For 32-plus years, the food industry has consumed Chef Burke Conley, including the last 13 years specializing in social or significant event private catering. He started Catering 615 to service large social events, such as Nashville’s Swan Ball, the highlight of the Belle Meade social season.
Cater 615, along with Take Away Catering, falls under the umbrella of Sova Catering. Cater 615 gears toward private social events, such as CMT, CMA Awards After-Parties and Nashville Fashion Week, while Take Away Catering primarily handles corporate catering events. Chef Burke notes the increase in corporate box lunches for employee picnics, corporate board meetings, new employee orientations and annual meetings keeps them busy.
“The rise of Nashville as a culinary city is expanding the need for more complex culinary items,” says Chef Burke, adding that as consumers become exposed to different types of food, they often request such items for social catering events.
2020 forced the cancellation of many prominent social events. However, Chef Burke says the company’s growth revolves about events with 200 to 300 people. This team also specializes in smaller, private gatherings.
“We provide top-quality catering for private clients in the entertainment and corporate worlds,” notes Chef Conley. “Our success originates with providing gracious service with personalized, creative menus for each client. No event is too small or too large when it comes to giving Nashvillians the culinary treats they are accustomed to.”
A West Tennessee native, Chef Burke's capabilities range from preparing fried hushpuppies to succulent meats and vegetables. For social catering events, a variety of appetizers are a must. “When people are standing and milling around a room, they want small food items they can manage with their hands. They also want each bite to radiate flavor and excitement. Watching our clients and their guests savor a bite is what drives our team and me.”
The past 18 months have strained some food supply channels. However, this resourceful chef maintains a steady supply of foods from local and regional suppliers.
“The small and mid-size social catering events continue to snowball,” he explains.