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Local Food and Elegance Converge at Chandelier

New Venue Boasts Joint Talents of Chef John Ford and His Creative Director Wife, Natasha

Article by Christina Minnish

Photography by Catherine Nguyen and Hans Rosemond

Originally published in Cary City Lifestyle

Chef John Ford and his wife, Natasha, knew they were meant for each other when they could not stop talking about their love of food on their first date. Their catering company, Fords Fluent N’ Food, has served the wedding and event industry for years, but the duo recently opened Chandelier, a luxurious venue in the heart of Cary where food and elegance converge. 

“We knew we wanted to open up a space a couple of months into our catering business,” Natasha says. “This ensures that the guest can have fresh and delicious food under our own roof.” 

John earned his degree in International Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham in 2008. After beginning his restaurant career as a dishwasher, John later worked as a sous chef for Pop’s Trattoria in Durham and Print Works Bistro in Greensboro. Then, as executive chef at Cameron Bar and Grill in Raleigh, John became known locally for his Saturday night farm-to-table specials. He visited the farmers market on Saturday mornings to create one-night-only, first-come, first-served entrées featuring locally sourced foods. He also participated in the 2016 James Beard Blended Burger Project. His Hoisin Mushroom Burger, which blended chopped chuck, short rib and cremini mushrooms, was topped with grilled red onion, hoisin smoked mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, mixed greens and smoked tomato aioli on a toasted garlic bun. John’s menu continues to feature fresh, high-quality, local products. He is classically trained and has extensive culinary skills in everything from Italian and French to Asian and American cooking styles.

As creative director, Natasha’s role is to ensure that each plate is presented well visually. She also coordinates and plans events that put customer service first. Natasha earned a degree in media and public relations from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has more than a decade of restaurant experience and used her marketing skills for corporations and nonprofits for multiple years. Her vision is behind every marketing platform and advertising material for both companies.

“We thrive off each other and help each other if the other is in need,” Natasha says. “Many people joke we are telepathic—we know when the other is in need of help or guidance.”

Together, they believe “a dash of Southern hospitality mixed with beauty and elegance sprinkled with excellent food” is the “recipe for greatness.”

When clients select Chandelier as their event venue, they automatically snag catering by Fords Fluent N’ Food, which offers a wide variety of menu selections. Included in the venue rental cost are tables and chairs, white china, gold chargers, silverware, water goblets, bridal and groom suites with snacks and Champagne and more. Chandelier offers indoor and outdoor ceremony sites, an outdoor patio with market lights, as well as a space for a cocktail reception.

“Chandelier is the true epitome of hopes and dreams,” Natasha says. “Not only do we have a gorgeous space, but the love and positive vibes Chandelier exuberates is priceless.”

Visit Chandelier for your next wedding, corporate event, birthday, anniversary, graduation, bar/bat mitzvah and more.

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