The Story of endive and Chef Drew

Drew Ihrig is the Owner/Operator and Executive Chef of endive fine catering.  Chef Drew grew up on his family’s farm in Northwestern Pennsylvania, where he learned to work the land.  He also developed a keen appreciation for natural, healthy, home-grown foods.  It was not unusual to find a young Drew visiting neighboring farms to sample some homemade cheeses, or to tap sweet maple trees for their syrup. When Drew’s parents, Dave and Rhonda, moved the family to Coastal Maine, they opened up their own restaurant called The Schooner Fare, where one could always find Drew in the kitchen, learning and experimenting.

After relocating to Atlanta in the early 1990’s, Drew began his career with The Peasant Restaurant Group as an apprentice Sous Chef, learning the “Made from Scratch” ethic that serves him so well today.  During his long tenure with the company Drew continually rose through the ranks, from Sous Chef to Executive Chef, and ultimately on to General Manager.  With his career firmly established and his family growing, his dream of owning his own business began to take shape.  He began to plan and prepare, with the goal of opening a catering company where he could synergize his experiences in fine dining service and fresh-made cuisine into a New Way of catering.  That vision would later become endive.

In 2002 preparation and hard work met opportunity, and Chef Drew was able to purchase Tori Inc., an established full-service catering company with a established reputation and a strong client following.  With the gracious endorsement of the former owner, Chef Drew started endive fine catering and began taking care of his clients and guests with innovative, made-from-scratch menus, detail-oriented service, and outside-the-box décor and presentation.

That first year Chef Drew took care of just over 60 clients out of an 800-square-foot kitchen and a small remote office, but he kept the lights on and in the process he impressed a lot of people with his passion for innovative foods and his excellent service.  By year two the phone was ringing off the hook and there was a buzz about a new and exciting catering concept in the Atlanta market.  By 2006 Drew had four full-time staff on his payroll and had earned placement on the preferred vendor lists of several of Atlanta’s most well known event facilities.  As the fourth year in business began, it had become obvious that a larger facility would be required to continue to offer the service and quality that Chef Drew had built endive’s reputation on.

In keeping with his vision, Chef Drew spent many months seeking out a location and a space that would be the perfect fit for endive.  In late 2007, Chef Drew found that perfect location, and soon his vision was taking shape.

On August 1st, 2008, we broke ground on a 5000-square-foot catering and event facility.  The building is located between Buckhead and Midtown, just off of Peachtree Road.  The facility features an enormous brand new kitchen, a unique space for client meetings, and an office suite.  Construction was completed in late 2008 and endive moved into its new home, which more than quadrupled the space and production capacity of the first facility.   In March of 2014 we opened the doors of endive Publik house, our new restaurant, which is located inside the existing building.

Almost eight years later, Chef Drew and his talented staff (now ten strong) take care of well over 400 clients a year, from small pick up orders and intimate cocktail parties to large weddings and special corporate event programs.

Endive offers a globally influenced catalog of recipes with over 300 selections in a over a dozen formats.  We can provide a casual lunch for the office, unique chef-attended action stations for your wedding or gathering, or even formal, seated, five-course dinners, and everything in between.  Endive menus feature approachable yet eclectic, comfort foods, prepared fresh from scratch for each event using the freshest ingredients available.  Locally sourced and fully organic menus are available, and each menu is custom created for each client for each event.

Thank you again for taking the time to learn about Chef Drew and endive.  Please give us a call or send us an e-mail, so Chef Drew may begin designing your perfect menu for your perfect event.  We truly hope to have the opportunity to take care of you like you were part of our family!