Friday, August 12, 2022
Aug. 12, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Working in Clark County: Kathryn Ross, caterer

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
4 Photos
Kathryn Ross, right, of Artistic Catering, works with her daughter, Jessica Ross, 39, at an event in Vancouver. Other family members who help out with catering are Kathryn's mother, Kathryn Guffnett, 84; and Kathryn Ross' granddaughter Maya Ross, 18.
Kathryn Ross, right, of Artistic Catering, works with her daughter, Jessica Ross, 39, at an event in Vancouver. Other family members who help out with catering are Kathryn's mother, Kathryn Guffnett, 84; and Kathryn Ross' granddaughter Maya Ross, 18. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

For someone who was discouraged from even entering the kitchen as a child (“I never even washed a dish!”), Kathryn Ross seems an unlikely candidate for owning and running a successful catering business. But, she says, “It was a given that this is what I was meant to do. Every job I’d ever had was in a restaurant. Since then I’ve immersed myself, self-educated myself, cooked every day.”

Name: Kathryn Ross.

Residence neighborhood: Salmon Creek.

Employer/business name: Artistic Catering, 360-573-4949, www.artisticcatering.net

Age: Approaching 60.

Educational/professional background: Restaurant management in the corporate food world, where restaurants were owned by huge companies. After that work, I began cooking.

How — and when — you got started in your business: After my experiences with corporate food, I wanted to make food that was from scratch, with no skimping or cheapening of ingredients. I decided to start a catering company because I could start small and grow as my experience led me.

Personal/business philosophy: My dad was a very particular guy. He had the best garden; I could see that even as a little kid. He hunted and fished and I am pretty sure I ended up in this business because of him. I believe in going out of my way to get the best produce available. We travel down the Gorge to Gunkel Farms in Maryhill every two weeks during peach season to get the very best peaches we have ever had. We have been in the strawberry fields at 6 a.m. loading up strawberries that were picked just minutes before and serving them an hour later for breakfast. It is easy to take shortcuts — they are everywhere in the food world, with fancy names, too — but my philosophy is to always do my very best to serve really good food.

Most rewarding part of job: Being in the kitchen with four generations of women in the family. We are a good team and I am proud of them; thankful, too. We are always stretching for our clients. We pore over cookbooks constantly looking for new items.

Most challenging part of job: Working with four generations of … just kidding. Most challenging is keeping fresh ideas, especially for our regular customers. We have some who let us get creative. We did a lunch the other day with falafel and tzatziki, fresh baked pita and hummus, fresh herb salad (mint, dill, parsley) and curried couscous. We really love making this kind of food.

What is one thing readers might find surprising about your work? In a small business such as ours, we are involved in every aspect: shopping, cooking, loading, unloading, serving and washing dishes … lots and lots of dishes. What I like about this is if you have a question about what we serve, everyone knows the answer.

Best feature of my Clark County community: I like that new small businesses are opening, in particular chef-owners who we all know make the best food.

What would make your community a better place? More chef-owned restaurants. They are an important building block to local economy and to the gathering of people.

What is your favorite travel destination and type: My mom and I road trip quite a lot. We like to go clear out in the middle of nowhere, be it Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, or Wyoming, we are always in the sticks. We like seeing wildlife, ranches, and beautiful country.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Hudson’s in Vancouver.

Hobbies: I like to garden in the summer and read good books in the winter.

Most enjoyable book/play/movie/arts event in past 12 months: My grandson, Simon, and I went to Aerosmith at the amphitheater last summer. Fantastic concert.

Something you’d like to do this year: Get involved in more fundraising events for local nonprofits.

One word to describe yourself: Tall.

Person you’d most like to meet: Kris Kristofferson. All the women in my family love him.

Columbian staff writer

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo
Loading...