New Chef at Berkeley Church?
I originally planned to book a function with the Berkeley late last year. I should have listened to my gut instinct initially after my first conversation with the GM. He named dropped a bunch of the top chefs in the city claiming he could call any one of them up if my menu demanded. He claimed to have “ins” with all the “5 Star” hotels in the city that could get all my out of town guests “major” discounts. As the planning went on, these hotel deals turned out to be a minor discount on a Holiday Inn that I could have got on my own with the amounts of guests I had. His in house chef turned out to be the only one that could do my menu.
I wanted to set up meetings with this new chef for a menu consultation then follow up with a tasting, but he was unavailable until a week or two before my function. The reason they claimed was because they were way too busy! My emails and phone calls went unanswered for a week at a time. I canceled, luckily I didn’t make a deposit.
Fast forward to last month and I was a guest at the Berkeley. For a place that was supposedly busy, the staff were obviously inexperienced but I will say well intended. The food was on par with your average banquet hall. Not terrible, but not memorable. Its too bad as the Church is one of the most unique venues in the city!
Thanks for your detailed reply. I am already committed to having my wedding there next year, and am just really hoping that the food is okay. I was really disappointed to hear that Nathan had left, since I'd heard a lot of positive reviews of the food. Food is a big priority for us, but understandably it is difficult to get high quality when preparing such large quantities.
Despite the food being unmemorable, can you recall what you ate? Anything to avoid or some things that stood out as better than others?
From what I've heard Nathan left the chef's position about a year ago but stayed on for a bit to consult. He's completely left now as far as I know.
I was going to have my wedding there but when the new chef (I think his name is Steve) didn't show up to the meetings to discuss the menu we had second thoughts...