Clare has long experience of feeding demanding mouths, including over 20 years running one of the country’s first vegetarian nurseries, innovating an accredited farmer’s market cafe, and has been involved in festival catering since 2000 with the Green Man Café at events such as The Berkeley Castle Joust (for five years running!), Big Green Gathering, Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, Two Thousand Trees, Nailstock, The Rainbow Festival and many more! Green Man Café was merged with Café Chameleon in 2009, and now run side by side.
While providing good quality, responsibly-sourced food in all sorts of places, she has always stayed positive, and didn’t even let two feet of flood water at one event dampen her enthusiasm, energy and professionalism.
She says, “We should give people a good all round experience, including a memorable ambience. I get a real buzz out of seeing people enjoy our food. I strongly believe in working with festival organisers. It’s so much better to be flexible and empathetic, then we will all be happy.”
Clare has a particular interest in personal and professional development and ensures that the seasonal staff are trained to the high standards, and are absorbed rapidly into an ever evolving and happy team.
Chilli has been catering outdoors since age of 14 with Green Man Café, cooking with the family business at farmers market, chef at a well known organic vegetarian restaurant, and now runs Café Chameleon with Clare, taking the role of head chef along with all the other sheer gutsy hard work entailed in getting the show on the road!
Chilli understands the need for unfussy but delicious cooking in the field “Keep it simple! Make it tasty!” are her watchwords. She believes that fresh, cooked on the spot food and great flavour combinations through confident use of herbs and spices gives our food the edge. She is passionate about nutrition, field kitchen management and hygiene and passes on her enthusiasm to less experienced staff. She has developed a firm but gentle style of supervision, and can get the best out of her workers.
Chilli is the hardest working, calmest, most reliable person you could meet, and has been known to pull a roast dinner for 750 out of the bag at short notice without any drama or F words…. But she prefers less excitement!
The third member of the core team, (or “the dream team”!) Shay has cooked with us since 2009, and has many years experience of posh restaurants,(even one connected with Heston B), high end patisseries, classy cafes and pub grub cuisines, his knife skills are a spectator sport! He is especially good in the MORNINGS and is very methodical, organised and motivated. Shay’s breadth of experience, cheeky “can do” attitude and passion is priceless! (favourite saying is “Do it! Do it anyway!”)
From the big marquee, to the little pop-up, moving double ovens, big fridges…. Joe makes everything happen. Although Joe may be providing a sound system or DJ set elsewhere some of the time, we have the pleasure of his company at all our big shows.
In the winter he keeps all our equipment in good order, ensures that the Gas Safe and Pat tests are done on time. We trust him for all our logistical needs, including packing and route planning. He literally puts the roof over our head, sparks up our electric, sorts out our water, he is the power pack of the team.
Then, when everything is in place and ready to go, he will get busy in the kitchen …. He’s known on certain occasions as the burgermeister!
On top of all that he can offer clients a DJ set, in-house in the café marquee, or in the dance tent
Where would we be without him!
Frank is not often seen on site, but he has a part to play in business advice, website creation, marketing and keeping us on track with finances and the paperwork side of things…. Not an easy thing if one is on the road for half the year!
He qualified as a professional caterer and hotel manager, and has worked in marketing for Grand Metropolitan Hotels, Cunard and Trusthouse Forte. He has also been a partner in an early ‘Hard Rock’ style restaurant. He firmly believes that the key to success is to provide what customers want.
Our team is your team!
Clare, Chilli, Shay and Joe are a solid team, (along with a trusted band of carefully selected, familiar, regular support staff), with Frank there to advise, support and take the odd phone call. Their skills and experience dovetail to ensure high quality, professional, exciting food with a conscience for your festival.