After selling her Aberdeen guest house, Diane Burnett decided to go back to her catering roots and set up Perfection Catering in 2013.
The family-run outside catering business has a simple goal – to create exceptional food and drinks which will impress wedding guests, business event attendees and make every party a great success.
With coronavirus putting almost all events and celebrations on hold, Diane and her team kept busy preparing ready meals for a range of clients in the north-east and working with brides and grooms-to-be to finalise menus for their weddings in 2022.
We caught up with Diane to find out more about her catering business, which dishes tend to be the most popular with wedding guests and the firm’s bar and drinks service.
So, tell us, what motivated you to set up your own catering business?
I had just sold my seven-bedroom en-suite guest house in the centre of Aberdeen and I decided to go back to catering in 2013. I had run my own guest house for the past 10 years on my own and had turned the business round and doubled the profits in that time.
What would you like everyone to know about Perfection Catering?
Perfection Catering covers everything from the way we do the job to the service we provide and that is at the heart of what we do. We all do the job to the best of our abilities to keep our clients happy. We provide catering from small dinner parties and corporate BBQs to weddings and large outdoor events. But we specialise in weddings – Perfection Catering was the winner of “The North East Caterer of the Year 2015” at Food Awards. My catering business has been a runner-up in the Food Awards each year thereafter.
That’s amazing – congratulations. Can you tell us more about the wedding catering service you offer?
Each wedding is created based on the clients’ specific needs. I normally send out menu samples for the bride and groom to review and then work closely with the happy couple to tailor the menu to what they want on their wedding day.
Which dishes are always a hit with wedding guests?
For starters, our cream of leek and potato soup is always very popular. We also often serve a prawn cocktail which is bound in a rich Marie Rose sauce and served with soda bread and butter. Our homemade chicken and liver pate that is served with a Melba toast and pear chutney is one of the favourites too.
When it comes to mains, roast sirloin of beef served with rich gravy and Yorkshire pudding, supreme of chicken filled with haggis glazed in a Drambuie cream, haddock mornay served with rich Orkney cheese sauce are popular options. Brides and grooms-to-be also often opt for roasted lamb shanks with a rich Malaga wine sauce or a roast loin of pork served with cider and apple sauce.
And for dessert, sticky toffee pudding with hot toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream, chocolate beetroot cake with chocolate ganache and mini strawberry Pavlova are always tasty.
That sounds delicious. Do you also offer a bar and drinks service?
The bar and drinks services is part of the overall service we provide and we normally bolt on the bar if the wedding party want that on the day. We apply for the bar licence and provide our own staff and drinks based on the menu and the bar service the wedding party requires. Reception drinks and toast drinks can be included, followed by the bar being open until the end of the night time function. This is all agreed with the wedding party prior to the event.
Do you also cater corporate events? What are your most-ordered canapes?
Yes, we also cater small celebrations and corporate events and provide canapes, selection of drinks from wines to different beers and soft drinks. Some of the canapes we serve include roasted asparagus with serrano ham, mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish cream, roasted pepper hummus on crostini, parma ham mascarpone with fig chutney on crostini and prawn cocktail spoons.
What are the top three dishes you enjoy serving up the most?
I really like serving shot glasses with green pea and mint soup, mini goats cheese and caramelized red onion tartlet as well as haggis pakora with whisky sauce.
Can you also tell us more about your new street food van? Why did you decide to invest in it during lockdown?
We have recently added a new street food van to our company in preparation for the opening up of the outdoor events this summer and we are looking to branch into more outdoor food events. We have had a micro wedding in October last year for 20 guests and everything was Covid-controlled and the day was lovely for the bride and groom.
That’s exciting! How many staff do you employ to cater a wide range of events?
We have approximately six to 10 staff who come as and when required, but normally for weekends, we need the help for weddings and large corporate events and have always used the same staff who are loyal to us since we started up the business. All the staff we have are hardworking and come from catering and the service industry and they are like family to me.
It’s good to hear you’re such a good team. Tell us, what do you like most about your job and where do you see your business once the current restrictions are lifted?
I love everything about my job. When I first started working in a large hotel in Aberdeen I picked up how to chef at the age of 18. To move into the outside catering did not phase me as I felt at home in the kitchen making up fabulous food options.
With the purchase of the new street food van, I am optimistic the company will move into the outside catering and events, and the business will grow from strength to strength.
Visit http://www.perfectioncatering.co.uk for more information