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This profile was last updated on 3/12/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dawn LaRochelle

Wrong Dawn LaRochelle?

Owner and Culinary Artist

Local Address: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Company Description: Apogee is a high-end, off-site boutique catering company, dedicated to providing premier cuisine, peak service and the ultimate catering experience for our valued...   more
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

51 Total References
Web References
Apogee owner/culinary artist Dawn ...
apogeecatering.com, 12 Mar 2014 [cached]
Apogee owner/culinary artist Dawn LaRochelle didn't leave her Wall Street office behind to do "same old, same old!
...
As a Harvard-trained attorney, Apogee owner/culinary artist Dawn LaRochelle maintains that catering is just like courtroom litigation: you need to be creative, you need to think fast on your feet, you need to produce flawless results even under imperfect circumstances and you need to pull it all off with substance AND style. Every one at Apogee is an outside-the-box thinker who thrives under pressure, handles curveballs with aplomb and delivers incredible results. We have the vision, the drive and the talent to make your event sparkle!
7. FOOD:
Apogee owner/culinary artist Dawn LaRochelle and her talented team know their way around a kitchen, and can tell you a thing or three about food - but don't take our word for it, read our Rave Reviews!
“Classy-casual” hits Chester: An interview with Wyld Thyme Catering and Restaurant | CHESTER THEATRE COMPANY
chestertheatre.org, 4 June 2013 [cached]
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dawn LaRochelle, owner of Chester's new catering service and restaurant, Wyld Thyme, located in the old Pioneer Grill space. Dawn is no stranger to the restaurant business as the owner-operator of Perigee Restaurant in Lee, as well as Apogee Catering and Bete Avon Kosher Catering.
Bete'Avon Kosher Catering - Catering in Western Mass, the Berkshires
www.beteavonkoshercatering.com, 21 May 2013 [cached]
Dawn LaRochelle, Culinary Artist/Owner: Dawn LaRochelle is a former attorney who now lavishes the organizational skills, attention to detail and perfectionism honed in Harvard Law School and the courtroom on her true passion: food!
With a love of cooking developed as a young girl kneading bread dough with her Yiddish-speaking grandmother, and later while on scholarship working with talented chefs in Tokyo, Beijing and Taipei, Dawn is known for her ability to blend traditional and exotic flavors from around the world to please the eye AND the palette. Dawn has an outstanding reputation in the Berkshires and beyond for her delectable and exquisitely presented cuisine, and has catered for a distinguished clientele including Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel; the former Ambassador from China to the United States Li Daoyu; the Counsel General of Israel-New England Nadav Tamir; and internationally renowned fitness expert and best-selling author Brad Schoenfeld.
...
Dawn is frequently sought upon to lecture about gourmet Kosher cuisine, has been a guest on WBCR Berkshire County radio and is the recipient of two prestigious Grinspoon Arts & Culture Grants to hold community-based cooking demonstrations. Dawn is also active in the local community, including serving as President of Sinai Academy of the Berkshires from 2006 to 2008, and is a member of the International Culinary Association and the Berkshire Co-Op.
Bete'Avon Kosher Catering - Serving the Berkshires, Westchester County (Western Mass)
www.beteavonkoshercatering.com, 21 May 2013 [cached]
[via The Boston Globe]

GREAT BARRINGTON - Dawn LaRochelle's annual Passover quest has begun: She wants to put a new spin on ancient traditions. The idea is that her food will feel modern and dazzle her catering clients, but it must also adhere to kosher standards stringent enough to get the nod of approval from an Orthodox rabbi.

LaRochelle, owner and operator of Bete'Avon!
Kosher Catering (bete' avon is Hebrew for bon appetit), prepares dinners for customers in Boston, Western Mass., New York's Hudson Valley, and beyond. This year for Passover, which begins April 8 with the first Seder, LaRochelle is testing recipes in her home here. "Passover is even more strict than ordinary kosher cooking," says the caterer. "But I look at possibilities, not the limitations."

This year, she's taking a shot at elevating the texture of the famously dense matzo ball by folding a batch of beaten egg whites into the batter. "Most of my clientele like the fluffy floaters," she says, separating the eggs. "But the more observant like the sinkers. I don't know why. LaRochelle is referring to the long-held debate over feathery matzo balls, which float while they cook, vs. the heavier, heartier ones, which tend to sink to the bottom of the pot. She's trying to achieve a pillow-like texture.

LaRochelle has run Apogee Catering for the past three years and started Bete'Avon, an entirely separate company, in 2007.
She began the second business after noticing a growing need for kosher catering in the region, in part because the Berkshires have a sizable Orthodox population.

On today's menu is chicken soup to serve with the matzo balls; a meatless tsimmes made with carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, prunes, dates, figs, and apricots; and a flourless chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache flavored with raspberry jam.

LaRochelle grew up in the New York area, and became a lawyer; she worked for several years as a litigator until becoming disenchanted with the tedium of researching stalled court cases.
Her legal background, she says, gives her the ability to think quickly and trouble-shoot when fuses blow on a catering site and other things go wrong. She was raised in a Jewish household but only began observing the kosher dietary laws as an adult. She and her husband, Dennis, who is not Jewish, met at Harvard Law School, where she cofounded Harvard's Food and Wine Society.

"I'm self-taught with a tremendous passion for cooking," she says. "I like flavor and I like exotic. She is adding a confetti of julienned zucchini and yellow squash to a pot of simmering chicken soup. The vegetable strips are meant to mimic egg noodles. Along with leavened bread, rice, corn, oats, and wheat, noodles are forbidden during the weeklong Passover.

The julienne of vegetables is one of LaRochelle's unconventional twists on her grandmother's chicken soup (LaRochelle calls her recipe "twisted"). Another is the addition of smoked chicken bones, something she learned from fellow caterer Carl Jones of Jackson, Tenn.

Her meatless tsimmes cooks for several hours. LaRochelle ricochets around her yellow kitchen, zeroes in on a jar of cinnamon from the spice rack, and pulls a Henckels knife from its wood base to chop sweet potatoes for the mixture. "My goal is to provide high-end meals with ingredients that are creative," she explains. She lifts the lid off the stock pot of simmering matzo balls to make sure they're intact (some cooks believe you shouldn't open the pot during cooking, but because of the fluffy nature of these matzo balls, she thinks it's fine to check them). "You can't boil them hard," she says. "Or they'll stay raw inside."

When she's catering for Bete'Avon! events, LaRochelle and her staff prepare meals at a commercial kitchen in the Pioneer Valley that adheres to Orthodox standards. Rabbi Fred Hyman of the Vaad HaKashruth of Springfield certifies Bete'Avon!'s meals.

LaRochelle, a long-distance runner, compares the challenges of incubating recipes in a low-tech home kitchen to prepping for a marathon.
...
"I train on a harder route than I run for marathons," says LaRochelle.
...
Happy Spring Cleaning and Chag Pesach Sameach from your friends at Bete'Avon!

B'Shalom,
Dawn

In this Issue
→ Amuse Bouch
→ Shop Till You Drop
→ What's Sizzlin'
→ 'Net Gain
→ Savory Insight
→ "I Can't Believe It's
      Kosher!"
→ To Whet Your Appetite
→ From the Recipe Archives
...
Kosher Catering" is offering a haute cuisine, Chinese take-out, glatt kosher menu on Christmas to residents of the Berkshires and well beyond, with a menu that includes Asian braised cranberry short ribs, red-cooked chicken with shitakes, ginger and tangerine zest; red-wine lacquered salmon; vegetarian portobello Kung Pao; and sesame noodles with Thai basil and winter vegetables Julienne.

Certified "kosher" by Vaad Hakashruth of Springfield, LaRochelle noted that her personal and professional approach to cooking recognizes that "at its deepest and best food is about 'joy'.
...
It's about loving and nurturing and creating the perfect moment, one morsel at a time."

LaRochelle said of her three year old business: "It was obvious right away that high-end kosher food was a hot-ticket item - even more than I was expecting."

"There is a vibrant and sophisticated Jewish population in the Berkshire area but a dearth of vibrant and sophisticated kosher dining options," said LaRochelle, who scored with the offering of complete Rosh HaShanah and Kosher for Passover dinners-in-a-box and will also be offering full-course Chanukah meals and interesting and unusual takes on the traditional "potato pancake," including curried sweet potato latkes, zucchini-walnut latkes, and maize fritters.

For more information about "Bete'Avon!
Bete'Avon Kosher Catering - Catering in Western Mass, the Berkshires
www.beteavonkoshercatering.com, 21 May 2013 [cached]
3) CREATIVITY: Bete'Avon owner/culinary artist Dawn LaRochelle didn't leave her Wall Street office behind to do "same old, same old!
...
6) SMARTS: As a Harvard-trained attorney, Bete'Avon owner/culinary artist Dawn LaRochelle maintains that catering is just like courtroom litigation: you need to be creative, you need to think fast on your feet, you need to produce flawless results even under imperfect circumstances and you need to pull it all off with substance AND style. Every one at Bete'Avon is an outside-the-box thinker who thrives under pressure, handles curveballs with aplomb and delivers incredible results. We have the vision, the drive and the talent to make your event sparkle!
7) FOOD: Bete'Avon owner/culinary artist Dawn LaRochelle and her talented team know their way around a kitchen, and can tell you a thing or three about food - but don't take our word for it, ask us for our glowing references.
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