Spotlight: Anthony Kennedy, Founder, CEO, and Executive Chef of Kennedy Catering Service
At an early age, founder, CEO, and Executive Chef Anthony Kennedy, of Kennedy Catering Service, was exposed to the romance of food. Helping in the kitchen at home from the early age of six, Anthony learned to cook for his younger brother and himself while growing up. Both he and his mother affectionately refer to caring for others through their food as their “love language”.
Raised by a mother that had to work long hours to put food on the table, but still managed to find the time to show how much she cared through her cooking, taught Anthony to be independent. He followed suit by pursuing his life’s work of feeding people and using food as his “love language” just as his mother did. This is something that has been passed down through his family for generations and he carries on with his own children.
Anthony embarked on his culinary adventure as a dishwasher at a popular chain restaurant when he was just fifteen years old. In 2004, Anthony began his career in foodservice gaining recognition, experience, and education in the catering industry which eventually led to launching his own business in 2019. Initially, the business started as a consulting agency but during the pandemic he had to pivot as rules and regulations were constantly changing. Eventually, Anthony was able to combine his passions for food and inspiring others with his catering business, which focusses on camps but can also accommodate smaller or private events such as Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and birthday parties.
Throughout Anthony’s career, he has inspired many others through his support of local farmers, his use of local ingredients, donating leftover food to food banks and Feed It Forward (a non-profit organization run by Chef Jagger Gordon), and imparting his wisdom to children. Starting at home with his own kids, his passion for food has spilled over to the kids he serves at camps.
For Anthony, the biggest driving factor is imparting knowledge around food, especially with youngsters. He explains there’s a certain stigma surrounding camp food – that it just doesn’t taste good, or campers will only be served sloppy mac n’ cheese.
“I try to make sure that no matter who is eating or has any kind of dietary restriction, that the food and the love for the food is put out first.”
The biggest reward for Anthony is when he sees a child enjoying their meal. While Anthony experienced many challenges in the foodservice industry such as rising food prices, sourcing ingredients, and staffing issues, one of his constant challenges is accommodating dietary restrictions for children and keeping nutritional value at the forefront.
As a black business owner, Anthony ensures his team consists of people from a wide range of demographics and offers equal opportunities to his staff. Having experienced some obstacles along the way due to his ethnicity, he is proud to report the industry has positively changed and he rarely encounters any issues due to his Trinidadian roots.
We asked Anthony what he has learned during his career, and he simply replied, “grit.” He further explained that foodservice is a challenging industry involving working long hours and being constantly on the go. It can become very daunting.
“I’ve learned from many leaders in the industry that those are the times you just put your head down and push through. It always helps when you are surrounded by people who build you up.”
Foodbuy is proud to help support Anthony and his business. In return, he has valued our partnership, stating “Foodbuy has been a great networking source and has truly helped curb some of the inflation costs and food prices that we see rising.”