BEHIND THE SCENES: Caterers prepare for Thanksgiving

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Spreading, stirring and stocking – that’s the recipe for success around Thanksgiving at Ashley Mac’s. 

McMakin helps a customer at her Cahaba Heights location.

“This is our busiest season of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas.” Ashley McMakin, founder of Ashley Mac’s said. “We’re just grateful to get to feed a lot of people in Birmingham.”

In the back, the kitchen staff is working diligently to keep up with orders. There has been no shortage of those this year.

A member of the Ashley Mac’s kitchen staff makes mac-n-cheese.

“Casseroles, cookies, pies, biscuits,” McMakin said. “Seems like we can’t make them fast enough.”

2020 has changed up typical operations. Since there are fewer large family gatherings expected this year, the restaurants have fewer catering orders. So instead, they’re catering to our inner procrastinator.

“We do try to stock all of our freezers and coolers at all of our locations with as much as we can for last minute walk-ins,” she said. “For those like me, those who don’t plan.”

Let’s admit it, there’s a little bit of that in a lot of us. Walk-in’s Wednesday may not have found their classic cornbread or sweet potatoes, but they found other popular substitutes like Cheesy Grits, twice baked potatoes and plenty of rolls.

“When I started in 2005, that was kind of our niche,” McMakin said. “Catering, and then, we call it gourmet to go.”

An Ashley Mac catering driver picking up orders to deliver.

And it’s worked, many came in just like Tara Smith today, a loyal Ashley Mac customer, especially around the holidays.

“It’s easy, it’s always good,” Smith said. “I always go ‘Ashley Mac is saving my Thanksgiving!’”

Using a variety of tools like their yam jackhammer and chicken shredder, McMakin and her staff at all five of their location will have what you need for a gourmet last minute thanksgiving dinner.

Ashley Mac’s closes at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and is closed on Thanksgiving Day.


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