Passion for celebration.

Every single event we create is an expression of the love we have for our work. From intimate gatherings to epic galas, we strive to craft the most outstanding cuisine and the most elegant, high-end presentations in the DC area. Our remarkable 85-year history motivates us to invent new experiences that are truly unforgettable.

A community connection

Farm-to-table cuisine and sustainable, green practices not only create a better dining experience—they create a better company. In that spirit, Ridgewells proudly gives back to non-profit organizations to support a variety of health, education, women and children’s issues.

 
 
 

Awards & Recognition

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Most Creative Solution” for “A Celebration of Historic Treasures” event

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Event Under 50K” for “Capital Campout” event

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Cuisine” for “A Slam Dunk” event

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Event with a Legacy” for annual ESPRIT Awards

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Nominated “Best Cuisine” for “Feeding Foodies” event

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Event Design” for “A Millennium Celebration New Year’s Eve at the Beach”

Miriam’s Kitchen

Awarded “Bowl of Compassion” for Ridgewells’ philanthropic work for the DC community

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Cuisine” for “4 Squared: Revisiting the Classics” event

National Kidney Foundation, National Capital Area, Inc.

Awarded “Volunteer Service Award” for Ridgewells’ charitable contributions

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Nominated “Best Cuisine” for “Jersey Fare on the Boardwalk” event

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Cuisine” for the “Tastefully Retro” event

Event Solutions Magazine – Spotlight Awards

Awarded “Caterer of the Year” for the annual Spotlight Awards

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Nominated “Most Creative Solution” for the National Elite Alpaca Auction

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded annual “Best Tote Cuisine”

International Special Events Society (ISES)

Awarded “Best Cuisine” for the “Fall Business Classic” event

Creating delicious,
unbelievable experiences.
That’s what we do.

– Susan Lacz, CEO

Our Team

The Ridgewells team is ready to transform your next event idea into reality. Read on and learn a little about what we do.

Annette Andrews

Director of Marketing

ANNETTE ANDREWS

The innovation and the constant evolution of the catering business—that’s what keeps Annette excited about her role at Ridgewells, where she’s worked for the past 14 years. An award-winning business writer, her work is inspired by the creative experience of event planning. “Every event is unique and different in terms of look, feel and experience—I love the energy,” says Annette, who grew up in the Caribbean, on the island of Grenada. During her off hours, Annette enjoys time doing outdoor activities with her husband and two children. Her favorite Ridgewells dessert? “I love every dessert we offer, but if forced to choose, I’d pick our new Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake.”

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Andrew Chalfant

Sr. Vice President, Operations

ANDREW CHALFANT

Delighting the taste buds of over 10,000 people each day—that’s what keeps Andrew on his culinary toes. A Ridgewells veteran for over 14 years, Andrew oversees the catering operations of the U.S. Open Men’s Golf Championship, Arena Stage and Strathmore. In fact, Andrew is proud to have been involved in 13 U.S. Opens—including one where Ridgewells oversaw 78 tents, serving over 80,000 guests. Why the catering business? “I love being around food. It’s a very diverse field and I like being involved in the construction of the complex kitchen compounds we create for the U.S. Open events.”

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Meghan O'Boyle

Meghan O’Boyle

VP, Operations

MEGHAN O’BOYLE

A Florida native, Meghan came to Ridgewells in 2004 and began working part-time on events for the U.S. Open. She’s been a member of Ridgewells’ human resources team and more recently has served as director of Purple Tie, Ridgewells’ professional staffing division. Outside of Ridgewells, she has held the position of vice president and general manager for Centerplate, overseeing catering and concessions at the Washington Convention Center. Prior to joining Ridgewells, she spent six years in risk management and human resources at the University of Florida Athletic Association. Meghan especially enjoys working in the historic homes and wonderful museums of Washington, DC.

“It’s an extraordinary experience. Catering is creative, fun and ever-changing,” says Meghan, who is a huge fan of Ridgewells’ crab cakes—and anything from the bakery. When she’s not working, Meghan spends time with her kids and enjoys volunteering at their schools.

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Steve Carter

Executive Chef

STEVE CARTER

Although his earliest cooking memory is baking Christmas cookies with his mom, Executive Chef Steve Carter says Jacques Pepin is his greatest inspiration. “French cuisine has been my most major influence, but over the years I have come to really enjoy the bold spicy stuff—Asian, Indian Caribbean and Middle Eastern food.” A graduate of La Academie de Cuisine, Steve has been with Ridgewells for 10 years, and now oversees the management of Ridgewells’ kitchen operations. His favorite go-to dish when cooking at home is hot smoked fish prepared with red snapper or swordfish. And when he’s not cooking, he’s spending time with “his girls”—his wife and two daughters.

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Fred Przyborowski

Executive Chef of Major Events

FRED PRZYBOROWSKI

A graduate of New York’s Culinary Institute of America, Fred oversees Ridgewells’ catering services, menu development and kitchen production for the U.S. Open and the cafes at Strathmore and Arena Stage. Inspired by his grandmother, a chef; and his father, who also loved cooking, Fred started in the food business at age 15 as a pot washer at a mom-and-pop restaurant. Since those early days, he has held positions at major restaurants and has worked for Restaurant Associates, one of the country’s largest food service companies. During his personal time he enjoys fly-fishing—and making pierogis for his kids. Fred’s most recent Ridgewells contribution? Twice-Cooked Pork with Pumpkin Seed Crust and Roasted Apricot with Lime Caviar.

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Melania Castegnaro

Executive Pastry Chef

MELANIA CASTEGNARO

“My grandmother has been—and will always be—my inspiration, and the reason I became a chef,” says Melania, who manages Ridgewells’ bakery. “We would cook for a week, preparing a spectacular Christmas dinner in her hometown of San Jose, Costa Rica. Like her, I have always been passionate about food and love to try new recipes.” A graduate of the Art Institute of Washington, Melania has brought her handmade, colorful Chocolate Bonbons—filled with ganache—to Ridgewells. During her off hours, she enjoys trying DC’s newest restaurants and cooking at home with her husband, also a chef. One of her favorite recipes is Gallo Pinto, a traditional Costa Rican rice-and-bean dish, which she loves to top with avocado and tomato.

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Katie Gamble Fleury

Director of Sales

kfleury@ridgewells.com

KATIE FLEURY

A newcomer to the DC area, Katie is a Chicago native who always welcomes a good challenge. Thanks to a roster of big-name corporate clients, her plate is always full. Case in point: "I had a client who wanted food trucks at their event, but the site wouldn't allow the physical trucks. So, we dreamed big—I teamed up with my décor partner and we created truck facades with pass-through food windows." In her spare time, Katie chases after her young son and cheers for her Chicago Cubs.

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Ashley Boucher

Sales & Social Media Manager

aboucher@ridgewells.com

ASHLEY BOUCHER

The phenomenal dining and arts scene of Portland, Maine—where Ashley grew up—has long influenced her desire to be around delicious food and creativity. A certified sommelier, Ashley spent the early years of her career leading a local winery, helping to build their brand through events and marketing. “I love how dynamic and exciting the catering and event business is. I’m a total foodie, and I love how the culinary world collides with spectacular events.” When she’s not chasing after her toddler with her husband, Ashley spends her time taking photos, cooking, practicing yoga and reading. Her favorite Ridgewells dessert? “Right now I’m in love with our Pumpkin Chiffon Cheesecake. I’m trying to figure out an acceptable way to eat it on a regular basis.”

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Meghan Buske

Senior Event Designer

mbuske@ridgewells.com

MEGHAN HAVEN BUSKE

Pulling together a two-day event for the President of the United States and 50 world leaders in just two weeks? Meghan can do that. Although she was attracted to catering to satisfy an irresistible need to organize, she fell in love with the creative side of the business. “Creating an event that’s seamless and gorgeous and unique—it’s so exciting,” she says. During her 12-year tenure, Meghan’s notable clients have included the Library of Congress, the Department of State and JP Morgan.

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Christine Callahan

Senior Event Designer

ccallahan@ridgewells.com

CHRISTINE CALLAHAN

A 10-year Ridgewells veteran, Christine once owned her own small catering company where she did it all—cooking, packing, serving and billing. But that’s no surprise; she’s an Iron Man tri-athlete, after all. From a 20-person dinner party for Henry Kissinger to a 300th birthday party for the Port of Baltimore (featuring a 2,000-person guest list), Christine has designed events big and small. Although she has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and nutrition, her dream dish is our Chocolate Crunch Mousse Bar.

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Jen Becker Denney

Senior Event Designer

jdenney@ridgewells.com

JEN BECKER DENNEY

Once, with only 30 minutes allotted for setup, Jen created an indoor winter wonderland in the lobby of the American History Museum, complete with carolers, a skating rink, park benches, street lights and a rustic hot toddy stand. No one is sure how she did it, but when you’ve been at this business for 13 years, sometimes people know it’s best not to ask. Notable clients include Booz Allen Hamilton, Kaiser Permanente and George Washington University. When she’s not developing menus and planning logistics to keep her clients on-brand, Jen is cheering on her sons’ sports teams and spending time on the Chesapeake Bay.

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Eileen Feldman

Senior Event Designer

efeldman@ridgewells.com

EILLEN FELDMAN

According to Eileen, the catering business always feels new. Maybe that’s why she’s been at Ridgewells for 20 years and counting. “I still learn new things every day and try to create excitement with every menu,” says Eileen. Although she takes care of corporate clients like Cartier and the U.S. Holocaust Museum, much of her current work focuses on social events like bar and bat mitzvahs and weddings. Being raised in a kosher home in Baltimore has given Eileen personal experience catering Ridgewells’ kosher events. During her off-hours, Eileen loves to knit, watch baseball and take care of her granddaughter.

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Polly Hahn

Senior Event Designer

phahn@ridgewells.com

POLLY HAHN

A fifth-generation Washingtonian, Polly recently looked to the past to create a Casablanca-themed holiday party at the Portrait Gallery. Transforming an area into Rick’s Café, the event included a grand piano, pianist and bourbon bar. According to Polly, every event is a blast, whether she’s organizing a two-person dinner on a yacht or a 500-person corporate gala. Prior to her 12 years at Ridgewells, Polly worked in advertising in New York, where she hadn’t yet discovered Ridgewells’ Pumpkin Muffin with Smithfield Ham and Apple Butter—her delicacy of choice.

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Diane Robertson

Senior Event Designer

drobertson@ridgewells.com

DIANE ROBERTSON

With 27 years under her belt, Diane is certainly a Ridgewells veteran. A lover of good food, good wine and good service, Diane says she’s in just the right company because she believes Ridgewells hits the top mark in every category. Her most spectacular event? A 5,000-person plated dinner at the DC Armory for WIMSA (Women in Military Service for America), where each server carried a whole cake with sparklers to every table. Other clients include Senior Executives, Best Buddies International and Children’s Medical Center. A self-proclaimed beach girl, she heads to the ocean any chance she gets.

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Colleen Walsh

Senior Event Designer

cwalsh@ridgewells.com

COLLEEN FOLEY WALSH

It’s no surprise that to Colleen, the catering business is a lot like a performance. Long before her 13-year career with Ridgewells, Colleen danced with The Washington Ballet. “Although it’s been quite a few years since I’ve performed, catering events give me the same passionate feelings I had back then; we plan with great detail and then the curtain goes down and we begin again.” When not producing events for clients such as Bloomingdale’s, Discovery and Imagination Stage, Colleen is practicing hot yoga and designing weekend adventures for her husband and daughter, Katy.

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Maggie Angle

Event Designer

mangle@ridgewells.com

MAGGIE ANGLE

An African safari–themed birthday party? Sure. A Roaring ’20s event at a Washington, DC, museum? No problem. Maggie gets real satisfaction from the creative process and working to tackle different challenges every day. Her corporate clients include Cushman and Wakefield, Pepco and the International Monetary Fund. Before her four years at Ridgewells, Maggie worked for a boutique Baltimore hotel where she helped open two restaurants. A real fitness enthusiast, she enjoys running, skiing, biking and playing soccer.

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Grace Glasgow Duthe

Event Designer

gduthe@ridgewells.com

GRACE GLASGOW

Order, perfection and detail-obsession. That’s Grace. One of five girls, she attributes her love of neatness to growing up in a sometimes chaotic household. Graduating with a degree in business hospitality from James Madison University, Grace previously worked in the catering department at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase. When she’s not working, she spends time outdoors or keeps up with the latest bestsellers. Her favorite Ridgewells dish? Peking Duck and Beef and Brie Sandwiches, which she says are prepared to perfection.

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Kim Hanson

Event Designer

khanson@ridgewells.com

KIM HANSON

A passionate cook, farmers’ market shopper and food photographer, Kim loves the creativity of coming up with innovative menus for her clients. Formerly a chemist for the U.S. Navy, Kim began her event production career working for Hanson Productions, LLC, a major-event planning company in the DC area. Kim is an avid runner and is always looking for the next exercise fad. She loves interesting food combinations, which is why Ridgewells’ grapefruit cupcakes are one of her go-to breakfast treats.

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Mary Margaret Hart

Event Designer

mhart@ridgewells.com

MARY MARGARET HART

Creative to the core—that’s Mary Margaret. With a dynamic background that includes a childhood of working in professional theater and an adult career at a North Carolina children’s museum, Mary Margaret’s love of entertaining started early. “Growing up, my job was to help set the family dinner table and it’s still my favorite thing to do. Setting the table is really setting the stage for any celebration,” she says. A self-proclaimed food lover, Mary Margaret is a big fan of Ridgewells’ Mushroom Ravioli with Mushroom Ragout—and the Chocolate Custard Pound Cake Topped with Fall Fruit Salad. In addition to her skills as an event designer extraordinaire, Mary Margaret learned how to sail last year. “Any chance I get, I’m out on the water,” she says. “And my 2016 resolution is learning calligraphy—so there’s lots of practice in my future!”

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Talia Zerkle

Event Designer

tzerkle@ridgewells.com

TALIA ZERKLE

The design process—transforming a venue and imagining new ways to present cuisine—is what drew Talia to the catering and event business. During her five years at Ridgewells, Talia has spearheaded events for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and Arena Stage, among others. Once a competitive gymnast, Talia now trains for triathlons and spends time with her beloved dogs, Adelaide and Zoe. Her go-to dish? Anything with tuna tartare.

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Molly Russ

Molly Russ

Event Designer

mruss@ridgewells.com

MOLLY RUSS

Having grown up in Montgomery County, MD, Molly enjoys planning events at places she visited as a young child. “It’s really fun seeing these spaces through different eyes,” says Molly, who has been with Ridgewells for two years. “I love seeing events come together. The final product is always worth all of the hard work. It’s what makes the catering industry so rewarding,” she adds. Her favorite Ridgewells is Chocolate Cremeux. When Molly is not working, she makes time to run, and takes spinning classes.

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Megan Zebrak

General Manager, Major Events

mzebrak@ridgewells.com

MEGAN ZEBRAK

The bigger and more complex an event, the better for Megan. With over 13 years of experience in the event planning and hospitality industries, Megan now oversees the Major Events division, including the catering operation for the U.S. Open Men's Golf Championship—her favorite event of the year. In fact, Megan has been involved with seven U.S. Opens, servicing over 40,000 clients and guests in just one week each year. "The U.S. Open never gets old because the venue changes annually—which means my team is challenged to reimagine our operation and menus. Plus, we service new corporate clients each year. That's the exciting part." A proud New Englander ("Go, Red Sox!"), Megan attributes her passion for food and entertaining to her mother, an amazing cook and fabulous host. When she's not orchestrating large-scale events, Megan loves to get outdoors, try new recipes, and run after her spunky and adventurous 2-year-old daughter, Gwen.

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Kerry Dawson

Account Manager, Major Events

kdawson@ridgewells.com

KERRY DAWSON

Growing up in Kensington, MD, Kerry had the good fortune of attending lots of neighborhood parties catered by Ridgewells. Now, as a member of the Major Events team, Kerry can focus on her two biggest passions—sports and food. "People are often shocked to learn that my entire year revolves primarily around a one-week event, but the amount of thought and organization that goes into every miniscule detail is what I enjoy most." When she’s not working, you can find Kerry playing soccer, tennis, basketball, or kickball—or cheering for the Washington Redskins. Her favorite Ridgewells dish? The Shrimp & Avocado Pasta Salad and the Falafel Crusted Salmon from the 2017 U.S. Open Menu.

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Join the Team

If you have a passion for catering and events, you could be just the right person to join our team. Explore our available opportunities.

Learn More