Who we are.
I grew up in a family who loved food. My mother was an inspiration and never ever put a meal on the table that didn’t taste delicious. Memories for me of family meals consisted of all cuts of meat with fresh vegetables galore and lots of yummy sauces. Probably a little more of a lean towards traditional English but having said that my father on his return from work in USA brought back recipes for other styles of food and hence our horizons expanded!
This passion for cooking was then given a specific direction when I trained as a chef at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 1992, leaving my desk job behind me. I had finally found my niche, my thing, my vocation. I say vocation as that is what it needs to be to succeed in catering. The hard physical work and long hours take its toll and you need to be dedicated and get full satisfaction from the job in order to survive it unscathed!
I still have this same passion and fire in my belly when I cook – 18 years on, I just get a little more tired and a few more aches and pains now creep in. (old age gets to us all eventually!)
I have been running Chanterelles since 1999 having started in a kitchen in our home. Since then my husband has joined the ship and has nominated himself as chief taster – it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it!
We operate from a unit in Barbourne, Worcester and apart from occasional part timers we do all the cooking ourselves. We cover a wide range of catering from dinner parties to formal celebrations. Our business has grown steadily over the 11 years with 90% of our customer base being generated by word of mouth. We have limited our expansion having made the decision that we did not want to go down the route of other employees. It is the personal service we strive to offer and from experience we have learnt that if you take your eye off the ball it nearly always comes back to haunt you.
Working together is an experience! It is not easy but one thing is for certain, we both strive for the best we can be. When it comes to the larger functions we start to run on auto-pilot and both know exactly how to optimise the facilities and staff we have. Ian, my husband, is very much the logistics man and I know that all I need to worry about is the actual food preparation and presentation; he will make sure that it all gets to and from the venue and that we have all the equipment needed there. It is absolutely essential that we have total trust in each other so that we can concentrate on giving our customer the best and most professional service we can.
So that’s our history and as for the future – well only time will tell but we have no plans to expand the business to the point of losing our personal touch, we just want to continue doing as we are now, being able to take the work on which inspires us and enables us to showcase what Chanterelles is all about!