"Treat them like royalty"
Hers was a delayed awakening - five years of bouncing around after college with no career focus, including six months on Capitol Hill, a stint living in New Jersey working as a bartender in Gracie Mansion when Ed Koch was mayor, and, she says, quite a bit of time watching TV and eating pizza. (“I had no idea at all what I wanted to do.”) But it turned out that the day came when serendipity placed her in the right place at the right time for a seminal event.
Explains Lisa Field, a theatre major, “My parents threw a catered mystery party (somebody died in the middle) with a professional group of actors. I was the murderer. The guests had to get the clues and find out who the murderer was. The next day, the caterer, complimenting me on my personality, invited me to lunch and offered me a job.”
Assigned to the designer as his assistant for the Super Bowl party In Los Angeles-3,000 guests, five tents, three days setting up in a Winnebago-and, she says, “I got hooked. It was theater. It was production, setting up the stage for the party. There was the camaraderie of the theater, it was very artistic, and there was the same opening night pressure. The curtain comes up, and you're on, no matter what. Then the lights go down, and you clean up. It was a lot of fun and very exciting.”
Working with this company in various capacities she learned the business. Ready for a new experience and turning 30, Field took the leap in April 1991 and opened Catering by Field. In August 1993, she moved into a facility with its own kitchen, warehouse, and offices, and has been there ever since. Field's passion for the theater and strong organizational skills have merged to create a perfect fit with the demands of a catering business.
Handling events ranging from sit-down dinners for ten people in someone's home to 4,000 guests for the opening of Kaiser Permanente's Irvine Medical Centre, Field and her staff handles every imaginable detail: invitations, accepting RSVPs, booking all the vendors-lighting, music, entertainment, valet parking.