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Latest News

March 2017

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Springing into peak season!

We simply cannot wait until the astronomical start of spring on the 20th March and have already declared the SJHQ a Winter Free Zone! It is so good to know that brighter, longer, warmer days are ahead of us.

With Spring, comes the start of our peak events season. This means not only a change in the weather, but also in the rhythm of our business. Less time in the office, more time out and about. The kitchen becomes a hive of activity as each event is prepped, packed and despatched. There is nothing quite so strange as seeing the space transform as three teams and vans all depart within a few minutes, suddenly leaving an empty kitchen, except of course, for our trusty porters who remain to ensure the space is cleared, cleaned and reset ready for the next shift to begin!

As a chef of 30 years I have seen food fashions come and go, but regardless of the trends I have always been totally focussed on buying British. These days I am often approached as an industry expert, which always takes me by surprise! I feel blessed to work in a profession I love, one that brings so much pleasure to others, and in which I am still constantly learning!

As a business we live or die by the strength of our food and hospitality. Everything that we cook is created from tried and tested recipes, sometimes invented by others, but always personally developed to become my own.

Every wedding that we organise follows the ideal that it's your wedding, your way. Our corporate events are thoroughly thought through with meticulous attention to detail. Our private parties are planned to perfection. The common thread throughout is that our knowledge and experience is there to offer support and guidance to our clients.

We work hard, care lots, and have just enough craziness to see us through!

Today is International Women's Day, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of woman worldwide. Keep an eye on our social media sites today as we feature our colleagues in venues across London (you can also read about my journey from trainee to executive chef via the Meet the Team link below!).

Best wishes,


Suzanne James

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Keep it Social!

Social Media is becoming more and more popular all the time. Don't forget you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram - click on the logos below to find us!

Pinterest is especially helpful for images of our food ad venues and inspiration for flowers and styling for your own event so be sure to take a look!

 

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Funding for Local Schools!

Calling local schools with growing projects. Do you need some extra funding to make your fruit and vegetable patches just peachy?!

Thanks to our fundraising via the East Dulwich Supper Club the Suzanne James Food Foundation once again has funding available and we are keen to support you!

Submit your applications now, including details of your project, what you need (plants or equipment) and an estimate of how much it will cost.

In return we ask for one or two photos of the project with Suzanne (not necessarily the children but certainly the school logo) and we will give as much as we can to support you.

Email your application to us.

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Meet the Team
Suzanne James - Executive Chef

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is only when I am asked about how Suzanne James Ltd came into existence that I stop to look back and really think about what I have achieved. There have, without doubt, been highs and lows and I'm not sure if it is tenacity or down right stubbornness that has got us to where we are today!

I am often teased by the team here that it is 'my name above the door' and, with that in mind they have quite rightly pointed out that I too need to be featured in this part of the newsletter. So.....here goes......

My career started in 1989 when I left Westminster College and went straight into event catering. It wasn't quite the same back then...very limited styling, just good food, guests and a party.........

Read more

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Keep it Local
We are proud of our status as not just a sustainable, but also an ethical caterer.

Wherever possible we use small, independent businesses much like ourselves and believe it is vitally important to support one another.

This month we would like to introduce you to Richard from Smart City Prestige who provide first class chauffeur services for business and pleasure in their exclusive fleet of world class luxury cars.

Read more

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Horniman Conservatory Renovation Underway!

The beautiful Grade II Listed Horniman Conservatory in Forest Hill is behind screens at the moment as it undergoes an exciting makeover.

The work includes the installation of underfloor heating, new Victorian style radiators and a stunning geometric floor in black, white and grey tiles. New lighting is also being installed and finally the regular annual deep clean of the entire glass and frame will be carried out so ensure we are all set for our first weddings of the year in April.

These upgrades will ensure the future of the Conservatory as a year round venue, raising much needed revenue for the Horniman Museum & Gardens.

For those who are thinking about booking the venue a visit to the grounds is still well worth while, especially if combined with a look at the many images on both Pinterest and our website.

Read more about the Horniman Conservatory

View images of Horniman Conservatory Weddings on Pinterest

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East Dulwich Supper Club
May - Watch this space

We have so many confirmed events in April that we are sadly unable to hold a Supper Club - sorry everyone! However, plans are already in place for our May event so watch this space!

You can read more about Supper Club on our website here.

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Eat Seasonally

Each month we write a seasonal food column for SE21, 22 and 23 magazines. Look out for our recipes which also appear on our website.

Eating seasonal produce ensures that you always get the best tasting, healthiest food available, at the very best prices.

Read more about our own policy on seasonal food, and why it matters here and here on our website.

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It's British Pie Week!

British Pie Week takes place from the 6th to 12th March, but did you know that technically at one time, pretty much everything we ate was a pie?

Originally, the pie's pastry shell was designed to be used as a baking dish, storage container, and a way to serve the filling. Records show that Romans would use meats, oysters, mussels and fish as the filling and a mixture of flour, oil and water to keep it all in place. The pastry was often tough and inedible and was designed to be thrown away, although some historians suggest it was given to the servants while the rich ate the contents!

It seems everyone has a personal favourite when it comes to pie so we did a quick sweepstake in the office and here are the results;

Roast Chicken Pie was the resounding winner with 9 votes
Steak & Ale was second with 5 votes
And I really should mention that apple pie got 2 votes too (but we asked for a savoury vote too!)

Whatever your personal favourite, and even if you are on a pre-Summer diet we think everyone should indulge in a great British institution during Pie Week!

This is the Evening Standards Guide to the best pies in London (but they clearly haven't tasted a Suzanne James Pie)!!

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Are Kids in Restaurants Pasta Joke?

Italian restaurateur Antonio Ferrari, owner of a wine bar in Padua has introduced a discount for families whose children behave well when dining in his wine bar.

Where on the bill you might expect to see details of a service charge, Antonio, on the rare occasion a family earns it, includes a printed line that, when translated. reads: 'Polite children discount'.

The 5% discount shown on the restaurant bill of a well-behaved family. Photograph: Antonio Ferrari/Facebook

Did you know we have special menus created with children in mind? They are tasty, healthy and well balanced and have been throughly tested on the Suzanne James 'mini team' who have all given us their seal of approval!

Ask your event planner to send you a children's menu if required.

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imageOut & About!

We are incredibly lucky to cater at so many amazing museums, galleries and historic venues, who also play host to a altitude of exciting events.

Our "Out & About" section offers a monthly low down on what's happening where for all you thrill seekers and culture vultures.

We hope you enjoy it, and please remember that if you are planning an event we would be delighted to see you at any of our venues in order to give you a guided tour while talking through the endless possibilities. We are often aware of special offers on venue hire and can assist in securing special rates when taking clients to a venue.

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