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Chic. Tasteful. Savory catering


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Chic. Tasteful. Savory catering


drool alert!

all food pics are actual dishes prepared by
chef kristen.


proud to be an official
1871 Chicago chibuys vendor!

order! eat! taste! share!
check out the menu and give us a call

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Our Signature garlic herbed salmon
with Yukon Mash

Garlic Herbed Salmon
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Our Story


by Chef Kristen Ashley

Our Story


by Chef Kristen Ashley

 

Power to the she.

Cleo's Southern Cuisine is a contemporary Chicago based catering company founded by Chef Kristen Ashley.

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Chef.

This company is my heartfelt effort to honor the memory of my late grandmother, Cleodell Harper, through timeless southern recipes showcased with the elegance, class, and sophistication she conveyed to all who knew her. 

My mission is to share the food and rhythms of a very special bond between two best friends. My grandmother is my heart and the continuous light of my life. 

Falling Backward Into a New Business
The idea for the company started back in July of 2014. I was cooking all the time for my boyfriend, who was a professional athlete, and more than a few of his friends (guys travel in packs - wink). After each meal they all would say things like, "Krissy this food is really really good. We eat at fancy restaurants all the time and your food is so much better. You should think about doing this cooking thing for real." At first I was hesitant, thinking they were just being nice but after constant positive feedback I decided to host a tasting in my apartment building. I lived in a very "high class" building in Chicago's affluent Gold Coast neighborhood so I thought if I could get some good feedback from them that this might be a good idea. I called my aunt, who was living in Cleveland at the time, and told her I was starting a catering company and needed her to come to Chicago the next day. Five days later, we hosted a tasting in the community room of my building. Two professional chefs, one who was now working as a food critic, stopped by and tasted the food. They both pulled me to the side and gave me rave reviews. The food critic said she wouldn't change a thing and that I should really pursue this as a career. From that day on, that is exactly what I did. We have gotten amazing feedback from people like Harvey Walden, owner of 94 West Restaurant in Orland Park, IL, the Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emmanuel, along with countless other high profile figures.
The moral of the story is as you grow up, you may not know what exactly you will fall into but when you find your passion, you can pretty accomplish anything. So be free and listen to compliments. They might just be your new business venture!

 
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Alluring Dishes


Custom Crafted With An Underlying Soulful Twist. 

 

Alluring Dishes


Custom Crafted With An Underlying Soulful Twist. 

 

[ MY PHILOSOPHY ]

At C.S.C - an emerging celebrated catering company - and on this website,
you'll discover Cleo's Cuisine: an idea born from my experiences with my grandmother, where love separates the southern country cooking of Mississippi from the haute cuisine of Louisiana where I was unknowingly influenced.

Cleo's Southern Cuisine is a perfect amalgam of these two culinary worlds
- a blend of old and new, rural and urban, rustic and refined.

I hope the dishes that follow entice you and inspire you to allow me to step into your world
while you experience this melding of tradition with innovation.