How To Plan Event Catering
Sheba Anvari is the founder of company Local Sauce, a bespoke catering service with a wide range of services. Originally studying music at the Guildhall School of Music, Sheba realised her true passion was feeding people, which led her to Leiths School of Food and Wine in London. Over the years Sheba has continuously grown and evolved her craft with enormous success.
In this week’s episode of The Planner’s Planner Podcast, Sheba speaks with Toby about her passion, her business and how to plan event catering. In it, we learn how to prepare for a large event in a small kitchen, how Sheba has moved across various styles of catering and found her niche, and what skills Sheba has taken from her studies and experience to continue being such a success all over the world.
Sheba’s company is Local Sauce. They provide catering for a range of needs, from fresh, seasonal home cooking to fill your fridge, to a full waited service for the bigger events in life. Local Sauce is rapidly establishing itself in the hearts of many for its delicious food and bespoke, friendly service. Sheba prides herself on using the freshest ingredients from local vendors to create dishes from the classic to the innovative.
Local Sauce has evolved in its five years of business. Starting on Leiths List after graduating, Sheba was an in-house chef for a barrister’s chambers before beginning her journey into private catering. From there she used contacts and networking to build her own client base and grow as a professional.
Sheba knows that it takes a strong team to make an event a success, and she relies on a solid group to achieve this. Her front of house manager, who is, as she says, “amazing,” provides management at the front end of events while she manages the kitchen. “… He kind of acts as though he’s in an A&E situation, he’s just very focused,” Sheba said to Toby. Sheba prefers a much more relaxed environment in her kitchen with only a few people to help her, even for events as large as 250 guests, “The reason I can be like that actually is I have this guy at the front making everything perfect, and really you can behave how you want in the back if you have this guy running everything at the front.” Her waitstaff is a trusted group of people she regularly employs, who she knows she can depend upon to create the right kind of atmosphere at her events, and work under the trained eye of the front of house manager.
Local Sauce uses suppliers in London to provide her clients with fresh, quality ingredients. McKanna Meats, Furness Fish Markets Limited, and Tayshaw Ltd, supply her with meat, fish, and vegetables, respectively. She’s developed relationships with her suppliers since she worked in chambers. When speaking of McKanna Meats, Sheba remarks, “…they really look after me…, I don’t know what I would do without them.” Her suppliers are a principle part of the team, “But I think that it’s all those things really are what make anything, is the team effort, everyone pulls together.”
Sheba has worked for a range of clients in many cities across Europe and America, either for events or in-house catering services. She mentions that all of her clients are different and from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. From London, to New York, to Los Angeles, Sheba has been jet-setting around the globe to serve her clients.
Sheba has her own small kitchen she prefers to use, even when prepping an event for 250 guests. She says organisation is key, in these situations. Even so, sometimes things won’t always go according to plan. On a recent business excursion to New York, Sheba was faced with the challenge of using a pitifully inadequate kitchen to prepare a Persian meal for a large wedding. Through innovation, creativity, and sheer force of will, Sheba and her assistant were able to make the wedding a huge success.
The new media
Local Sauce can be found on a variety of standard social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Her website is charming, with refreshing colours and artwork that don’t detract from the real focus: her beautiful culinary creations and the services they provide. Through the use of Instagram, which Sheba was hesitant to start, she discovered her talents at baking, which has led to a new and very popular aspect of her business – cakes!
Sheba describes the path Local Sauce has taken and her vision of the future of Local Sauce to Toby, “The challenge … died relatively quickly, and that’s when I decided I wanted to go into private work, working in houses, and from there it’s got bigger and bigger, and it’s just – I think what I’ve been doing is just chasing a new challenge every time…so I’m just kind of constantly trying to work out the next phase.”