Established 1991, New York
Born and raised in a small South Korean town, Franco Lee dreamt of being a chef since he was 19 years old. To work towards that goal, Franco worked six to seven days a week for many years, often afflicted with battle wounds from knives to grill marks on his arm.
Franco’s journey from dishwasher to executive chef was demanding, to say the least. His initiation into the restaurant industry as a dishwasher required balancing work with school, as he simultaneously studied Philosophy at a nearby state university. Managing time for both work and school was difficult, but Franco never lost his passion. He was promoted to line cook, and his dynamic experiences in the kitchen motivated him to enroll and study at the French Culinary Institute for its culinary arts program. Franco drastically improved his culinary skills as well as his ability to lead the kitchen, ultimately leading to his appointment as executive chef of NeueHouse.
Chefs Morimoto, Marcus Samuelson, Amanda Freitag – these three prestigious chefs in New York deeply influenced Franco and helped him develop a real flair for cooking, while their enthusiasm encouraged him to be a proud chef full of passion. Chef Ariki Omae, a mentor from past to present, also played a significant role in Franco’s mindset as a chef; he had the most influence on Franco’s philosophy to respect each and every ingredient and to allow the imagination of a passionate chef to fully express itself on the plate.
Martin Scott Wines is grateful to Franco Lee and Cater Madeline for catering our lunches during our wine tastings and sales meetings. Franco's staff pays close attention to every detail, including accommodating very specific requests and providing us meals that are gluten free and vegan. We all enjoy the wonderfully prepared garden salads using fresh ingredients and of course we couldn't conclude a meeting without the crowd pleasing cookie tray filled with brownies and lemon bars. I would highly recommend Cater Madeline for any corporate event.
Over the past 11 years I have been ordering delicious food from Cater Madeline for our company, Mondani Handbags. They never disappoint us and have always done an unbelievable job with every order that I have placed. Their menu has a fabulous selection with delicious, healthy food, and the food is always perfectly prepared warm or cold and is beautifully presented. I work for a wholesale women's apparel company, and we deal with Market Week trade shows 4x out of the year, which is big for us, and we have lots of buyers visit us at those times. That's when Cater Madeline saves the day with their delicious breakfasts and lunches that I order. Our appointments and employees are always impressed with the incredible job they do and always ask me to order certain selections over and over again 🙂
We had a very successful two day conference packed with investors and CEOs from around the globe thanks in large part to the outstanding efforts by Cater Madeline. We had a number of last minute adjustments and increases and the catering team helped ensure that everything was taken care of and went smoothly. The food was delicious, and the presentation was displayed beautifully. I highly recommend working with Cater Madeline; we had a great experience, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.
When Rise New York was looking for a catering partner, we were clear that we wanted a business where the founder was closely involved and geared towards delivering a wide range of high quality products. In working with Franco and Cater Madeline, we have found that perfect balance between passion, product, and delivery, and would not consider anyone else.
(4 W 22nd Street, btwn 5th & 6th Avenue)