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KATHRYN Vanderminden

Village Roots Catering
Kathryn Vanderminden and family.

Career Highlights:
Village Roots, Pawlet VT. Chef Owner, May 2010 to present. The Wells Country Store, Catering, Wells VT. Executive Chef Manager, February 2008 to May 2010. The Killington Market, Killington, VT. Executive Chef Manager, July 2006 to December 2007. The Wheel Inn, Benson, VT. Line Cook, May 2006 to August 2006, full time. The Red Brick Grill, Poultney, VT. Prep Chef, January 2006 to May 2006. The Spiral Press Café, Manchester, VT. Executive Chef, September 2005 to January 2006. Lark, Seattle, WA. NECI internship, rotating positions, October 2004 to February 2005. Stafford Technical Center, Rutland, VT. Culinary Arts Para-Educator, February 2002 to February 2004. Vermont Technical College, Stafford Technical Center, Rutland, VT. Continuing Education Night School Secretary and Professor (Soups, Vegetarian Cooking, Hors D’oeuvres and Quick Meals), October 2002 to December 2003. The Poultney Inn, Poultney, VT. Caretaker/Innkeeper and Chef, May 2002 to December 2003. The Inn at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT. Research, Reservations & Breakfast and Brunch Dining Room Manager, May 2001 to October 2001.

Community Involvement:
Village Roots Catering, a chef owned, Pawlet-business committed to local and sustainable food products, has launched a line of locally produced pottery. The catering company will serve its original food creations on this handmade, reusable pottery, in an effort to reduce waste and promote local artisans. Kathryn Vanderminden is a New England Culinary Institute graduate that has been in the restaurant business for 15 plus years, including cooking at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. She started catering at the Wells Country Store three years ago after managing many restaurants and kitchens. She moved the business to her property on route 30 in Pawlet and opened in May 2010. Her goal was to grow her own heirloom produce, raise her own heirloom eggs and to buy local ingredients and meat to use for her customers. No one else was catering in that manner at the time. Kathryn told her husband Adam nearly eight years ago that her dream was to not only have a catering business, but to design and sell the pottery she used for the food. This May the couple made the dream a reality. The beautiful food looks even better on hand made pottery than on disposable catering platters. Another positive is there is much less waste, making the pottery a green alternative as well as a keepsake.They have partnered with local Vermont potter Caren Helm to create the Village Roots line of Vermont stoneware pottery. Each piece is custom and handmade. These pieces are available for purchase on their website, preordered or directly at their events.  Clients can purchase pieces of the pottery used at their special occasion. The stoneware is dishwasher, oven, microwave and freezer safe. All pieces are food safe containing no lead or toxic substances. "Local Food on Local Pottery". Kathryn is very active in her community. She teaches healthy affordable cooking classes to parents of Mettawee elementary school where her son Finley attends. She charges half her standard rate of private instructional classes so that the school can offer them to the community for free. She donates gift certificates for the weekly specials she runs to local relief efforts. She donated her time and lunch for workers to help launch the opening of the new locally supported, member grown community market in Poultney. She sends food to families in her community facing hard times. She tries to employee/contract out local mothers looking for work first. She plans on joining national movements in the near future, her only obstacle being high cost of membership fees. Village Roots is ServSafe certified in two regions, fully insured and licensed by the Vermont Department of Health. The business can supply all aspects of an event from tents, tables, linens and photography through many relations with local businesses. They supply food for every event from backyard barbecues, to trays of appetizers, to weddings or family reunions. Kathryn also supplies local meal options to the community. Each week she creates special seasonal soups, sauces and simple meals for the community to purchase. You can find these weekly specials at the companies Facebook link at their website Also on the website is their contact information and blog. Inquires about any event big or small are always welcomed. Read more about the Chef or the business in the summer edition of Vermont Life magazine and the State of Vermont Wedding Planning Guide.

Favorite part of job?
It is hard to pick just one. I love that I am able to have my small children home with me instead of in daycare. I love that we grow our own heirloom vegetables and raise our own free range eggs for our business. I love the creativity of my job right from the food I transform to the pottery I design to serve it on. I love supporting friends and neighbors. I love seeing people's special events unfold and being part of the planning of those events. Most of all, I love being my own boss and working for myself and my family. It is deeply satisfying.

Most inspiring mentor?
Again, hard to pick just one. Locally it would be Chef Mark Molinaro from New England Culinary Institute for always believing in me and continuously helping me even after graduation. Chef Sissy Hicks formerly of the Dorset Inn and now owning Sissy Kitchen, for clearing the path and being one of the strongest women I know. My chef from Seattle Chef Johnathan Sundstrom needs to be named for completely opening my eyes to new ways of running a business and being the most compassionate and respectful person to work for. Globally it would be Julia Child and Alice Waters for redefining cuisine. Rachel Ray, Nigella Lawson and Bethanny Frankel for being 3 of the smartest business women in history. And of course, Martha, Ms. Martha Stewart for being a powerhouse, expecting nothing less than perfect and redefining the idea of a house wife. I aspire to be like each one of them.

Who is your living hero?
My living heroes are my circle of friends who start their own businesses and work endless hours with their children in their arms while continuing to support their community and friends. Everything they have comes from their own hard work.

Favorite downtime activity?
As much as I love being with my husband and two small children, I also love alone time. In an effort to become more healthy and promote myself as a healthy chef, I set out on a quest nearly two years ago to lose 100 pounds. I had to change my life. I began by altering my ideas about food and to start running. In the beginning, I could barely run a 1/2 a mile. I now run a consistent 5 miles with an occasional 6 or 8 thrown in for good measure. 88 pounds later, I am about to start training for my first 1/2 marathon.

Favorite Vermont Escape?
Some of my favorite simple Vermont things include swimming in Lake Saint Catherine and camping in my husbands grandfathers camp in Dorset. Most of all, tucking my children in and sitting on my deck with my husband, over looking the woods and river in the still of the evening.

Favorite social network?
The social network I use the most is Facebook, but my favorite is Twitter because it is unchanging and simple to use. Once you learn it, you know it. It doesn't change every few months requiring you to relearn it.

Favorite website?, I love the grassroots feel to this wonderful network of extremely talented and creative business owners. Also,, a worldwide book swap with no late fees!

Vermont Business Person you would most want to network with?
Anyone involved with VPR and Girls on the Run.

VBM's Publisher John Boutin, Kathryn Vanderminden and Lt. Governor Phil Scott.

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