We just had the most wonderful event, catered by Chef Don Higby of Christendom College’s Charlemagne Catering, at Rappahannock Cellars. I was the nervous host, but one thing that I never had to get nervous about was the amazing food and service from Chef Don and his team.

The idea was to mix a business meeting with a wine-paired dinner. Chef Don had to work with the wonderful staff at Rappahannock Cellars to coordinate all of the logistics and to match their wines to his amazing menu.

We started with an incredibly fresh Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi dressing and a thinly sliced scallion with fresh chiffonade basil. Chef Don paired this with a Rappahannock’s wonderfully dry and fruit-forward Chardonnay.

Then we moved on to a Porchetta (pork) stuffed with feta, spinach and prosciutto-wrapped in a thick slice of smoked center-cut bacon. The cranberry chutney makes the dish for me, and even better was Chef Don’s pairing with Rappahannock’s Indian Springs Cabernet Franc (my personal favorite wine in Rappahannock’s offering).

The coup de grace was that thick and tender Filet Mignon, perfectly cooked and topped with an amazing Cab Franc Demi-glace. All of that flavorful decadence sat atop grilled asparagus and a porcini risotto. Rappahannock’s big and bold Left Bank Meritage was up to the task of pairing with the richness of a steak that would have made Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s proud.

We ended the evening with an Apple Dumpling covered with Dida’s Brandy Carmel next to a healthy portion of delicious Bourbon Ice Cream. That naturally went perfectly with a glass of Dida’s Brandy, neat of course.

The service was as good as the food. Chef Don’s staff of mainly current and former Christendom students were wonderfully trained, serving and clearing each course at our tables without interrupting the business activities. They were universally helpful and friendly.

If you ever need a caterer that can make your event special, Chef Don Higby is your man. He was organized and accommodating, talented, and creative. He knows how to treat you right.

Chef Don Higby and the caterers at Christendom College are my go-to caterers for my business and family events from now on!

- Jim K.

Christendom College’s Charlemagne Catering catered a Hunt Breakfast at my farm in Rappahannock  County n November 2019. When I contacted Chef Don Higby, he was prompt in his response, and offered to meet me to discuss the event and create a proposal. He also came to my house to see the venue. The proposal he sent was thorough and comprehensive, and very reasonable. Chef Don followed up several times as we had to make some adjustments to numbers prior to the event. He and his team arrived promptly and set up efficiently. The food was delicious (Hunt Breakfasts are not typically breakfast food as the food is served when the fox hunting is finished) and the presentation was lovely. Chef Don packaged the leftovers well for us to enjoy that week, and enjoy we did!I would highly recommend Charlemagne Catering, led by Chef Don Higby. The meal was creative, well presented, delicious, and very reasonably priced. The team was courteous, professional, efficient, and respectful. In addition, the proposal and other communication was prompt, and clear. 

- Debbie M.

Chef has a great mastery of the culinary arts and is well connected with the local farmers, brewers, and anyone else involved in a feast. You can depend on receiving delicious food and excellent guidance.  My wife and I are extremely grateful. 

- Mark O.

Chef Don Higby is incredible!! He catered my wedding in the Fall. I had been to a number of his events so I already knew his food was amazing but on top of that he was wonderful to work with! He was open to everything my picky husband and I wanted to do with our food and suggested great options that worked for us and would be crowd pleasers! He met with us, did a trial meal, and came to our location to talk about set up all of this made me feel very prepared and comfortable knowing he had everything in-hand. It was one more thing I could cross off my list because he was going to handle it just how we wanted, and he did! I cannot recommend him enough, delicious food and wonderful costumer service!! 

- Sloane C.

Charlemagne Catering pulled out all the stops and did a top-notch job for Chelsea Academy’s gala this Fall! Serving just over 200 seated guests in a timely manner, Chef Don and his staff conjured up a variety of amazing appetizers which were circulated prior to the served dinner. The crab cakes and beef tenderloin that made up part of the entree were especially outstanding! I have received much positive feedback about the gala meal from the guests and I would both happily use, and highly recommend, Charlemagne Catering for future events.

- Alex K.

Working with Chef Don and Charlemagne Catering was a pleasure!  We presented Chef Don with a challenge by committing only a few weeks out from our event, but Don communicated promptly and worked with us to create a unique, reasonably-priced menu for our annual farm dinner for 50 guests. We wanted a locally-sourced menu and he provided that readily with meats and vegetables sourced from two area farms which added a delicious, fresh touch to menu items. Because our event was in an outdoor venue barn in late October (and the weather turned cold!) Chef Don made the extra effort the morning of our dinner to deliver his warming oven, such that despite dropping temps the food was served hot and delicious. All of our guests raved about the dinner! As hosts, my husband and I appreciated that Don and his friendly staff provided everything needed from paper products to coffee service, making things so easy and allowing us to also enjoy the event. We definitely plan to use Charlemagne Catering again and would unequivocally recommend them!

- Laura and Mark A.

This past fall we hired Chef Don Higby and his hard working, creative team to cater our daughter’s wedding. From the first steps right through the reception – they were professional, helpful and kind. Amazing food, great timing, excellent ideas on set up and ways to streamline and keep this event on budget. They were extremely helpful. We had a wonderful evening and would certainly hire them again for a future catered event.

- Tim and Brenda S.

I used Charlemagne Catering to prepare all the sides for a fall festival I put on every year (over 2,000 in attendance). Charlemagne was not only able to make enough food for that many guests, but they were also able to provide a high quality, which is most important. I plan on using them again for our event next fall and I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in small and large events.

- Dan S.

Charlemagne Catering has done several catering jobs for gatherings I have hosted, from smaller working lunches to elaborate 4 course meals for 85 people. They work with our budget and our event and help us craft the best menu for the event. Each time, Don and his staff have outperformed our expectations from the delicious, locally sourced food, served creatively to the small details of presentation or preparation. We will continue to use Don and his team for events.

- Timothy O.

Charlemagne Catering made our Post Wedding Celebration so very special. Everyone raved over the food, we had leftovers in abundance, and the staff was incredibly accommodating. Anything we needed or asked for was provided. 

- Jan P.

Charlemagne Catering was instrumental in the success of the River Valley Festival. Chef Don Higby took to the time to listen to our needs, and applied our suggestions to his methods in order to deliver a large consistent product. We look forward to working with him again in the future.  

- Marc-Pierre J.

We have now had two occasions to work with Chef Don.  The first was my daughter’s wedding about one year ago. Chef Don was extremely helpful in discussing options within our budget, listening to the mood we were trying to achieve and offering creative suggestions on how to stay in our budget, but still have a beautiful reception.  Our reception was a bit complicated as it was very large (325) and it was outside on our front lawn, in July. This was our first wedding (read “inexperienced mother-of-the-bride”)  and it was VERY hard for me to not know every single detail.  “We take care of that.” was a little nerve wracking to hear. We had had Chef Don’s food before and knew that it was good, but we had not been at any of his catered events and so were not sure what to expect for an off site catering event.  It was marvelous!  The food at the wedding was simple due to our budget, but the presentation and quality was not!  The salads were artistically arranged in the buffet bowls, rolls sauces, condiments etc. were served in artfully tiered displays and everything practical or unsightly disguised by white cloths and baskets.  The serving staff was excellent. Clean, polite, efficient.  They even served the meat portion of the buffet so that we wouldn’t run out and were very pleasant and courteous to the guests as they passed through.  Chef Don was also very proactive in helping us design the layout of the buffet tables and food service, so that getting food was pleasant and quick for the guests. Food service and prep had to happen from my kitchen, which while not tiny, is not large. Chef Don came before the day to look at the layout of our kitchen and while we were at the ceremony, Chef Don and his crew showed up with hot boxes, coolers etc., everything you need to keep food hot and cold and by the time we came home from the ceremony everything was ready to go.  I can’t say the food service went without hitches, but whatever they were, Chef Don and his staff absorbed them because my whole experience once the reception started was delicious, ample and beautiful!  Thank you Chef Don and staff for “taking care of that”! More recently, I helped my brother arrange the funeral reception for his mother-in-law.  Again Chef Don was very helpful in coming up with something lovely in our budget and one of the guests told me that the grilled chicken was the best chicken he had every had.  Another guest, with MSG allergies asked what the ingredients were and Chef Don kindly responded to my text that there were only seven:  three herbs, salt & pepper, lemon, and oil.

- Sophia C.