Person of Interest: Ben Lin

Chef in ActionBen Lin is a corporate guy turned food entrepreneur. As the chef and founder of B.Lin Catering, Ben opened his home as a supper club, serving 5-course tasting menus to eager diners. Through the supper clubs, the company grew out of his house to a commercial kitchen space in fewer than two months. The company now focuses on corporate lunches, private events and pop-ups.

Find out what Ben is up to when he’s not cooking in the kitchen:

What’s a typical day for you?

I’m in the kitchen by 7AM.  Our team starts at 6AM to get lunch orders ready.  I will drop into the kitchen to see how the prep and cooking is progressing. The morning consists of replying to emails, telephone calls, and recipe planning.  After deliveries go out, I usually get together with the staff to go over orders and upcoming catering events.  In the afternoon I meet with clients or go to Union Market and brainstorm new recipes.

What or who is your biggest influence?

My mother.  She was always able to use what was in season from our garden to cook all of our dinners.  She was very resourceful.  Another person, would be my mentor at the company I worked at before I started the catering columbiaheightscompany.  He taught me the importance of treating employees fairly and to serve them as if they were my clients.

What neighborhood do you live in?  

Columbia Heights

What is your biggest DC pet peeve?traffic

Traffic and Pot Holes!!

What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?

whitneyWhitney Houston “How will I know?”

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

Binge watch Netflix and HBO GO in the winter.  Invite friends over for cookouts when the weather is nice.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Any island in the Pacific where I could own a Bed & Breakfast.  Fish for my food and have a small garden.

If you couldn’t be a…, what would you be?dog1

A Dog. They get fed, people massage you whenever you want, someone picks your poop up and every moment seems like the most exciting moment!  I would also have sweet long fur.

Top three favorite movies?

The Pianist, Gladiator, Blow

pianistName five people, alive or dead, you’d love to invite to a dinner party:
Dave Chapelle, Manuel Noreaga, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus, Jeremy Lin

Most embarrassing moment?

This might be TMI…but.  I was at Front Page in Ballston and ate something that did not sit right with me.  Told my roommate we should go home because I needed to use the restroom and did not want to wait in line at Front Page.  We walked across to the mall towards the Ballston Parking Garage.  I realized that I would not make it home so I turned around and briskly walked towards the food court.  Half way there I realized I would not make it to the food court.  I looked straight ahead and bee- lined to the Chevy’s Mexican restaurant.   Smiled at the hostess (as much as I could since all my energy was focused on not going all over the floor) and went straight to the front bathroom.  Got in and did not make it to the toilet.  I was so close….  Cleaned up and ran out of Chevy’s.  Never went back to the mall.  Chevy’s went bankrupt a few months later.  I really hope it was not because of me.

What was your major in college, and do you use it today?

Finance & Management.  I use it everyday!  Running a catering company is more than just cooking.  A lot of managing staff and projecting cash flow for the year.

chineseWho do you think is the most attractive person to ever live?

Grace Yang (my fiancée).

Name one thing most people don’t know about you.

Though I’m a chef, I love eating fast food Chinese. My favorite place to eat is Howard China on Georgia & Gresham NW.

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