10 Questions with Benjamin Lin

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding caterers in District of Columbia, Benjamin Lin of B.Lin Catering. Washington based Benjamin is the founder and owner of B.Lin Catering.

B.Lin Catering

Caterers - Benjamin Lin

10 Questions with Benjamin Lin

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hello! I'm Ben Lin, founder and owner at B.Lin Catering. For as long as I can remember, I loved food. I grew up in a multicultural area in Virginia Beach, VA with friends from different backgrounds. Because of this, I was exposed, at an early age, on how to cook a variety of cuisines, including, but not limited to, Filipino, Puerto Rican, Souther, Chinese, Greek/Mediterranean, and Korean. After graduating from the University of Virginia and working in finance for a few years, I decided to take a gamble and quit my job. My culinary adventures began with a supper club I hosted in my house, namely "The 784 Harvard Supper Club". Friends from different walks of life were invited to five-course dinners to enjoy the food I curated and socialize with new groups of people. The supper club grew to become very popular. Several guests asked if I offered catering services, and I said.."yes!". Eventually, the supper club guests hired me to cater their parties and for their work events. B.Lin Catering was formally started in April 2013. By the end of 2013, we completed our first wedding and have continued to grow our wedding business!

2. How many weddings have your done in the past?

We have done over 300 weddings since 2013. We have covered event spaces ranging from backyards to barns to public parks to large institutional venues like the National Portrait Gallery. We have done weddings ranging from 20 to 500 guests.

3. Do you charge a bulk fee or cost per person? What are your rates like?

Our rates are highly dependent on the type of food service, menu, rental selection, and staffing. We allow our clients to customize their event, without the requirement to fit selection set packages that may or may not meet their needs. Our cost per person is in the mid to high range in the DC market.

4. Do you have a static menu, or can you do a custom menu? And can you take care of various allergy/dietary requests?

Being around since 2013 has allowed us to test and perfect thousands of recipes. We do have customer favorites -- our Signature Bars and Butternut Squash Wontons, for example -- but we also offer customizable menus. A lot of our clients come to us for ethnic and fusion inspired menus. We cover all allergy & dietary requests.

5. What are your most popular dishes?

Our most popular dishes for hors d'oeuvres are our variety of sliders -- Crispy Pork Belly Banh Mi Slider, Chicken Banh Mi Slider, Truffle Cheeseburger Slider, Crab Cake Slider, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Slider -- and our Butternut Squash Wontons. For buffet and family style meals, our Signature Bars are in high demand. For plated meals, we offer a variety of favorites, including our Mushroom Risotto, Panang Curry, Whisky Braised Short Ribs, Ginger Roasted Salmon, and Peruvian Marinated Chicken Breast.

6. Do you provide linens, table settings, and accessories? If you don’t provide linens, table settings, etc., will you handle coordinating the rental?

Yes! We provide all linens, table setting, and accessories, either in-house or from our partners. We do all the coordinating, so couples have only one point of contact for contracts, payments, and logistics, ensuring a stress-free planning process.

7. Will food be made on-site or brought in?

We offer both, depending on the venue and their requirements.

8. Are tastings available and what is involved?

Yes! The first step will be putting clients in contact with one of our Event Planners. The planner will work with the client to curate their vision for the menu and related rentals. Custom requests will be handled by our team of chefs. A proposal will be sent and upon your approval, we are able to schedule a tasting.

9. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?

Our team is split into three group: Event Planners/Sales Team, Kitchen Team, and Operations & Logistics Team. The Event Planners work directly with with the client, being their main point of contact for any and all needs and questions. The Kitchen Team works with the planner on the menu and food creation. Our Operations & Logistics Team are the nuts and bolts of the company. They ensure all events are properly staffed, and the correct food/rentals/equipment are sent. All three teams play a role on the day-of of the event. Most of the team members are behind the scenes, aside from for the planner, catering captain, servers, and bartenders.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

There is no penalty if notice is given 3 months before the event, however, 25% of the deposit is non-refundable.

Cancellations made less than 3 months prior to the event have increasing penalties, however, there are no penalties if the event is rescheduled.

Cancellations made less than 3 business days prior to the event must still be paid in full except except in the instance of unforeseen disasters in which a state of emergency has been declared.

Clients are encouraged to consult with event planners for more detailed cancellation policies.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020