Cru Catering, a subsidiary of Your Chef, Inc., offers full-service customized catering, including in house personal chefs, meetings, receptions and private parties.More than just a catering service, Cru Catering offers access to experts and culinary authorities who assist in creating the most perfect foods for any occasion. Cru Catering coordinates pre-planned menus for groups from 2 to 2,000 people; everything from lunch and dinners to on-site hors d’oeurves and multiple course meals.
Chef John Zucker
Execeutive Chef & Owner
For more than two decades, Cru Catering and Café Executive Chef and Owner John Zucker has been creating a recipe for success in the Lowcountry. His award-winning catering division, Cru Catering, has been voted BestCaterer consecutively since 2001 and his restaurant, Cru Café, is Charleston’s hidden gem receiving accolades and write-ups yearly thanks to John Zucker’s ambition to offer a delicious gourmet twist to comfort food. Cru Café opened in 2002 and is ranked as one of Charleston’s top eateries.
As the number one graduate in his class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Zucker has trained and created culinary delights under celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at Spago in Las Vegas. From there, he became sous chef for the opening of Canoe, which was nominated ”Best New Restaurant of the Year,” by the James Beard Society. Having a knack for knowing a kitchen inside and out and a fiery determination to serve top notch creations, John Zucker is also one of the most sought-after restaurant consultants in the Southeast. Zucker has served as a restaurant consultant for McCrady’s Restaurant, 39 Rue de Jean and Fish, in Charleston, SC, and Nona’s Italian Kitchen in Atlanta.
Zucker is active in the nonprofit community and was recently named Vice President of Charleston Chefs Feed the Need. When he’s not helping out local charities, he spends the rest of his time focusing on ways to keep the restaurant and catering business fresh and inventive.
For Cru Catering Director Chad Rhodes, “hospitality” might as well be his middle name. A native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chad grew up working in his family’s restaurant. For him, hospitality has always been a way of life.
He was first introduced to Lowcountry cuisine in 1995 when he moved to Charleston. After spending several years at Sonoma Wine Bar with Chef John Zucker, he became familiar with American fusion cuisine and the love for wine. His culinary fascination continued to blossom as he discovered ingredients from around the world and the endless possibilities that were available. As the banquet manager at one of the Southeast’s most highly-touted restaurants, McCrady’s, Chad got his first taste at planning and executing events.
When he joined the Cru Catering team in 2006, he realized the endless opportunities that came along with the position. With his past always being in a restaurant, he felt confined to one location and one way of doing things but at Cru, he appreciates the wide variety of venues, events and clients that continue to allow him and his team to think outside of the box, so no two events are ever the same. He lives on James Island with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Harper.
Spending most of her life exploring the diverse cuisines of the North East, Emily fell in love with food at an early age. Realizing this, she quickly dove head first into the Hospitality Industry where she experienced the food and beverage world from the ground up. To further her education as well as to experience a cuisine unfamiliar to her own she moved to Charleston where she attended the College of Charleston. Graduating with a double major in Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Management Emily knew she wanted to be involved in Charleston’s Hospitality Industry.
After four years of furthering her food and beverage experience in the Charleston area, she was introduced to Chef Zucker, and took a position as Catering Manager with Cru Catering. Fascinated by the modern cuisine, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal chefs that Cru has to offer, Emily’s love for the catering industry continues to grow daily.
Jill Christy’s love of cooking began at a young age. Growing up in a large family in Dallas, Texas, cooking was one of her chores thanks to her family’s agreement that whomever cooked didn’t have to do the dishes- now who could argue with that! And from there, her culinary skills blossomed along with her love to create unique dishes.
Jill has studied the food and beverage industry from every angle: sous chef for Victor Beguin at LaBonne Table in New England, studying abroad in France, passing the first level of the Court of Sommeliers and making her way to Senior Operations Manager for Wolfgang Puck Catering.
After marrying her husband, Kyle, they decided to make Charleston home. With a vast array of experience in the event planning and catering industry, Jill says her favorite part of the job is still writing and creating menus. As we all know handling events, even ones that aren’t our own, can be stressful… how does she handle them? “With a smile of steel”.
Her advice for those planning a special event like a wedding, “When it becomes overwhelming, take a step back, being overwhelmed can cloud your judgment when making decisions.”
We are thrilled to add Jill’s expertise to the Cru Catering team.
A 2005 magnum cum laude graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Steve loves any opportunity to showcase his creative skills. Originally from Wisconsin, he enjoys making unique sauces and dressings that complement dishes. He also enjoys spending his spare time with his daughter, Emma Annabelle. His favorite celebrity chef is Anthony Bourdain and his only advice when it comes to planning an event…”Put up your feet and let someone else do the work”. We’re happy to have Steve on our staff to help you put up your feet and leave the event to Cru Catering.
This father of three never slows down. A graduate of RB Stall High School and Lowcountry native, Tavares aka Var, has been a member of the Cru Catering staff for more than four years. Var loves creating new dishes and helping others enjoy their special events. His only advice to brides-to-be about their upcoming wedding, “Enjoy themselves!” Let Var and other members of the Cru Catering team make your wedding a dream come true.
Originally from Virginia, Will is a renaissance man who knows his way around the kitchen and the wood working shop. Will got into the restaurant industry with a chair…literally. With a passion for furniture design, he attended Savannah College Art and Design where he majored in furniture design. He then went onto the New York City Restaurant School learning restaurant design so he could incorporate his future design skills into some of Manhattan’s finest restaurants.
“Like furniture, food relates to the person individually. Everyone has their own different palate.”
In the past, he has worked in the kitchen at Butterfield 9 in Washington, DC and at Jean-Gorges Restaurant in New York City. He moved to Charleston in 2010 and worked as a sous chef at High Cotton Restaurant before joining the Cru crew. Will often cooks at home with his best friend, a 170-pound English Mastiff named Bean, who watches intently, “He definitely likes to eat!”.