Spotlighting the Tall Guy Team

Tall Guy Team

As a proud Milwaukee business owner, I’d like to take few moments to shine a spotlight on the Tall Guy Team. They’re a big reason we’re consistently voted a top wedding caterer (Milwaukee A-List 2016, 2017) and continue to receive 5-star reviews from our clients. They’re also a talented team that truly cares about helping people create lasting memories through food. With that, I’d like to introduce you to the masterminds behind-the-scenes.

Tall Guy Executive Chef Dana SpandetDana Spandet, Executive Chef

Dana has so much heart and creativity. Her role has evolved over the years, making her a dynamite Executive Chef and leader to the team. She’s played a huge part in rolling out our new menu in 2018, which has been getting rave reviews amongst our corporate and bridal customers.

Unique AppsDana’s Favorites

One of Dana’s favorite local venues and farms is Serenity Farms, which is where she got married. “Serenity is a working farm that does CSA’s and provides a ton of community services and outreach. We really enjoy catering weddings there.”

If you ask Dana what she loves best on our menu, she’ll tell you to try the Elote Tartlets and Grilled Verlasso Salmon.

“Every week, Scott Alsum personally delivers fresh corn from Aslum Farms. It is the best sweet corn I’ve ever tasted and we use it in our Elote Tartlets (photo, above). Verlasso Salmon is the only place I will purchase salmon. They’re leaders in traceability, sustainability, and have the first Atlantic raised salmon to be fed a non-gmo diet.” 

Dana with her chickensA Fun Fact about Dana…

“I have worms in my basement! We practice vermicomposting at home. All of our food scraps feed our worms and are then turned into compost that we use for our gardens.”
Beyond creating amazing food, Dana’s passion lies in working with local farmers to ensure we – as people – know where our food comes from and understand the importance of sustainability.
“I love working with local farmers,” shares Dana. “Farm tours are my favorite. I value connecting with those putting their blood, sweat, and tears into growing food for us. I take pride in the relationships the Tall Guy Team has developed with small farmers and local vendors. The knowledge I’ve gained from them is invaluable.”

Kate Block, Sous Chef 

Sous Chef Kate Block

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Kate for over a year now. She has been a true value-add as the Tall Guy Team’s Sous Chef. And, it’s apparent that she loves what she does.
“I love how food brings people together, which is why I fell in love with cooking and wanted to make a career out of it. At Tall Guy and a Grill, I have the opportunity to be creative and work with talented individuals who share the same passion.”

Mini TacosKate’s Favorites

Similarly to Dana, Kate is a big fan of our house-smoked Salmon. “Our salmon stand has gone over so well with our clients. It gives us a reason to use the smoker, too!”
Kate also enjoys our Mini Brisket Tacos. “The smokey brisket paired with the crunch of fresh coleslaw tastes amazing! These party starters are great for corporate events and weddings (photo, left).” 
The Best Place Pabst Historic Brewery makes Kate’s top of the list for her favorite local venue. “The building has so much history and it continues to be a big part of Milwaukee. The staff is great. They give back to the community. We simply love doing events there.”

A Fun Fact about Kate…

“I am one of 5 kids. I love everything about being in a big family.  It’s loud and fun and crazy and continuously growing.”

Manager Nina MendezNina Mendez, Catering Manager

Nina makes her job look so easy. She is detail-focused, service-driven, and has a great attitude. Like everyone else on the team, she is committed and passionate about bettering our community.

“I think our local and sustainable efforts set us apart from other food providers. We’re not just pushing out a product. We’re contributing to bettering our community and our planet.”

Duck BowlNina’s Favorites

Nina has a lot of favorite items on our menu, which makes her a great person to connect with when customizing proposals and executing our events.

Our Smoked Brisket tastes great! It makes the whole shop smell incredible. The Vegan Portabella Napolean is also a favorite. I love the colorful presentation of this dish. I also love mushrooms. Lastly, the Ramen is fun, unique, and we prepare it really well (photo, right). Oh, and I would also recommend any of our stations!”

Nina and her DogA Fun Fact about Nina…

“Last year I adopted a Blue Heeler named Duncan. He is my favorite living thing in the whole world – apologies to my friends, family, and fiancé.” 

As Nina is engaged, we’re curious to know what local venue she’ll choose for her big day.

“Having helped to bring so many weddings come to life, I think there is a venue for every local couple. If I had to choose one – and this is really hard – I’d pick The South Shore Pavillion. The lake views are beautiful.”

Now, we just have to see what menu items Nina picks for her wedding. Are you planning for your big day? If you’d like to check out our menus and learn more about our catering guidelines, click on any of the following links: Wedding CateringCorporate Catering Private Party Catering .


Melissa Airoldi Catering Coordinator Melissa Airoldi, Catering Coordinator 

New to the Tall Guy Team, Melissa is fitting in perfectly. She has a lot of heart for our mission. You can hear it in her voice the second she answers the phone and see it in her interactions with clients when setting up events. 

“It’s amazing to be part of a business that actually puts the footwork into supporting our community. For example, the farm to table approach is so important to me. The food we source is always fresh and we are backing our local farmers. Also, being more considerate of animals and plants and the world in which we live – I feel like I’m part of something good. I contribute.” 

Chicken and WafflesMelissa’s Favorites

“The Chicken & Waffle Skewers are my top favorite. The sweet & salty mixed together, with Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, is so tasty! I also love our Flank Steak with Tomato Butter. I’m not usually one to have any type of dressing or sauce with my steak, but I think the taste of the tomato butter with the juicy tenderness of the steak is so good.” 

Melissa also enjoys watching everything unfold for brides and grooms during event set-up.

“The love in the room is so heartwarming. To see our customers enjoy our food, to be a piece of their special day, it’s a huge part of what I cherish most about being on the Tall Guy Team.” 

A Fun Fact about Melissa…

“I enjoy photography and capturing the small details in things that normally would be looked past, such as a pattern in a brick on a wall, or the grove bark on a tree. I love to find the beautiful patterns that lie in everyday things around us.” 

Owner Dan NowakDan Nowak, aka Tall Guy

As for me, I’m the Tall Guy. With the support of my wife, Amanda, I started this catering business back in 2009. The goal has always remained the same: to create lasting memories through food.

Over the past decade, I’ve connected with amazing local business owners learning about their products and services.  These connections have helped shape our values of local-sourcing, sustainability, and farm to table. It’s also positioned me to become a Local First Miwaukee Board Member and, as of this past year, the non-profit’s President.

If you’d like to learn more about the Tall Guy story, you can click HERE to see a quick video, created by Size43 Films. Or, you can learn more about us on our website. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced our food and the service of the Tall Guy Team, we’d love to be your caterer. As you can see – we’ve got an incredible team and I’m glad I was able to introduce them to you!