A romantic dinner for two, an elegant cocktail party for 50, a wedding for 200, a backyard picnic for 20 — whatever the number of guests or the style of event, Joss & Jules Catering and Event Design can provide everything from soup to nuts!
In addition, the firm can also coordinate all the arrangements, including table settings, servers, flowers, bar needs, and tent set-up.
“Give us your theme and vision for the event, and we will work closely with you from start to finish to ensure that your event is a stunning success,” says founder and owner Julia Flesch.
“Cooking is very creative, and it’s a real art to present it. We have a talented team of chefs, designers, and coordinators, who make the world of food design come to life. We also reach out to seasoned florists and servers to complete the package. When you are planning an event, you are building that show, and you have to take care of every detail.”
Quality and Presentation
“I also want to point out that we work within someone’s budget. We never sacrifice quality or presentation, but you’ll be amazed at how beautiful you can make an event within a small budget.”
Ms. Flesch, who opened Joss & Jules in 2006, has had an extensive history in many areas of the culinary arts. “Cooking was easy for me,” she explains. “I had a mom who cooked a lot — we were a family of 10 children! — and I watched her and was her helper. Also, as a young girl, I really liked to rearrange the design and presentation of the food.
“My mom had a commitment to cooking and for healthy food. She said if you learn to make a pot of sauce and a pot of soup, you’ll be okay. She was a professional cake decorator, and my grandfather was a chef.”
A native of Trenton, Ms. Flesch moved to Princeton 18 years ago. A single mother, she focused on what she knew best and was comfortable with — food. She was advised to contact Jack Morrison, owner of Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company, and got a job in the catering department there.
“Princeton has been such a wonderful place for me,” says Ms. Flesch. “It has been a series of stepping stones. I ran Jack’s catering business, and was also involved with Blue Point Grill and the Witherspoon Grill for many years. I give Jack great credit for where I am today.”
Ms. Flesch has also served as a personal chef, including for Mr. and Mrs. William Scheide for four years. “This was another stepping stone for me, and it has been a wonderful experience.”
Her work for the Scheides has included extensive catering and entertainment planning, she adds. “For example, for his 70th Princeton University reunion, Mr. Scheide invited the entire Old Guard (alumni celebrating 66 years or more) to his house. They had a huge tent, and the Scheides continue to do this every year.”
When she decided to open Joss & Jules, Ms. Flesch needed a large kitchen, and in another positive series of circumstances, she found exactly what she needed,
“I had been church-hunting, and then I found the Assembly of God Nassau Christian Center on the corner of Chambers and Nassau Street. I didn’t have to look any further. The people seemed so happy there. They also had a campus outreach program, and I began cooking for the University students on Sunday evenings.
“This was another stepping stone. The church had a spacious basement kitchen, and I was able to use this as my headquarters. This has been so important. Jack Morrison, the Scheides, and my church have all empowered me.”
Joss & Jules has evolved over the years, and continues to grow, she adds. Every kind of event — weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, corporate fund-raisers, cocktail parties, and picnics; and every kind of food, including Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Italian, French, and American gourmet — are part of Ms. Flesch’s expertise. The emphasis is always on quality, healthy eating, and simplicity, she points out.
“The specialty of the business for me is the simplicity. We don’t do a lot of salty and heavy sauces. We have a real farm to table focus and feel. We want to teach people to eat healthy. Within a 20 mile radius of Princeton, you can get fresh food. The sustainable food movement is very big, and we have tapped into that. We want people to eat right. We also have a tent at the West Windsor Farmers Market.”
Ms. Flesch enjoys both the cooking and the artistic design of the food. “It’s a way of expressing myself and the theme of the event. I’m always changing and tweaking the recipes, so they’re even better.
“Another thing,” she says, “we always want the best quality and choices for the client. We have a nice interaction with the other caterers, and we always utilize the catering community. If we know someone makes the best cake or pie, we’ll get it from them. For example, we always have Sweet Mama’s key lime pie for the Princeton reunions.”
Ms. Flesch recommends contacting Joss & Jules two weeks before a small event and four to six weeks for a large event. She is delighted to have many repeat clients.
“I think people see how happy we are and that we have such energy about what we do. I am so pleased about the popularity of our business. I want to share this. I wake up every day, and it just gets better and better. I love what I do, and l’m having fun.
“Cooking very healthy food is empowering. The sense of empowerment and the happiness that it brings is wonderful. We take our own talents and abilities and make it happen. Take one step at a time, work with what you have, and do that 100 percent.”
And never forget those who have helped, she emphasizes. “I love having my business in Princeton. There is such a great support system here. The resources, passion, and people here are special. They have been there for me every step of the way — stepping stone after stepping stone.”
Joss & Jules can be reached at (609) 954-2372. Website: www.jossandjules.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/jossandjules.