We spoke to Adam Evanson, Chef and Hospitality Director at Vanilla In Allseasons on how offering sustainable catering and good value can come with a people-first ethic.
Adam Evanson, from Cheshire based caterers Vanilla In Allseasons, has a rich history with the hospitality and events sector before starting his own catering company: “My background is in Radisson hotels, I set up the conference and events at Radisson Manchester Airport, Glasgow, and Edwardian Manchester. Afterwards
I thought I’d invest in a deli.” Though the deli wasn’t a long-term venture for Adam, it did lead him to an important connection: “One of my suppliers was a guy called Simon who had a background working with Michelin star chefs, he provided me with desserts and cakes for the deli and we did a bit of outside catering. We merged and created Vanilla In Allseasons, I was Allseasons and his company was called Vanilla. We started from nothing to doing about 300 events a year now. A year ago, I bought Simon out and I’m now in business with my old college friend Tim Vincent, who is our Executive Chef and has been working with us for around 10 years.”
“It’s clean, It’s fresh, it’s less heavy,” says Adam when describing the food offering. “Everyone says they get seasonal, local, produce but we really do. Our local butcher and supplier is a three generation butcher based in Boddington’s little village and I can tell you where the piece of beef came from and which field it came from in the Cheshire area.” Continuing on the company’s signature stamp on its food, Adam says: “We’re going away from heavy carbs, it’s now about creating items cooked which you can have à la minute* (*food which is prepared to order, rather than being prepped in advance and held for service) which is really using seasonal vegetables, whether it’s a puree or as an emulsion. It’s just protein, a nice vegetable garnish, and a nice bit of carbohydrate.”
This expertly executed yet simplified approach is mirrored throughout the business, when asked what his catering pet peeve was Adam admits: “For corporate, it’s losing bread. We don’t do bread with our menus unless the client requests it because it doesn’t get finished. It’s just like offering tea and coffee. Why offer tea and coffee that you know isn’t going to get drunk? I’m all about giving good value for money; just simple starter, mains, and desserts.” Adam and Tim’s sustainable awareness of food waste
is something which they thoughtfully developed overtime, leading them to reduce their portion sizes: “They weren’t getting value for money because we we’re throwing food away. So now are our plates are 99% clear and our customers are just as full and happy with what they’ve just eaten.”
At the heart of the business is Adam’s people-first principle which makes the company down-to-earth and loyal to its customers. Adam explains: “One thing I’m very passionate about is being a trusted partner. We pay our bills as soon as we get the invoice and we’re always hoping to grow our partner’s businesses. The other main catering we do is for the National Football Museum, they’ve got this cafe and we run it, it doesn’t make much money, but we do it for them because we do their corporate event catering. We promote them on social media, and we continue to develop our relationship because we don’t just take the money and run, we take it all very personally.”