About

Our History

What started as a small, family-owned business and labor of love in 1982, is virtually unchanged today at Love At First Bite Catering.  Current owners, John & Stacy LaBrake were involved early on in assisting original owners, Cindy & Steve Vatcher, in their vision to bring great food, great service, and great prices to the Orange County and Long Beach communities.  When the Vatchers made the difficult decision to move their family out-of-state, it was a natural transition for John & Stacy to take over, and continue the company's legacy.  Now, more than 30 years after LAFB first opened its doors, our mission is still at the forefront of how we do business.

MISSION STATEMENT

Styles and visions may change, but delicious fresh cuisine is our culinary standard. Every dish is prepared and presented for each individual occasion, and each uniquely-styled event is a thrill to our creative talents. From classic traditional fare, to upscale culinary trends, Love At First Bite's commitment to this standard is top priority.

TESTIMONIALS

  • Love At First Bite Catering is absolutely the best you will find! They are very professional while still remaining approachable, which is such a rare gem these days. I have worked with dozens of caterers before finding Love At First Bite Catering and I have used them for every event I plan in the Orange County Area. Lisa is amazing, she works tirelessly to make sure your event will be perfect, and the entire staff goes way above and beyond what their duties are. They are all happy to help, and it lends to an event that flows seamlessly because everyone works together and is happy to do so. I have spent hours with John and Lisa going over menu's, linens, table placements, etc. and they always have made sure that any concerns or changes I had are addressed/fixed. I could write pages about how amazing they are but I doubt anyone would really appreciate that :). They are amazing!!!!
    Love At First Bite Catering is absolutely the best you will find! They are very professional while still remaining approachable, which is such a rare gem these days. I have worked with dozens of caterers before finding Love At First Bite Catering and I have used them for every event I plan in the Orange County Area. Lisa is amazing, she works tirelessly to make sure your event will be perfect, and the entire staff goes way above and beyond what their duties are. They are all happy to help, and it lends to an event that flows seamlessly because everyone works together and is happy to do so. I have spent hours with John and Lisa going over menu's, linens, table placements, etc. and they always have made sure that any concerns or changes I had are addressed/fixed. I could write pages about how amazing they are but I doubt anyone would really appreciate that :). They are amazing!!!!

    Ashley-Marie O. (Event Designer)

  • I have personally dealt with John for several years and attended several catered events by Love at First Bite. To date, with over 7 years of attending catered events and referring this company out to several friends, I have always been impressed on the catered spread and selections. I see how meticulous and prideful John is when putting together menus and cooking for events, with absolution.
    I have never hesitated referring this company out to any of my friends (and that's saying a lot...see my other reviews) because my faith has never wavered in John and his team.
    I have tried everything from their pasta dishes, deli plates, desserts, sandwiches and salads and have always been happy to gobble down whatever comes my way. Great job John and Love at First Bite!! You have definitely earned your company name!
    I have personally dealt with John for several years and attended several catered events by Love at First Bite. To date, with over 7 years of attending catered events and referring this company out to several friends, I have always been impressed on the catered spread and selections. I see how meticulous and prideful John is when putting together menus and cooking for events, with absolution.
    I have never hesitated referring this company out to any of my friends (and that's saying a lot...see my other reviews) because my faith has never wavered in John and his team.
    I have tried everything from their pasta dishes, deli plates, desserts, sandwiches and salads and have always been happy to gobble down whatever comes my way. Great job John and Love at First Bite!! You have definitely earned your company name!

    Judi B.

  • Love At First Bite Catering helped us with a very difficult and emotional task - arranging food for my wife's memorial service. We were expecting close to 200 people, and wanted something simple, yet satisfying and delicious for our guests. From the attentive service staff, to the inviting array of food items, to the complete set-up and clean-up, LAFB covered it all. The fabulous service from Donny and Nicholas allowed my family and I to mingle with friends and family and celebrate her life, feeling stress-free. Thank you!
    Love At First Bite Catering helped us with a very difficult and emotional task - arranging food for my wife's memorial service. We were expecting close to 200 people, and wanted something simple, yet satisfying and delicious for our guests. From the attentive service staff, to the inviting array of food items, to the complete set-up and clean-up, LAFB covered it all. The fabulous service from Donny and Nicholas allowed my family and I to mingle with friends and family and celebrate her life, feeling stress-free. Thank you!

    Woody & Family

  • So happy we worked with LaFB for our company Xmas party. So helpful right from the get-go! Easy to work with, accommodating, prompt, and professional. Everyone we spoke with the entire process was really nice, and on top of it. Menu options are way more interesting than other companies, but still have some classics. We had a few last-minute changes that were accommodated quickly with no fuss. The two staff that were at the actual party were awesome at what they did, really kind, and made everything super easy for us! Also the presentation was fantastic. The food of course was really delicious! Everyone commented on how good it was, and how plentifully it was supplied. So happy with our experience. Would 100% work with them again, and recommend them to everyone who asked!
    So happy we worked with LaFB for our company Xmas party. So helpful right from the get-go! Easy to work with, accommodating, prompt, and professional. Everyone we spoke with the entire process was really nice, and on top of it. Menu options are way more interesting than other companies, but still have some classics. We had a few last-minute changes that were accommodated quickly with no fuss. The two staff that were at the actual party were awesome at what they did, really kind, and made everything super easy for us! Also the presentation was fantastic. The food of course was really delicious! Everyone commented on how good it was, and how plentifully it was supplied. So happy with our experience. Would 100% work with them again, and recommend them to everyone who asked!

    Kristen A.

Team LAFB

 

JOHN LABRAKE

Owner & Chef

STACY LABRAKE

Owner & Event Specialist

Vanessa Gerrie

Event Manager

Whether it be an intimate private party or a large-scale business conference, Vanessa's top-notch level of creative vision and customer service ensure total satisfaction.  From the beginning stages, to the very last detail of an event's close, Vanessa walks her clients through each step so they are confident and comfortable with their event objectives and outcomes.

DONNIE BRUYN

Service Captain & Action Chef

After 45 years as a private restaurateur and service provider for such clients as The Cannery and Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Donnie joined the LAFB team to provide excellent service and training. He's been featured in Orange Coast Magazine, OC Business Journal, American Express Newsletter, and Taste of America. He was trained in wines by food critic Robert Balzer of the LA Times, and received a medal and prestigious position on Ronald Reagan's Inaugural Ball. His experience as a chef, service trainer and staff motivator ensures that our service staff is beyond the level of excellence for our clients.

Mindy Beck

Catering Operations Manager

Mindy joined the LAFB family and is the first point-of-contact for any client beginning their journey with us. It's her thorough query into the details of each, individual event, then translation of these details to the proper department, that ensures the highest level of customer service.

Meredith Woodson

Event Planner & Venue Specialist

Meredith joins Team LAFB with 20 years' experience in the event planning industry.  Starting as an entertainer and music educator, she made the leap into planning and coordination first with a production company in San Diego, then relocated to Orange County. Here, she expanded experience in both corporate and private parties, but has specialized in non-profit and fundraising events. Now, she focuses on creating fabulous menus to go along with stand-out events, utilizing her knowledge of unique event sites to set the perfect mood.