Birchtree Catering is a small, woman-owned company started by Allegra Derengowski and Rasa Stirbys Benefico, two friends that met as waitresses and began their company in 2008. We focus on local sourcing, seasonal menus, and scratch cooking in our kitchen in Philadelphia, PA. Our waste is composted and recycled in our kitchen and at events, and we choose sustainable options whenever feasible.

We built our brand slowly by using rental kitchens, hosting tastings in our homes, and growing relationships with vendors and farmers. Today our commissary kitchen is located inside Globe Dye Works in Frankford, Philadelphia, and we remain a small business with a dedicated staff, limited events per weekend, and a strong commitment to every client. Our team was honored to win 2015’s “Best of Philly” for Party Food, we are listed in Philadelphia’s Good Food Caterers Guide, and our food quality standards have been recognized by Grid Magazine, the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia, The Chamber of Commerce, The Knot Magazine and Philadelphia Wedding Magazine

Where we source:

  • Green Meadow Farm
  • Germantown Kitchen Garden
  • Valley Shepherd Creamery
  • Weaver’s Orchard
  • The Gehman Family Farm
  • Sunny Harvest Farms
  • Mother Earth Organics
  • Pequea Valley Farms
  • Sandy Ridge Farms
  • Samuels and Sons Seafood
  • Common Market
  • FarmArt
  • The wonderful vendors inside Reading Terminal Market
Our Team
Rasa Stirbys Benefico Owner, Chef
Rasa approaches her professional menu writing and cooking with the same energy and care that she put into catering her own wedding. She has become a leader in the local food movement and wedding menu trends, with regular contributions to Martha Stewart Weddings, Green Wedding Shoes, and 100 Layer Cake. Rasa lives in Northeast Philadelphia with her husband.
Allegra Derengowski Owner, Marketing and Development
A self-taught planner and entrepreneur, Allegra focuses on sales, marketing and development for Birchtree. She serves as a board member for the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia and belongs to the Frankford Business and Professional Association. In 2016 she participated in two programs: Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and The Enterprise Center's Scale-Up, where she now serves as an advisory board member. The company's growth has positioned them as industry leaders in Philadelphia, with a reputation for the highest quality food and service at weddings and events.
Joseph Topper Head Chef
Joe joined the Birchtree family in 2013, sharing Birchtree’s passion for sustainability and local sourcing. He adds his own culinary expertise as a seasoned catering chef of over 20 years, and his knowledge of technique in large-scale cooking has helped Birchtree deliver exceptional quality for any type of event. He's inspired by using quality local ingredients to create dishes that speak for themselves. He believes that the ingredients, paired with proper technique, produce flavors and experiences to remember.
Nicole Hutnyk Wedding Sales Manager
Nicole's experience in brand development and event planning has led to a perfect collaboration with Birchtree Catering. With an MBA in International Business from Philadelphia University, and through her passion for event planning (she owns the up-and-coming company Rabbit Rabbit Crew!), she brings detailed execution to each event, making sure that each couple's vision comes to life.
Sarah Tyree-Francis Corporate & Social Sales Manager
Sarah hails all the way from Wisconsin. She brings a wealth of experience both in the service industry as well as non-profit management. A self described lover of food from scratch, and made with love, she loves to work with Birchtree clients for all occasions.
Ryan Horowitz Commissary Manager / Baker
Ryan handles all operations and baking in the Birchtree kitchen. He expands his culinary talent by baking all of Birchtree’s breads, pastry, and kitchen desserts. He joined the Birchtree team in 2011, working his way up in the company from server and dishwasher to management and baker.
Andreas Harvey Human Resources Manager
Andreas has worked as a server and manager in some of the best and busiest restaurants in Philadelphia, including Susanna Foo, Le Bec-Fin and Davio's. With his extensive experience in fine dining, he is in charge of training and educating Birchtree's waitstaff to ensure the highest level of service at our events.
Agi Czapka Awbury Arboretum Facilities Host
Agi developed a passion for locally grown and seasonally sourced foods while living in the farm rich Willamette Valley of Oregon. Returning to her Philly roots, she combined that passion and a love of hospitality into a well rounded experience managing some of the most well known restaurants in
Philadelphia including Fork, Rae and Paradiso. She now hosts Birchtree's events at our exclusive venue Awbury Arboretum.
Recent Press
A Guide to Wedding Catering

In this Interview with owner Allegra Derengowski on, she shares her passion for wedding catering and has a few tips for picking the right vendors and service styles for the reception.

Private Farm Wedding in New Hope, PA

“Early this summer, we had the honor of being welcomed onto Caitlin’s family farm – a location her and Jason knew intimately – to document them saying nice things to one another and kick off their marriage celebrating alongside close family and friends. It was the perfect summer day and between playing with their dog, to mingling with guests during cocktail hour, we would happily be apart of this type of wedding every day if we could. A modern backyard farm wedding could not be more enjoyable or fun.” -Pat Furey

Wedding in Asbury Park, N.J.

Lily Szabo Photography captured Christina and Ray’s gorgeous indoor/outdoor wedding at the Asbury Park Hotel in New Jersey. Despite a windy rooftop the day was amazing!

The Best Bite in Philly. Period.

“Imagine, if you will, waiting 30-odd years to have a bite of something that changes your life forever. THAT was what it was like to bite into these gnocchi.” Philly Current Magazine

Favorite Vendors

We love recommending other local small businesses for all of your event needs like desserts, photography, music, design, planning, and vintage and specialty rentals. We list some of our favorites here that deliver exceptional quality, and during your planning process we can curate a list that fits your vision.