Wedding Q and A: AHI'S OHANA CATERING | Hood River News



Chef Mark Whitehead and his team at Ahi’s Ohana Catering have been catering weddings in the Columbia River Gorge for 15 years. For information go to

Q: What should I look for in a caterer? A: We recommend using locally sourced vendors who support the Gorge businesses. I would also look for a caterer that provides all-inclusive wedding packages and has no hidden costs.

Q: What are the trends in food at weddings?

A: Ahi’s has found that a lot of the guests are from out-of-town and are looking to experience the bounty of food that the area has to offer. Also, one of our popular services is “family style,” because it brings a feeling of sitting down at home with your loved ones.

Q: Do you specialize in certain foods or food themes? A: We personalize all of our menus and can create a certain style or theme according to the couple’s ideas. Our chefs offer a variety of genres in food and have built a strong cooking relationship together.

Q: How do you go about sourcing local food? A: We have spent years sourcing local food and creating relationships with our local farmers and growers. We gather lists the week prior to an event and purchase products that are fresh and in-season.

Q: Do you have certain pre-set menu options, or do you personalize menus? A: We offer creative ideas that we use as a starting point to personalize each menu. We take our clients’ thoughts and ideas and transform them into a menu that makes their celebration everything they imagined. Ahi’s loves the challenge of cooking new foods and keeping the freshness alive in the kitchen.

Q: What are the important functions a caterer serves, besides making the food? A: Ahi’s offers a full-service wedding package. This includes helping coordinate the day and making sure all of the guests’ needs are met. It’s important for a caterer to be flexible and work well with the other vendors.

Q: How do you coordinate with the other vendors I’ll be using? A: Ahi’s has been catering in the Gorge and working with the local vendors for more than 15 years. We communicate with the other

vendors, working as a team to ensure a smooth wedding day.

Q: What are some important questions I should ask any potential caterer? A: Ask them if they cater to special dietary needs, allergies and food sensitivities. Ask what type of services they offer. Ask them if they use locally sourced vendors — and

can you call them for references. Ask them if they can personalize a menu according to your budget.

Q: What’s your favorite part about catering a wedding? A: Meeting and getting to know the wedding couple and their families, from the day we

begin personalizing your menu to the day of the celebration. Ahi’s Ohana Catering builds

a relationship with the family to make a

meaningful experience for them for this special day. It’s all about the guests and seeing the happiness that a good meal brings to all.