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Meet Keya Sartin of Katering By Keya in Western Suburbs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keya Sartin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child my passion of food was passed down to me by my Great Grandmother Emma Green, I remember spending time with her in the kitchen where she told me about our family history and how her mother taught her how to cook. Family dinners, and holiday dinners were a big deal with our family. I grew up in a family owned building on the west side of Chicago. My family was very close. It always amazed me how great of a cook my Great Grandmother was. Everything she cooked was homemade and made from scratch. We also had a family cookbook with many recipes that was passed down over the years. I watched my Great Grandmother so close trying not to miss any details. I wanted to cook just like her. My desire to learn to cook grew stronger. My aunt Edith Golf was also a great family cook. I shadowed her in the kitchen learning many recipes. She taught me not to rely on a cookbook but to cook a delicious meal with your heart and soul while in the kitchen. That stayed with me.

As a child I played restaurant with my siblings. I loved cooking breakfast as a child for my family. This progressed to making simple meals like tacos, burgers, and etc. Over the years my signature dishes increased as I got older. In my family cooking for holidays was an overnight job cooking from 7pm till the next morning. I soon found myself cooking for all the holidays and family dinners. When I cook it’s my therapy my stress reliever, I just love being in the kitchen and watching people eating my food. I started taking my passion for cooking serious when i catered my sister’s bridal shower and everyone said how good my food was. The fact that my food was well received was enough joy for me, but my sister said to me” You love to cook and always cook for the family why don’t you get paid for doing what you love”. I thought to myself is she serious, I asked her guest would they pay for my food and everyone hands down said yes. That’s when I realized I can turned my dream into reality.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not, I lost money learning about being better planned, organized and detailed as I should have been. In the food industry you have to plan ahead and be organized, I learned the hard way. Building clients are hard even with social media when it comes to food people like recommendations by word of mouth. Using industrial kitchens are expensive and so are the cooking and serving supplies.

Katering By Keya – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m the Owner and Chef of Katering By Keya a mobile catering company. I offer meal prep, catering and personal/private Chef services. I’m known for my soul food baked turkey, baked ham, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, sweet potatoes and cornbread dressing. I also offer vegan, vegetarian, gluten free options. I take pride in cooking whatever my client wants. Any request can be fulfilled I can cook any food. I love being creative. I cook any type of ethnic food from Italian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Greek, Chinese, Korean, American and etc. I offer healthy options also because I was overweight and needed a change in my diet. I found a way to also offer healthy foods that are delicious for meal prep and meal drop off service. Being a single mother always busy and on the go I picked up bad eating habits. My health was taking a toll due to my bad choices. I struggled with my weight and changing my diet helped me lose 50 lbs. Basically promoting fresh homemade foods opposed to fast food.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me would be building an empire starting with my catering company and eventually opening a restaurant. I want to have a great reputation for phenomenal customer service and the best food, Building a strong clientele. And being recognized by the great Chefs. Traveling the world learning more about the different cultures and cooking techniques. Starting relationships with local vendors and local farmer markets. Those relationship create access to foods that are hard to have access to. Just achieving local and national success. I’m definitely ready to put the work in.

Contact Info:

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