Michelle Mulford is a private chef and owner of Uncommon Feasts, a boutique catering team based in Brookline. Her mission is to provide people with the ultimate dining experience from food to wine so that they can relax, share memories, and enjoy the party. Since founding Uncommon Feasts in 2014, Michelle has created memorable dining experiences for special family celebrations, private home gatherings, corporate events, and intimate weddings. With over fourteen years of experience, including time spent at Formaggio Kitchen - South End, Michelle's upbringing in a Sicilian family contributes to her unique approach to cooking, focused on local ingredients, simple yet elevated preparation and great wine. Keep reading for a glimpse into her life as chef and owner at Uncommon Feasts.
In the early days of my marriage my mother in law gifted me Simone Beck’s Simca’s Cuisine. I loved the recipes, menus, and accompanying drawings. Most of all I loved the menu titles and I believed that each of the menus coincided with an actual party she had prepared, which made it more intriguing, evocative, and inspiring. Every part of the menu was balanced and carefully selected, from the ingredients being selectively chosen to how everything was prepared. I wanted to be a guest at many of these parties from “An Autumn Supper” to “ A Dinner Grand And Sumptuous,” but the one I most wanted to attend was “An Earthy Dinner For High Spirited Friends.”
After years of cooking in restaurants, various catering companies, and raising two children, I started a small event catering company. My company mainly focuses on intimate parties for between 20-80 guests, which often take place in people’s homes. I work closely with each client to develop a custom menu. Rather than picking items from a list, I feel each menu should be complete and evoke a sense of time and place. Once a menu is complete, I send it off the the client for final approval. And in a nod to Simca, I name each menu. I feel that naming it somehow gives the menu focus and makes the party official! Here are a few of my favorite menu titles: “A September Wedding Lunch,” “A Birthday Dinner For An Australian,” “A Late Summer Harvest Party on A Farm.”
Once the menu is named, approved, and the event is solidified, I contact the farmers, butchers, cheese makers, and fishmongers who I work with regularly to place my orders; always seeking to use the season's freshest ingredients whenever possible. Our in-house wine director will then pair each course with hand-selected wines and champagnes based on the flavors we are highlighting through our meal. As the event nears, I begin the cooking and preparation. We make everything by hand, from pasta to ice cream, so this too is a pretty intimate process. A few hours before the party we arrive at the home and begin setting up. Together with the clients, we do one last walk through the home to discuss the final details. Then my clients head upstairs to get ready and we head back to the kitchen for the final prep. From there we wait for the doorbell to ring and the “high-spirited guests” to arrive. With the holidays quickly approaching, I'm looking forward to many more gatherings where guests are left lingering at the table, enjoying food and wine and laughter amongst friends and family.
Interested in working with Michelle? Check out her website Uncommon Feasts here.
Follow along with her daily on Instagram and Facebook: @uncommonfeasts