On any given evening during the week, an Indiana family might sit down to a dinner of grilled chicken, pasta, perhaps pizza ordered from a chain restaurant; it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to weekly food prep. In Terre Haute, Ind., however, residents have another option that makes their regular dining slightly more flavorful.
The Butler’s Pantry is a one-of-a-kind catering company and has been serving up delicious dishes, like pork schnitzel over house-made German egg pasta, for just over two years. Meals at this unique catering company are prepared by business owner and Certified Executive Chef Kris Kraut at The Red Barn at Sycamore Farm. This young man followed his passion for the culinary arts to bring some of the most flavorful and original dishes to families of the Wabash Valley.
“After seeing my parents and in-laws resort to some sort of pre-packaged, sodium filled, manufactured dinner solution every so often, I realized that there was an untapped market for a fresh, from-scratch, healthy dinner alternative for busy families and people who don’t have an interest in making dinner every night,” commented Kraut.
As a young man, Kraut did his best to set his life up for success. He went to college, married the love of his life, and was on his way to law school when he decided to change his career path. With the support of his wife Gretchen, Kris quit the law to take a risk and pursue his real passion: the culinary arts.
Kris had been cooking on a recreational level for years and had experience planning and executing several large-scale events for church school groups, graduations, receptions, and more. When he decided it was time to pursue his love for the culinary arts, he dove in head first, perfecting his knife skills at home in his free time and taking classes at the French Pastry School in Chicago. He earned his Certified Executive Chef (CEC) degree at the American Culinary Federation in 2014.
The idea and inception for The Butler’s Pantry was “on a whim” as Chef Kraut recalls, and in April 2015, it all came together. “The Butler’s Pantry is on and off-site full-service catering,” Kraut explains. “Gourmet on-the-go meals throughout the week, cooking classes, and corporate event services… the name evokes a historical memory for me and a place [The Butler’s Pantry] found in many older homes. Always organized, always stocked, and there when you need it.” The name is a reflection of the business Chef Kraut and his wife run: a place which families can rely on to find fresh, homemade food.
With the help of his wife and business co-owner, Gretchen, Kris caters a wide variety of events at their headquarters and event space, The Red Barn at Sycamore Farm. The Red Barn has proven to be a perfect venue for Kris to pursue his new role as professional chef and caterer, and has allowed Gretchen an opportunity to support her husband and take part in a new role herself, as event planner and business owner.
Guests can book weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, taste-testings, reunions, small and large meetings, private dinners for eight…the list goes on and the opportunities are endless. Each event is offered the opportunity to have full-scale catering, bar service, setup and tear down, linen, table decoration rentals, bridal suite space, and more. Clients will receive a completely private property on their special day, online services, and event tracking.
“Gretchen and I enjoy the process of getting ready for an event,” commented Chef Kraut. “We love the emotion a wedding brings–it’s a stressful but lighthearted event, and we get to help make someone’s day very memorable. We take care of everything for the bride and groom, they don’t need to shop for catering, linen, bar service or setup. We make it less stressful by being there for them on their wedding day to make sure everything goes as planned.”
Brides, as well as other catering clients, are encouraged to try The Butler’s Pantry meals-to-go menu as a way of sampling the food offerings for their special events, or schedule a tasting. The couple sees clients from throughout the Midwest, bringing their business to the Farm for Kraut’s gourmet dining experience and The Red Barn’s rustic elegance. Off-site wedding catering is offered as well.
When asked what makes their business unique, Kraut claims it’s their “Hoosier Hospitality” and a unique attention to detail; plus, great food from scratch and a never-duplicated venue. Prices range from $19-27 per person for catering, featuring seasonal, farm-to-table style food with fresh produce, locally sourced when in season.
Interested parties can contact Heather at Sycamore Farm at 812-567-6565 or visit www.thesycamorefarm.com to schedule a tour of the grounds or start planning their next event.