I can only apologise for the length of time it has taken me to blog. We set up in February 2016 and business was probably best described as ‘slow’. Hence, I had a lot more Blog Posts for the first 6 months we were running. However, July saw an upturn in business and it’s been a veritable upward trajectory since then.
The reason I felt compelled to write again was that today, on my Facebook feed, it popped up that a year ago I nearly lost 12 Crème Brulee out of the back of the car! This made me chuckle as this was near the start of Brown Goose Catering.
A great friend and mentor of mine once told me that, ‘The success of a great chef is not just based around the ability to produce great food in a stress free environment. Rather, it’s the ability to adapt to the circumstances that arise and to be able to continue to produce food at a consistent high level - even under pressure’
As I think back to one of the first dinners that we did - a 5 course meal for 10 adults - such was our inexperience that we ended up taking 3 cars between the 3 of us! We had so much stuff that we couldn’t all fit into 1 car. However, this served as a lesson to all of us and such is our efficiency now that we can load up 1 car + 3 people and do a dinner for 20 people. Starting Brown Goose has definitely been a steep learning experience.
As a chef in an established kitchen you can become entrenched in the daily routine. This can be both a good and a bad thing. Working in the same environment every day can offer you a sense of stability and allow for a quicker development of skills. Things may go wrong - but in an established kitchen, this is less likely to happen. One particular memory I have is being in a hotel where all the electricity had gone. However, the gas was still running so the stoves were still working. For the next hour, we had to use candlelight and emergency lighting to cook. But the frequency of problems were less and the need to adapt was as essential.
The nature of our business means that we go to cook at a variety of different properties; which has increased the frequency at which I have had to adapt at a quicker speed. We work in a large number of Rental properties in and around the Dorset/Somerset area. Some of these properties may cost into the £1000’s per night for the large groups staying there. However, this does not guarantee that everything is in a functional working order. So we have had to learn to adapt to situations pretty quickly. Being able to cook a 2 course lunch without a major heat source and a loss of electricity was particularly interesting. As was being able to serve 18 guests with enough crockery and cutlery for 8 to have 3 courses. Suffice to say, it’s been an extremely energising time.
Throughout my life, I have spent 15 years in the business of catering in various establishments: 5 Star Hotels with 500 Bedrooms and 5 restaurants; 9 Bedroom country house hotels; Personal Chef to a family as well as working for a successful Food Truck company. I would say I have seen a lot and felt like I had done a lot, giving me a pretty varied outlook on this business. But what I love about this job is that you never stop learning; and through the establishment of Brown Goose - I have done just that! Running my own business has taught me that, although I believed I could cook and that cooking for myself would be easy, it’s been the learning to overcome the obstacles that has been the most rewarding part. My greatest achievement in the last 18 months has been discovering that, even after 16 years, I am still not only willing, but able to learn more from this trade.
This has been a shorter post than normal which means there’s more chance you have reached the end. I will endeavour to produce a recipe for a blog post next time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this