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Meet the Team

Introducing Claire White, Event Co-ordinator


How long have your worked for Suzanne James Catering?

Since 2010 when my existing job became part time and I needing something to keep me busy and supplement my income.

As one of our Senior Event Staff what do you do ?

Everything really! We have a really good team, so generally speaking everyone knows what needs to be done, my main role is to 'finesse things' - making sure the tables are set up correctly, supporting the more junior members of the team and making sure everything is perfect. Also a really important part of my job is to look after the individual needs of the guests, and experience really helps with this as I am often able to step in before a guest even asks.  It is lovely to be able to surprise people with really attentive service, something that is often lacking in modern life!  Over the past two years, I have trained to Event Manager level and I am really enjoying the new challenges & experiences this brings.

What do you love about your job?

Everything! I love being part of a team, and following the event through from start to finish - setting up at the start of the day and seeing happy guests leaving at the end. But I am equally happy in the kitchen making the coffee!  It is wonderful to see so many amazing venues - whether they are people's homes or historic buildings. Plus all the lovely people we meet through our job, we have so many lovely clients!

What has been your most challenging event to work on?

Probably a wedding where events appeared to be snowballing out of control, though in the end we brought it all back together. A  nervous Groom and Ushers arrived and forget to pay the taxi so we had to come to the rescue, then a delivery truck for the venue (not the wedding) arrived and tried to park to unload about 5 minutes before the bride was due, just after the ceremony a huge vase of flowers was knocked over by a guest, and finally the pre-booked route master bus arranged by the couple to transport guests to the reception venue got stuck in traffic and turned up 1.5 hours late….... we made it through with calm efficiency, and got hugs and kisses from the Bride, Groom and parents at the end!

Tell us about a time when you saved the day at an event (or a funny experience maybe)…we're sure there must be some good tales to tell!

Last year I had a bride who put her heel through the hem of her dress. Luckily I am qualified as a sewing teacher, and we always have an emergency sewing kit on hand at events….so I spent a nervous 15 minutes carefully repairing the damage! Luckily the Bride was very relaxed about it all - thank goodness it happened after the ceremony, just before photos.

Which of the many venues you've worked at is your favourite?

I love the Horniman Conservatory because it is just so beautiful, no matter what the event.  It is the perfect background no matter what colours or styling you bring in.

What's your favourite food to eat?

I have so many favourites, I just love food! From haute cuisine to fish and chips on my lap in front of Made in Chelsea, if I'm eating I'm happy!

If you could dine with anyone, past or present who would it be?

This is hard, but I think Angelina Jolie would be an amazing person to meet, she is just so inspiring, and maybe I can cheat and get her to bring her very handsome husband along too?!

What do you like to do when you're not at work?

Apart from eat? I love to read, hang out with friends & family, sew, I dance swing, samba & salsa, I love to cook, and I have just started an interior design qualification as well!!

In your opinion what makes Suzanne James Catering different from other catering companies?

We are exceptional. I have been to lots of weddings and events and no one offers the same customer service or amazing food. Even on events that have a smaller budget the food is incredible, there is never any compromise. However tense or nervous guests may appear to be on arrival, they always leave looking relaxed and happy and thanking us for our amazing food & service. That seems like a form of magic to me!