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• OUR HISTORY •

WHERE IT BEGAN


After spending 15 years in the hospitality industry, Owner, Mark Dowling, felt there was a disconnect between presentation and quality in the catering world, a gap he was determined to bridge. Inspired by the challenge, fueled by his entrepreneurial mindset, and motivated by the power of great food, Mark opened the doors to Courtney's Catering in 2000. Fast forward a few thousand events later, along with the nurturing of a daughter, Courtney's Catering deepened its family-owned roots by bringing Courtney onto the sales team in 2011. From Southern Comfort to Elegant Cuisine, the Courtney's Catering team strives to bring forth their vision of beautiful presentation and outstanding quality to every event, as each occasion is a unique opportunity to bring together family and friends.

 
I couldn’t have asked for a better caterer for our wedding. We had people raving about the food the next morning!
— Adrienne
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• FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED •

MEET THE TEAM




 

Mark Dowling 

Owner / Executive Chef

Mark moved to Austin from Bryan, Texas to get into the hospitality industry. A few years later he began managing a team of bartenders in one of Austin's highest volume clubs on sixth street. With the birth of his daughter, the course of his life changed, as did the focus of his career. Mark wanted to change the way hospitality was executed. Instead of an impersonal corporate approach, Mark wanted to bring family roots and comfort style cuisine to the forefront of the industry. After years in the business, he combined his passion for the industry, the love for his daughter, and with necessity being the mother of invention, created Courtney’s Catering. Mark combined the best of both worlds and Courtney's Catering was born. In his free time Mark enjoys building his 76' Trans Am and enjoys eats from all over the country to influence his award winning dishes. 

 

 
 

 
 
Courtney Gandara

Courtney Gandara 

Head of Sales & Event Planning 

Born and raised in the event industry by her single dad, Courtney's Catering roots run deep. (See what we did there?) She began pursuing her degree in the hospitality industry after high school, with a focus on event coordination. To attain hands on experience, Courtney jumped into the family business training as a sales assistant during the weekdays and working as wait staff on the weekends. Within her first year, she began managing half of the company’s sales while simultaneously taking on the role as an event manager, and by her second year she earned the role of Head of Sales and Event Planning. After 6 years of planning and coordinating over 300 events a year, she is now our Sales Manager and Senior Coordinator. Courtney has a passion for healthy living and in her free time she loves cooking, reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband and 3 children.

 
 

 
Daniel Gandara

Daniel Gandara

Operations Manager

Dan came from a structured background, bringing organization and streamlined systems to the table. He began in the kitchen where he worked with Head Chef, Mark Dowling, to test new recipes, incorporate new flavors and streamline the art of executing the perfect event. After a few short months, Dan began seeing patterns in our operational systems that led him to eventually streamline the way we operate today. Within a few years, he took over Head of Operations where he continues to streamline our systems. Dan holds to our core values, providing great service, with the best intentions. In his free time, Dan loves to spend time with his wife and family. 

Makiah Hebert

Makiah Hebert

Sous Chef

Makiah's parents, being Sicilian and Creole, played a huge role in his love for food. At the age of 14, Makiah discovered his love for the craft when he stepped into the culinary world. He began experimenting with his newly-found culinary skills and old family recipes.  After meeting the Dowling's a few years later, he was able to expand his knowledge and experience of the industry, allowing him to turn visions into a reality. Makiah makes every dish with the same precision as he would his own. When not in Courtney's kitchen, Makiah enjoys spending time with his family, experimenting with recipes and enjoying the outdoors.  

 

 
Jessica Vandyck

Jessica VanDyck

Sales & Event Coordinator

Jessica has been in the Food & Beverage Industry for over 10 years! After moving to Texas from Chicago, she began opening new restaurants & hotels, specifically working to streamline their event execution. After years of working with event centers, corporate clients and hotels, Jessica decided she wanted to focus her expertise on helping individual clients. Since she has been with Courtney's Catering, Jessica has done just that- making each client's vision come to light. When she's not working, Jessica loves to explore the outdoors, taste all the good eats and jam to live music with her Olde English Bull Dog, Muffin, by her side.

Taylor Key

Taylor Key

Marketing Manager

Taylor began in the Food & Beverage Industry as a means to pay for college, to graduate with her Bachelors of Science in Advertising. However, after answering a listing for an event staff position at Courtney's Catering, she grew to love the industry. Next thing we knew she was working with our operations team to help streamline systems and provide marketing efforts. In the past few years, Taylor has designed our websites, event menus and promotional material. She's our technology guru, alongside a few others in the office. When Taylor isn't working, she loves to travel, explore state parks, try out new restaurants and take as many pictures of her goof-ball of a dog, Ophelia, as she can fit on her phone.

I genuinely felt like Courtney considered our wedding to be the most important one she had ever done.
— Laura
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• THANKS FOR THE LOVE AUSTIN •

IN THE PRESS




 

2016

People's Choice #2

Courtney's Catering was voted 2nd best Mac and Cheese by the People

2014

Austin's A-List #3

Courtney's Catering was voted the 3rd best caterer in 2014 

 

 

2013

Austin's A-List #5

Courtney's Catering was voted the 5th best caterer of 2013

 
It seemed like no matter what ‘challenges’ I presented to Courtney, she always had an answer and a way to work with it.
— Heather
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