Coffee and Cake with Indulgence Catering
Many of us miss our work colleagues and meeting up with family and friends at this difficult time for us all. Those in the frontline are often missing seeing even their nearest and dearest to save lives and get us all back to some form of "normal" sooner rather than later.
It feels wrong to be talking weddings right now, but I wanted to share a project I started as much for my own sanity as anything else! It's a series of virtual coffee and cake chats providing an insight in to the people behind the businesses we work with, and you can too once this madness ends.
Our aim is to share inspiration, happy memories and hope for the future with you. So if you're working from home, home-schooling your children or working on the frontline keeping the country going, grab a coffee for 5 minutes and share some friendship.
You have a real talent for producing beautiful food from fresh local ingredients, tell me a bit about where your passion for this comes from?
I know we are incredibly lucky here in Cornwall to have such a fantastic selection of local ingredients. I was lucky enough to move to St Ives in my early 20’s and we had an abundance of fresh seafood available for most of the year. I guess that’s where my passion for cooking really began. A trip to Rick Stein’s restaurant in Padstow at that time really opened my eyes to just what you could produce with fabulous local and seasonal ingredients.
How would you describe the style of food you produce?
I suppose it would be best described as ‘Modern British’. Over the years I’ve been inspired by chefs such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Tom Kerridge to name a few. Some of the cookbooks that influenced my early cooking were Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater and Gary Rhodes. Although I also now have a huge collection of Middle Eastern inspired cookbooks. I’m always thrilled when customers ask for ‘Ottolenghi’ style salads to accompany their meal! I spent three years at catering college cooking a wide variety of dishes so I’m pretty adaptable to cook most types of menu. Above all I want our food to taste fantastic and to make our clients happy.
We love your intimate wedding day and special occasion catering services, what led you to start offering these beautiful menus?
Prior to launching Indulgence Catering, I’d ran my own restaurants for twenty years. The time came for a change in direction. Rather than have customers come to us to enjoy our food, I wanted to take our menus to them. When researching this idea, I realised that there was a gap in the market for catering for smaller, more intimate weddings and events.
We began to work with some fantastic local venues who specialised in smaller weddings and it really just took off from there. What I realised I loved about the smaller weddings was that I got to work really closely with the couples: from planning the perfect wedding meal for them, ensuring their cake is decorated just as they wish to cooking and serving their meal for them on their wedding day. This level of involvement and the ability to make a positive difference at every stage provides wonderful job satisfaction. In fact, we’re still in touch with lots of our couples who often book us for an anniversary meal when they return over the years to Cornwall.
With smaller weddings the food often becomes the focus of the day after the ceremony and so it’s really important to get it right!
Your husband Robin works with you in the business, how do you guys find that works?
It’s certainly been a good preparation for lockdown together! But joking aside, I think we work well together and complement each other’s cooking styles. Robin takes care of the fish and meat cooking and I usually do the baking, desserts and sauces/side dishes. I’m also fanatical about preparation and so it’s my job to make sure that everything is organised and ready to cook on the day. I should also add that Robin is a great food taster, and he makes sure that everything available on our menus has been tested by him!
How do you work with couples to develop their wedding day food plans?
One of my favourite parts of my job is making sure that our couples get the wedding day food that they want. Firstly, we find out what style of food they would like. That may be an informal feasting style menu, a traditional afternoon tea or a more formal three course menu. We can add additional items like canapes and an evening buffet to their menu and then send over some example menus in each of those categories. That’s the starting point. We then work forward from there to tweak the sample menus to their exact tastes and requirements. We also make sure that we identify any allergies/food preferences that their guests may have as it’s important that everyone is catered for.
If you had to choose your ideal three course menu what would it be?
That’s a really difficult one. I’d probably go for a scallop starter because our local scallops are fantastic and it’s not too heavy a way to start a meal. I’d follow that with Turbot, asparagus and Cornish new potatoes with Hollandaise sauce. Dessert would have to be out Passionfruit Cheesecake. And I’d have to include a Cornish cheeseboard!
What do you enjoy when you are not working?
I’ve recently taken up running so I’m doing that as often as I can. I find it’s a really good way of unwinding and just having that ‘me’ time that we all need, and that’s especially true during this current lockdown. I also love gardening and try and grow as many herbs and vegetables as I can. There’s something really special about cooking with ingredients that you have grown yourself.
How has Corona Virus and the “lockdown” impacted your business and the couples that you work with?
Like many small businesses, Corona Virus has had a huge impact on our business. It’s meant that we’ve had to rearrange all our wedding bookings for the next few months and of course means that we have no income coming in during that time. Our couples have been really understanding and so far, and we have rearranged rather than cancel the bookings. It’s a testing time for everyone and I’ve been really impressed how everyone has worked together to try and find a solution for each couple in the current situation.
I’m very much looking forward to a time where we can get back to cooking for our clients again.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to us Rebecca! It’s been a real pleasure. You can find out more about Indulgence Catering you can take a look on their website or contact Rebecca by email firstname.lastname@example.org.