With up to 200 weddings to cater for this year, life is busy at Beales Gourmet.

But managing director Tony Beales still finds time to ensure each and every client receives an exceptional, personal experience, whether booking a wedding or an intimate dinner party at home. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, the bespoke catering company has gone from strength to strength with Michelin-trained chef Tony employing his own head chef and kitchen team, among 19 full time and 40 casual staff.

It means Tony, who does still spend some time cooking, can mostly concentrate on the overall service including the booking process – which is as paperless as possible in line with the company’s eco-friendly ethos – and those important finishing touches.

“I can focus on the little touches that make a big difference,” he explains. “This year we are really going to focus on tuning up the business and further enhancing the customer experience.”

Beales Gourmet became the exclusive inhouse caterer and took over management of The Italian Villa at Compton Acres in 2010. It’s a partnership which has been hugely successful – in the last 18 months they have won an impressive 14 local, national and international awards. It’s clear the emphasis is on quality.

Beales Gourmet was started by Tony in 2005 in Westbourne, after living in France for ten years. He brought with him a wealth of experience working in five-star hotels, Michelin star restaurants and luxury private yachts, following his chef training at Bournemouth College and three years working in London.

The company works with many of the most prestigious venues in the area, but is equally happy to cater for private parties and summer barbecues at client’s homes and in private marquees. With seasonal menus in place, Tony and his team will discuss in detail the food on offer, making any adjustments as the customer requires.

“We’ve got a seasonal menu for dinners and lunches, but we do design bespoke menus to suit the customer, with their budget, seasonality – everything gets considered,” he says. “We enjoy working with people to create their ideal personal experience.”

Tony is keen to keep his chef whites to hand, and will often attend many of the bigger events, such as the British Beach Polo Championships at Sandbanks, to cook there.

“Our other big focus this year is charities,” he adds. “We are currently working with lots of charities. We love working with the BSO and last year we sponsored a cook book with Forest Holme Hospice.”

Tony is open-minded as to where Beales Gourmet will go next, although he admits he is quite content to stay local, ensuring that personal touch remains.

“I had a very open mind when I first started; to be honest I wasn’t quite sure where the company was going to go. We are quite content with what we’ve built here though as we really enjoy keeping our service local.

“People look to us as we grow as being too big to come to their house, but we still specialise in bespoke home fine dining and house parties. We still love and value that side of our service.” Whatever comes next for Beales Gourmet, the company will remain a family affair. Tony runs the business with his wife, Molly, who looks after the business administration. Both juggle their busy lives to ensure there is plenty of family time with their two young children.

“We’ve got seven and four-year-old girls who both love cooking”, he smiles “Who knows, they might even take over the business one day!” 

Signature dish – Spring Lamb Rump, Spiced Red Cabbage, Leek Puree, Gratin Potatoes and Red Wine Jus

Ask your butcher to trim the lamb and remove the skin for you. Score the fat with a sharp knife, season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Seal the rumps in a hot non-stick pan in pomace oil until golden brown. Cook in the oven on 175°C for approximately 15 minutes or 55°C in the centre. This will be cooked medium rare, which is how we serve it. Cook for longer if you like it cooked through. After cooking rest for 10/15 minutes before carving. This dish can be served ‘restaurant style’ or in a more rustic way with the potatoes and cabbage placed in dishes on the dining table. You could even carve the lamb at the table if you like! Serve with a delicious rich red wine sauce.

Visit www.bealesgourmet.com/content/spring-lamb-rump-1 to find out how to make the perfect potatoes and accompanying vegetables.

www.bealesgourmet.com, 01202 700992