Bon Manger Catering, 1973 W. 111th St., specializes in creating a unique atmosphere for private events with authentic Louisiana Creole-American food.
Andrea Dillon, head chef and president of the company, grew up in New Orleans. Her signature dishes include jambalaya, dirty rice, crawfish pies, bourbon chicken, blackened tilapia, and bread pudding with caramel sauce and peach cobbler for dessert. Mouth watering yet? The best part is that you don’t need to host a function to enjoy Dillon’s food. Bon Manger’s bread pudding and peach cobbler can be found at Mariano’s.
Dillon doesn’t advertise her business; her reputation stands on its own and she enjoys numerous word-of-mouth referrals. “We feel as though we are a life-long lifestyle caterer; we are an extension of you. I have clients where I’ve done their baby shower, and then later catered for a death of their parent or grandparent. Our food is comforting to people,” Dillon said.
Dillon knows that when you’re hosting an event, you want everything to be perfect. “You want to hire someone you can trust,” she said. “Our personal touch separates us from other caterers. All of our events feel like you’re in someone’s living room; we take the time to plan the event and make every customer feel special.”
Along with that personal touch, Dillon changes her food’s display with the seasons or based on an event’s theme. “We always try to have something fun and entertaining to make you remember the event,” she said. Dillon and her team handled the grand opening of The Quilter’s Trunk, and incorporated some of the store’s rich fabrics into the centerpieces on the food table.
With the amount of work that goes into managing Bon Manger, Dillon has one very special helper: her 13-year-old son, Kendall Dillon. He is quickly becoming a chef and entrepreneur of his own.
“I was doing a cooking demo at the Taste of Chicago three years ago and Kendall was my sous chef,” Dillon said. “He stole the show! The following year we were asked back and his name was on the billing. This is going to be our third year and he asked me if we’re doing it again; I told him that we would have to see if we are asked back. I told him that the cute kid thing might not be working for him anymore. His response: ‘well, maybe you won’t be asked back…!’”
Wittiness aside, Kendall has taught an after school kids’ cooking class at CPS. He also teaches at food-oriented birthday parties. “He brings a little oven and demonstrates to the kids and teaches them to make their own items, like pizza or cookies,” Dillon said.
Bon Manger can accommodate events from 10 people to 4,000. They offer continental breakfasts, boxed lunches, buffet style lunches and dinners and extravagant dining events. For more information, visit BonMangerCatering.com.
By Kristin Boza