Our Crème de la Crème Staff

 
 
 
Jennifer-9-2.jpg

Jennifer Wilson - owner & president

Jennifer joined Crème de la Crème in 1999 with a passion for creating and organizing events. In her dual roles as event planner and office administrator, she applied the disciplines she learned as a corporate accountant to reorganize the office structure and plan and produce one-of-a-kind events. Having been founder and Executive Chef Mark Miskiewicz’s right-hand for more than 13 years, she was more than ready to take the reins when he retired in 2013. As owner of Crème de la Crème, Jennifer has taken her commitment to providing the highest quality product and service to new levels. Her vision for the future of her company embodies the company’s mission – Rise to the Occasion. Some of the prominent events that Jennifer has been involved with are the Academy Awards, Green Room and Crew Feeds, the Susan B. Komen Pink Tie Ball, the KOCE Annual Gala, as well as events for Apple, Liberty Mutual, Nordstrom, Tesla, Audi, South Coast Plaza, the Anaheim Ducks, among the many. She was heavily involved in the design and production of the month-long Pasadena Showcase House of Design Café and the annual Nordstrom Holiday Rewards for over 10,000 guests. Ever mindful of the client’s experience, her motto is “Let us manage the details, so you can be a guest your own party!” Born and raised in Whittier, Jennifer and her family currently reside in North Tustin.

 
 
 
Laura-2-2.jpg

Laura Hale - sales director

Laura brings a wealth of experience garnered from planning events all over the world. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she coordinated events in Bali, Singapore, Thailand, as well as her homeland before joining Crème de la Crème. Her wealth of international experience has provided Laura with a unique perspective when it comes to event planning. “No matter where you are, Singapore, Australia, Newport Beach or Costa Mesa, clients and guests expectations are the same,” she says. “They want to have their event go off without a hitch, they want a great atmosphere, they want delicious food and they want to enjoy themselves.” Laura believes that with personal focus and attention to detail, she is able to create and maintain great relationships with her clients. It is in doing so, clients see the incredible value and return to Crème de la Creme, time after time, for their catering and event needs. Laura and her husband reside in Lake Forest with their two rescue dogs, and share a love for great food.

 
 
 
Marguerite-2.jpg

Marguerite Hinger - senior event specialist

Marguerite’s unique approach to events and ability to balance priorities has made a significant impact on every client and event she has coordinated. It is this approach that maintains long lasting relationships and satisfied clients. The Brooklyn native brings years of experience in the catering field on the East Coast as well as throughout Southern California. Her optimistic and energetic attitude is infectious and the affects it has on every event she plans is remarkable. “I believe it is important to plan an event from the perspective of the guests, not just the client,” she says. “Putting yourself in the shoes of that guest. How he or she would like to be treated, the atmosphere created for them, how the food looks and tastes. Not just creating that moment but a memory that will positively reflect on the client.” Marguerite resides in Costa Mesa where she balances her work with her passions for biking, kayaking, and the arts.

 
 
 

Samantha Koch - Wedding & Venue Coordinator

Samantha travels around Orange County and the rest of Southern California, finding the perfect event spaces for our clients to bring their party visions to life. Samantha has worked with Crème de la Crème in various capacities since 2010, serving, bartending, and acting as an event manager for some of our largest clients. She came on board in 2015 to oversee Creme’s growing roster of venue opportunities, with a special interest in wedding coordination. Having worked every position on the service side of the company gives her a unique perspective when it comes to organizing events for her wedding clients. Her favorite saying at events is “Don’t pass it up, pick it up!” to empower staff to take ownership of any part of the job that needs doing. In her spare time, Samantha loves to travel, drink sauvignon blanc, and spend time with her friends and family. Born and raised in Rancho Santa Margarita, she currently resides in Irvine with her husband and baby boy.

 
 
 
Steven-2.jpg

Steven Ontiveros - Executive Chef

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Chef Steven credits his love for cooking to his Italian and Mexican grandmothers. Realizing that the culinary field was his calling from a young age, he honed his craft first in culinary school, and then in a variety of positions for the Patina and Dolce groups, including Catal and the Geisha House, as well as various corporate restaurants around Southern California. Steven had his first experience running his own kitchen at a small, family-owned gastropub in Garden Grove, The Globe, where he developed a reputation for his playful use of fresh ingredients, before moving into the catering world. He developed his precise presentation and food styling skills as a tasting and event chef at 24 Carrots Catering, before moving into the sous chef position at Crème de la Crème in 2014.  In 2016, Steven stepped up to the role of Executive Chef where he continues to hone his skills in creating beautiful and dynamic dishes. Between catering events, Steven likes to spend time with his nose in a book or graphic novel and immerse himself in various aspects of nerd culture. He also is hard at work turning his two beautiful children into little nerds themselves. He resides in Huntington Beach with his family.

 
 
 
CremeDeLaCremeStaff-4.jpg

Kellie Rieger - sous chef

Born in the quiet beach town, San Clemente, Ca, Kellie had a desire from a young age to travel and see as much of the world as possible. Right out of high school Kellie did just that by spending a few semesters studying abroad. First studying French History at Sorbonne in Paris and then Shakespearean Literature at Cambridge in the UK.  While there she developed a love of fine food and European wine and upon her return to the States was hit with the cooking bug and almost immediately went back to Europe to study culinary arts at the prestigious Leiths School of Food And Wine. During her term there she had the privilege of studying under Chefs from Michelin Star restaurants including The Fat Duck and The Ledbury as well as being able to stage at several prominent locations like The Salt Yard, Quo Vardis and Chez Bruce Michelin restaurant.  When Kellie came home she began working at Crème de la Crème in 2015 where she quickly developed a desire to dive deeper into the different styles of cuisine. She eventually worked her way up to Sous Chef, cultivating a unique catering experience with an avant-garde feel steeped in fundamental culinary tradition. In her spare time, you can usually find her with her nose in a book or working on her hobby as a wine connoisseur or planning her next traveling experience.