s most memorable
past-times in the kitchen are when she catered for major sports teams and
weddings/special events. She loves catering weddings because each event is unique
with complex menus and attention to detail. Also, she loves that she gets to be a part of others’ most memorable moments. Bianca is passionate about sourcing high quality food, scratch cooking, and supporting local.
HER PATH TO HAWAI`I
As a child Bianca relocated from Southern California to Hawaii to help look after family
affairs and throughout the years she would travel back and forth from the mainland to
Hawaii. Bianca met her Hawaii born wife in Los Angeles and planned to move back to
the islands to open her business and raise a family. Bianca loves to spend time with her
Wife and 2 children, enjoys travel, beach days, and cooking (of course!)
Her mission? To help people unite through food: bringing fresh ingredients, exceptional food, and excellent service for a Tailor Made experience.
CHEF’S ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES
Our Marketing Manager, Leila (“L”), had the chance to chat with Chef Bianca (“B”) and get some helpful insight on her perspective of wedding planning and catering on O`ahu:
L: When and where did you start your career as a chef?
B: In Los Angeles California , then to Las Vegas and then Hawaii.
L. What drew you toward catering specifically?
B: With catering, every event & every menu is different, with being a creative it’s nice to create the ambiance for the event through food and customize the experience to fit the vision of our guests.
L: What cuisine do you specialize in?
B: Pan American with Local Ingredients
L. What is your favorite service style?
B: They are all my favorite however, Family Style is fun because it gives you the opportunity to share amongst your intimate table and you still get the plated experience.
L: What’s your favorite part about catering weddings?
B: I love being a part of our clients most memorable days, I love the smile on their faces after they have had an amazing meal, I love seeing how truly unique every wedding is and I love our beautiful venues here on island! Lastly, I love my clients.
L: Any advice on how couples should navigate finding the right caterer for them?
B: Choose a caterer that cares about your wants, needs and that has a good vision. A great caterer is going to ask you about your likes and dislikes and try to make your wedding dream your reality. A great caterer can also develop a custom menu for you based on your likes, dislikes & wedding theme!
L: What is the most helpful attribute you’ve noticed in a great wedding planner?
B: A great wedding planner is all about the details, personable, friendly and knows that we are all in this together. It takes a team to have an event go smoothly, a great planner knows that we all play a pivotal role. I pride myself and my company for going the extra mile even if it’s something that catering has nothing to do with, If someone needs something and I have the ability to make a planner and client happy, I will do my best to accommodate. It takes a village!
L: Which venue on O`ahu is your favorite to work at?
B: Kualoa Ranch, Ka`ala Vista , Loulu Palm Estate & am looking to work with Dillingham Ranch! Our island and it’s venues are world renowned! We are very lucky to live and do business in Hawaii.
L: If you had to give engaged couples one piece of advice for wedding planning in Hawai`i, what would it be?
B: Think about what is really important to you, is food at the forefront of your needs list? Entertainment? Rate each service that is really important to you and realistically build your budget off of your wants and must haves, it’s your most memorable day & you should have everything you want that is important to you! Also, do not forget to set a realistic budget for your wedding planner & your catering. You deserve to have everything planned for you and to be catered to. Also if you are a destination wedding, please also respect the island when you come!
Want to get a quote from Chef Bianca for your upcoming event? View her onolicious menus here and submit a contact form to receive your quote. We are now offering inclusive wedding packages that feature Tailor Made Custom Catering built-in. To get a overall picture of what your wedding day budget should look like or to learn about our packages, contact us for a free wedding planning consultation.
Happy wedding planning!
Photo credits: Jeanne Marie Photography & @j.arnold.photography