A discussion with Kris Cole, executive chef of Marigold Catering Co.
By Sarah Carter Levitch
Photos provided by Marigold Catering Co.
While new to the catering scene, husband and wife team Kris and Adrienne Cole are no strangers to the food industry. With over 20 plus years of experience, their shared passion for food and service is evident through the success of their business, Marigold Catering Co. We spoke with Executive Chef Kris Cole to learn more about his background as a chef and his approach to sourcing and preparing food for Marigold.
Where did your love for cooking come from?
I grew up in a family that had a huge garden that we tended year after year. We had a pretty large orchard with grapes, apples, berries, pears and persimmons. That was just how we lived as a family in rural Southern Indiana. When I was a kid, I didn’t like my parents for making me work in the garden, and I just wanted to go to McDonald’s. As I grew and matured in my career field, I realized what a blessing my childhood was. Later on, I could clearly see how that was not only a benefit, but it was one of the driving forces that led me to do what I do.
How did you get started as a chef?
I first started in the industry when I was 15. I grew up just outside of Seymour, Indiana, and I worked super minimal hours in the kitchens of the Seymour Country Club’s restaurant and a Holiday Inn, and I loved it. The chef at the Seymour Country Club used to work for Anoosh Shariat in Louisville, and I decided to go to culinary school at Sullivan in Louisville.
I worked at Lilly’s Bistro for Kathy Cary, which was a wonderful experience to get me started in Louisville. I probably learned more in the first year at Lilly’s than I’ve learned since then. I was a pastry chef at Jack Fry’s for a while. I went back to Southern Indiana for a little bit and was the executive chef at Harrison Lake Country Club, which is a position I still think fondly of today.
How do you approach crafting a menu for events you cater?
My initial approach is the same across the board. I create a menu that’s seasonal and regional. I love things that we can find here locally. I use local farmers and producers, whether for honey or freshwater shrimp from Oldham county. When I sit down with a client and their budget, we navigate through the products we use and their preferences. Most of the time, we can deliver something that far exceeds expectations and keeps them happy within their budget.
What distinguishes Marigold Catering Co. from other caterers?
Our approach from day one is providing a catered experience close to a restaurant experience as far as the quality and freshness of the food. We try to make those two seamless, like if you’re sitting at Jack Fry’s and you got served a filet straight off the grill. Sometimes that means setting up a mobile catering kitchen on site. We are creating a new standard that is more labor-intensive, but ultimately we’re producing a higher quality product.
Marigold Catering Co.
888 W Market St.
Louisville, KY 40202