It was a rainy Monday when I caught up with one of Hinsdale’s most talked about catering teams—Brittany Ferrin and Vaidotas (Vaido) Karsokas of Westmont’s Truffleberry Market at Il Poggiolo.
“I don’t mind braving the rain when I have the chance to experience someone else’s cooking,” says Brittany cheerfully on her first visit to Il Poggiolo. “We’ve been so busy, we don’t get the chance to eat out much these days. But that’s a good problem to have.” In its sixth year of business, Truffleberry Market is the creative culinary venture that formed soon after Brittany and Vaido had their first date.
“Vaido and I were both working at a restaurant in the city,” remembers Brittany. “He was stirring this pot and I was doing some prep work, and he randomly asked me if I wanted to go and do some ‘work research’ at Table 52. I didn’t know if it was a date.”
“Oh, it was a date,” chimes in Vaido. And their connection was instant. They’ve been together every day since. Much to the surprise of their friends and loved ones, Brittany and Vaido launched Truffleberry Market three months after they started dating. “We both wanted to work for ourselves, to build something that was our own,” explains Vaido. “We work together so well because we come together on a common goal but we approach it from different sides of the business,” he adds. “There’s this dynamic synergy that exists.”
“I promise and he delivers,” says Brittany, explaining that while they’re both trained chefs, Vaido creates the food and she runs the day-to-day operations of the business and is the primary contact for clients. While they are happy to consult on events, Truffleberry Market is committed to delivering the best food. For this reason, they partner with a short list of seasoned event planners to help with logistics outside of the food and drink experience.
The chemistry between Vaido and Brittany is undeniable as they graciously complement each other’s strengths. While they once wore all of the hats in their new business, they now manage a regular team of 10 and have grown from working 10 events per year to more than 300.
“Catering does have a reputation for being a tough business,” offers Brittany, referring to the fact that they typically work on all of the major holidays (except Christmas) and most weekends. “But it’s the nature of what we do—to the point we don’t even think about it anymore. Our families know that we celebrate the holidays on the day after—they completely understand and are very supportive. There is no guilt tripping.”
Brittany and Vaido are dedicated to perfecting their craft by thinking outside of the platter and bringing the art of food presentation to life. “I like the challenge of thinking up new things,” Brittany says. “We helped with a baby shower last week and the event planner had a number of umbrellas and parasols she was using as decoration. Our creative decided it would add to the experience if we used the parasols to pass the appetizers. It took some figuring, but the presentation was very Truffleberry.”
As emerging leaders in their industry, Truffleberry Market has mastered the art of preparation and timing, cooking cuisine within minutes of service to guests—traits that their clients have come to count on them for. They recently catered an event out-of-state for one of their best clients. “It was so exhilarating,” explains Vaido. “To be in a new location and have to build a menu using local produce that was in season and wines from the nearby vineyards. We had to build our kitchen on-site and staff it. It was incredible,” he says of the experience.
Such occasions have given Vaido and Brittany the confidence to help with an event overseas. “We’re so inspired by our travels that I’d love to see what we could do if one of our clients asked us to plan a dinner for them in Italy or France,” says Brittany with a dreamy look. And given the trajectory this culinary couple is on, we’re predicting it won’t be long before this dream comes true.
-Ann Marie Scheidler // Illustration by Kirsten Ulve