Blue Strawberry/Table Talk’s MD catches up with the MasterChef winner-turned-food designer over G&Ts and white wine.
33 Bedford Road, SW4 7SQ
2x Sauvignon Blanc………………..£14
2x Gin & Tonic…………………..£16.40
2x Camden Pale Ale…………..£10.30
Stuart Jenkins (SJ): I have quite a sporty background. I used to play a lot of rugby. I was in commercial property for a couple of years but I knew that my calling was more personality-focused, creative-focused, the nicer things in life. And that’s what drew me back into events.
Keri Moss (KM): I spent just under three years working in a hotel in Australia, and had the time of my life. I didn’t really want to come home, but I had to. Then a friend said, ‘I’ve got an event company, do you want to come and work in it?’ and I’ve never looked back. I absolutely love it.
SJ: It’s an amazing industry to work in. World-class venues, amazing food, fine wine, brilliant personalities and amazing people. Almost every one of our clients starts with a blank sheet. It starts with the brief and we build it up from there. We do that several hundred times in a year, which is both taxing and exciting. We’re setting trends instead of following them.
KM: For me, I want to be better than everyone else. I like to see what other companies are doing, just to make sure that we are that little bit ahead.
SJ: It’s a really good time for food in London right now. When expectations are so high it’s tough.
KM: We all love what we do. You can tell a good chef by the way that they feel, and how emotional they get over food.
SJ: We give the chefs room to do what they’re good at and passionate about.
KM: A lot of high-profile chefs have a reputation for being quite loud and aggressive but we’re not all like that. Sometimes we’re up against it but we always get it done. In an event kitchen the mentality is totally different from a restaurant kitchen.
SJ: Ultimately we are in a relationship-led business. When you look at things like logistics and venue relationships, what it comes down to is trust in the individual. If you’re doing my event for 500 people then I need to have the utmost trust in you, I need to know that you’re not going to let me down. That’s what our clients have: trust in our team.
KM: MasterChef was fun, but challenging. You learn a lot about yourself and your resilience. It’s all true what you see on screen. If they say you have five minutes then you have five minutes.
SJ: With Brexit, it’s now just getting on with the job in hand. It was a surprise for most of us but that doesn’t change the remit, or what we’re here to do. Fingers crossed it won’t have a detrimental effect.
Image credit: Photography by Aniseed PR
This feature originally appeared in the September issue of Access All Areas, out now.