Harriet Dopkin, PARTNER/PRESIDENT
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Cooking since she was eight years old, Harriet has had a life full of culinary adventure. After pursuing a degree in the Classics at St. Johns, she went on to study the culinary arts in both the United States and Japan. Backed by an ever-expanding library of cookbooks, great food reads and collaborations with international friends, Harriet loves to introduce new flavors, cooking techniques and producers to Classic’s kitchen. She enjoys gardening, experimenting with different heirloom vegetables and sharing them with family and friends, as well as working with local children in Classic’s cooking camp and the Days of Taste ® food discovery program.
Larry Frank, PARTNER/VICE PRESIDENT CATERING
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Larry has worked in the food and beverage industry since he was 11 years old and brings a wealth of knowledge to his role at Classic. He began working in his uncle’s restaurant at an early age and landed his first catering job at the Carousel Hotel in Ocean City during summer breaks from college. In 1983, Larry joined the catering department at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore and finished his career there as the Director of Catering and Convention Services. Today, Larry oversees the full-service sales and event management teams at The Classic Catering People, where he has been a partner for 16 years. He appreciates the talent he is surrounded by and loves that every day brings a different experience, as well as new and familiar faces to work alongside. The diversity of the parties Classic plans – from the party logistics and menu development to the overall experience – is a point of great pride and satisfaction. Larry enjoys catering for the children and grandchildren of his long-time clients. Family has always been a priority for Larry and is whom he spends his free time with.
Gail Kaplan, PARTNER/VICE PRESIDENT SPECIAL EVENTS
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As one of Classic’s founding partners, Gail has acted as rainmaker, salesperson, public relations representative and more. She is especially proud of her efforts as a client advocate — a role that has come to define the Classic mindset. Gail enjoys helping her clients celebrate important milestones and create memories that will last forever. And even after decades of choreographing special moments, she says that every event still feels like her first.
Ronnie Ching, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
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Born and raised in Baltimore, Ronnie has been in the culinary industry for more than 35 years. After beginning his career as a prep cook at the renowned Pimilico Hotel, Ronnie worked his way up to become one of the area's finest chefs - and the executive chef at Classic for almost three decades!
Soon after ending his culinary career, Ronnie transitioned to being Classic's Director of Operations where he oversees the day to day operations of the company. Here he instills the great tradition of team philosophy and continues to contribute to the growth and success of The Classic Catering People.
John Walsh, VICE PRESIDENT OF CULINARY
John was born in the French city of Orléans. Raised in Switzerland, England and Belgium, he spent 25 years abroad. While majoring in International Finance at The University of London, John received his first restaurant experience working as a dishwasher at The Hard Rock Café. At age 25, John bought his first restaurant and catering company, and he has since worked with top chefs in France and the United States. Today, John runs the most highly acclaimed catering kitchen in the region.
John has received many culinary awards. In 2009, he was deemed Maryland's Best Chef of the Year. While working in Washington, D.C., John was voted into the prestigious Chefs of America, which honors only the top ten chefs in North America.
John specializes in Seasonal American cuisine with a Mediterranean accent. He has been nationally published and is currently working on his own cook book. John also participates in local programs such as Meals on Wheels, March of Dime, and Days of Taste.
Kelly Girard, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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Kelly strives to deliver a party that exceeds every wish, and treasures her relationships with her clients. One client referred to her as “my hero,” and the Baltimore Ravens praised her for a “masterful job.” Kelly’s favorite Classic experience was catering for the network media at the 2008 Presidential inauguration — a fitting assignment for a newsworthy career.
Eileen Miles, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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Eileen says catering is in her DNA. She was stuffing chickens in the family catering kitchen by the time she was 10 years old. At Classic, Eileen loves working with her clients and counts her initial meeting with the company’s founders among her most memorable moments. More than 20 years later, Eileen has also become a valued member of our catering family.
Lynn Piette, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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As our resident wedding specialist, Lynn prides herself on listening skills and special rapport with brides. While planning her own daughter’s wedding was her most memorable Classic event, Lynn treats all of her clients like family. Which explains why her corporate and wedding clients alike use words like “amazing” and “incredible” to describe her.
Bobby Pressman, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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For over two decades, clients have been praising Bobby’s results-oriented focus as well as attention to detail, infinite patience and responsiveness. He credits the amazing and talented support team at The Classic Catering People. All we know is that when his clients say things like “Thanks for a phenomenal job” and “He took a ton of stress off my shoulders,” we all look good.
Nicole Van Natta, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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When Nicole received rave reviews for her very first event, she knew she had found her calling. Seeing the final product of all her work is still the favorite part of her job. For that satisfaction, she’s even willing to risk the occupational hazard of a chocolate allergy.
Terri Young, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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As the former owner and chef of a bed and breakfast with a 70-seat restaurant, Terri has both great experience and a passion for all things culinary. Her ability to transform a room is legendary, and she always brings the latest innovations in food and drink to her events. We’ll toast to that!
Rachel Smoot, FULL SERVICE CATERING
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Whether she’s cooking or brewing beer at home, Rachel’s culinary background influences everything she does. She loves to surround herself with great food, great drinks, and great people and she strives to bring that love to all of her events.
CLASSIC TO GO ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
Ellen Brook, TO GO CATERING
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Ellen loves entertaining and knows she’s done a great job when her clients feel the same way. Her favorite Classic moment is Thanksgiving morning, when the kitchen is packed with people preparing enormous amounts of food. We’re just thankful she’s one of them.
Amy Kuntz, TO GO CATERING
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Planning menus has always been one of Amy’s passions. Her friends often ask her, “What should I serve at this party?” or “How should I prepare the chicken?” After staying at home with her daughters while they were young, Amy decided to go back to work. Not only do her friends still call her for menu suggestions and recipes, so do her countless clients.
Greg Mason, TO GO CATERING
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There’s nothing Greg would rather do than throw a party. And at Classic, he’s made a pretty impressive career of it. If he couldn’t plan parties for a living, he’d like to travel. But for now, his clients are hoping Greg stays right where he is.
Shirley Ravitz, TO GO CATERING
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Shirley is one of Classic’s most experienced catering professionals. Her favorite part of her job is working with clients. And because she’s always upbeat and a total team player, we love working with Shirley.
Jackie Shugarman, TO GO CATERING
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Jackie loves working with her clients of all ages. Her favorite Classic experience to date has been helping the children at Cooking Camp. As for her personal recipe for success, Jackie credits her patience and her willingness to bend over backwards to create a great event.