Taste of Africa
Bride's Grade: C/Groom's Grade: C
If you're interested in the longer version, contact me and I will provide you the full story. The below is the abridged version.
I initially contacted Ms. Funmi of Taste of Africa in March 2011 to meet with her and get an initial quote. Because I've eaten food at 3 weddings that she has catered and she came highly recommended from several people, I pretty much didn't consider anyone else in my research although I knew of several other caterers (but had never had their food).
When providing the initial quote, she informed me that there were 2 ways that she quoted her catering services. The first was service "per head" and the second was service by "cooler/pan of food". She informed that "per head" costs more, but because I intended from the beginning to have buffet service, I thought it would be best to do service by "cooler/pan of food" as I thought that's what she meant by buffet service and didn't inquire further about what was included when service is completed "per head". She also informed me that I came to her quite early to get a quote and she couldn't guarantee the pricing because of the market fluctuations with food costs. I understood and stated I would revisit with her by July to confirm the costs and possibly sign a contract at that time. She was VERY cost efficient in comparison to other caterers that I had gotten basic quotes from.
Approximately 2 weeks before the wedding, I sent her a VERY detailed email (hey, I'm particular) stating what would need to be done once arriving at the venue as far as setup and breakdown. A week passed and I hadn't heard anything from her and I was beginning to wonder. Just as I was about to call her, she calls and informs me that her internet was out and she just saw the email. She stated that she would help a LITTLE bit but she hadn't intended on doing all of the things that were listed in the email as that is considered "per head" service not "cooler/pan of food" service. Although I was a bit disturbed by this revelation a week before my wedding, I said I understood and decided that I made sure that my coordinator understood what needed to be done since the caterer stated it wasn't part of the costs.
If it wasn't for the events of the day of, I probably would have given her a B+ even with the miscommunication the week before the wedding.
My coordinator and hostesses scrambled to get the appetizers out for cocktail hour while the rest of the food was brought out. Throughout the rest of the evening, my coordinator tried to work with Ms. Funmi, however, she kept reiterating that she wasn't paid to do that type of service. At one point, Ms. Funmi walked up to me to ask me about the servers I'd gotten because she felt that she was doing everything and that they weren't doing anything, however, that was not what I understood from several sources.
After my wedding was over, I'd spoken with my coordinator, several hostesses, and Ms. Funmi to get as many sides of the story as I could before writing this review. The food was impeccable, as it always has been with all the food I've ever had from her and she was cost-efficient and worked with my budget, but it's with GREAT hesitation that I recommend her based on service and communication. Maybe my misunderstanding came from my "American" thinking as Taste of Africa was my only Nigerian vendor which I chose because I wanted to make sure the food was authentic (unlike some Nigerian weddings I'd been to where the caterers were very unfamiliar with the food and had problems). My suggestion is that if you decide to use her is that you make sure that you discuss EVERYTHING that has ANYTHING to do with food with her to make sure that all of the kinks are worked out.
Would I use her again? Yes, but ONLY to bring the food and make sure that that is what is understood beforehand.