When it comes to catering in the Miami area, there is so much more to “Special Event Catering by Les” than meets the eye. They are also known for having a big heart.
For more than 27 years, Les Oppenheim has been creating unforgettable experiences for clients with mouth-watering meals and delicious desserts. But his catering company also has a hunger for doing good in the community – through compassionate and ongoing support of local charity functions.
The recent Eco Couture Recycling Fashion Show at Florida International University is one such event. With generous in-kind support by Catering by Les, this annual competition provides much-needed scholarships to FIU students who design and construct the most beautiful, creative, and functional outfits made of recycled material.
Similarly, the challenge for the team of professionals at Catering by Les was to custom tailor an impeccable yet functional dining experience – one that might also turn the heads of judges and pageant attendees at the March 31 event
Executive Chef Cliff Albright, under Oppenheim’s leadership, truly stepped up – and in a significantly “green” fashion. Using his expertise and visions of cuisine from Washington, D.C. and San Diego, he created an impressive and environmentally friendly service with local “farm-to-table” produce and fruits grown by local farmers.
“We provided a delectable menu of sustainable seafood provided by local fisherman,” says Albright, “as well artisanal cheese handcrafted here in Florida – all served on attractive bamboo settings and other recyclable material.” This effort, coupled with the total absence of foam and plastic-ware, ensures a reduction in the carbon footprint on the environment and reduces non bio-degradable environmental waste.
Support of the annual FIU Eco-couture Fashion Show at the School of Architecture & Arts is just one of the many programs that Catering by Les takes on each year. Historically, they also lend their amazing in-kind support to such charity events as the Annual Miami Beach Toy Drive, Actor’s Playhouse community events, Alper JCC Special Needs Gala, and the Miami Dade Legal Aide Fashion show.
“We are so proud to be aligned with these amazing organizations and the work they do,” says Les Oppenheim. “Of course it feels good to know that our support of schools, charities, and cultural institutions is appreciated – but it’s also good business.”
According to the National Council of Nonprofits, which consistently ranks Miami high among the most charity-conscious cities in America, the biggest advantage given to businesses that sponsor charitable organizations and events is the increased visibility gained throughout the community, in the form of increased logo placement and other promotional dividends.
A long-time Board Member with the Palmetto Bay Business Association, Oppenheim agrees: “When a small business donates to worthy local causes, it signals a commitment and concern for our fellow neighbors. I know firsthand that many of our customers go out of their way to support companies that support the community.”
Since 1991, proprietor Les Oppenheim has led his Miami-based team in bringing one-of-a-kind events to life with incredibly tasty cuisine, extravagant plating, incredible displays, and jovial personality.
“Les and his staff are a joy to work with,” says Rebecca Longtemps, FIU’s Senior Special Events Manager for the Dean of Architecture & Arts. “They always bend over backward to create unforgettable experiences for us – and we’re really pleased to be able to work with someone who has such a warm heart in our community.”
Over the years, Catering by Les has brought their experience and impeccable quality to such venues as Preferred Catering, the Shane Center, the Bath Club, Deering Estate, Walton House, the Palmetto Bay Village Center, Thalatta Estate, and exclusive private homes and yachts. They also were named winner of the 2014 Battle of the Chefs.