started in the food service industry in 1993 at age 14, working a hot dog stand at a flea market outside of Toronto, Canada. In 1998, he started at his family’s restaurant, Barnaby’s, running the kitchen and attending college at the same time. By 2003, at the age of 24, Andreas was in charge of the whole Barnaby’s operation.
After selling Barnaby’s in 2004, Andreas entered into a partnership to open the Hilltop Restaurant and Banquet Hall. His first order of business was to oversee a six-month renovation of the three-story property. Andreas then managed both the 80-seat white-tablecloth restaurant and the 120-seat banquet hall, hosting many weddings and other private functions there. Eager to expand his organization, he designed, built, and operated the Preston Pub in 2008 in the basement of the Hilltop. For two more years Andreas ran all three businesses in the same building. In October of 2009, following the death of his father Philip Anastassakis, Andreas was approached by Jimmy Koikos to come to the Bright Star Restaurant. By February of 2010, he moved to Birmingham, and officially started at the Bright Star.
Over the last eight years, Andreas has learned all about Southern cuisine from the seasoned chefs at the Bright Star. Through Jimmy and Nicky Koikos’s longstanding ties to the New Orleans restaurant community, Andreas has been able to bring to the Bright Star such guest chefs as Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, Richard Bickford of Tujague’s, and Chris Sherrill of the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. All of these opportunities have given Andreas the knowledge and experience to take the next step in his culinary career by starting the Bright Star Catering Company. With this venture, Andreas hopes to continue the Bright Star’s 111-year-old legacy of customer satisfaction by delivering superb food to the Bessemer, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa communities.
As the catering business grew, Andreas hired Jennifer Snyder as his Sales and Marketing Manager. Since then, the Catering Company grew, into over 37 venues.
Ms. Snyder’s story is just as unique as Andreas, she started working in hospitality, first as an intern in Orlando Florida for a roller coaster engineering company at 14. Jennifer went on to a college that is famous for their Professional Golf Management program, she didn’t major in golf, she has a degree in Science and Business with a concentration on Club and Resort Management, interning during her summers in the Food and Beverage departments at well-known resorts and private clubs across the country. Her mentor was Al Stratta, former president of Giga and Princess Hotels International and father of James Beard Award winner Chef Alex Stratta
Jennifer’s first job after college was working in the newly renovated golf shop at TPC Sawgrass. After earning her MBA and several years in the golf industry in Jacksonville and Jupiter Florida, golf lead her to Alabama and she never turned back. Jennifer’s link to Tuscaloosa exists too, she is the Den Leader of “Lions”, the new Kindergarten program in Cub Scouts for the local pack and Event Coordinator chair on the Committee.
“Coming into the catering division of the Bright Star was a dream job, it’s a surprise that when I’m making sales calls, that I do get the response that the decision maker has never heard or never been to the restaurant. My job is making the Bright Star a household name among my and my children’s generations.”
Andreas has a dream team in his catering culinary department Executive Sous Chef Willie Hudson, who has over 25 years of experience in the country club industry, and David Cathey, former owner of his own catering business. Finally, Ms. Buffy Halfacre is the event coordinator, former waitress at the Bright Star for over 20 years, and makes your special event just like going to the Bright Star Restaurant with our 5-star customer service.
The Bright Star Catering Company team is excited for serve you at your upcoming event!