PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I am a vegan chef, author, presenter and qualified holistic nutritionist who uses food as a silent method of activism. I co founded an animal sanctuary in Spain to help people make the connection through both meeting animals and eating vegan food. I do not belive you can “make” someone vegan you can only help them join the dots up. That said, I also feel that if eating great vegan food means people will eat in a plant based restaurant in the futre, then that is a success!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
I had restaurants in Brighton and it was becoming clear that there were very few 100% vegan catering companies, run by vegans, who produced fabulous food to wow not only the couples but their, very often non vegan, guests. My food within the restaurant demonstrated to everyone that vegan food could be both delicious and beautiful. I wanted to show the world that food is about taste and texture and that anything could be vegan. A restaurant was great but being in front of up to 200 people for a meal was an even better way to spread the word on vegan food. It also allows me to be creative. We have no menus, we write each one bespoke to each couple, we want the plates of food to represent them, not something selected from a pre printed menu. Food should be fun, it should be exciting, it should be delicious!
HOW DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
If I am not at an event a typical day always starts with coffee! Then emails, proposals, organising suppliers etc for weddings, recipe creation, photographs in fact every day is fun, hard work, but fun.
When it comes to a wedding day, well, each one of those is completely different. The build up, the prep, the set up, the running of the day, the clear down, the drive back, but whatever the day, it also ends on a coffee!!
Crazy days but I personally love it, you have to, to deliver the best you have to love what you do, you have to be proud of what you do and you have to give your all, from the first enquiry to last plate packed away.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Getting to know the couples. I love being there to say “tell us the food you love and we will make it happen” I love getting couples excited about their catering for the day, I love saying “your day, your way”. Food excites me, it should excite everyone so I want to remove any stress from the catering and just bring excitment.
AND WHAT IS THE WORST PART?
When the wedding is over and we part ways.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOUʼVE BEEN GIVEN?
Stop pissing about and get on with what you were meant to do.
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT COUPLES TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Our moto is “solutions not problems” and we like to think we are more than a catering company. If we can help in any way we will. With any event it is about team work and we work to ensure we give more than expected.
I am a vegan, I am not into “options” I really believe that you have to be vegan to be a great vegan chef. You have to care, you have to love, to produce great plates of food, after all food is love x
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING A WEDDING?
Sit down and work out what you both want. Do not involve anyone else until you have a clear picture in your mind as to how you want your wedding day to go.
With catering, no need to let everyone know it will be vegan, so people can tell you they do not eat vegan food!, simply design your menu, send out the invites and ask people to provide you with any allergies, as they would for any menu. So many couples get stressed about, quite frankly ridiculous statements from friends and family, about a vegan menu. People are attending to watch a couple declare their love, they have not booked a table at a restaurant, they will be eating delicious food that represents the couples and how wonderful that they are invited to be a part of this.
Always ask questions, never be afraid to ask your suppliers if you have an idea or question. We welcome them, to be honest, having catered so many weddings we always have a solution to the problem!
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU DIDNʼT WORK IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY?
Well I spent six months in South Africa as a vegan chef at a monkey sanctuary so I would probably be doing something along those lines. I am also about to release my second recipe book so I would probably travel and write. My books are along the lines of scrap books and recipes so I guess that is where I would be!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR TIME OFF?
Spend time with my rescue bulldogs, walks, watch films and basically switch off, although, if I wake up at 3am for an idea for a recipe I will be in the kitchen seeing if it works, food really is totally addictive!
Well I adore New York but at the other end of the scale, I love being with animals so South Africa is always calling! Not really into just laying on a beach, I like culture, learning, food!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
I actually hate this question, for me, I live in the now but if pushed in 10 years I would love to have purchased a dairy farm, turned it into a sanctury for the cows, grow crops on the land, have a small restaurant there and turn it into a vegan wedding venue, but lets see what happens!