Elegant Cuisine is a catering company, based in Frilford, Oxfordshire. It offers ‘outdoor’, or event, catering to high standards at specialist events, parties and celebrations across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire – including corporate events and weddings. It is the preferred caterer at several venues, including Oxford’s prestigious Rhodes House and Bodleian Library and offers special event catering at several others.
In a nutshell, the company’s recipe for success is its timing, delivery and care, the provenance of its people and food, and its presentation.
It boasts qualified, trained management, with regular staff earning NVQs (levels 1-3), trained in health and safety, and food handling. Elegant Cuisine rarely uses agency staff, having a fully trained team employed. This approach offers consistency and team work, as well encouraging staff to take more pride, ownership and care in their work. It also means that the team know and trust each other and, despite the tough work, and, often, long hours, enjoy their work. The company is proud that its staff members are regularly complimented for the service they offer, and has a recruitment policy that includes: ‘if you can’t smile, you can’t work here’.
The company has a passion and excitement for food, sourcing seasonal food, locally, wherever possible – at very least knowing the provenance of its food – and crafting its dishes by hand, cooking them at the place where served. The team pay great attention to presentation and design. For the Elegant team, it’s personal!
In December 2010, the company earned the prestigious ISO14001 environmental award. By separating its waste streams at events and at base, it expects to save around 26 tons of landfill each year.
Elegant Cuisine offers contract catering to standards and service levels specified by the venue operator to meet the needs of their own visitors.
Notable amongst these is Millets Farm Centre at Frilford in Oxfordshire, where Elegant Cuisine is currently based.
Elegant Cuisine runs three establishments on the site: the elegant Lakeview Restaurant, available for exclusive hire as well as Sunday lunches; the Farmhouse Restaurant, where high quality, home cooked food offers a warm welcome to visitors; and the Orchid café within the garden centre.
Outdoor (event) catering
Elegant Cuisine is proud of the high standards it sets itself, and its passion for the food it serves.
At any event the delivery of the service is, Elegant Cuisine estimates, around just a fifth of what goes in. Although it is easy to dismiss it as ‘only admin’, attention is paid to health and safety, hygiene and risk assessment.
Constant back office support and time invested in the customer, discovering their needs and preferences, helps the company meet and exceed customer hopes with the small, personal touches that really make a difference. Established planning procedures and attention to detail ensure that those customers have complete visibility of plans, reducing the opportunities for things to go wrong.
Its staff are uniformed and self-sufficient, and the company’s care extends to clearing up: its crockery is kept nice by dishwashing, bagging and sealing (for hygiene) before an event is considered finished.
Having almost two decades of experience, Elegant Cuisine works well with other third parties, such as florists or marquee providers, and can often suggest suitable partners for customers (although it does not take commissions or aspire to be an event organiser).
The company uses its own kitchens and equipment, offering the Elegant Cuisine team – and therefore its customers – security that equipment will be available and working when required, the ability to have ‘just in case’ extras to hand, and the knowledge that everything is safety checked.
This approach ensures that if things do go wrong, guests will be unaffected, earning the company high praise from its customers.
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