Natalie knew she wanted to become a chef from a young age and was inspired heavily by her grandmother who worked as a baker. She launched her career in 1998 where she began working in a brasserie followed by five-star hotel establishment, working alongside leading female chefs producing desserts for fine-dining restaurants and large banquets. After having her son in 2005, Natalie considered taking a career break to focus on her family but instead decided to take up a role as a chef in contract catering due to the flexibility offered. Since joining Compass, Natalie has taken part in various events where she has catered several Restaurant Associates’ Summits and Chef Expos. She has also contributed to the Hidden Chefs cookbook produced by Restaurant Associates in 2014.
Natalie continues to love her time at Compass. She comments “Compass is so broad and there’s so much to get involved in, I have developed as a pastry chef during my time here and the support has been amazing, but what I love the most is the camaraderie of working amongst a great team of chefs. I would say they are definitely my culinary family.”
Since summer 2016, Natalie has been busy promoting “Baked by Natalie” with Restaurant Associates. This is a brand of cakes which she produces on-site and has been promoting through a range of pop-ups where she creates and sells her bespoke cakes at client sites. So far, Natalie has completed eight successful pop-ups which have all been popular with customers and she is looking forward to organising more over the coming months. As a Women in Food ambassador, Natalie hopes to encourage more women to enter the industry and show those considering a career as a chef that contract catering has many benefits and is an ideal business to come into.
Natalie says” The best advice I can give is to always to be ready for a new challenge and not to stay in your comfort zone. Some of the best culinary lessons I have learnt has been then when faced with a less than ideal situation, I have found that I have become more resilient and determined to overcome any insecurities.”
Natalie is an Ambassador of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Women in Food programme, created to support the careers and development of our female chefs across the business.