Illinois Logo


EVOO Catering Has Been Making Events Memorable For Decades

By Pamela Sosnowski

EVOO Catering of Park Ridge has a simple business philosophy: to make each event it caters memorable. Whether it's a wedding, birthday party, or corporate lunch, the catering company has been wowing clients throughout the Chicagoland area with its fresh ingredients and out-of-the-box menu options since 1970. Owner Nikki Eberwein, who hails from the restaurant business, was inspired to launch the company after attending a friend's wedding.

"I was there a little early and noticed the set-up process of the function and how the caterer put everything together," she recalled. "I started thinking about how I could make this work. I felt that at that time at my current restaurant where I worked we were missing a huge market and opportunity to expand what we already do every day; we just had to make it mobile."

Eberwein's restaurant had also developed a reputation as serving mostly Italian food, and she wanted to branch out. Today, EVOO Catering specializes in everything from an assortment of hot and cold appetizers to themed picnics that revolve around Mexican fare, seafood, and carnival treats, to name a few.

"We offer a mobile wood burning pizza oven that we can roll right up to the event," Eberwein said of one of her company's picnic catering options. "We make the pizzas fresh onsite (kids can even help build their own!). We also offer grilling packages as well. We can even make funnel cakes and cotton candy onsite."

The complete standard catering menu includes options for breakfast, entrees, and sides. One of the most popular selections, says Eberwein, are the 3" gourmet sliders, available in scallop pancetta, filet mignon, apple butter pulled pork, and many more savory choices. Skewers made from lean meats, veggies, and fruit, and other finger foods are definitely on trend, as people love something that they can easily eat and carry while they mingle and work a crowd. EVOO also specializes in stations that serve omelets, pasta, carved meat, and more for larger occasions.

In addition to catering events, EVOO offers cooking classes taught by master chef (and Eberwein's business partner) Sergio Lazzara. Recurring classes include 20 Minute Meals, Homemade Pasta Making, and Small Bites and Appetizers. Classes require a minimum of eight guests and include portable kitchen equipment so they can be conducted at a private residence or an offsite venue. Most of the time they are held at Affresco Pizzeria and Lounge, Lazzara's Park Ridge restaurant.

"The cooking classes are so much fun," Eberwein said. "Sergio is so engaging and really gets everyone involved. These classes you are definitely going to learn how to cook but more importantly you are going to learn about product and how important it is to use quality products in your cooking."

Personal chef services are also available, with the option to have the chef be very interactive with guests or stay hidden behind the scenes. Uniformed chefs are also available to prepare and cook the food on-site at events, and EVOO rents equipment such as tables, linens, and even bounce houses to put the finishing touches on an event.

Eberwein and her team are happy to work with clients and customize a menu for their specific event. It's just one way the company helps stick to their motto of making each event memorable.

"Although we do have a set catering menu, we write our menus for each and every event," she said. "Each menu is an expression of our clients and their individual custom affair. No two events are the same."

Share this:


Leave a comment:

* Login in order to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join for Free

About The Author

Become an Expert Contributor

Have some knowledge to share, and want easy and effective exposure to our audience? Get your articles or guides featured on Illinois Homes today! Learn more about being an expert contributor.

Learn More