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 Washington DC area. Our remarkable 85-year history as a leading DC catering company motivates us to continuously invent truly unforgettable experiences.

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 Catering proudly gives back to non-profit organizations to support a variety of health, education, women’s 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.

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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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 going to the gym, outdoor activities, traveling, trying DC’s newest restaurants and cooking at home. 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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Amy Lewerenz

Creative Director

alewerenz@ridgewells.com

AMY LEWERENZ

With over 20 years of event experience, Amy combines practical catering knowledge with a wonderful sense of style and a knack for creative problem solving. Throughout her work, she draws inspiration from the latest restaurant, hotel, and home décor trends, as well as graphic design and advertising. An enthusiastic home cook with wide-ranging knowledge of food, Amy loves beautiful cookbooks, food photography, and reading restaurant reviews. Her current Instagram crushes include artist Donald Robertson (@drawbertson) and fine art photographer Gray Malin (@graymalin). A graduate of Cornell University’s Hotel School, Amy is mom to two smart and sporty teens and a tenacious terrier. She’s an avid tea drinker who’s never had a cup of coffee.
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Ashley Boucher

Brand & Media Director

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 two young boys, Ashley spends her time taking photos, cooking, practicing yoga, and hiking. Her favorite Ridgewells plate? “I'm in love with our Vegan Cauliflower Rice With Blueberries And Tangy Lotus Root. It's deliciously unconventional."

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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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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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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 Mayhew

Senior Event Designer

mmayhew@ridgewells.com

MAGGIE ANGLE

Maggie gets real satisfaction from the creative process and working to tackle different challenges every day. "I have a total passion for transforming a venue to tell a story at each event, and showing off creative presentations for food with interactive stations to create amazing guest experiences." One of her favorite Ridgewells memories? Translating her love for the Eastern Shore into a delicious "Crab Cakes Your Way" action station to wow a client for a posh summer picnic. Some of her corporate clients include Kaiser Permanente, George Washington University, and Williams and Connolly. Before her eight years at Ridgewells, Maggie worked for a boutique Baltimore hotel where she helped open two restaurants. A new Mom to her son Luke, Maggie loves spending time at the beach with her family, and traveling to destinations near and far.

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Grace Glasgow Duthe

Senior 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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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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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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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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Cindy Peet

Event Designer

cpeet@ridgewells.com

CINDY PEET

A veteran of the hospitality industry, Cindy’s enthusiasm for the event business began at age 14 while playing hostess at her friends’ birthday parties. “Bringing people together along with the ability to design looks for events has always stuck with me,” she says. To Cindy, the catering business is the perfect blend of interior design and fine food—her two passions. During her career, Cindy has worked with Fortune 500 companies, the White House, the National Gallery of Art, and other high-profile clientele. She has also created the look and theme for two presidential inaugural events. “This industry is a team effort, and if not for the team, these marvelous event we cater would never come together,” Cindy says. “I have a high appreciation of all the staff and vendors who collaborate to bring these events to life.” Born and raised in Washington, DC, Cindy takes great pride in the city’s evolving culture and energy. In her spare time, she creates new and interesting recipes to enjoy during treasured family time and shuttles between toddler classes and teenage lacrosse matches for her two children.
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Kelly Lechner

Event Designer

klechner@ridgewells.com

KELLY LECHNER

It’s no surprise Kelly is a natural for the catering and special events industry. A former D1 Division lacrosse player for Penn State, she thrives in a fast-paced environment. “Being a member of a team is really important to me. I love my Ridgewells team and the way we bounce ideas off each other,” she says. “The event industry allows me to meet a ton of new people, and working with different vendors to pull together amazing events. Seeing the final product after months of hard work is really awesome. It’s what makes the job so much fun,” she adds. Notable Ridgewells clients include the Washington Business Journal and Washingtonian magazine. Prior to Ridgewells, Kelly worked at Wedding Wire, an online wedding industry marketplace. A native of Montgomery County, Kelly spends as much time as she can at the beach, and relaxing with friends and family (she also enjoys a good binge watch on Netflix). Her favorite Ridgewells dish? Black Risotto with Lobster and Spring Vegetables.
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Sherasa Russell

Event Designer

srussell@ridgewells.com

SHERASA RUSSELL

Sherasa’s appreciation for good food, good music, and friends—all enjoying each other’s company—is rooted in family. As a member of a huge Chicago family that enjoys special celebrations, Sherasa found her appreciation for hospitality early on. “Hospitality is who I am. Food unifies people (everyone needs to eat!) and played a big part of my childhood. Most of my fondest memories and celebrations in life are paired with the creation of delicious food. Whether it’s a traditional dish prepared by a family member or experiencing new cuisine with my husband, a chef, a seat at the dinner table has always rewarded me with a great time,” says Sherasa. Prior to Ridgewells, Sherasa has worked for many years in the industry, as a wedding planner, working for chefs, and in restaurant sales and marketing. When she’s not in the office, she’s keeping up with her two young sons, hosting dinner parties with her husband, dancing, and writing in her journal.
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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.

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