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Plated Table

Iowa City, Iowa

Matching Partner: CRBT

Plated Table is a kitchen where I make eating seasonally more accessible to my community through personal chef services to families with specific needs and goals; weekly meal deliveries, which allows me to cook for many people at more affordable prices; event catering; and multi-course dining experiences for dinner parties in people’s homes. No matter the service or event, all of my menus are centered around locally grown food and celebrate seasonality and eating as part of an act of community.

To expand my business, be able to cook for more people in my community, and support more small local growers, I am opening a commercial kitchen and small event space in July of 2023.

I started Plated Table 9 years ago with the goals of making eating locally easier for busy families, being a part of local food systems, and supporting the growth and sustainability of my community. Plated Table has evolved a lot over the years, and I am proud to say those values still form its backbone. I look forward to the ways increased resources for my business will also help me more frequently donate my skills to cook for fundraisers at local schools and nonprofits, and gift excess food to neighbors and food pantries.

I grew up in rural Indiana, surrounded by fields of corn, soybeans, cows, and pigs. Though my family did not farm, farming was a big part of our community, and too, our everyday lives.

My family was one of eaters. We ate almost every meal together, cooked by my mother, seated at the table. Like many, there were certain things we ate seasonally – crisp watermelon; swollen corn on the cob; asparagus from my grandpa’s backyard; warm tomatoes off the vine – but ironically, surrounded by agriculture, we otherwise grew up eating scarcely any local food. It wasn’t until college I realized the majority of the “food” growing around me as a child was not being eaten by people at all, and that mono crop farming methods hurt not just the land, but also the generations of people that work the land in a multitude of ways.

Eating seasonally can be challenging and requires creativity and relationships with growers, which can be extra hurdles to putting food on the table. Through Plated Table I am able to make eating local easier, keep money in the local economy, and support my community – and when my customers buy from me, they know that they are supporting those same values they too believe in, fork first.