Alumna caters to those who appreciate good food

p>What’s cooking in Lisa Dahl’s kitchen? Well … something “dahlicious.” Whether she’s frosting cupcakes or preparing Asian crab cakes, Dahl’s attention to thoughtful flavor combinations and her stylish presentation is making a mark through her new catering company — Simply Dahlicious.

Over the years, Dahl (BSBA ’87) and her husband, Eric (BSBA marketing ’85), moved frequently for his work. Dahl pursued her love for cooking by catering small events wherever they lived while raising their two small children.

When their recent move to Hopkinton, Mass., came with a house with a second kitchen (which is health board certified), she knew the timing was ideal to take her culinary tinkerings to the next level.

Offering a full menu — from soup and nuts to cupcakes and caramels — Dahl serves up for small cocktail banquets or fundraisers for 300. “I work with a company that does all my event staffing for bartenders and servers, so I can focus on the food,” says Dahl, who works one or two events per week.

One of Dahl’s trademarks is her “Tiered Cupcake Extravaganza.” Using an array of cake and frosting flavors, custom paper sleeves, ribbons and flowers, Dahl creates tiered displays of cupcakes that complement an event’s theme or color scheme.

“My guests couldn’t get over the cupcakes,” says Kristina Grace, who hired Dahl for a bridal shower. Grace selected vanilla (with a hint of orange) cupcakes with butter cream frosting. “They made a lovelier presentation than a flat cake, and they were so much easier to serve.”

Dahl’s interest in cooking began as a child as she followed her grandmother around the kitchen preparing foods for Jewish holidays. By 14, she had a part-time job in a bakery, and later continued her interest at the University of Denver where she majored in hospitality.

“The class I disliked the most is the one that is still helping me the most,” says Dahl, recalling her menu-planning course at DU. “It basically taught me how to cost out a menu, including every 4 oz. jar of cinnamon. I still think of that professor when I am working on menus at two in the morning.”

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