I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; human beings are innately meant to connect to one another. We crave companionship because it nourishes us. It seems only natural that so often when we gather, we choose to eat. We choose to share the thing that physically sustains us with the people who emotionally sustain us. We want to celebrate our joy with people by doing something we love…and, maybe more so than anywhere else, don’t we all LOVE to eat here in Charleston!?
I go to events all of the time. I network a lot, do book signings, go to weddings, or showers. I’m at the stage of life where everyone is starting a career, or a marriage, or a family. I spend a lot of time combing appetizer trays and buffets for the unique little hors d’oeuvres to make my taste buds jump up and down. Then when I find the perfect one, I of course grab the arm of the person next to me to exclaim, “did you try those? Oh my God…”
I saw this going on constantly this past summer at my book launch. Everyone raved about how the mini sweet potato biscuits were not only delicious, but matched my novel’s southern theme so perfectly. It punctuated the event and got people talking to one another, even those who hadn’t met before. We almost celebrated the food so much that we forgot it had been a living, breathing person’s artistry that we were actually enjoying. Food like that doesn’t create itself. A person with vision, passion, and a sense of people has design it. And the girl who made those biscuits, and the southern tomato & cheese tarts I still dream about, certainly understood people.
I was surprised when I first saw Britney. For such a carefully thought out menu, that seemed so refined and mature, with perfect doses of Italian and Southern influences, I thought I was about to meet someone with a few more lines on her face. I blushingly admit that I had a preconceived notion, because as a young author with bright blonde hair, and an affection for anything pink, I HATE when people tell me, “you don’t look like a writer.” The last thing I wanted to think was, “you don’t look like a chef.” Britney was adorable: petite, with smooth toffee skin, and sparkling eyes…but also the business-minded owner of a catering company with a host of things too scrumptuous to choose from on her menu. How did this young, fresh-faced girl win out over every company I shopped? Simple…she wanted to, so she did.
The young Columbia native remembers cooking in the kitchen with her mother from the time she could stand. Her first job was in a restaurant at 15 years old. After that she remained in the industry, moving up the ranks in the kitchen, until the opportunity presented itself for her to take a front-of-house lead with catering. It was then she realized that she thrived upon celebrating life with people. She loved getting to actually share special moments with party patrons, and watch as the food highlighted the experience. She loved the human connection, and ran with it, never considering her age, gender, or experience as road blocks.
After she came to Charleston for culinary school in 2011, Britney new that this “Mecca for food” as she perfectly puts it, had lured her in for good. She braved the male-dominated market as a young female entrepeneur, and proved herself the best way she could…in her recipes. She poured more than southern infused ingredients into her creations. She poured her passion, effort, and belief in herself into every mixing bowl. She didn’t shy away from what she wanted because she was the only female in the room, or the youngest person in the room. She took confidence in what she knew she was good at, and went for it. Then we all smelled the glorious aroma made by a mix her spirit and strategically added spices. She did it right, and we were beckoned to the product, because of what went into it first: everything she had.
Be on the look out for a Citrus Catering & Cafe in The LowCountry!
To book an event with Britney Williams and her team visit http://www.citruscateringco.com
by Lorna Hollifield