Here is a little about us…
Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to cook. (I still have and indeed use a much thumbed and food- splattered Hamlyn cookbook given to me as a Christmas present when I was only 10). My other passion is travelling all over the world. Always has been. I spent 20 years working in Guildford travel agencies, offering as good a service to the discerning client, as possible. Advising people where to go on that trip of a lifetime is quite a responsibility. I loved that job. And that travelling- bug never wore off.
The other thing I always aspired to was to set up my own business. Then to hopefully one day be able to say it ‘was our family business’, which of course now – it well and truly is. So in January 2000 I combined all I knew and had learnt over the years including how to cook and how to offer a great service (learnt from those travel days) and Merrow Savouries was born.
Nearly 20 years later and I have cooked for country markets and farmer’s markets who told me ‘we will sell as many of those quiches as you can make’. Spent 10 years managing and cooking for a busy vegetarian restaurant. Cooked for wine bars, restaurants and bistros. And to name just a few events- fed and entertained film and popstars, fully managed and catered fabulous weddings, family christenings, smart book launches, posh photo shoots, glamorous cocktail parties, wonderful family anniversaries and birthday parties and simple family get-togethers. Even a couple of divorce parties! With guests from just 7 to 700. Be it in a village hall, a field, a fab marquee or luxury venue. Literally 1000s and 1000s of functions and events. I can honestly say I love every one of them. Whether it is devising the menu, the cooking itself or the planning and management of the occasion. And my favourite? Possibly rather unusually it is funeral receptions. At a time when someone who has lost a loved one and is at their very lowest, they entrust us to cook for their guests and completely rely on us to do what needs doing ensuring the occasion runs as smoothly and sympathetically as it must. Allowing the family to concentrate on what really matters. Which, hopefully, is a huge weight off their shoulders and of course – an honour to be asked.
In some ways I admit to having a few (just a few!) of the same passions as Mum. I too have loved cooking since I was young, and recall standing on a stool helping my Gran make date slices (now one of our most popular cakes). I also love travelling all over the world. I also like to keep fit, and am very interested in healthy eating. Although trying to put into practice what I have learnt in the gym, is not always easy especially when I make a lemon drizzle cake 6 times in 2 days to per-fect the recipe! I originally planned on pursuing a career in the sports industry but realised that it was being a chef and hospitality that was my real forte……
Beginning at just 18 helping to manage a farm shop and a delicatessen learning about the precious oils, olives and truffles whilst assisting with the cooking and managing the adjacent restaurant run by a well known TV chef. His triple chocolate brownie recipe is definitely on our menus now. Then I joined the popular Italian restaurant chain of Carluccio’s, another TV chef, on their trainee management scheme, absorbing all the important skills and disciplines of being a part of such a successful company and popular brand, and helping them to set up several new branches.
With more travelling under my belt I worked with several local catering companies and venues; managing their functions and events. Hard work and long hours but very rewarding when you know you played a major part in the success of the occasion. 2 years followed as manager of a very busy, smart boutique restaurant and hotel. Continuing to listen, observe and learn from the experts – this time from the hugely experienced owners and the talented chefs. And now? I am so very pleased to be able to amalgamate all my experiences and bring them to our family business. And my favourite? It has to be managing that hot, busy kitchen. Proper cooking. Working to a timetable. Preparing delicious food for our guests, especially my signature canapés and baking my trademark cakes.
SIMPLY CALL SUE or TOM
Guildford (01483) 850186