James N. Fowler
The Devil’s Food Catering Dream Team
“In addition to the superior quality of the food you prepared, your servers were congenial and adept at performing their assigned duties. The culinary displays were creative beyond anything prepared for previous similar events in other cities.”
- Kathy Weitze, President, Fall River Inc. -
We are excited to hear more about your event. Please feel free to reach out for a custom proposal or with any questions that you might have.
James grew up in the meat-and-potatoes world of rural Kansas, raised by his mother and grandparents -- wonderful cooks, bakers, gardeners, and storytellers all. Since boyhood, James has always been an avid advocate of food and fun. After studying classics at the University of Kansas, he drummed for the nearly-famous rock-and-roll band, The Hefners. Then came culinary studies in New England, a 3-year run as head chef of Portland Public Schools’ ground-breaking farm-to-school pilot project, and plenty of cheddar-peddling alongside nationally acclaimed cheese-mongers Steve Jones and Sasha Davies.
Over the last decade, James has planned some of the biggest and swankiest events in the city and absolutely loves to dote on his loyal clients.
In March of 2019, James realized a longtime dream and purchased Devil's Food from Charles.
James has an excellent palate, refined tastes, a knack for menu writing, and an eye for design. James leads our team with a passion for empowering his colleagues to bring their best ideas to the table and loves nothing more than to see their talents shine. James’s interests outside of Devil's Food include tennis, ping-pong, hiking, Japanese gardening, restaurants, cocktails, Ivy-Style clothes, Vespa, listening to records, and spending time with his friends, family, and felines. He and his wife Becky are proud parents of another budding foodie, their 4 year-old son, Riley.
Asst. GM & Staffing Manager
Katelyn was raised in suburban Ohio and found her way to Portland via Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. She is an accomplished performer, a former showgirl, and has been in theatrical productions all over the world.
No matter what career she was pursuing, Katelyn has always found her way back to food, service, and event work -- notably working at Suzanne Goin's ultra high-end Lucques Catering in LA. More than anything, she loves a great party, a precisely prepared meal, and a nice glass of bubbly.
After many years as an event manager with Devil's Food, Katelyn is excited to bring her passion, her personal flair, and her attention to detail to this position.
In her free time, you can find Katelyn teaching tap classes, performing in musicals, hosting elaborate home dinner parties, and occasionally even playing the cello.
Senior Event Planner
A true son of Oregon -- Dan was born in Bend, educated in Eugene, and polished in Portland. Of course, there have been lots of detours and travels along the way and over the years -- long stints in South America, Mexico, Tahoe, and southeast Asia, to name a few.
At almost 11 years, Dan is Devil's Food's longest-standing employee. About 7 years ago he moved from the field into the office and has become a terrific ambassador for our brand.
When Dan is not planning events, he enjoys hiking, cycling, snowboarding, playing music, and spending time with his friends, his fiancee Elha, and their adorable 3 year-old daughter, Alba.
Born and raised in Eugene, Emily is well-versed in all things Willamette Valley. A true Oregon Duck, she grew up watching people run around in circles -- that is, she is an avid Track & Field fan. After receiving her degree in Environmental Sciences from the U of O and a brief detour in Colorado, she landed here in Portland.
Following a stint in visual merchandising, she made her first foray into event planning in 2012. Bringing her keen eye for detail and design, she immediately felt right at home in the dynamic environment. Though she may be new to the Devil’s Food family, Emily is an established fixture in the Pacific Northwest events community with several years of venue management experience under her belt.
Emily is a bonafide lover of food, wine, and leisure. When she is not planning events, you will find her wine tasting in the Valley, enjoying a long lunch at one of Portland’s standout restaurants, or binge-watching the latest TV phenom with her partner Reid and their super-mutt Luke.
Bookkeeper & Office Manager
Jane was born and raised in the busy world of California's Silicon Valley. Growing up, she spent afternoons after school watching various PBS cooking shows, primarily Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, which sparked her passion for food and food culture. This would later lead her to pursue a career in hospitality. After graduating magna cum laude from San Francisco State University with a degree in hospitality management, she started her professional career working in restaurants and corporate services before eventually settling into events and catering.
Jane moved to Portland in 2016 and has been exploring the region while settling into her community. When not working, you can often find her with her nose in a cookbook or travel memoir, planning another dinner party, dining out with her husband and 6 year-old son, or looking up airline tickets for the next exciting excursion -- all with a cocktail in hand.
Nicole hails from Southern California, born and raised in beautiful Long Beach. She obtained an undergraduate degree in Zoology from Cal State Long Beach and went on to work as a vet tech with intentions of later pursuing veterinary medicine. However, after several years in the field, she decided to refocus her attention back to her underlying creative drive and love of baking. Baking meshed the science world that she felt attuned to with the creative outlet she desired. Having always loved the lush and green Pacific Northwest (and its presence of actual seasons!), her new found ambition to pursue a culinary career was the final push for her to move to Portland in 2012 and obtain a Baking and Pastry degree from The Art Institute of Portland.
After graduating culinary school, Nicole joined much-adored Two Tarts Bakery in 2014, where she worked up to its production lead and Saturday market manager. In 2016, the owner of Two Tarts Bakery decided to move to France and close the bakery and its sister business, Palace Cakes. That bittersweet event opened the door for Nicole to join the Devil's Food Catering kitchen team in May 2016 and assume the role of Pastry Chef. The dynamic menus and stellar team of Devil's Food have pushed Nicole to expand her pastry skills and fine tune her craft. She enjoys producing the wide variety of breads, pastries, and desserts that Devil's Food offers and takes pride in refining recipes to be of the highest quality and taste.
When Nicole isn't baking away in the kitchen, you can find her hiking, camping, and snowboarding with her husband, Eric, or paddling on the Willamette with her dragon boat team, the Valkyries!
Operations & Beverage Manager
Pete got his start in the catering world back in 2008 while finishing his bachelor’s degree in recording technology, living on the central coast of California. Upon graduating, he decided to relocate to Portland and continue his career in catering rather than pursue a career in the music industry.
After settling in Portland, he was quickly drawn to the style and culture of Devil’s Food Catering. Not long after coming on board in 2015, he moved into the operations end of the business and began to devote his energy to the beverage program -- specifically in the area of craft cocktails. Be sure to look for some of his originals on your proposals like The Snowbird, The Moss Temple, and The Mekong Mary.
When Pete was 12, he threw a no-hitter.
Production Manager aka Papa
Meet the man behind the mole. Hailing from the village of Cuerembaro in Jalisco, Ventura has been working in kitchens for 38 years. In 1980 he made his way to Oregon and he has been brightening the Devil's Food kitchen since 2012. He is quite the karaoke singer, and his wife, Josie, is an accomplished chef herself.
Vita's life had a tumultuous beginning on the faraway island of Guam. She was malnourished, covered in mange, and fighting for her life. She was rescued on the beach by a sweet soul who could not leave her behind. Sasha, her foster mom nursed her back to health and fund-raised, so that Vita could travel to her forever home. Vita was welcomed to Portland by her new owners, Pete and Katelyn, with lots of love and, during business hours, a comfy couch in the office which she has certainly claimed.
Vita is mystified by birds, squirrels, and large trucks. She adores all snacks, especially apples and bones. (James likes to give her deviled eggs with bacon and trout roe). If you stop by the office, you will find her napping in the sun, squeaking her favorite toy, and/or demanding to be petted. She is very proud to be the official DFC office dog!
Charles founded Devil’s Food in 2003 after several years of experience as a top planner at a leading catering company before deciding to strike out on his own. Prior to that, Charles spent years managing all sorts of operations from restaurants to festivals.
Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina; Charles has hospitality in his DNA. He is a naturally gifted event planner and always seeks to instill a feeling of comfort and joy in our guests. Drawing inspiration from old cookbooks, his overseas travels, tasty conversations with friends, hungry daydreaming on long hikes, and riffs on old-fashioned hospitality; Charles has much to draw on when tailoring a menu to the specific host and event.
In March of 2019, Charles sold the business to his longtime creative director, James, but his initial vision continues to inspire Devil's Food to this day. Charles now resides back home in South Carolina.
In Memoriam 1990-2020