Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrell Mendenhall.
Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
In a nutshell, I have always loved to cook. It was and still is my therapy. It’s where I feel seen and creative. After a long journey in the entertainment field, I was tired of telling friends and family, “in my next life, I’m going to be a chef.” I have been raising a beautiful little girl for three years and growing a rockstar business as a single mom. In August of 2019, I became a mom for the first time at age 42. My daughter was my driving force in the transition from entertainment. I wanted Kyng to know there were no limits, but I first had to live it myself. So I decided to act to my words and enroll in culinary school. It has been the most challenging 3 years of my 45 years on earth but the most rewarding!
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I have never shared this part of my story before. Only a hand full of people know. I struggled with postpartum bad after having my daughter. It was a daily emotional battle I had to fight, yet I continued to push through. Culinary School was my only happiness – from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. Well, that quickly came to an end. Just 3 months from graduation, they called me into the Deans office due to a defaulted loan. For me to complete school, the loan needed to be paid ASAP. Now, remember I’m a newly single mom, living at home with my mom at age 42, had minimal finances, working at a church part-time while going to school, among other issues. The odds were stacked against me, and now to be asked to leave the one thing that gave me peace. I was lost and angry. The day I was asked to leave, I continued delivering meal preps to my existing clients. I would have Kyng in the back seat as I delivered to each house. I continued to push through.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a chef and caterer who specializes in luxury eating and experience. We cater for large parties of 300 and more or private affairs of just 2. In addition, every weekend, I host DC’s elite private brunch experience with rooftop views in Capitol Hill – Brunch & Mimosas. It is a 4-course brunch that will have you wanting to brunch no other way. I specialize in whatever my client has a taste for. There is no growth in being known for a few specialty cuisines. If I don’t know how to make something, I want to learn to be the best at whatever cuisine. I am most proud of my clientele. I have some heavy hitters as clients, and I’m blessed, honored, and don’t take for granted the opportunity I’m given.
What sets me apart from others is customer service. Customer service is not given like it was in my days of growing up. I still carry those same values of servicing clients with such high regard. It’s my goal ALWAYS to give five-star service.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I know I have mentioned this before, but I hold customer service in such high regard and the main ingredient for the success of my business. Word of mouth and repeat clients come from outstanding customer service. Listen to your client’s needs and solve the problem. Don’t just chase the bag.
- Website: www.chefkatrell.com
- Instagram: @chefkatrell
- Facebook: Katrell Mendenhall