Torence Anderson sees a lot of potential in the local culinary scene. “Why should someone have to go to Cleveland or Columbus to get a three-course meal? We can have fine dining right here!” As a full-time Executive Chef, his catering and meal prep businesses, The Elysian Catering Company and Blended Creations Food Prep, are a labor of love, but he would like to pursue entrepreneurship further in the future. “I want to broaden my horizons... I want to get out there. Maybe I’ll have a food truck someday,” he laughed.
Torence began cooking at only seven years old, and with the encouragement of his parents, kept his love of the culinary arts alive through adulthood. Now, he brings everything from upscale dining experiences to comfort food to the people of Mansfield and the surrounding area. He takes great joy in creating delectable meals, and loves to see the satisfaction of his patrons upon tasting his dishes. “The best part is to see the enjoyment on people’s faces,” he smiles. “I wouldn’t feed anyone anything I wouldn’t eat.”
Torence first heard of the Entrepreneur’s Kitchen about 10 years ago, but moved away shortly afterwards. Upon returning to the Mansfield area, he decided to look into entrepreneurship, and started The Elysian Catering Company. He officially joined the Idea+Works family about a month ago, and is looking forward to using the state-of-the-art kitchen for the first time.
While primarily known for his grilled foods, Torence has the skill to cook much more than that. As a classically trained chef, he enjoys experimenting with different ingredients and flavor profiles. He explained that his skills are constantly evolving; he’s always learning & exploring new tastes, and likes watching fellow chefs on YouTube in his downtime to learn from their experiences. He feels feedback is imperative to discerning what tastes good, and what could be even better. When Torence auditioned for a famous cooking show a couple of years ago, he said the most disappointing part of the experience was not receiving any criticism, positive or negative, from the judges. The other contestants, however, seemed to be quite fond of his dish and he left with an empty plate.
Torence is catering a wedding during the first week of September for over 100 guests, and looks forward to more opportunities to introduce people to his delicious creations. He is just beginning to delve into the food prep aspect of his business, Blended Creations Food Prep. This facet of his entrepreneurship was inspired by a husband & wife who travel around and requested he prepare their meals for them. The food prep meals include 4-6oz of protein, 4oz of starches, and 4oz of vegetables. Customers are offered a menu with a wide variety, enabling them to customize their meals to their preference, at a very good price. “The problem with a lot of places,” Torence explained, “is that they charge so much that people can’t afford it. I want people to try my food, and they need to be able to afford it to do that.”