Mitchell and Jill Janszen created ESSEN Catering in spring 2021, a husband and wife team with years of experience in the food and hospitality industry.
Mitch and Jill’s German heritage is significant to them, which is why they decided, after many long brainstorming sessions, to name their business ESSEN. Jill’s mom hails from Munich, Germany, and dinnertime was an important centerpiece of Jill’s family and upbringing. Those childhood memories of being around the dinner table with loved ones make feeding people so unique. During the summer of 2019, Jill and Mitch traveled together to Munich. There, they discovered several restaurants and cafes, imbibed on copious German beer, and most likely gained a well-worth-it ten pounds.
Jill moved to Austin, Texas, from Louisiana after attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, graduating with a public relations degree. During college, she dived into the many styles of cooking found on the Food Network and cooked for her roommates, quickly realizing she loved experimenting in the kitchen and feeding people. Therefore, the only sensible thing for her to do was pack up her bags, move to a city where she did not know anyone, and enroll in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.
Mitch moved to Austin from his hometown of The Woodlands. After picking up a dishwashing job at the Austin Convention Center, Mitch realized he had a passion for food and fast-paced environments. Soon after, Mitch enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu, where he met Jill.
To say their courtship was a romantic love story while slaving over hot stoves, working long hours, and not having much free time outside of school and work would not be entirely accurate. However, they quickly realized that they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and worked very well together.
Shortly after marrying and enjoying the newlywed life, COVID-19 happened. While working as a special events manager at one of Austin’s best hotels, Jill lost her job due to the pandemic. Jill and Mitch began their own work-from-home meal prep service for friends and neighbors during the pandemic: Damn. Delicious. ATX.
Towards the end of 2020, they came to the difficult but exciting decision to leave Austin and move closer to family, launching a brand new catering business in The Woodlands.
Combined, the two have worked for some of Austin’s top caterers, hotels, and restaurants. Mitch helped open a restaurant mid-pandemic which remains open and active to this day. He’s also provided food service for some of Austin’s most prominent events, including SXSW and Formula 1 Grand Prix. Jill has planned and executed both intimate and large-scale wedding events, from a 26-person destination wedding in the desert to a 250-person 5-course dinner in downtown Austin.
When Jill and Mitch aren’t working, they are spending time with their baby boy, Malcolm, and their cats, Brees and Roux. They love to explore new restaurants, travel, and spend time with family. They are excited to get to know you and plan the perfect dining experience for you and your loved ones.