Our company's incredible team of caterers and staff.
About

People

Our executive team of owners, chefs, senior managers, designers and planners is dedicated to bringing elevated cuisine, service, creativity and support to your event. Coming from a range of food industry backgrounds and experience, our team's diversity ensures creativity and innovation are front and center when planning your special event and meeting your personal goals.
Laura Lyons CEO and President of Global Gourmet Catering
Laura Lyons
Partner/CEO

Laura co-founded Global Gourmet Catering in 1998 after many years working in the restaurant industry and eventually realizing her dream of owning a restaurant in San Francisco.

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Laura Lyons CEO and President of Global Gourmet Catering
Laura Lyons
Partner/CEO

Laura co-founded Global Gourmet Catering in 1998 after many years working in the restaurant industry and eventually realizing her dream of owning a restaurant in San Francisco. Having lived in the Bay Area since 1973, Laura grew up in the era that brought such culinary revelations as Alice Waters, the organic foods movement and the integration of a vast array of ethnic influences on the everyday dining habits of Bay Area residents. While earning a degree in political Science at UC Berkeley she realized her passion was working in the food service industry. A lack of common sense and a love of food, wine and entertaining culminated in the development of her own culinary adventure in San Francisco, Babaloo Tapas Restaurant in the Marina. Laura’s introduction to the catering world happened when she developed that branch of the restaurant. Global Gourmet Catering was later born when she realized she preferred having the occasional day off to never having a life outside of the restaurant and being broke all the time. Laura lives in the East Bay with her husband Thomas Kelleher and their son William. Her passions include family, friends, entertaining, music and hip hop dancing.

David Ashley
Partner/COO/CFO

David began his career in the Food and Beverage industry in Chicago. It was there he entered management for visionary restaurateur Peter Morton, owner of the Hard Rock Café Restaurant chain.

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David Ashley
Partner/COO/CFO

David began his career in the Food and Beverage industry in Chicago. It was there he entered management for visionary restaurateur Peter Morton, owner of the Hard Rock Café Restaurant chain, and developed his friendship with Laura Lyons. The high-volume, fast-paced, music-driven environment of the restaurants, with its many high profile off-premise events, served as a training ground for the world to come at Global Gourmet. David spent over a decade with Hard Rock Café at locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Universal Studios Hollywood, Newport Beach and San Francisco. David enjoys cooking and can be found at his grill nightly preparing dinner for his family. His recreational passions are many and include music, film, biking, snow skiing, paddle boarding and yoga.

Spain Salinas
Partner/Director of Operations

Spain's passion for cooking began at the age of 10 with the preparation of dinners with his Italian grandmother, which developed into new passions in the culinary world in food styling and catering.

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Spain Salinas
Partner/Director of Operations

Spain's passion for cooking began at the age of 10 with the preparation of dinners with his Italian grandmother. Upon being accepted to culinary school, located in San Francisco, Spain came to find an entirely new passion in the culinary world, food styling and catering. He continued his training at the Westin St. Francis and Argonaut hotels and began to broaden his appreciation for both complex and familiar flavors. He worked for catering companies like Taste, Betty Zlatchin and Patina before eventually arriving at Global Gourmet. Spain’s Culinary training has also been achieved by his extensive traveling through France, Italy, Japan, Spain and Latin America. Spain is part of the Executive Team providing thought leadership and strategic direction. In his spare time he is an avid tennis player and music lover, and spends his evenings exploring the culinary wonders of San Francisco – concerts, operas and symphonies are a must in his book.

Mike Sher
Partner/Director of HR/Director of Concessions

Mike has been in the Food & Beverage Industry for 36 years, starting as a dishwasher and busboy and ending up in Operations and Management Development.

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Mike Sher
Partner/Director of HR/Director of Concessions

Mike has been in the Food & Beverage Industry for 36 years, starting as a dishwasher and busboy and ending up in operations and management development. Mike spent the majority of his career working domestically and internationally for Peter Morton's Hard Rock Café & Paul Fleming's P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: both innovative entrepreneurial restaurant concepts. Mike also worked on a project in New York City in conjunction with The Restaurant Associates Group, founded by Joseph Baum, who ran The Rainbow Room and Windows on the World. While with Hard Rock Café in 1988, Mike met Global Gourmet’s founding partners, Laura Lyons and David Ashley. In 2009 Mike joined Global Gourmet to oversee the new Beverage & Concessions Divisions. Mike’s years in corporate management and training led him to take on human resources as Global Gourmet continued to grow. Mike is also part of the Executive Team helping to strategize and realize the vision of the company. Mike spends his spare time with his wife and two young daughters, biking, hiking, reading, singing and trying to experience everything that the Bay Area has to offer.

Elaine Burrell, Managing Director, Sales and Production
Elaine Burrell
Managing Director, Sales and Production

Event planning and food have always been two of Elaine's passions. She joined Global Gourmet Catering in 2015, and brought with her a strong background in management, operations and sales.

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Elaine Burrell, Managing Director, Sales and Production
Elaine Burrell
Managing Director, Sales and Production

Event planning and food have always been two of Elaine's passions. After graduating from the University of San Diego, she gained valuable professional experience at both a Fortune 500 company (CBRE), as well as early stage food startup (Sprig). After successfully launching Sprig, Elaine decided to pursue her true passion in the areas of food and event planning. For the past 15 years, she had organized events for various non-profits, social groups, schools and networking groups. Elaine joined Global Gourmet Catering in 2015, and brought with her a strong background in management, operations and sales. Her unique professional experience, as well as her passion to create a perfectly organized event, quickly became recognized and she was promoted to Managing Director of Sales and Production. In addition to managing the sales and production team, Elaine also manages all of Global Gourmet Catering's social media channels. In her free time, Elaine can be found in Napa organizing social events for her friends, or meeting people in San Francisco. Don't hesitate to reach out, she would love to meet you!

Garo Eldemir
Director of Beverage Services

Garo has over 20 years of experience in the Food and Beverage industry, bringing unique and creative beverage packages to a wide variety of our catering clients.

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Garo Eldemir
Director of Beverage Services

Garo has over 20 years of experience in the Food and Beverage industry, bringing unique and creative beverage packages to a wide variety of our catering clients. His résumé includes heading up all operations for Patina Restaurant Group at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, managing operations at the California Academy of Sciences for the Slanted Door Group and served as Marketing Director at the Wine Appreciation Guild. Garo brings his experience with high-end catering and venue management to designing customized beverage offerings for Global Gourmet’s clientele. With an eye on developing trends and a passion for innovation, Garo's team lives for discovering and mastering the latest and greatest of San Francisco, and the country’s, amazing beverage cultures. In addition to advances in mixology and California’s breadth of wine offerings, the amazing growth of craft beers is an area of great interest. In his free time Garo, along with his cattle dog Beyla, operate a small-scale hops and barley farm on 40 acres in Sonoma County, exploring and practicing true farm-to-pint glass beer brewing.

Scott Fairbanks
Senior Account Executive and Creative Director

Scott’s love affair with food began at the age of eight – with the discovery of a coffee cake recipe on the back of a Bisquick box.

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Scott Fairbanks
Senior Account Executive and Creative Director

Scott’s love affair with food began at the age of eight – with the discovery of a coffee cake recipe on the back of a Bisquick box. Throughout his youth and in parallel to a successful professional career in Southern California, he owned and operated Great Scott Catering, where he honed his abilities to present stellar cuisine, provide impeccable service and dedication to his very loyal clients – attributes that serve him well in his current role as Senior Account Executive and Creative Director. Scott joined Global Gourmet Catering in 2004 and came up through the ranks, including a very successful run as Global Gourmet’s Chef de Cuisine. He joined the sales team in 2008 and was appointed Creative Director in 2016. Scott believes that there’s always an interesting story to be discovered where food, presentation, and guest experience intersect; it’s this living interaction that is always changing and evolving, continually influenced by styles, trends, technology, social media and many other factors. For Scott, it is where the heart of creativity and design lives every day.

Thomas Kelleher Marketing and Author Portrait
Thomas Kelleher
Director of Brand and Marketing

Thomas brings 30 years of advertising, branding and marketing experience to Global Gourmet Catering from an ad agency perspective and has worked with some of the largest, well-known brands in the world both in America and Europe.

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Thomas Kelleher Marketing and Author Portrait
Thomas Kelleher
Director of Brand and Marketing

Thomas brings 30 years of advertising, brand and marketing experience to Global Gourmet Catering from an ad agency perspective and has worked with some of the largest, well-known brands in America and Europe. As Director of Brand and Marketing he is responsible for developing Global Gourmet's overall brand, positioning, messaging and product marketing strategies, creating and executing advertising, public relations, website and other external marketing communications and maintaining the company’s overall brand integrity. Thomas has worked extensively with companies in the technology and culinary industries, including Hewlett-Packard, NEC, NCR, Kensington, Yahoo, AT&T U-verse, The Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco (California Culinary Academy) and Market Restaurant (with renowned local restaurantur Nick Peyton and celebrity chef Douglas Keane). Thomas was the owner/partner/president of Amp Communications in San Francisco, held Managing Director positions at Tattoo Brand Consulting and Ozone Advertising, and served as Director of Client Services and Group Account Director for other advertising firms through the years. Thomas is a published author, and his other passions include spending time with his family, live music, entertaining/cooking and playing guitar badly.