CHEF BILL BLACKBURN
Chef Bill believes two things must be in place to be a great cook: an absolute love for eating, to the point when you finish one meal you’re already thinking about the next. Second, be completely taken by the act and art of feeding others, especially when serving total strangers.
His catering experience is broad-ranging and diverse: from fundraising events (ex., Hillary Rodham Clinton) to luxury car dealer (i.e., Mercedes, BMW) celebration events to celebrity VIP parties (ex., TNT’s Kenny Smith) to hospital and private medical practice luncheons. He’s also catered scores of amazing outdoor and indoor weddings, as well as residence dinner parties and other personal events.
Drawing on veteran military and corporate experiences, Chef Bill brings to his catering high ethical standards, unparalleled professionalism, succinct organization and precision, unwavering customer service, strategic outside-the-box thinking, command leadership and an ability to produce in pressure situations.
Chef Bill studied under Chef Eric Crowley at the noted Epicurean School of Culinary Arts, which provides a comprehensive professional instruction in classic French techniques. There, he received intense training in creative preparation of meats, fish, fowl, stocks, and sauces. In addition to the exacting rigors of acquiring advanced cooking techniques, he also acquired a deep understanding around the “art of the presentation.”
After graduation Chef Bill took advantage of his successful background in corporate sales, marketing, and business development to launch Catering by Ashley – a full service catering service.
Over the years, he has acquired a studied appreciation of the many aspects of catering, including menu development with an emphasis on custom tailored menus, creativity, staffing, purchasing, selecting the best food vendors, event planning and most importantly – managing the timeline.
For Chef Bill, when clients finish a plate and smile, or even just talk about the food, he experiences immeasurable joy and satisfaction.
CHEF JUSTIN BLACKBURN
As a young man, this Pasadena native discovered his love of working in kitchens while watching his Grandpa Harris work magic on the grill and while assisting his Dad at catered events.
After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, his first stop was the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas where he developed a passion for cooking various cuisines from around the world. From there he moved to the newly built Venetian Hotel where he learned the art of fine dining and presentation. It was at the Venetian that he developed his palate and learned refined French techniques, providing him with a foundation for his current position at Catering by Ashley.
Justin Blackburn brings a welcomed young, creative energy to Catering by Ashley. His love for experimental cuisine and his thoughtful, artistic point of view adds depth and a modern edge to every dish he prepares.