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Meet the Team


Introducing Oliver Lawless - Apprentice Chef

How long have you worked with us?

I joined Suzanne James as an apprentice in Mid August 2016.

What made you decide to train as a chef?

I have been interested in food my whole life and decided when I finished school that I wanted to train as a professional chef.

What have you enjoyed most so far?

I love making pastries and cakes and am already thinking that I might pursue this as a speciality.

What's your favourite food to eat?

I am a huge fan of Asian food, especially anything spicy.

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

The rugby player James Haskell – because he is my sporting hero, plus he would probably eat more than me, so I could order whatever I wanted without feeling bad!!

Tell us about the apprentice scheme?

For the next year I will attend Westminster Kingsway College one day a week and spend the rest of my time I will be working at Suzanne James. At the end of the year I will have my NVQ Level 2 in Professional Cookery.  My current plan is to then go on to train as a pastry chef – and from there….who knows!!!

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

I play rugby for Old Alleynians in the 2nd row, and also like to go rock climbing whenever I get time.  My other passion is track bikes – I love to build them, ride them and hopefully I want to start doing them up to sell on too.  When I’m not doing one of these three things, or working you will probably find me asleep.

So far, what have you found to be the hardest thing about being a chef?

The long hours have to be the hardest thing, and also sometimes the vegetable prep for really big events, there are only so many carrots you can peel and cut before it gets boring, but it’s all part of the job!

If you weren't a chef what would you be?

Hmmmm, probably a bike mechanic, it’s good to combine a passion with a career I think.


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

For me it is that the work here is very different, even as an apprentice I get to be involved in each event from the start to the finish, from the tasting, to the prep, to the final delivery at the venue.  That makes it so much more rewarding.  Also to see how much everyone here cares about every event and every client, and how everyone works together, it really is like one big family!