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.
Alan Kokish did a fabulous job catering our wedding. The event was held at a private venue that required a complicated kitchen setup and he executed a sophisticated dinner menu for over one hundred guests flawlessly. He was very thoughtful and accommodating during our planning process; he was open minded, patient and very reliable. The dining experience he and his team provided was second to none, and I can’t say enough that would do justice the value Alan brought to our event. I highly recommend his services!
Finding Chef Alan and Custom Catering was a godsend! We look forward to his culinary magic each time we're in Aspen. Alan and his team are professional and organized yet relaxed and a true pleasure to work with. There is nothing they can't do. We love Aspen even more because of Custom Catering!
I truly consider it a privilege to plan an event with Custom Catering of Aspen. They have prepared everything from hor' devours, light lunches, and holiday dinners for us. Attention to detail is essential and no matter how big or how small the event, Custom Catering sets a high-bar. This makes them our go-to caterers. Just don't tell my grandmother that I prefer Alan's brisket over hers.
I have used Alan for years. His food has always been fantastic as has the service. Alan¹s delicious meals have been the cornerstone for many Christmases, birthdays and summer celebrations. I cannot recommend him more highly.
Alan and his team catered two open house events for us. The food was delicious, hot and fresh, getting many compliments from our guests. He and his team were friendly an professional, showing up on time & prepared, and cleaning up quickly and thoroughly. We would definitely use them again.
I was responsible for organizing a 4 day event for approximately 40 members of a private investment group in Snowmass CO July 2016. Alan Kokish came highly recommended, and he did not disappoint. His approach to catering dinners at the homes of 2 members was both creative and business-like. The group had many food challenges, but the menus were flexible enough to accommodate all - and he had to do that for not just ONE dinner, but TWO, each with different menu choices. I got lots of great feedback from the attendees, and they were well-pleased with the quality of both the food and service.
Chef Kokish has catered many of our vendor meetings at Ski.com, breakfast and lunch. We have several of these in the months of Sept and October. It was a pleasure to have food catered to us from Custom Catering. Much care is given to what we are served. We are always greeted with a hearty option to carry us through the rest of the day as well as a healthy choice for those conscious about their diet. Always fresh, in season ingredients. I recommend Custom Catering for any event, Chef Kokish extends on the highest level of professionalism.