Home #Hwoodtimes Serge Krikorian of Vibrant Occasions Catering and Popular Host of ‘Cooking with...

Serge Krikorian of Vibrant Occasions Catering and Popular Host of ‘Cooking with the Kriks’ on YouTube 

By Debra Wallace
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 1/29/22 – Chef Serge Krikorian and his wife, Mary, started their catering business in 2002, and have been offering a myriad of memorable mouth-watering culinary delights ever since. 
Chef Serge in KARK News Studio

Chef Serge Krikorian with the penchant for developing unique recipes, especially sauces, offers a delectable Cuban Mojo, a citrus-marinated pork butt that is braised until fork-tender and served with a mojo sauce (similar to the pork in the sandwiches Jon Favreau made out of a food truck in the movie, Chef), Smokey Mushroom Chicken, marinated roasted chicken breast topped with sauteed mushrooms, smoked provolone cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon crumble, Shrimp and Grits: Blackened wild-caught gulf shrimp and spicy browned butter corn relish over cheesy stone-ground grits. Pork Shanks: Merlot-braised pork shank served with roasted garlic Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, maple-glazed heirloom carrots, roasted broccoli, and a salad with toasted crostini to name a few.

Chef Serge Krikorian hails from the quaint town of Benton, Arkansas His southern hospitality paired with his penchant for developing unique recipes, especially sauces, has garnered his reputation as a foodies’ fan favorite in his community and now on the YouTube space, “Cooking with the Kriks.”
(Photo: Shalae Byrd Photography)

Please tell us about Vibrant Occasions Catering.

My wife, Mary, and I started our catering company in 2004.  In the beginning, our focus was primarily on corporate catering because we were raising three boys and needed to be available nights and weekends for our kids.  As the kids grew and became more independent, we started catering bigger corporate events and weddings.  In the beginning, our company was called Dinner’s Ready Catering but as we grew, we realized that the name no longer fit the level of food and service we were providing to our clients and their guests. 
That’s why in 2017 we launched Vibrant Occasions Cateringa new name that more accurately depicts the level of service and food that we provide.  We have been blessed with an amazing staff over the years that has helped us grow Vibrant Occasions into one of the largest catering companies in our market, specializing in creating experiences that our clients and their guests remember for years afterwards. 
(Photo: Kylie Farmer Photography)

In 2020, we added a long-time bucket list item to our arsenal of tools we will use to bring higher quality food and service to our guests, a mobile catering kitchen.  With the mobile kitchen, we are able to travel anywhere in the state of Arkansas or even beyond and cook and serve our guests anywhere are located.

Your elegant cuisine can be seen at weddings and special events. Can you share a few memorable occasions? 
I keep saying that I am going to write a book about all of the things that I have seen, heard, and had to do at weddings, but honestly, I don’t think anyone would believe half of it.  There was the time that we were at an outdoor wedding, and during the ceremony, the power went off.  None of the wedding party was aware because they were outside. 
I had my wife bring my personal generator, and we hooked it up and were able to get lights in the venue, music from the DJ, and power for the catering. No one but us, the DJ, and the venue owners knew what was going on until the bridal party was leaving and the power came back on. 
They thought it was just romantic lighting. Our goal at any event is to make sure that if something goes wrong, and inevitably something will eventually go wrong, that no one is negatively impacted by it.  We work with the other vendors, and they work with us to make sure that if any of us has an issue, we pull together to make sure that we resolve it before it affects our clients.
Cooking with the Kriks is celebrating its first anniversary celebration on YouTube. Tell us about the celebrities and influencers on your show
We have been so fortunate to have some many local celebrities and influencers who were willing to come on our show and cook alongside me.  We had one of the best DJs in the market, DJ Jellybean with Central Arkansas Entertainment, come cook Nashville Hot Chicken Wings with us. Uche Onyeyiri, owner of Angelo’s Garden, a beautiful wedding venue in Mayflower, came on and made his version of surf and turf with grilled chicken and lobster tail.  
Tanarah Haynie and Steven Beradesca from Tanarah Luxe Floral, known to be one of the best floral design companies in Arkansas, wanted to learn how to make kung pao chicken.  And the owners of Central Arkansas Entertainment, Joe Snell and JoAnna Perry, came on Cooking with the Kriks to learn how to make chicken alfredo lasagna.  There have been others who have come to learn cooking tricks and we thank them all.  You can catch Cooking with the Kriks on our YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/CookingwiththeKriks
 Share your favorite recipes.
Right now, my favorite recipe is one that I copied from the restaurant at the Biltmore Hotel. It was served beside a pan-seared beef filet and I believe that it really enhances the steak flavor.
Truffle Cream Sauce
1.5 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese
1 Tbls. Black Truffle Oil
Kosher Salt, to taste
Pour the cream into a small pan and place over medium heat (be sure not to let it boil). Add the cheese and allow it to melt. Add the truffle oil and whisk in until well incorporated. Reduce heat and allow to simmer and reduce slightly about 15 minutes.
Also good as a pasta sauce for spinach cheese ravioli or as a pizza sauce topped with sauteed mushrooms, sauteed spinach, and artichoke hearts. 
What do you enjoy most about your show?
What I remember most about all of my guests are the laughs. Cooking is always a social event for me, whether I’m cooking at home with my wife or kids, or I’m cooking in our catering kitchen with my fellow chefs. When the guests come on my show, they are excited to learn how to make a new dish that they can prepare for their own families and it’s always lots of fun with good-natured ribbing that brings chuckles from everyone around. Many of my guests are in the wedding industry and I have worked with them over the years at multiple events so there are always shared experiences to remember and laugh about.
Nashville Hot Chicken Wings w/ DJ Jellybean from CAE | Cooking with the Kriks

Easy Pork Chops w/ Sarah Heer from Arkie Travels | Cooking with the Kriks 

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna w/Joe + JoAnna from CAE- Cooking with the Kriks
Kung Pao Chicken w/Tanarah + Steven from Tanarah Luxe Floral- Cooking with the Kriks
Tell us about The Influencers Who Brunch.
The Influencers Who Brunch is an opportunity for us to showcase our mobile kitchen and its potential to cater big events. Many people have the wrong perception that the mobile kitchen only serves food truck food. On the contrary, the mobile kitchen was designed to allow us to have an opportunity to cater menus that have to be finished right before the meal is served, such as steak, fish and seafood, and anything that needs to be fried, like our newest appetizer Po Boy Shrimp Crostini with battered and fried shrimp and Cajun remoulade.
 At the Influencers Who Brunch event, we are going to be showcasing a variety of fusion dishes, which are my favorite recipes to develop, such as breakfast tacos, a surf and turf eggs benedict with chipotle hollandaise, and lobster mac and cheese.
How has Cooking with the Kirks evolved? What are your plans for 2022? 
To be honest, I was not completely comfortable in front of a camera when we started Cooking with the Kriks.  I guess the biggest evolution has been me and my comfort level with the camera.  It helps that when I am on camera, I am doing what I love to do — cook.  I plan to continue to develop recipes that my guests want to learn how to cook in 2022 and then show the rest of the world how to make those dishes in their own homes for their own families.
Please share your social media handles/video links.
Vibrant Occasions Catering
Facebook: Facebook.com/VibrantOccasionsCatering
Pinterest: Pinterest.com/VibrantOccasionsCatering
Our Mobile Kitchen
Facebook: Facebook.com/OurMobileKitchen
Instagram: @OurMobileKitchen
Dinner’s Ready Express Catering
Facebook: Facebook.com/DinnersReadyExpressCatering
Chef Serge Krikorian
Facebook: Facebook.com/ChefSergeKrikorian

Instagram: @ChefSergeKrikorian