Oliver Friendly, Owner
Chef Oliver Friendly started his exploration of the kitchen as a child, devouring recipes and cookbooks, and moving on to create original meals and recipes as he grew older.
A graduate of the local L’Academie de Cuisine, Chef Oliver completed an externship at PS7s under the tutelage of Chef Peter Smith before then moving on to work at the recently opened Hook restaurant run by Chef and friend Barton Seaver. There, he further honed his cooking expertise, as well as his deep-seated support of sustainability as it connects to the kitchen.
A 4th generation Washingtonian, Chef Oliver moved on to independent efforts opening a local foods-oriented catering company in 2007 with the advent of Eat & Smile Catering. Here, he was able to focus on learning to do local on a budget, working on a range of events from dinner parties to weddings, all featuring local and seasonal ingredients from about a 175 mile radius of the city.
Rasheed Abdurrahman, Executive Chef
Chef Rasheed is an accomplished graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (’94). He has more then 20 year’s culinary experience, including positions with Kinkeads Restaurant and the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington D.C., and as owner and Executive Chef of the Wild Onion Cafe.
While at Wild Onion Cafe, Chef Rasheed was twice featured in the Washington Post, April 8, 2009 and again in Jan 10, 2012. Chef Rasheed was also distinguished for his winning recipe for Governor O’ Malley’s “2011 Buy Local Challenge” kick-off event.
Chef Rasheed is a 3rd generation Washingtonian, and his focus is on healthy, organic and delicious, seasonal farm to table fare. He believes providing the best quality locally produced foods combined with impeccable service is always the key to a successful meal.
Katie Yaeger Rotramel, General Manager
Originally hailing from Philadelphia, Katie has called DC “home” since early 2005. After serving in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and a decade of a global career focus in international development, Katie made the shift to a hyper-local focus of sustainable food systems by joining the Eat & Smile team full time a few years ago.
Katie first found E&S while on the quest for her own wedding planning back in late 2010, and immediately fell in love with the E&S mission of locally-sourced foods and the overall positive attitude. About two years later, Katie joined the awesome cadre of part-time event staff, and then in early 2014 made the jump to full-time employee.
When not eating & smiling at work, she enjoys exploring new places and cuisines, maintaining her “Wild Kingdom” at home of two cats and a dog, dragging her husband out of his woodshop to explore things outside of the house, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, reading decent fiction, and imbibing good microbrew porters. She is also known among the E&S crew as having both a discerning palate, but also a very hearty appetite for pretty much everything (except cilantro). Simply put, this gal loves food.
Eilish Zembilci, Sales & Operations Associate
Growing up right outside of Milwaukee in the small Village of Menomonee Falls, Eilish found herself constantly engaged in various activities, whether it be hiking, swimming, or practicing the French horn. Her favorite past time, much to her mother’s frustration, was to bake. She would do everything from simple zucchini bread to ornate cake pops decorated as brides and grooms. Eilish has always enjoyed expressing her creativity through food and honoring the beauty of the ingredients she uses.
Eilish studied International Affairs, Global Public Health, and Sustainability at the George Washington University. While at GW, she continued to follow her passions and seek out opportunities to be involved with the culinary arts and food. Most of her spare time was absorbed by supporting local organizations and businesses involved with community food justice & sustainable agriculture such as DC Greens, FRESHFARM Farmer’s Markets, US Senate Agriculture Committee, and managing the GW GroW Community Garden. Eilish (or ‘Elle’ to some of her clients) is incredibly excited to continue her work in sustainable food systems with Eat & Smile where the appreciation for sustainable small businesses & food justice meet at a delicious cross roads.
Sabine Jeanty, Chef
Sabine considers herself a food nerd. She has lived in Maryland her entire life, and began her path to Eat & Smile in the 8th grade while watching cooking shows. Sabine received her culinary training at Prince George’s Community College and was previously working in a restaurant.
What Sabine loves most about cooking is the ability to connect people to food using the freshest ingredients possible. When she isn’t working, Sabine is still thinking about food. She enjoys reading about different cuisines and trying new recipes.
Nikki Bravo, Chef
Nikki originally hails from West Virginia, but her travels have taken her all over the world and back. She has spent time in North Carolina; Boston Tampa, FL; Australia, Peru and Italy.
It was when she was in North Carolina that Nikki decided to take the plunge into cooking. She had always loved to bake, but while in between jobs she found herself constantly thinking about cooking, reading about cooking, and actually cooking. Nikki received her culinary training from Central Piedmont Community College.
Prior to joining the Eat & Smile team, Nikki had the opportunity to work at the Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi in Italy. She’s brought her passion for cooking, pastry and local sourcing to the Eat & Smile team. When Nikki’s not cooking, she loves being outside, exercising and running.
Kevin Tate, Inventory Master/Prep Cook
Kevin, born and raised in Washington, DC, is Eat & Smile’s inventory master – making sure everything that’s needed to make your event great gets to where it needs to be in perfect shape! Kevin also helps the chefs prep in the kitchen when extra hands are needed.
When Kevin isn’t working, you’ll find him spending time with his kids and friends, and cheering on his Washington Wizards.
Jamal Jones, Dishwasher/Prep Cook
Jamal is a Southeast DC native who graduated from Eastern Senior High (Go Ramblers!) in 2003 and has been with Eat & Smile since 2016. Jamal is family-oriented and loves to hang out with his friends as well, especially on the H Street Corridor. He may seem shy, but he’s a social guy for sure! When not slinging around pots and pans and dish towels in the E&S kitchen, he enjoys watching WWE, cooking, listening to R&B and hip-hop, and has a secret indulgence of watching American Idol.
Alana Morro, Event Coordinator
Alana is New England girl who ended up spending the last decade down South, mostly because she discovered hush puppies. After she finished graduate school, she joined the Eat and Smile team to help fuel her love of event management and enjoy the best food in town!
She has coordinated events of all sizes throughout her career, focusing on weddings three years ago. She’s a huge history nerd and master organizer with an affinity for farmers markets, fresh tomatoes and craft beer. She loves what she does because bringing people together for fun and celebrating is the absolute best….and she also gets to eat those OMFG sandwiches pretty frequently, too!