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C'mon, Barbie, Let's Go Party!

If You can Dream it, Fleur de Cuisine Can Do It...

Article by Melinda Gipson

Photography by Fleur de Cuisine

Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle

There’s nothing like a Barbie theme party for 50 little girls to get Natalie Ramos’ creative juices flowing.

Imagine stepping into every little girl’s Barbie fantasy where she IS Barbie, from the moment she walks out of the brightly colored cardboard and cellophane box (the perfect photo-booth!) to a table set like Malibu Barbie’s Dream House. From the theme-iced cookies to the smartly decorated goody bags, think, “Imagination, life is your creation. Come on, Barbie, let’s go party!”

Behind the scenes is Natalie’s ever-evolving catering company Fleur de Cuisine, https://www.fleurdecuisine.com/, “Culinary Decisions Made Easy.” What she means by that is that all the hostess has to do is dream it, and Natalie can do it.

She founded the business in 2018, but her culinary career spans more than 15 years as a personal chef, event and catering manager, Food and Beverage Director and concierge service. Her own life spans multiple cultures – experiences upon which she can draw to make your event a mélange of the exotic, or simply the best of last week’s farmer’s market. Her training was with Johnson and Wales, which is French, but her Caribbean descent and life abroad in Italy find her calling on both classical and fresh, contemporary cultures. 

A one-time lone wolf, she long-ago recognized the need to assemble a small crew of chefs skilled at both meal planning and execution, virtually on demand. Tired of having to call one place for tableware and plates, another for linens, and a third for decorations, Natalie made the investment in all three and can now provide a one-stop-shop for catering virtually any occasion.

In each, it is her exquisite eye for detail that we found most engaging. For a Harry Potter themed dinner, there are stylish place name cards done in the same style as the Marauder’s Map. And the beverage? Butter beer, of course!

She’s amassed so many of the decorative and serving essentials in planning her events that other local caterers can rent her supplies, just as she used to do. But for the kind of host or hostess who wants to focus on making memories while she handles all (and we mean ALL) the logistics, you need look no further.

The best part? It doesn’t have to be an extravagant, one-time wedding to excite her. “I like to focus on private, intimate affairs – 50 and under – like corporate events, small weddings and baby showers. Because my business is all-inclusive, when you book you know that you get the whole experience. We provide china with a range of beautiful patterns, the table-scape, outdoor tents, dance floors and lighting – everything from set-up to clean up, you name it, we’ve got it covered,” Natalie says.

When work went virtual, she even designed Zoom lunch boxes for employees to enjoy together, yet virtually, so everyone could feel connected by the food and fellowship. “I came up with the idea of these boxes. My boxes took off, and the boxes were what sustained my business for awhile,” Natalie says.

Those needing inspiration can draw on her own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Fleurdecuisinecooking) where her posts feature fare from any of the dozen or more weekend events she executes. 

It's a lot to juggle for a staff of 15, except that the team functions like family. And, isn’t the kitchen where the family always gathers? For this bunch, says Natalie, “Every day’s a party, so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!”

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