Looking for someone to cater your next event? Élever Chicago will exceed all your expectations in events, cuisine and style for a truly unforgettable night. Having Elever plan your next function will leave you and your guest in awe. In addition to being elegant and classy, they are known for the amazing culinary dishes that will blow your mind and your taste buds. Behind the artistic entrées and delicate desserts is Chef Markus Ford. With a dish to fit every individual, Chef Markus is vegan friendly, organically supportive and eco-conscious. I got a chance to speak to Chef Markus who was able to tell me a little bit more about Elever Chicago.
AH: Do you work with any farms in particular?
CM: We go from farm to table. I try not to be a trend-follower but a trendsetter. I work with a door to door service in which organic meat and organic produce is delivered right to me. I work with Maple Leaf Farms in Indiana, which gives me duck which is an amazing, amazing product!
AH: What are some seasonal ingredients that you are currently using?
CM: Being the colder month, we are doing heavier meat like lamb and duck. We are using the fresh fruits of the season, such as pomegranates, working those into menu, food and even into cocktails. We use fall and winter ingredients like gourd, pumpkin and squash. All chefs make butternut squash, but I like to make it fresher and cutting edge. For example in the pumpkin season, I use a pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon and rum and bake it; it is delicious. I try to keep things more warm and comforting.
AH: Do you change your menu often? If so, how often, and is it based on the function?
CM: Absolutely I am a custom chef and I do a custom menu. I have my old favorites that I go to, but everything is custom to the event and client.
AH: How is the elegance of Elever represented in your dishes?
CM: I don’t stop at just the food, it is a complete event. Being a chef I start off by asking the client about food allergies, their favorite meat, then take it one step further: favorite color, favorite flower. And if it is a wedding, consider textures. I think how I can make the room blend with the food and attire of the wedding party. The food in my mind is always going to be the star. I am the total package; I get so involved in all of it. I make sure the lighting, ambiance and even the staffing reflects the food. I hand pick the staff for each particular event.
AH: What makes Elever Chicago unique?
CM: I am a person not a company. When you hire Chef Markus you are hiring me, not an automated recording, not a staff going over details. I do everything: meeting with clients, planning birthdays, Christmas parties, weddings etc. I need to go over budget and what they are trying to get across. The clients work with me, and then I delegate who does what to my staff. I guarantee that 90% of food is always made with my hands. I don’t have fifteen chefs where I completely lose control. Instead I have two to three chefs working on hot food, two to three chefs working on cold food and two to three chefs working on pastries, all while in the same room. Elever’s lifestyle meets fresh food daily. We take ingredients that we are all familiar with that you can find at your local grocer and wow you. They are easy to appreciate and attain in a new and inspiring way. I have traveled to fifteen cities and over ten countries looking for perfect meal. My goal is to travel world to meet chefs, learn with them, cook with them in their kitchens and bring back techniques to Chicago.
“You Might As Well Be Opulent” Chef Markus
(Photo courtesy of Oriana Koren/OKRFOTO)