I often say it, and those that know bartlett mitchell know it’s true, I have the very best business partner in the contract catering world! Ian is an inspirational leader, supportive, a true people person, immensely knowledgeable about food and wine and a leader that people want to follow. Added to all this he is an amazing chef too!!

There really is not a nicer man.

When we first started out, it was of course financially tough, he once gave me a £1000, just because he could. He wanted me to share in his good fortune, that’s the measure of the man, a true gentleman.

During our friendship I have organised gatherings for his 40th  50th  60th  and now his 70th. It was at his 50th that we announced we were leaving Compass!  His big birthdays have always been special.

Celebrating the day

To celebrate, Ian or Mr Chairman, as he is affectionately known, 70th we gathered 100 plus of the great and good of our catering lives, at bartlett mitchell, at the Oxford and Cambridge club, in the beautiful smoking room. It struck me (and I believe most others there), as to how fortunate we are in our industry. We share amazing new experiences, visit fantastic businesses and buildings, constantly learn new things, and meet the most inspiring and interesting people. Plus we get to eat the most fabulous food!!

In the room were many people we had worked with, in particular Sutcliffe, which I believe inspired more entrepreneurial catering companies than any other, Catering and Allied, Baxter Storey (in its numerous guises), Artizian, CH&Co and many more. There were people from our days at Sutcliffe, Heathrow Airport (British Airways contract where we met), and from Compass and of course the many who have helped and supported us on our bartlett mitchell journey.

On this journey you never know who you are going to come across, what or where the relationship is going to go, or indeed where it’s going to end. What I’ve learnt and what I know to be true is that networking, keeping in touch, (making sure you do so, so that the relationship is mutually rewarding) in the end delivers the best reward you can have. A room full of people who you are still in touch with, genuinely love, who make you smile and without whom the journey wouldn’t be the same.

Ian continues to be the best business partner anyone could have and we both have no intention of changing that, as every day we are inspired by old and new additions to the #bmFamily💜💚 ……………….and I look forward to Ian’s 80th


Click here to see some great pictures from the day

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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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