about oak avenue catering
wine country is about celebrating the life and culture of food and wine
Oak Avenue Catering’s four-decade-long story is best characterized by communal tradition, culinary imagination, casual elegance, and polished service. Since 1976, Oak Avenue Catering has full-heartedly embraced the cultural allure of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Our métier is to bring a harmonious balance to food and wine and to handcraft events that leave lasting impressions.
Our focus is you. Whether we craft a personalized menu to complement the nuance of a wine, source locally pastured lamb and seasonal fruits, or put you in direct contact with the quintessential venue, our fundamental thought is your experience. We invite you to delight in the unique bounty and hospitality of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
If you have a vision for the event of your dreams or if you only have the spark of a great idea, reach out and let us collaborate, imagine, and celebrate.
about shannon & christina kelly
Shannon and Christina Kelly established Oak Avenue Catering in 2009. But the company’s roots run much deeper. In 1975 Tony Knickerbocker started one of Napa Valley’s first catering companies – Knickerbockers’ Catering. Upon returning from France refining his skills under the direction of Maître Cuisinier Joseph Thuet, Shannon was recruited as Knickerbockers’ Chef de cuisine in 1985. Shortly thereafter, Christina’s natural talent for pastry was realized as an invaluable addition to the culinary experience.
Shannon and Christina were key figures in the evolution of the Tony’s catering business. Together they set the goal of preparing local and seasonal ingredients that showcased the incredible wines of their hometown. After three decades of success, Tony retired and sold the company to his long-time chefs and dear friends, Shannon and Christina Kelly.
While the goals first set by Tony and Shannon still hold true, today Oak Avenue Catering aims to break lusterless catering stigmas. Shannon and Christina see the wine valleys of Northern California, and especially their hometown of St. Helena, as a global address. To them, it’s an honor to be in their position. Their focus on preparing inspired dishes and cultivating a staff whose central focus is providing exceptional service is fundamental to our success. This unique corner of the world is deservingly acclaimed, and the resulting expectations must be met.
As Shannon succinctly explains, it means we must offer a personal catering experience. Shannon and Christina have a hand in every event catered by Oak Avenue Catering. They want a level of intimacy to exist in the entire experience – the planning, the execution, and the appreciation of business. Internally it means something else. Our employees are like family. They take as much pride in the business as Christina and Shannon do. Shannon and Christina understand it as a compliment to the working environment they have created. They are overwhelmingly proud to run Oak Avenue Catering as a local, family business.
about angela thompson
Angela was raised in a well-timed assortment of burgeoning wine-and-food regions from California’s Central Coast through the Pacific Northwest, learning early on the vital role that food and wine play in everyday life. Although she’s a California native, her love of all things food truly began in Portland, as she explored the newly growing restaurant scene and experienced first-hand how food done with care can create community among even the most diverse groups of people. After some years in the rainy Northwest, Angela reestablished her California roots and earned a BA in History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before migrating north once again, this time to the Napa Valley, in search of more great people and places.
She quickly found a home at Oak Avenue Catering, employing her creativity and her professional skills to design stylish and polished events with many of Napa Valley’s premiere wineries and for a sophisticated clientele. In 2014, Angela became the firm’s General Manager, and now she oversees all aspects of event production, including cultivating key client relationships, coordinating an energetic and experienced hospitality team, and enhancing Oak Avenue’s leadership in a demanding and ever-evolving industry.
She enjoys bringing back fun, fresh ideas for entertaining from her travels as she explores the art and music scenes in Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans and elsewhere, with suggestions for new adventures always welcome. Angela enjoys sharing food, wine, and events, because she knows that ultimately they’re always about people.
about adam c. ryan
Adam joined the Oak Avenue design and sales team in January 2014. His breadth of fine dining and bar management experience, coupled with his unwaveringly magnanimous personality, has been a wonderful step forward in the evolution of our company. Adam’s passion for the relationship between food and wine, and his ability to translate that relationship to others, makes him an invaluable resource for our clients and our staff. Should you be pondering the finer etiquettes of service or be in search of an unexpected wine and food pairing, Adam is a cornucopia of information.
In addition to his culinary and service acumen, Adam is a visual creative. He has been gifted the ability to envision and develop the experience you wish to provide. He is chock-full of inventive ideas to accomplish unique services – from the casually comfortable to the distinguishing to the delightfully exotic.
While we wish we could have Adam’s undivided attention, we understand the healthy balance of work and personal life. Adam is an enthusiastic Jack-of-trades. His free time is spent meticulously caring for his vegetable garden, crafting beers, woodworking in his garage, and zealously collecting Star Wars memorabilia and vinyl records.
about john diba
John was welcomed to the Oak Avenue sales and design team in March 2015. His steadfast passion for food, wine, and events has made him a splendid addition to the company.
From an early age John was exposed to a world of kitchens-his mothers’, his fathers’ and his grandmothers’. Thanks to the culinary talent of his grandmothers, one having opened and operated San Francisco’s La Cucina restaurant and the other of Sicilian descent, John’s childhood was enveloped by a world of flavors. John’s love for wine originated when his family bought a Napa Valley winery estate. He witnessed the passion, the patience, and the diligent work involved in the assisted evolution of grape to wine. His enthusiasm and appreciation for the balanced result was sparked.
As an adult, John followed his passion to Las Vegas, Nevada. His studies led him to the path of a degree in Hospitality and Beverage Management from UNLV. With that chapter completed, John returned to Northern California. As an Event Manager for a high-volume event winery, John conceived and produced an array of events, from multi-faceted winery-sponsored events to intimate engagements for discerning clients. John’s diverse talents, heartfelt passions, and expansive experience have made him a natural fit at Oak Avenue Catering.