What makes Lorraine Lim Catering unique?

Lorraine Lim Catering is the creative partnership of Lorraine Lim and her husband Glenn Fout. We’ve been catering in Santa Barbara, Ojai and Ventura since 1991, and have a passion for great food and warm, personal service. Over the years, we have worked very hard to earn a great reputation based on Lorraine’s wonderfully creative cuisine, and Glenn’s commitment to terrific service. Ask around and you’ll hear that we are very helpful in the planning process, that our staff is professional and friendly, and that our food is delicious.

 What is your specialty?

Our specialty is understanding our clients' needs and executing a meal that exceeds expectations. We specialize in fresh, flavorful cuisine that is prepared to Lorraine’s exacting standards.  We start with the best local ingredients, incorporate sauces and dressings from around the globe, and present our cuisine beautifully on the plate or at a buffet. (Check out some of our sample menus to get a “flavor” for what we do.) Equally important, we have assembled a team of service professionals who take pleasure in making you and your guests feel special. 

 Do you offer tastings?

 We would like to offer you the opportunity to learn more about us and our philosophy toward food and service.  A menu tasting is a great way to do this and a time when we can meet in person to discuss your ideas and needs in detail, and determine how we can bring our years of experience and creativity to the table as we create your unique event.

All menu tastings are private and generally take place at our commercial kitchen. Fees vary depending on the menu and the number of tasters in attendance. Please ask about our complimentary tastings.

 How much do you charge to cater? Can you work within my budget?

 Cost is a concern for everybody; we get that! Catering cost consists of menu (tenderloin is more expensive than tri-tip, for example), style of service (buffet, family style, plated), and the length of your celebration. We have great flexibility to work within a wide range of budgets and offer everything from simple drop-off meals to all-inclusive packages. 

 Do I really need a set budget before calling Lorraine Lim Catering?

 It’s always a good idea to set a budget in the early stages of planning your celebration. If you share your budget with us, we’ll work very hard to give you the best possible experience within those numbers. That said, how do you set a budget when you’ve never done this before? Call us, and we’ll be happy to chat with you about your needs and give you a realistic idea what to expect. Consultations are always friendly, no pressure, and free of charge.

 How do we reserve Lorraine Lim Catering for our reception?

 A $1000 deposit, or 10% of estimated catering cost, whichever is greater, guarantees your date. Beyond this, no additional payments are due until 30 days prior to your reception.

I hate surprises on the bill? Do you have any “hidden” charges, such as cake cutting, corkage fees, décor fees, etc.?

We believe that many of these hidden charges are simply unfair. We pledge to keep pricing simple and straightforward. Therefore, your bill will include only food and service, bartenders, beverages, and sales tax, unless you’ve requested that we provide additional items.

Do you charge a mandatory gratuity?

No matter what the size of your event, we believe that a gratuity should not be forced upon you in advance. Therefore, we never mandate a gratuity on the bill. Some of our clients ask us to include a gratuity up-front. In any case, gratuity is generally in the range of 10-20% of the catering bill. 

How far in advance do I have to act to reserve you?

 The easiest answer is ASAP! If you plan to party on a Saturday from April 1-October 31, you should book us as soon as possible. We typically book popular Saturdays 6 months or more in advance. Always contact us to discuss our availability. If we can’t help you, we’ll be happy to refer you to another professional who can.

 Where do you prepare your food?

 We have a terrific professional kitchen with all the necessary licenses and insurances. Here, we do preliminary food preparation. We most often cook your meal on-site, with precise timing so that our delicious offerings go straight from the oven to the plate.  

 Do you provide references?

 We are well-reviewed all over the internet. In addition, ask around with other event professionals and you'll hear great things about us!

Are you licensed and insured?

 This is a good question that we’re not asked often enough! We are a fully licensed, full service catering company. We carry business liability, Worker’s Compensation, and liquor liability insurance. We have a health permit and a business license. We are happy to provide you with copies of our insurance and permits upon request, and encourage clients to require the same of other vendors.

Tell us about your staff.

We have worked very hard to bring together a large team of professional service, bar, and kitchen staff. Our staff is positive and helpful without being obtrusive. Staff uniforms consist of black pants, white oxford shirt, and long tie, unless the client specifies otherwise.

Do you provide alcohol and bartenders? Can I provide my own alcohol?

Most clients find that the most economical choice is to provide their own alcohol. We’re happy to provide clients with bartenders, as well as provide our clients with a shopping list.

I need to rent many things for my wedding. Can you help?

We work with every rental company in the area and are happy to manage your order for you at no additional cost. We will help you chose a rental company based on your needs and budget, submit your order and revise it as your date approaches. We do not charge for this service.

I live far from my venue. Do I need a wedding coordinator?

A good wedding coordinator is a real asset, particularly for couples traveling from afar, as well as for large or intricate events. The best coordinators take care of all of the details, freeing you to focus on your wedding and celebration.

If your needs are straightforward, please know that we provide basic reception coordination at no charge. We ensure that everything is set up according to your specifications, problems are solved, the reception runs according to schedule, and the venue is cleaned up according to expectations afterward.

Can you recommend a florist, cake maker, coordinator, photographer, or a DJ for our reception?

We have the privilege of working with the best event professionals in the business. Please inquire about our select referral list.

I’ve read this far. How do I get started?

Email us at lorrainelimcatering@gmail.com or call us at (805) 646-2200 to discuss your needs. We’ll immediately offer two things: a complementary consultation regarding your unique celebration, and a custom proposal tailored to your needs. We look forward to hearing from you!