Aspen Custom Catering’s Chef / Owner / Operator Alan Kokish relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley from Santa Barbara in 1992 with the simple goal of being a ski bum.
Cooking in Aspen institutions such as Cooper Street Pier and Luci’s, Alan began to see food and cooking as a career as much as a means to ski. In 1995, he began his apprenticeship under well-known chef Joseph Rasacci. Working at Carnavale Ristorante, he began his culinary apprenticeship manning the dessert and salad station. Mastering this station, Alan began to bring some of his own creativity to the menu. As he moved his way up through the kitchen, Alan’s appreciation for classic Italian food continued to grow. In 1999 Alan was promoted to executive sous chef, a position where he continued to hone his culinary skills as well as staff management.
In 2001, Alan decided a to pursue a different type of cuisine, accepting the sous chef position for Nobu Matsuhisa. It was refreshing and challenging working with a totally new type of cuisine. The high volume, superior products, attention to detail, and perfect presentation were paramount at Nobu.
In 2003, Alan accepted a position at the historic Sandy house in downtown Aspen, and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2004. Being able to incorporate many different dishes and techniques was truly a liberating experience from a culinary standpoint. This feeling of culinary freedom led Alan to launch Custom Catering in 2006.
Over the years, operating primarily as a private chef, Alan developed an outstanding staff. He also broadened his culinary skills including styles from southwest, classic French, kosher, vegan, and gluten-free menus. Working with different dietary restrictions and needs has enabled him to continue to improve his craft on a meal-to-meal basis.
With the recent (2015) acquisition of our commercial kitchen, Custom Catering now able to offer our unique style of cooking on a large scale, including weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday celebrations, corporate and social events. Aside from the outstanding food and service, Alan prides himself on his rapport and respect for clients’ visions for their particular party.
At Aspen Custom Catering, we strive to make each event as unique as the person hosting it.