Meet the team that makes Menu Maker Catering a success
Menu Maker Catering is independently owned by Mary Weary but the company’s success is shared by a professional team of chefs and industry professionals.
Mary Weary, owner
Michael Holmes, head chef.
With a passion for food and fresh ingredients, Holmes has played a major role in Menu Maker’s growth since joining the company in June 2014. He specializes in creating international and contemporary cuisine while appreciating traditional Southern cuisine’s popularity with many clients. Prior to joining the Menu Maker team, Holmes served as chef/event manager at Clean Plate Club, leading the regional catering company’s $3 million annual operation and overseeing events with up to 5,000 guests. Holmes began cooking at age 16, and “cooked his way through college” with positions of ever-increasing responsibilities in restaurant kitchens in Nashville and Knoxville. Known for his cool temperament, Holmes once cooked and plated a meal for 50 with only candles and flashlights to guide him after a power failure at an event venue. He was recognized as Best Caterer by Nashville Scene readers for 14 years running and was a 2012 CATIE Award finalist by the International Caterers Association for best event. When he’s not in the Menu Maker kitchen, Holmes can be found spending time with his wife Susie and flipping houses. The Nashville native earned his BA degree in public administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Ben Parson, sous chef
The Galveston Island, Texas native is as comfortable on a construction site as he is in a kitchen. His formal training includes both culinary and brick laying school. Parson holds several certificates in construction trades and credits his father, a certified engineer, as his professional mentor. Parson’s culinary career began at age 13 when he started working in the Captain’s Galley restaurant in Galveston. When he left, he had risen through the ranks to become the popular restaurant’s chef. Parsons, who joined the Menu Maker team in 2015, specializes in creative and inventive uses of ingredients. His garnishes have been described as “edible works of art.” He loves the versatility of his Menu Maker position and the company’s family atmosphere. His own family includes “six children” – three of his own and three he considers his own. When he’s not working beside Chef Michael Holmes in the kitchen, you can often the two working side-by-side on a construction project.
Christa Harris, operations manager and event planner
Harris’ introduction to the hospitality industry came early. While still in high school, she worked a variety of positions at the Barnsley Gardens Resort near her Adairsville, Ga. hometown. After moving to Nashville, she perfected her customer service skills as a celebrity service agent to Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center’s VIP and celebrity guests. She helped develop Opryland’s “Celebrity Guest Program” which author Donna Cutting included in her book, The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red Carpet Customer Service (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). In 2007, Harris added certified wedding planner and consultant to her resume and put those skills to work at Historic Cedarwood/Cedarwood Weddings and Nelson Andrews Leadership Lodge/The Lodge Weddings. She continues to train wedding directors for Cedarwood Weddings and serves as a consultant to new wedding venues. Harris joined the Menu Maker team in 2016. An expert organizer, Harris pairs a meticulous attention to detail with superior customer service when working with every Menu Maker client. While she loves her work, her favorite job is mom to daughter Maddie, 5.
Annie Roberson, social media coordinator
Nashville native Annie Roberson is a University of Alabama music therapy major, where she is on track to graduate May 2018. The four-year Million Dollar Band member is as equally adept at digital marketing and website development as she is playing the trumpet. In July 2017, she launched her own virtual social media and digital marketing company, providing website set-up and social media management services. When she’s not on the football field, in the classroom or working with clients, Annie enjoys playing with her two dogs and spending time in the great outdoors. She was literally born into the Menu Maker Catering family as her mother, Susie Roberson, has been an important member of the Menu Maker support team since its start in 1992.