Meet the Executive Chef at New Street, Chester County’s Best-Kept Catering Secret

Tucked into a nook of the West Chester University campus, New Street Catering is a culinary powerhouse hiding in plain sight that’s bound to make a splash on the catering scene of Chester County.

Delicious food and custom-designed menus are part of the premiere experience New Street Catering has to offer. As the exclusive caterers for West Chester University, New Street handles everything from small-scale luncheons to galas with a few hundred attendees.

What many people don’t know about New Street is that it offers a huge scope of custom catering services to those in community outside of the University. We chatted behind the scenes with Executive Chef Patricia Ranck and Catering Sales Manager Abigail Smith about the exciting changes happening at this growing catering company.

A Chef with Many Hats

Patricia, or “Trish,” Ranck signed on with New Street Catering in 2013. She had just earned her pastry diploma following graduation from the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts and was eager to get started. She began as a lead cook and says she “slowly moved up” to her current role as executive chef, perhaps understating her relatively swift ascension within the company.

As executive chef, Trish has her hands full, and she loves it. Asked to describe her primary duties, she says, “A little bit of everything.” From custom menu planning and ordering to purchasing and executing large events, Trish’s many roles within New Street Catering are integral to its daily functions and overall success.

Her favorite aspect of the job is when she gets to be inventive and playful with food and menu design. “The best is definitely planning custom menus outside of the box, being creative and wracking my brain,” she says. To that end, her pastry diploma often comes in handy as she and New Street Catering Pastry Chef Beth Mottola collaborate on specialty desserts including full-size cakes and mini dessert spreads. Trish also loves the opportunity to invent items for clients who want to order from the standard menu, such as a customized surf-and-turf entree or a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake, a recent creation of Trish’s that co-worker Abigail described as “amazing.”

As the executive chef of the exclusive catering company of West Chester University, a school of over 16,000 students and nearly 1,000 faculty members, Trish handles the culinary nuances involved in satisfying the hungry masses and the discerning genteel alike.

The university facet of her job includes executing all of the catered breakfasts, lunches, dinners and speciality events on campus. Coming up, Trish will cater a donor dinner, the annual scholarship fundraising gala and inaugural event for recently appointed University President Christopher Fiorentino. In contrast to such upscale events, Trish frequently caters for the student and staff population.

As for favorites of the younger campus constituents, Trish and Abigail report “a big need for buffalo chicken anything” and a love for their cheesesteak egg rolls. “They’re one of our favorites,” they readily admit.

When not working, Trish spends time with her family, including new addition Edgar, her five-month-old son. Trish also has a unique favorite pastime. “We own a hot air balloon,” she says. Jonathan Carter of Carter Country Flights pilots the flights that take clients on soaring adventures through the skies of Chester County.

Branching Out

While the majority of New Street Catering’s work is for the university, the team is looking to branch out. “We’re here to serve the community too,” Abigail says.

As for what kinds of services they offer, she explains, “For outside clients, we will do anything.” New Street does a lot of work for area corporations, such as catered lunches, but the team is also excited to take on more private functions like weddings, bridal and baby showers and in-home catering.

New Street is a preferred caterer for Oakbourne Mansion, and the team hopes to work with other local vendors as well.

“We can do anything from a full-service wedding to a simple breakfast,” Abigail says, adding, “Anytime there’s something celebratory, the sky’s the limit for us.”

For culinary needs large or small, laid-back or formal, the team at New Street Catering will exceed your expectations with a truly delicious and completely customizable catering experience for your next event.

Find New Street Catering at 700 S. New St. in West Chester; phone: (610) 436-3130.

  • Photos: New Street Catering

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