Meg Walker

  • CEO & Executive Chef | Operator

    Made by Meg Catering | La Venta Inn 

  • Address

    234 S. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach
    796 Vía Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates

  • Phones

    310-376-8600 | 310-373-0123

  • Websites | Social | FB & IG: @MadeByMegCatering | FB: @LaVentaInnPV | IG: @LaVentaInn_PV

  • Special Section

    Women of the South Bay

Meg Walker’s professional life began as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney for five years, but her passion for cooking eventually became undeniable. She attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, and during the final school semester—while still working her financial advising job—Meg started an externship at Michelin-starred restaurant Ortolan in Los Angeles, working with chef/owner Christophe Émé. During that stint, she agreed to cater a small dinner for her friend’s company. After that night in 2007, the private catering event requests never stopped and Made by Meg Catering was born.

The catering service, which employs more than 250 people, focuses on fresh, seasonal cuisine and a high caliber of service at more than 700 events each year, such as milestone celebrations, weddings, sporting events and movie premieres. Recently, Made by Meg expanded to operating La Venta Inn, an iconic landmark venue on the Peninsula. Following a 2021 interior and exterior refresh led by Meg and local interior designer Dannielle Albrecht, the venue continues its legacy of hosting intimate seaside gatherings.

Why did you choose to go into this career?

When I was 13, my parents decided to travel for the holidays, so I hosted the family for Christmas dinner. As you can imagine, the cooking left something to be desired at that age, but the family smiled through it all. That experience showed me that cooking brings people together and that I loved that feeling. In catering, we play a part in bringing people together 700 times a year—that’s a lot of parties! 

What role does your family play in your career?

Family is everything. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.  

Tell us about something you recently learned that surprised you.

As I get busier, the word “priority” continues to show up in a new way. The meaning has emerged as knowing what really is important and what is just filling time. Learning how to politely turn down projects, relationships and toxic patterns has made room for real growth and connection with my family. Time is short when you’re not immortal!

How do you balance work and play?

There is a firm schedule of work time and family time in my life. Whenever work crosses into family time, it has to be important. I try to integrate my daughters into playtime, but my time is in the morning before anyone wakes up, on my Peloton.

What advice do you give your kids?

Always be nice. My 2- and 4-year-old are both learning their words and really starting to communicate with the world, so right now especially, this is something I always remind them of. If you can be nice, 99% of the time everyone gets what they need and we’re all happy about it. There is no need to create unnecessary frustration or hurt someone’s feelings. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you can be anything, be kind.”

Tell us about your passions.

Being on the water. My husband, Anthony, and I love being on boats, traveling by boat and spending time on boats. There’s something so soothing about the ocean—it’s where I grew up. I need to see the ocean once a day—it’s a grounding point for me emotionally. Also, I love planning the trips in our house and being an amateur travel agent! Everything from finding the perfect hotel and delicious local restaurants to the quintessential experiences. It’s amazing how much more you can enjoy a well-deserved trip when you take the time to envision what you want from it.

Tell us your favorite quote.

“Breathe. Focus. Perform.” Sometimes I only have a short amount of time to do a really important project, and all I want to do is procrastinate. However, I always try to just take a few deep breaths and then push through it with my best effort.

What are some of your favorite ways to stay grounded?

Coming home at the end of a long day. There is no greater equalizer than being a parent, and after a day of meetings I love coming home to big hugs from my girls and getting immediately pulled into something they want to share with me.  

Who is your role model?

My mother is the fountain of my courage and strength. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

What is the #1 thing you do to ensure your business is successful?

Show up. As the saying goes, “75% of life is showing up.” Be on time, be present and do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t do anything, don’t offer. As a woman and an inherent people-pleaser, I want to offer to do it all. The hardest part of growing as a business has been showing discipline in knowing my bandwidth.

Tell us about your new headquarters.

I’m so excited to have just purchased a new building in Torrance that is being custom-built for the new Made by Meg headquarters. The design, permitting and build-out process is one of my favorite mountains to climb. 2023 will surely be an exciting year!