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CS+TSE Spotlight: Jenny Bast & Michele Yanovich

Meet the speakers of Catersource + The Special Event!

All throughout January and February we'll be highlighting some of this year's speakers leading up to Catersource + The Special Event, happening February 12-15 in Austin, TX. 

Jenny Bast, Executive Sous Chef, Catering Creations

Jenny’s passion for nutrition and cooking began at an early age when she would throw tantrums if her family did not have all 5 food groups at the dinner table. In addition to having early memories of cooking, baking, and enjoying family meals; she grew up watching the Food Network and constantly wanting to experiment in the kitchen.

This passion of merging the bridge between science, cooking, and nutrition is evident in everything she creates. Jenny began working for us as an intern on our Tour de Lis Monday night party for Catersource in New Orleans in February, 2017. She became a full time employee that March.

She graduated from UNL in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Dietetics & Human Nutrition and immediately jumped into the Culinary Arts program at MCC for Which she completed in 2019. As Sous Chef, Jenny represented Catering Creations competing against Catering Chef’s from around the country at the Catersource cnvention in 2019 and won first place in the Beyond the Plate Competition. In 2021, she was promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Jenny is also an active member of the Culinary Council for the International Catering Association.

When asked about her favorite part of catering she said, “You are never done learning. It’s humbling and exciting in the sense that the job is constantly changing.”

Michele Yanovich, Director of Operations, Catering Creations

Michele was born in Omaha and graduated high school here from Roncalli Catholic High School. Michele most recently worked the past 25 1/2 years as an Executive Administrative Assistant/ Controller. She started working part-time as a lead for Catering Creations in 2011, but in the summer of 2017 we were lucky enough to hire her full-time in our front office staff.

Michele has a lot of favorite menu items and choosing the signature salad was a tough decision. Honorable mention menu items include the southwestern crab cakes, the beef tenderloin, and all of the desserts. Her favorite part about working for Catering Creations is being a part of a team that makes events come to life.

In her free time Michele loves to spend time with her family and friends; she especially likes to spend time with her grandkids. She enjoys boating, walking, arts and crafts, and anything to do with Disney.

Join Bast and Yanovich at the following session during Catersource + The Special Event: 

Catering Survival Guide: How to Bridge the Gap and Cultivate a Cohesive FOH & BOH Team

1:45 p.m. Tuesday, February 13

Strife between departments is nothing new, but how do we overcome that as a company and become the most productive team? Simple answer: compromise and communication. In this course, we will outline how we tackle alliance between operations, event leads, and the culinary team through transparency of roles, expectations, and goals.