The Markow House and Be My Guest Catering

Hutto, TX

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

The Markow House and Be My Guest personalize every menu, and we have been doing that with many happy customers since 2005. We work tirelessly, enthusiastically and creatively to make your event everything you have dreamed about. Your satisfaction is always our main concern, so budget, taste and beauty are always considered as one. We offer complete packages covering everything from planning to clean up, so nothing has to be worried about. Our clients are treated the way we would want our family members to be treated, and in many cases they remain dear friends long after the events are complete.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

There is nothing more satisfying that creating an event where everyone is enjoying the ambiance as well as the quality of food. At Be My Guest we strive to use locally sourced products, and whenever possible organic. Great care is taken in the production of our food. Nothing is pre-made or purchased as a finished product. Many times our produce comes from our own organic gardens. Our buffet designs and set up reflect Chef Helen's first education as a visual artist, and now her culinary and artistic skill are combined to create stunning as well as delicious food.
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Location

Hutto, TX 78634

Years in business

12

Number of employees

5

Times hired on Thumbtack

14

Reviews

16 Reviews
  • Edna V. Dec 5, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Disappointed City Staff!
    City offices closed for our Employee Luncheon @ 11:30 on Friday, 12/02/16. Food was delivered late which delayed our luncheon, as employees had to return to work immediately after. The 3-meat taco bar (shredded chicken, pulled pork and ground beef) was quoted to include Guacamole, Pico and Corn Tortillas but these were not provided. Shredded cheese ran out before the employees finished going through the food line, even though the number of employees + extras that we would be feeding was provided, including our Mayor and City Council. The food was cold and caterer did not bring the means to keep the food warm. Caterer was aware prior to this event that there were no kitchen facilities at our venue. After our event, the caterer delivered the leftover food to our office so night shift police officers could eat. Once delivered, they made another trip to the office to bring the missing items. The date on the corn tortillas package indicated they were expired (10/29/16). By now, the food smelled bad and some city employees that ate at the luncheon, including a police sergeant, spent the afternoon feeling ill. We immediately proceeded to bag the leftover food and dispose of it.
    Helen M. Dec 5, 2016

    Edna, as I told you I was very sorry that we were late. There is no excuse, nor is there an excuse for having forgotten some of the items we prepared. I would like to point out that the catering requested was for drop off, but we stayed to maintain the area, and did replenish the cheese and beans, we also provided extra desserts at no charge. Although, we did bring the food in cambros to maintain heat, the coldness of the venue made it difficult to maintain once on the tables. Even though the request was for drop off only, we did transport the leftovers to city hall, as requested The food items were placed on tables in your offices; once they leave us I cannot control time and temperature issues.The tortillas I said I would provide were flour, and taco shells, which I did.The extra that we brought to the office were some of my own, from the freezer, so it was my error in not checking that date( it was however not a missing part of the meal . I just wanted to make sure your employees had some tortillas) As I said, I'm very sorry for the experience.

  • Jo Ann P. Nov 1, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Spectacular
    Ribbon cutting/grand opening cocktail party. Helen created a spectacular menu for our event, her food is unrivaled in creativity, presentation and quality certainly based on budget and within her peers on thumbtack. ( we had 3 tastings) While execution knocked off a couple of points I wouldn't be going anywhere else for our catering needs.
  • Sam C. Sep 29, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Great Service
    The event was handled perfectly.
  • Carol P. Sep 7, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Good experience.
    Communication was good and price was competitive. The only issue was the caterers were late to the event! I had to have guests help set up tables and chairs.
  • Tony D. Sep 4, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Best caterer I have ever used!
    Helen Markow was absolutely fabulous and her Louisuana menu was amazing. All my guests commented on how great the food was. The service was excellent and the food table was beautiful and elegant. I highly recommend the Markow House.
    Helen M. Sep 6, 2016

    Thank you Tony, It was one of the most pleasurable catering events I have done. Your execution was amazing, too!

  • Suzanne A. Jul 21, 2016
    Helen catered my daughter and son-in-law's wedding. The food was outstanding, presented beautifully and on budget. Easy to work with and they created a lovely event for the reception!
  • Gabrielle B. Jul 21, 2016
    Their cooking is the best food I've ever had.
  • Steve M. Jul 21, 2016
    Dining is a passionate art form at The Markow House and Be My Guest Catering. Every time I ate there I had a pleasant dining experience with food of the most exquisite flavours. For this reason I highly recommend The Markow House and Be My Guest Catering.
  • Constance H. Jul 21, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Helen and her crew did a fantastic job catering my party last weekend. Our barbecue was superb. Every dish was amazing. Her homemade veal and pork sausage was absolutely wonderful. And the potato salad was really good. She's a joy to work with!
  • Donna L. Jun 24, 2016
    Corporate Lunch Catering
    Verified Review
    After all our usual catering choices were unavailable, we scurried to find someone who could cater a small Board luncheon on short notice. We posted our need on Thumbtack, and discovered a jewel! Helen of "Be My Guest Catering" delivered a beautiful meal with chafers and real plates and stemware, instead of our usual disposable everything. The food was fabulous (chicken stuffed with wild rice and apricots), the presentation was lovely, and the impression she made on our Board with her "above and beyond" service will guarantee her return. Well done, Helen Markow!
  • Sasha W. Jun 22, 2016
    Loved having our wedding here, and I highly recommend the in-house catering. We had a stellar buffet that more than satisfied all of our guests, and we had people telling us months down the road that they loved it. It was great working with Helen and getting all of our ideas out. She really made our dream wedding come true!
  • Nora M. Jun 8, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Had a great experience. Went very smoothly. She visited our house before hand and gave me great advice, as this was our first party at our house. The layout, food, flow, timeliness was great. The barbecue (brisket, chicken and sausage) and fixins tasted great. The guests commented on how good the food was.
  • Natasha S. Apr 18, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review Updated
    Helen did such a wonderful job. She took the extra step to find out exactly what we were hoping to accomplish with our event and catered the food to fit that mission. She not only came up with one option but three! And at the last minute when we needed extra food, she did so without any hesitation! Would definitely recommend her.
  • Verified Review Original
    A wonderful experience with Markow House Catering! On time, with awesome food, and great service!
    Helen M. May 5, 2016

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Kristen R. Mar 22, 2016
    Corporate Lunch Catering
    Verified Review
    Helen catered our office St. Patrick's day lunch with a buger bar. Everyone raved about the food and her non-dairy green ice cream was the biggest hit of the day!
  • Rachael M. Jan 17, 2016
    Amazing food, high quality meat-- not mushy or stringy like we've had at other people's events! Sides are amazing, house made bread, soups to die for. Would definitely have again at our next event.
  • Katrina K. Oct 28, 2014
    The food was amazing! There was nothing that I tasted that I didn't like! The meat was savory, the vegetables well seasoned, and the cake tasted as good as it looked.

Q&A

What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I usually start with a few questions to get the feel for budget and what the goal the client has in mind for the event. Once the initial consult takes place I will design a few menus for the client to peruse, and we often exchange e-mails regarding decor etc right up until the event. This process can take anywhere from an immediate decision on the client's part to several consults. For a large event, like a wedding, a menu tasting will take place to finalize the selection. Then the contract is signed a a deposit is made.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
University of Texas, majored in Fine Arts, Escoffier School for Culinary Arts, 30 years in the food industry.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
The only "standard" for pricing is to make sure I provide the highest quality product and stay with in the clients budget. I don't believe in up-selling, but I also find it difficult to deal with people who don't want to pay for quality work and product.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I started as a pastry chef when I was 18. My brother was a chef at a gourmet restaurant in Austin in the 80's. He taught me the desserts, bread and quiche, and I w worked there while I attended The University of Texas on a Fine Arts scholarship. After I raised my family, and we began doing more corporate entertaining, I realized that it was an area where I was talented, and loved. It worked well with my artistic education, so I attended culinary school to refine my skills.
What types of customers have you worked with?
St Mary's Cathedral, down town Austin, Corporate clients, Intel, Nvidia and private clients, including Vince Young's birthday party.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
This was a huge corporate event 280 plus. We hosted it at The Markow House, and it took approximately 8 weeks to plan. We had international food stations to recognize the diversity of the employees at the event. And a popular live band from the Austin scene.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Be careful about someone telling you they can make anything happen before they get a true feel for what you want. Ask questions, and make sure you are a good fit for each other. Don't be afraid to ask if you can speak with previous clients.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
What is my end goal? How much of this project do I want to do? Are my financial expectations realistic?