Vanessa Cantave, chef and entertaining expert delights her clients and “foodie” fans through her passion and expertise in all things food! Vanessa is the Executive Chef and principal in her own catering company, Yum Yum NYC, which offers private chef and catering services. Founded in 2005, Yum Yum provides full service catering for both high-profile, private and corporate clients including Kiehl's, Nike, Intel and Target Corp. By 2009, the company was grossing over $2 million in sales annually and even launched a casual option for corporate clients called Yum Yum 2 Go. Yum Yum has served celebrities such as M.I.A, Interpol, director Spike Lee, and music producer Mark Ronson. From over 3,600 guests at the Creator’s Project NYC Launch to a private Christmas Eve dinner for Grammy Award Winning artists Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, Vanessa's menus remain consistently refined, yet unfussy.
“Her food boasts high-end flavor, but in a way you’d feel comfortable eating every day.”
– Uptown Magazine
Vanessa graduated as Valedictorian from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. She completed her undergraduate studies at James Madison University and has a B.A. in political science, with a minor in French. Before choosing to pursue her passion for food, Vanessa has held various management positions in finance, marketing and advertising at the FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank and Ogilvy & Mather, respectively with clients including BMW, North America, IBM Global Services and AT&T Wireless.
Most recently, in July 2011 Vanessa competed and won $20,000 on Bravo’s reality cooking competition “Rocco’s Dinner Party” with celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. She is a regular contributor for several media outlets including NBC TODAY Show, Black Enterprise, The New York Post and has been featured on FOX Business as well as in Teen Vogue and Daily Candy. Vanessa supports the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) - a charity organization that works with underserved students in inner city high schools who are seeking culinary careers.