5 Minutes with... Business Owner & Chef Dom
Today we are catching up with business owner and Head Chef Dom. Alongside wife Elizabeth, Dom owns and manages Hall & Co. Event Design and cafe Little Acre Kitchen. Passionate about creating bespoke menus, which perfectly reflect the clients personality and style, Dom has worked in catering for nearly 20 years.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your role at Hall & Co.?
Hi, I'm Dom and I along with my wife Elizabeth I own and run Hall & Co. Event Design. I am the executive chef, and look after the kitchens of both Hall & Co and our sister company, and cafe Little Acre Kitchen. I love working with our team of chefs and creating and developing new menu ideas.
How did your career as a chef start, was it always something you wanted to do?
My career as a chef started nearly 20 years ago. My mum always worked in kitchens so at the weekends I would go to work with her and help out. I remember my first brown pay packet and getting something like £5 for a Saturday, which at the time seemed amazing! The tea room she worked at in St Ives used to do restaurants evenings and I loved helping to plate the canapes, I think I must have only been 10-11 years old at this point, and I just never stopped cooking! It is something I've always wanted to do, for as long as I can remember! My Mum was a chef and both my Grandma and Nanny were cooks, so I think it's in the blood!
What's your favourite thing about your job?
I feel really lucky to have a job which I love so much, and have a couple favourite parts. The first is being creative, I love writing menus and trying out new ideas for both Hall & Co. and Little Acre Kitchen. The second is seeing the joy expressed by couples when you've created their perfect menu, and finally I love the buzz you get at an events or a busy food service at Little Acre Kitchen.
What's your favourite thing to make in the kitchen?
My favourite thing to cook in the kitchen is probably something sweet, this could either be a new pastry or cake to grace the counter in Little Acre Kitchen or a new dessert for one of our Hall & Co couples. It's also an area which I have grown to love in recent years and I love the challenge of trying something new!
Where do you take inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from all over, whether it is something I try whilst I am out and about, or something I see in an article or online. I have a massive cook book collection, which is constantly growing, at last count it was at over 150! I certainly take lots of inspiration from these and love flicking through them for ideas. Social media is also brilliant for inspiring new presentation ideas and flavour combinations!
Which other caterers and restaurants do you love?
I follow and love Social Pantry, a London based caterer. There are so many restaurants I have either been to and loved or am really keen to visit, but top of the list has to be Sat Bains in Nottingham or Tom Brown at Cornerstone in Hackney Wick London.
If you were to pick your own wedding menu again, what would you choose?
This is a hard one! I think I would go for a Greek/Turkish style mezze sharing starter, the main course would be Moroccan style slow braised lamb shoulder or BBQ honey, lemon and beer marinated chicken with loads of Mediterranean sharing salads, and for dessert it would have to be a salted dark chocolate and cherry delice, bourbon cherry compote, pistachio ice cream.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
Setting up Hall & Co. and Little Acre Kitchen with Elizabeth, and building the businesses to where it is, has to be my highlight, along with the great teams we have around us, we would be nowhere without them! Prior to this and outside of my time at Hall & Co. my highlight would probably be working for Gordon Ramsay at his restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road London, I worked there having just turned 18 and it was such a great experience!
What advice would you give to couples looking to create a bespoke menu for their wedding?
My advice would be, it's your day so create and pick the food you love and want to be a part of it! We are super flexible, and always happy to create bespoke menus and adapt dishes just for you. If you want to go bespoke but not sure how, I would suggest giving us a list of your favourite dishes and cuisines and from there we can work with you to create something bespoke and personal to you.