Catering for the president’s staff? For Niles’ Drew, it wouldn’t be a first

Published 12:59 pm Saturday, May 1, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- If things go according to the usual schedule, Liz Drew may find out today she is catering for the president of the United States on Monday.
Drew's Dragonfly Catering was hired to cater for the last time president George W. Bush visited the Michiana area, a brief stop in South Bend, Ind., in 2002.
However, Drew was given just two days' notice to throw together a lunchtime meal for about 200 people. So, a call could still come in today for Dragonfly to handle the president's visit to Niles which is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Being chosen to cater for the president does not happen by pure luck. Drew had an inside track in U.S. Rep. Chris Chocola, R-Indiana.
During the president's visit to South Bend, Dragonfly had to set up shop in a hangar at the airport and never actually served the president, though that was the original plan.
The short preparation time was especially difficult for Dragonfly because it was an afternoon event.
Even moreso than normal catering events, serving lunch at a presidential visit included a lot of unknowns.
Luckily, there was no specific food order and Dragonfly had some freedom in choosing what to serve.
Even though it sounds chaotic, Drew was impressed by the amount of work and preparation that goes into preparing for a presidential visit.
Having already served at a presidential visit once, Drew knows she could still be asked to take care of things this time around. The stress that would create, however, is not something she's looking forward to.
But she probably won't be surprised if she's scrambling to set up a meal worthy of the president before the weekend is over.