The Historic El Cortez

The Don Room at El Cortez

It was September, 2004 and the very first time I worked at the Historic El Cortez. The weekend was sure to be a crazy one, since I was hired by a couple to cater their wedding which would be covered in the Grace Ormonde wedding magazine. As one of the newest catering companies in town, I was right in the spotlight with people who wanted to see what our company was all about.

The bride and groom, Chad and Vanessa, were family friends, so when they hired me to cater their special day, I can’t tell you how proud I was to do it. But to know that we would also be featured in such a high profile magazine…well, no pressure!

The funny part is that the following week was my turn to get married to Salem, so my entire family was in town and they wanted to be entertained. I told everyone that Chad and Vanessa’s wedding was going to be the last job before my wedding and after that I would take the whole week off.

I brought my mother with me to work the event, and she managed to run the Hors D’oeuvres expo table without speaking one word of English. The wait staff were talking to her like she’d worked with us for years. She was in charge, and I felt so secure that with her by my side, the reception would be impeccable, and it really was.

At the end of the dinner, my mother and I shared a moment that we never had in the past. We set a table by the venue’s pool, lit some candles, opened a bottle of wine and pulled together whatever food was left, which by then was a cold plate of pasta. But it was so good to have dinner with my mother, just the two of us under the stars. It was a moment of my life that I will never forget. In her eyes, I could see how proud she was to see her son coming to a different country and realizing his dream.

After that experience, each time I’ve worked at the El Cortez, I’ve thought of that moment. And the more I work there, the more I come to truly love that venue.

With its impeccable decor and expert team of professionals behind the scenes caring for every detail, it’s truly one of the very best and most organized venues in this city.  The El Cortez has an unbelievable courtyard right in the heart of downtown and the stunning Don Room blows your mind when you see it fully set up for a party.

Weddings, corporate events or any special occasion can be held at El Cortez.  To learn more and see their availability, visit them at

  • The Latest on Facebook

  • What They Say

    “Thank you for making the gorgeous and delicious salads for the baby shower last weekend. All the girls had seconds (and some even thirds!) It’s always a pleasure to work with you and your talented staff.”
    -Sally Irwin