Working It: Crave chef learning to delegate, ask for help

Working It: Crave chef learning to delegate, ask for help

June 23rd, 2011 by Holly Leber in Business Around the Region

Cupcakes are among Karen Wilson's specialties. Contributed photo

Name: Karen Wilson

Position: Owner and executive chef

Location: Crave, a catering company

First job: Working at a pizza shop

Background: Banquet manager at the DoubleTree Hotel for a year and a half. Before that, she was a lawyer. "I really didn't like that."

Best part of the job: "I love to cook and entertain other people."

How her job came to be: After discovering she was gluten intolerant, Wilson had to change her approach to food. "I have always loved to cook and realized there was a need for specialty catering in the area." She will adjust menus for dietary needs. "I'm very comfortable tinkering with recipes." Crave also specializes in gluten-free cookies and cupcakes.

Worst part of the job: "Probably the marketing. I don't mind going out and feeding people. It's the going out and making cold calls or selling myself. I'd much rather be behind the stove. It's hard to self-promote, but with my own business, I'm learning."

Challenges: "Just getting into the market, making a name for myself, doing all the little start-up business side of things instead of what I really want to do."

What she's learning: How to delegate and ask for help. "They're my recipes and my way of doing things, but I like to be able to oversee everything and be in control of the product I'm putting out. But when we get busy and it's a bigger function, I'm realizing I do need help."

How to make a career of it: "I'm still looking for a little advice myself, because I'm still trying to get going. You have to love what you do and love to spend long hours in the kitchen."