• Leah Henderson appointed pastry chef for D'Amico Catering

    POSTED March 19, 2019

    Photo courtesy D'Amico Catering

    Photo courtesy D'Amico Catering

Leah Henderson was recently appointed pastry chef for D'Amico Catering. We caught up with her to learn more about her experiences in the industry... and her personal favorite sweet treats.

What are you looking forward to in your new role as pastry chef?

I’ve had the pleasure to work in fine dining for the past 25 years. Now, I’m excited to incorporate that level of perfection to elevate D’Amico Catering’s pastry program, especially at some of our more upscale venues and events.

How have past experiences helped you prepare for this position?

I spent my first four years in the food industry working in catering. My next job was at Buttercream Desserts doing dessert production and wedding cakes. For the past 24 years I have been overseeing the dessert programs for D’Amico & Partner’s full-service restaurants, which involved many difference cuisines, challenges and menus. All of these experiences have set me up for the vast, ever-changing world of catering.

How did you get into the industry?

I have a degree in food science and was planning a career in home economics, but it just didn’t fulfill that creative drive in me. When I helped out with a few catering gigs during college, I was hooked. The pastry part was actually self-taught. Although, my mother should probably get some credit!

What are your goals for yourself in your new role?

I am hoping to continue the success that we have seen with D’Amico Catering’s pastry program over the years, while also introducing a few modern techniques, new flavor profiles and my own flare.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

I got into this field because I wanted to do something creative and I still feel that way today. There can be long and demanding hours but we’re always developing new dishes and learning new techniques that keep this job fun and engaging.

What is your favorite pastry to make/eat?

My favorite pastry to eat is anything tart with a burst of flavor like Meyer lemons, key lime and rhubarb. Also doughnuts, all of the doughnuts! My favorite pastry to make is pie. It’s so basic, comforting, delicious and beautiful all at the same time.

The Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) hosted the 23rd Annual Diamon Service Awards Gala on March 17 where 15 front line service personnel were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the hospitality industry. 


Asha Hassan, a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Minneapolis-Downtown (Convention Center) has been named the “Hospitality Hero” award winner for the third quarter of 2018 by Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association. This honor is for an individual or company that has made valuable contributions to the image and culture of Minneapolis through outstanding hospitality and service.


Lela Restaurant has rolled out new lunch and dinner menus, created by new executive chef Thomas Orbison.

Chef Orbison discovered his passion and talent for cooking following his career in the United States Air Force. “After six years in the military, I developed a passion for cooking and moved to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu, which is like Harvard for chefs,” said Orbison.

Now that he’s back in Minnesota for the first time since 2004, Orbison is excited to launch some new entrees in the southwest metro.