Robert Egert: 15 Exquisite Years Catering to SoFlo’s Many Tastes
By Hugo Ottolenghi
April 24, 2022
Like baseball stars with a storied career, Robert Egert puts on a uniform for the love of the game. For the past 15 years, he has been doing that at Exquisite Catering by Robert. But unlike those ballplayers, his game is catering, and his uniform includes an apron and chef’s hat.
Egert founded and continues to manage hands on one of the premier catering companies in South Florida. This year, it received WeddingWire’s Couples Choice Award and a Best Catering Companies in Miami award from Expertise.com.
From corporate and social gatherings, weddings and birthday parties, the catering service based in North Miami has been preparing its best dishes for special occasions.
On any given day, you can find 25 cooks, many of whom Egert trained, hard at work in a 15,000-square-foot facility in North Miami. They make a bit of a racket as they cut, slice and dice, stir, season, and fry. Supporting them are 25 more people who make up the service staff, dishwashers, delivery drivers and support desk.
Egert’s career began when he was hired at age 13 to be a dishwasher at the legendary Mario the Baker on West Dixie Highway in North Miami. He worked his way up to pizza maker before going off to college. There, a job as a prep cook led to promotion to kitchen manager that included running the catering business. While working for John the Baker, he honed his catering skills and broadened his menu knowledge well beyond Italian dishes and school lunches. Then, in 2007, Egert went out on his own.
The next year, the Great Recession hit, and the business struggled as companies cut out events and consumers cut back on spending. Egert persevered and grew steadily, doubling, then tripling his kitchen from its original 3,000 square feet.
He faced a second severe business challenge when the pandemic started in 2020. It all but eliminated corporate and social events. Again, Egert survived, fed the National Guard and other first responders such as health care workers and is back stronger than ever. He and his staff are working on expanding the North Miami location to create a comfortable tasting room for those putting on big events like weddings.
Those clients can select from the Exquisite Catering menu that ranges from American, Italian, Asian, Latin and Caribbean to good-old barbecue. The kitchen produces breakfasts, lunches and dinners to suit every taste.
"We make our menu to match what you want, and we want to make you look good doing it," Egert tells clients.
Companies call on Exquisite Catering for office meetings and sponsorships. Among the favorite morning treats are scrambled eggs with crispy bacon or sausage, waffles and a cheesy hash brown casserole.
For lunch, the most popular items are over-stuffed gourmet deli sandwiches made with roast beef, turkey, Italian combo, or ham and Swiss. Other top choices are grilled chicken served on homemade bread and tortilla wraps. All come with homemade side dishes such as potato salad, creamy cole slaw and garden-fresh pasta salad.
Families contact Egert and his team for extraordinary events in their lives such as weddings, black-tie galas, graduation dinners, quinceañeras and bar/bat mitzvahs. An event planner takes care of all the details, down to servers and bartenders.
They can request anything and everything:
Fajitas, brisket, Dad's Famous Meatloaf, beef stew and New York strip steak for meat lovers.
Baked ziti, lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, jumbo meatballs, and chicken parmigiana or chicken marsala for Italian food fans
Cuban-style roast pork, grilled chicken breast and Cuban-style shredded flank steak served with white rice and black beans and sweet plantains for a taste for Latin food.
Beef stir-fry, teriyaki jumbo shrimp stir-fry, fire roasted orange chicken, kung pow chicken and house recipe curry chicken for Asian foodies.
And for dessert, the catering company bakes its own goods such as chocolate and almond cookies, berry cake, key lime pie, pastries and more.
While the catering business gives Egert entrée into the worlds of major corporations, wealthy individuals and luxury locations, he stays close to home and family. He grew up in North Miami, went to high school there, studied hospitality at the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University in that city and opened his business just a few miles from his alma mater.
And while Egert rubs elbows with Miami’s elite, his favorite way to spend time is with his wife Kristina and their children, Hannah and Sophia.
They understand that because of his love for catering, most days they don’t see too much of him. Egert and his employees are in the kitchen starting at 4 a.m. Monday through Sunday. When do they go home? “When we are done,” he says.
If Exquisite Catering by Robert can assist you with any of your catering needs, please call: 305-622-FOOD (3663) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org