The Dlish Way To Throw A Party

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - July 12, 2006
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Sisters Gina Ornellas and Leigh Adams of Dlish Catering also coordinate weddings
Sisters Gina Ornellas and Leigh
Adams of Dlish Catering also
coordinate weddings

One thing led to another for sisters Gina Ornellas and Leigh Adams, owners of Dlish Catering Hawaii. That’s Dlish as in dee-lish.

They create such delicacies as North Shore Style Shrimp Scampi Skewers, Kalua Pork Quesadilla, and Seared Salmon Filet with Furikake Rice. In addition to catering parties and weddings, they’ve added another scoop to their proverbial plate: They’ve branched out to include wedding coordinating. They can provide centerpieces, linens, favors and decorations as part of their services for parties.

“There’s a need there,” explains Ornellas about their two-year-old company. “We get our creative juices flowing.”

Clients include local and Mainland brides, who find it easier to deal with fewer vendors as the sisters help with the coordination. They even have a photographer with whom they usually work. Even if a bride does-n’t need the catering, Dlish can still work on the wedding coordination. For brides who just need help on the day of the ceremony, they can do that, too.

“I have little stress,” says Ornellas. “I have confidence in all our systems and checks. When you’ve done it for so long, you have experience and you know what not to do. Catering is a walk in the park compared to owning a restaurant.”

Here’s a short version of how one thing led to another. The sisters owned two restaurants together in their home-land of Sydney, Australia, in the 1990s.

Adams moved to Hawaii in 1998 and worked as a pastry chef at high-end restaurants including Aaron’s and Sarentos. She saw a need for better-tasting wedding cakes, and opened her own custom cake company, Tiers of Joy.

When Ornellas got married four years ago, the sisters prepped all the food and got someone else to cook it the day of the wedding. Ever since then, people have been asking them to cater food and make wedding cakes. When Adams got married 18 months ago, the sisters also prepped all the food for her wedding. Adams made five cakes for her own wedding.

“It’s really more about being in control,” the sisters admit with big smiles.

While some think it would be hard to work with family, the sisters have done it before, and it works especially well for them. When they started Dlish Catering Hawaii, they simply added the cakes of Tiers of Joy to the catering services.

“We understand what the other person’s tastes are,” notes Adams. “We work together. We respect each other. That’s not to say we don’t have arguments. If we have a disagreement on something, one of us will say, ‘Let’s have a cup of tea,’ and then everything will be OK.”

One of the challenges Adams

acknowledges is that everything needs to be shipped in, and that makes the cost high.

“We use our creativity to cut corners and create something beautiful so it doesn’t take away from how things look,” notes Adams. “We do it and we do it well. The brides are super happy.”

Their business is also listed as a vendor on the wedding website, where brides discuss in chatrooms how the services are. Ornellas says they’ve gotten a “good rap from the girls in the chatroom.”

For more information, call 371-2384 or log onto

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