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Category: Meet The Team

Featured :   21 / 01 / 20

Josh

Meet Kalm Kitchen Event Manager Josh Futcher. With a background in hospitality, we caught up with him to find out what his role at Kalm Kitchen involves, and why imagination (and lots of gin) is his secret to a good party!

Q// When did you join Kalm Kitchen and give us a summary of what your day-to-day role entails…

I joined Kalm Kitchen in September 2019. Day to day I look after the enquires for corporate, community and private clients. I also run meetings and manage weddings at all of the venues that we work with.

Q// Tell us a little about what you did before joining Kalm Kitchen.

Before joining Kalm Kitchen I have worked at some great hospitality and events venues including Champney’s health spa, The Deer’s Hut Pub and Millbridge Court. I also studied Criminology and Sociology at the University of Brighton.

Q// What are the things you most enjoy about working with Kalm Kitchen?

What I most enjoy about working with Kalm is the fast pace, ever-changing environment. No two days are the same and I feel like I am constantly learning and growing in my role. I also like the personable environment that Jen and James pride themselves on. It really is a fun-loving team.

Q// What are the particular skills you think you have (or need) that make you good at your job?

I think you need to be personable and confident to make sure your clients feel at ease in your company and when discussing their plans. You need to convey your enthusiasm and excitement. After all, every single wedding is important. I think you also need to work effectively under pressure. There are moments when the pressure is high and important decisions need to be made. It’s best to keep a cool head and remember that there is always a solution.

Q// If you could choose a dream party to plan, what would it be?

As much as I love working with weddings, I absolutely love private events where clients really go wild with their imaginations. My dream party would be:
Who: Anyone who knows how to have a good time. A few celebs too if possible
Where: Private Island (though I am now thinking about how we would get everything there!!)
When: Summer
What: A huge concert with all different forms of entertainment, on the beach with a whole range of food and drink available. Think Glastonbury meets full moon party. I can’t see it ever happening… but a boy can dream.

Q// What’s the most memorable party or event you’ve planned?

I feel the most memorable party that I have planned was my own. I made the executive decision to tell half of my guests it was a black-tie event and the other half it was beach themed. That definitely broke the ice.

Q// What do you think are the main ingredients for hosting a super successful party?

Imagination, definitely. Alongside fun, enthusiastic guests, great food, unique entertainment and lots of gin.

Q// What’s your favourite food, meal and place to eat?

You really can’t beat a piece of rare lamb with all the trimmings to make a perfect roast dinner.

Q// What’s your foodie guilty pleasure?

Chocolate Angel Delight… I know its childish but it is just too good. Let’s see if I can get it on the Kalm Kitchen menu. Watch this space.

Q// What’s the best thing on the KK menu?

I think my general favourites are the canapés. They are all so quirky and aesthetically pleasing served on the theatrical trays and mirrors. The beef shin croquette and mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef are definitely top two for me.

Q// Are you a good cook? What’s your signature dish – the one you’re most likely to rustle up?

I am known for make a cracking beans on toast with cheese but am yet to master the art of poaching an egg. As I said, watch this space –  I really hope I will be able to have an insight into kitchen life working with this great team.

Q// What do you do in your downtime? Any secret hobbies or pastimes?

In my downtime I love spending time with my family and close friends. I get down to Brighton as often as possible and try out all the amazing bars and restaurants I couldn’t afford when I lived there! I also spend lots of time with my dog. Looking to get her a brother or sister this year too. I am not sure if it is a hobby or an obsession but I also spend more time than I care to tell you watching EastEnders on repeat. I guess I am an old woman at heart.

Q// What did you want to be when you were growing up? What would you be doing if it wasn’t your current job?

Growing up I always wanted to be a chat show host. And to be honest I feel it could still be my calling. I am greatly envious of Graham Norton. His livelihood is sitting on a comfy chair with a glass of Vino chatting to Dame Judy Dench. THE DREAM.

Q// What’s your favourite book… film… and song…?

Book: I don’t read much but the Harry Potter series was a big part of growing up so I guess I would have to say them.
Film: Anything with Melissa McCarthy is always worth a watch.
Song: Mood depending but Adele is my ‘go to’ gal.

If you’d like to speak to Josh or any of our lovely team about planning an event or your special day, get in touch at info@kalmkitchen.co.uk or call us on 01483 813360.

Meet The Team :   25 / 06 / 19

Grace

Meet Kalm Kitchen’s new addition to the team – Event Manager Grace. Joining us from a stint travelling the world as cabin crew at BA, Grace tells us why she’s a pro at rustling up Buddha bowl and why she spends her spare time upside down. Plus, she shares her pro tips for planning a perfect party…

Q// Hi Grace, when did you join Kalm Kitchen and what have been your first tasks to get stuck into?

I first joined Kalm Kitchen in 2017 as part of the waiting staff team alongside my college studies. I absolutely loved working at all of the exciting events throughout that year. And being surrounded by such a lovely team of people made it so much fun. Following college, I took a couple of years out to work and travel. My mum actually sent me the advert for the new role at Kalm Kitchen as she knew how much I enjoyed my time with the company a few months ago. I applied and am so grateful to be back. Since returning, I have gone straight back into working and running the events as well as learning how to hold planning meetings with some of our wonderful clients.

Q// Tell us a little about what you did before joining Kalm Kitchen.

Before Kalm Kitchen I worked for British Airways as Cabin Crew. I worked both long and short haul travelling all over the world.

Q// What did your role at British Airways entail?

My role at British Airways could be very diverse. Although most of the time my job was focused around customer service and serving meals at 30,000 feet, Cabin Crew are also trained to be able to deal with a huge range of safety and security situations and can administer first aid to passengers when necessary. It could be quite scary at times but you definitely learn to keep your cool.

Q// Did you get to travel to some amazing places… Any highlights?

I was incredibly lucky to be able to travel to so many different places throughout my time at BA. I have always loved the United States and Australia, particularly Boston and the Gold Coast. Some of the best trips were the ones I could take my family on and show them around new destinations. Those were a real highlight for me.

Q// What are the things you’re most looking forward to about working with Kalm Kitchen?

Everything! It has been so much fun working at Kalm Kitchen from a different perspective than before, and getting to know the amazing team. I am particularly excited to have the opportunity to take couples through the whole process of planning and help to create their special day.

Q// What are the particular skills you think you have that make you good at your job?

Having studied graphic design and photography at school I really enjoy bringing new, creative ideas to the table, and I am always open to trying new things. I am also very committed and organised, which I have already found extremely helpful in this job.

Q// If you could choose a dream party to plan, what would it be?

I would love to plan a summer wedding for a friend or family member. I love the summer and I think that working with someone you know really well to create their vision would be such an amazing experience.

Q// What are your best tips for hosting a super successful party?

Don’t try to please everyone! Keep it simple and aim to create something that you will enjoy. If you are having fun your guests will be too.

Q// What’s your favourite food, meal and ingredient? And what’s your foodie guilty pleasure?

I am totally obsessed with sweet potatoes and bananas! I love Buddha bowls, smoothies and in the summer I live off of Acai bowls. My guilty pleasure would have to be any vegan cookies, banana bread or the Kalm Kitchen vegan brownies, which are incredible!

Q// What’s your signature dish – the one you’re an absolute pro at rustling up?

I would say any type of Buddha bowl. I use all of the left over vegetables, beans and rice from the week, make some type of sauce or dressing and it always seems to turn out pretty good!

Q// What do you do in your downtime?

I love yoga, so you can normally find me upside down at home or at the yoga studio! I also love to read, walk the dog and experiment with new vegan recipes. Plus I spend a lot of time with my gorgeous family and we all love to travel and explore new places as much as we can.

Q// What did you want to be when you were growing up, and are there any unfulfilled ambitions?

I always wanted to be a dancer. I danced from a very young age and was constantly performing or practicing at home. My focus shifted from dance as it was very competitive and I decided I didn’t want to be a part of that. I discovered yoga last year and have loved learning and exploring this way of moving. I would definitely like to do my yoga teacher training soon, travelling to somewhere like India or Bali to complete it as authentically as possible.

Q// If you had to make a rule for one day and everyone had to follow it, what would it be?

It’s not my rule but Metta. Metta means to care and wish well for other beings without judging them, to accept them independently of agreeing or disagreeing with them, and without wanting anything from them in return. It is a universal love that can overcome all social, religious, ethnic, political and economic barriers.

Q// What’s your favourite book, film and song?

I am a huge fan of both books and movies so I don’t think I could ever choose favourites. But I love all of John Green`s books, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty and all the Harry Potter books of course! Some of my favourite films are Love Actually, The Fault in Our Stars and Me Before You. You can normally find me listening to any Dean Lewis song.

If you’d like to speak to Grace or any of our lovely team about planning an event or your special day, get in touch at info@kalmkitchen.co.uk or call us on 01483 813360.

Photography: Eddie Judd {eddiejuddphotography.com}

Meet The Team :   07 / 01 / 19

Hannah

In our continuing quest to introduce you to the wonderful people behind the scenes at Kalm Kitchen, we had a catch up with Event Planner Hannah Woodley, whose recent experience of planning her own wedding has given her even more insight into what it take to plan your dream day…

Q// Hannah, when did you join Kalm Kitchen and what has been your journey since you started?

A: I joined the Kalm Kitchen team in April 2017 – it’s impressive to see that the team has more than doubled in size since then! I have taken on managing the bookings for Micklefield Hall in addition to working at other fabulous venues.

Q// Tell us a little about your role at Kalm Kitchen, and what’s a typical day for you?

A: My role as an Event Planner includes working at Kalm Kitchen HQ in Puttenham where I host initial meetings with our wonderful couples, gaining insight to their perfect day. On event days I am out at our gorgeous venues and private houses bringing all of our couples plans to life. It is fair to say that there is no ‘typical day’ in the world of events, which I think is half its charm and keeps things interesting!

Q// What are the things you most enjoy about your role?

A: The people – in and outside of Kalm Kitchen. One of my favourite things about my role at Kalm Kitchen is that every day I am privileged to work alongside some of the kindest, most inspirational people I have met, and now call family. The events industry is extremely diverse, not to mention challenging at times so you need to have a strong support network, and that is exactly what you can find at Kalm Kitchen. Working with fantastic suppliers really elevates my role too – running an event when I know I am working alongside a team of other passionate people towards the same goal is something really unique.

Q// What’s the best ever event you’ve ever had the pleasure to work on? What made it so special.

A: To be honest, there are no two events that can be compared like for like. Every single event that we cater for – whether is a dinner party for 30 people, or a lavish wedding for 300 people – is equally special.

Q// What are the particular skills you think you have that make you good at your job?

A: I am adaptable and approachable and I will happily to talk to anyone, which – especially in this industry – is beneficial!

Q// What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you while planning or hosting an event?

A: Our couples are so creative and always bring a smile to my face with their ideas. It’s too hard to pick just one standout moment, but I would pin it down to working with animals – from owl ringbearers to incorporating farm animals – totally unpredictable! Let’s just say llamas bring so much joy to a party too!

Q// If you could choose a dream party to plan, what would it be?

A: I love the idea of planning a wedding for a close family member or friend to create a truly memorable day. I envisage a simple but elegant wedding on a small fort with an endless flow of prosecco and delicious Kalm Kitchen food!

Q// What are your best tips for hosting the most successful party?

A: Stick to your gut, but also be open to advice. If you are planning an event – party, dinner, wedding – whatever the event, make sure it is what you want. Create a vision and run with it. Once you are clear with your vision, fully hand over to your event manager/planner so you can relax and enjoy all the elements as they unravel on the day.

Q// We understand you got married recently. What are the things you learnt from being on ‘the other side’?

A: Enjoy the ride and stay positive. It’s such an exciting time and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t felt all emotions at times planning my own wedding, but that’s perfectly normal and now this is something I feel helps me connect better to my clients. Planning an event is only going to be as overwhelming as you make it. My advice would be to choose the suppliers you are most comfortable with and trust that they will execute all your plans.

Q// What’s your favourite food, and do you have a foodie guilty pleasure?

A: I am terrible for snacking – I would much rather eat little and often rather than sit down and eat a big meal. Put a coffee in my hand and a bag of popcorn in the other and I feel like I’m winning!

Q// What’s your signature dish – the one you’re an absolute pro at rustling up?

A: For someone who works in the catering events industry, I am terrible in that I never follow a recipe – something I have 100% inherited from my mum.

Q// What do you do in your downtime?

A: I am a country girl at heart and family is everything to me. My husband and I are lucky to live just around the corner from both of our parents and will regularly be found either with them walking the dogs or down in Brighton with my sister wandering through the Lanes and drinking cocktails.

Q// What did you want to be when you were growing up, and are there any unfulfilled ambitions?

A: I have always had a lot of love for animals and growing up I loved the idea of being a vet but, at six years old cuddling baby animals and meeting everyone’s cute pets was my concept of what a vet was!

Q// If you had to make a rule for one day and everyone had to follow it, what would it be?

A: Smile, be kind and eat guilt-free brownies all day!

Photography: Eddie Judd {eddiejuddphotography.com}

Meet The Team :   05 / 12 / 18

Pete

We always say it’s the wonderful people behind the scenes at Kalm Kitchen that gives us the personal touch. No doubt about it, Event Manager Pete Holder’s attentive manner and amazing customer service is a special gift, and he’s a master at guiding couples through their exciting journey of getting married. We thought you might like to get to know him a little better, so we sat down for a chat with him to find out about his secret past as an aspiring singer and why he’s mad about Middle Eastern food…

Q: Pete, when did you join Kalm Kitchen and what has been your journey since you started?

A: I first met Jen in April 2017. I was running a coffee shop in London beforehand and I’d already come across Kalm Kitchen Café in Guildford and loved their philosophy. When I found out they were recruiting for the events team I knew I had to be a part of this amazingly creative business. So, I had an interview and then got to run an event at Millbridge Court alongside Jen’s guiding hand. I fell in love with the team, the brand and the whole world of events, and I’ve never looked back. I hit the ground running and I’m now overseeing the most amazing events and growing so much as an event manager, it’s like a dream come true!

Q: Tell us a little about your role at Kalm Kitchen, and what’s a typical day for you?

A: It’s been said before but there really is no ‘typical’ day. I could be in the office responding to queries at my desk, at a venue coordinating details and coming up with creative innovations for hosting the next fabulous wedding, or – my total favourite – rummaging in the warehouse and piecing together styling items for the next big visual idea.

Q: What are the things you most enjoy about your role?

A: I’m a people person, and I’m so lucky to work with the best couples on their big day – they all become friends by the end of the process. But I’m also a total Pinterest junkie and I just love pushing boundaries with new and imaginative concepts which keep things fresh and make the events we work on so special.

Q: What’s the best ever event you’ve ever had the pleasure to work on? What made it so special.

A: We recently worked on the most incredible wedding at Blenheim Palace for Camilla and George Blandford. There were 300 guests, and every aspect was so challenging – in a great way! It felt like all I’d learnt since starting at Kalm Kitchen really came together, and I was so proud of the results. It was unbelievably exciting to get such fantasic feedback afterwards, I can’t describe the feelings I had – it was something I’ll never forget.

Q: What are the particular skills you think you have that make you good at your job?

A: I think I listen well and take time to understand what couples want. I’ve got a high level of care, which I hope comes across in my approach. I get that it can be daunting for couples embarking on this process and wanting to get every aspect right. I’d like to think I’m a friendly, guiding hand who can help them enjoy the planning experience, and ultimately of course enjoy the day.

Q: What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you while planning or hosting an event?

A: One couple was struggling to know what song to have for their first dance. I suggested ringing the changes with something a bit different – Romeo by Basement Jaxx. They totally went with it and it was just such a classic moment; funny and original and just brilliant.

Q: If you could choose a dream party to plan, what would it be?

A: I’m the proudest Uncle to my 11-month-old nephew, so I would love to plan a party for him. Maybe when he’s a little older, but I would gather all my family and friends and celebrate with a fun theme, amazing food and a unique experience he could remember forever.

Q: What are your best tips for hosting the most successful party?

A: Naturally as you host you want to ensure your guests are being well fed, watered and entertained. My suggestion is to hand these tasks over to suppliers you that you trust and who share the same vision. You main goal is to enjoy the day as a guest yourself – if you’ve loved it then it’s been a success!

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself… What do you get up to in your spare time?

A: I run, I love food, I socialise lots with friend and family who are dotted all around the place. I try to spend as much time as I can with my nephew. I’m a vegetarian, so my passion is cooking wholesome food and coming up with new dishes, washed down with some red wine!

Q: What’s your favourite dish to cook?

A: I’m a big fan of giving food a Middle Eastern twist, and my favourite recent creation was a Nigella recipe from her book At My Table. The original is a Beef and Aubergine Fatteh – crispy pittas loaded with a garlic tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint. It’s so delicious – like a kind of Middle Eastern Nachos. I make a vegetarian version, which meat eaters love too and it’s great to share. I also take inspiration from @rebelrecipes on Instagram, they provide endless inspiration for vegetarian meals and their dishes are so easy to make.

Q: What’s your favourite dish on the Kalm Kitchen menu?

A: I definitely have a sweet tooth, so it would be a beautifully summery, yummy Eton Mess. The DIY one we have created at various events where guests pile in and help themselves would be what I’d choose for my wedding (one day!)

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A: I wanted to be a singer, and I was always singing when I was younger (still do, around the office mainly!) I made music, wrote songs, and went to music college. But then I also discovered graphic design, I started doing calligraphy and sign writing for pubs, bars and coffee shops. I actually think both those skills are aligned with what I do now – I’ll often meet musicians I used to study or work with at our events, and the calligraphy is a very useful skill to have in  this career.

Q: What’s your favourite book?

A I’m a keen reader of short stories as they’re so easy to pick up in bursts. My favourite book that I have revisited time and time again since 2010 would be Awkward Situations for Men by Danny Wallace. He challenges male social situations and explain what it means to be a man in the 21st Century. It is so funny and relatable to everyone!

Q: Favourite film?

A: I love a black and white classic film and as a treat when I was younger my mum would play Follow a Star by Norman Wisdom. I thought the story was so funny and charming, and I loved his singing. I would say this is definitely close to my heart and one of my favourite films.

Q: And song?

A: I listen to a lot of music so this is probably the hardest question to answer. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite song but one I associate with a great memory is Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton. His vocals are insane and his country rasp is incomparable. This song reminds me of road trips with my best friends from school.

Photography: Eddie Judd {eddiejuddphotography.com}

Follow Pete on @pepespoint on Instagram

Meet The Team :   06 / 08 / 18

Lara

We’re proud of our wonderful team at Kalm Kitchen, and without a doubt it’s what brings a truly personal touch to all that we do. Most of our faces have been with us for years, so we thought we’d introduce you! First up, it’s Lara Kellaway – Senior Event Manager (and secret Percy Pig fan!)

Q: Lara, when did you join Kalm Kitchen and what has been your journey since you started?

A: I joined Kalm Kitchen in March 2014 on placement year from Bournemouth University. I stayed for about 8 months before returning back to Uni for my final year. I was offered a full time job on completion and I’ve not left since!

Q: Tell us a little about your role at Kalm Kitchen, and what’s a typical day for you?

A: I’m the Senior Events Manager at Kalm Kitchen and lucky enough to look after an incredible team. There is no typical day in the events world, it’s a diverse job and you have to juggle many tasks, so every day is different – varied, challenging, and fun!

Q: What are the best and worst things about your role?

A: The best is seeing an event through from start to finish, going on a journey with our clients and exceeding their expectations on the day. There really is no worst part for me as I see everything as all part of the job.

Q: What’s the best ever event you’ve ever had the pleasure to work on? What made it so special?

A: I really couldn’t pick a favourite as they’re all special in their own way. I must admit though to a particular love for marquee weddings, you have to think about every aspect and it’s a huge achievement when it all goes well. I also suppose each current event I’m working on become a favourite as you really throw your heart and soul into it for the duration of the planning and execution.

Q: What are the particular skills you think you have that make you good at your job?

A: Well, I’m confident, very approachable, very motivational and – most importantly maybe – I have endless energy!

Q: If you could choose a dream party to plan, what would it be?

A: I suppose I’d have to say it would be my own wedding (one day – it hasn’t happened yet!) Like most girls it’s something I dream about, and with the job I do it would be a chance to pour all my ideas and creativity into this one amazing day.

Q: What are your best tips for hosting the most successful party?

A: Don’t overcomplicate things. Sometimes simple is best.

Q: What’s your favourite food?

A: Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I’m a bit of a fussy eater, although I’m really lucky that I get to taste some incredible dishes here at Kalm Kitchen HQ. In general, give me anything sugary and I’m in heaven. White chocolate, cappuccinos and Percy Pigs are my guilty pleasures. Oh, and I do LOVE Bearnaise sauce.

Q: What do you do in your downtime?

A: I have a house back in Dorset, which is where I spend my days off. My family runs a dairy farm there too so I get involved with that and there is never a dull moment.

Q: Are you going on holiday this year and where are you off to?

A: Yes, I am going on a very special holiday this year – it’s my dear friend and work colleague Cat’s hen party. I can’t disclose where we’re going though. Top secret!

Q: What’s the most useless talent you have?

A: My ability to come out with random words. Coolio, fanjabioli, all kinds of nonsense. Oh, and I describe pretty much everything as ‘delicious’, even when it doesn’t make sense!

Q: What would your autobiography be called?

A: ‘A Life of a Dorset Girl’.

Q: If you had to make a rule for one day and everyone had to follow it, what would it be?

A: Be positive, keep smiling!

Q: What’s your favourite book?

A: Peter Rabbit

Q: Favourite film?

A: Matilda

Q: And finally, favourite song?

A: I love anything upbeat – basically something I can tune into on the radio and sing along!

Photography: Eddie Judd {eddiejuddphotography.com}

Close Wedding Catering Surrey

CONTACT US

Head Office
Kalm Kitchen Ltd.
Unit 5 Lascombe Estate,
Highfield Lane,
Puttenham,
Surrey,
GU3 1BB

Enquiries: 01483 813360
Isle of Wight Enquiries:
Email: info@kalmkitchen.co.uk

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