I have been cooking all my life, but catering has been my job for the last 17 years. On graduating from Leiths in 2000, I established myself as a freelance caterer in London. I catered for events ranging from small dinner parties to press nights at The Barbican to weddings for 250 people.
After three very busy years of catering, I was asked by Leiths to join its teaching team. I enjoyed six very happy years there, continuing with my catering at weekends. At Leiths I throughly enjoyed spending my days with absolute beginners, keen cooks and individuals who were inspired to make cooking their profession.
I took time out whilst our three boys were very young, during which we moved from London to Kent. Since the boys are all established at school, I returned to freelance catering five years ago.
My jobs vary enormously – from large scale weddings to meringues for the local farm shop. We are very lucky to have space to grow lots of our own vegetables and herbs. There is nothing better than picking fresh ingredients from the garden and capturing their flavour in tonight’s dinner. We also have our own vineyard, which has been a real learning curve but great fun and lots of hard work.
I feel like I have the best job in the world, especially when I get to play a part in making an event as memorable as possible for my clients. The delight of finding the perfect dishes for my clients doesn’t diminish with time. Talking to my clients and constructing a menu to suit their event and guests is a real joy. It just doesn’t feel like work.