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Yorktown Food Guru Caters to Clients' Dreams

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Planning kiddie cuisine for countless bar and bat mitzvahs at Tarrytown’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel has taught Linda Ferone a thing or two about pleasing hungry teens.

The facility’s director of catering, Ferone has figured out that sometimes pleasing picky palettes is best accomplished with simple dishes, and that a lot of times folks of all ages want the same kinds of goodies to munch on. For example, mini grilled cheese sandwiches may even win out over a slice of flan.“Adults love it as much as the kids do—shrinking size makes everything more fun,” she said.

Her current offerings at the hotel, which houses the largest grand ballroom in Westchester, include a variety of kosher and non-kosher packages. When feeding both kids and adults, Ferone will offer a buffet of treats for the 13-year olds while giving moms and dads the option of dabbling in a fancier menu. Beef tenderloin with peppered merlot jus with sweet potato mash is just one of the dishes offered on the banquet extensive menus.

So what’s the most rewarding part of Ferone’s day-to-day routine? The seasoned party-planner said it’s taking part in some of the most important days in her clients’ lives. And the customer gratitude is palpable, she says. Whether it’s a smile on a little girl’s face or a glowing compliment, the star-studded events she creates build memories that last long after the final song of the night.“I once had a girl say to me, ‘you made all my dreams come true.’ And I thought, ‘that’s a pretty cool job I have!’” she said.

Before starting at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown, the Yorktown Heights resident spent 11 years at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains first as catering manager, then director of catering. She also earned an MBA in Marketing from Iona College.

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