In 2002, Chef Michael Toni and his wife, Kari Toni, thought they were starting a catering business to serve Mercer Island, Medina, and the Bellevue area. They rented a kitchen space in Redmond, where the rent was more reasonable at the time. Michael was introduced to Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars shortly after. Little did he know that would completely change the trajectory of A Platinum Event, which now does 90 percent of its business in Woodinville.
The thing that sets Platinum apart from other catering companies is its commitment to having an owner present at every event. Michael or Kari gives a personal touch to each event. “I’ve attended 99 percent of our events,” said Michael. “I cook all the food from start to finish, drive the truck, unload, and reload.”
Michael says the biggest changes over the last three years have to do with accommodating special dietary restrictions. He responds to these requests with a “Yes; what can I do?” smile. He knows how challenging dietary restrictions can be from personal experience. He spent weeks in the hospital a couple of years back battling Crohn’s disease and said he nearly died.
Platinum has built an outstanding reputation among the Woodinville wineries, particularly with DeLille Cellars, Columbia Winery, JM Cellars, Sparkman Cellars, and more recently Matthews Winery. They’ve been called upon by Woodinville Wine Country and the Chamber of Commerce in addition to numerous weddings and private events.
They don’t really have set menus. Everything is seasonal, and clients customize their culinary experiences. Michael makes several different charcuterie items in-house, including pancetta, guanciale, and other meat products. “We spend time with each client to find out their goals for the event.”
Michael says he and Kari love doing this work. “We had no idea what this would blossom into when we started this 17 years ago, and who knows what it will look like in another 10 years? I am 42 years old, and the goal is to turn this over to someone else at age 65. We feel like we are part of the Woodinville community — the hometown caterer.” aplatinumevent.com