Thursday 25th May – Jane Carnall 10 minute Presentation

This week’s presentation came from private caterer and chef, Jane Carnall, owner of Really Hungry …and to say it was a mouth-watering experience is something of an understatement.

Jane has been a member of Guildford Business BNI for three years and until recently was our Membership Co-ordinator, a role which made the most of Jane’s attention to detail and outstanding planning abilities.

We always encourage members to begin their presentation with a couple of images and a little information about themselves. Jane did not disappoint and quickly introduced us to her childhood in Yorkshire, a love of animals, especially dogs and a genuine relish for running, cycling and swimming.

The main course was dished up with plenty of images of delicious looking dishes which Jane accompanied with a detailed explanation of how Really Hungry works and why her business continues to flourish in such a competitive market.

Offering a bespoke service ensures that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ Really Hungry event, Jane handles everything from a dinner for 8 guests to a birthday celebration for 80, corporate lunch for a dozen City executives to a Christmas party for 150.  Jane clearly loves the variety of her work but never forgets that whilst the venues and menus may differ, planning is the key to success and there is plenty to do before an egg has been cracked or soufflé dusted

The planning process begins with a meeting, budgets, locations and style of service are usually first on the agenda for discussion and here Jane brings along a wealth of catering experience, measuring perfectly the balance between creativity and practicality.

Menu planning is of course of paramount importance and here Jane provides clients with inspiration and ‘food for thought’…special dietary requirements are considered at this stage as Jane believes that no guest or party goer should feel undervalued or left out. At this point of the presentation, Jane showed us images of some of the gluten and dairy free dishes prepared for a recent event, Salmon niçoise, Asparagus & confit tomato with light potato salad and beetroot gravadlax…enough to tempt even the most jaded palate!

The purpose of BNI is of course to pass business referrals and Jane is perhaps one of the most highly recommended members of the group. Liz Kirk of Guildford Fringe recently put Jane in touch with a company in the City of London that required a lunch for 12 investment and banking professionals. So successful was the lunch that Jane now travels to London every week to prepare lunch for the group, a fine example of a member making the most of a great referral by delivering an exceptional service!

Before taking questions, Jane completed the presentation by reminding us that Really Hungry take care of every aspect of an event, planning, staffing, producing the food, serving the drinks…and the washing up!

The first question came from our President Jovan Maric who asked Jane ‘what happens if, due to circumstances beyond your control you are unable to work at a scheduled event?’

Jane explained that she works in close contact with a number of highly respected chefs and caterers, it has never happened but if for some reason Jane or any vital member of her team were unable to make the event one of her fellow professionals would take control. Jane also pointed out that Really Hungry is fully insured.

There was time for one more question which came from Peter Voice of PHP Plumbing ‘Are the cookery shows on TV a good or bad thing for your business?’

Jane smiled as she responded ‘a bit of both…clients certainly have an increased awareness of good food, which is very helpful, but I like the quality of ingredients to shine through and while I love to keep up with recipe ideas and inspirations I believe that great food speaks for itself…I’m not a big one for foams and liquid nitrogen.

The door prize was eagerly anticipated for obvious reasons and the lucky winner of some freshly made raspberry desserts was Sue Carne of Not Just Travel…the treats were boxed in Really Hungry packaging and it has to be said that Sue left the building with the wrapping intact…nobody blamed her for not sharing!