Natalie is head pastry chef in Compass Group UK & Ireland’s executive dining division, Restaurant Associates. She has been creating delicious desserts for client sites and events since 2008 and with the business, has also recently introduced her pastry pop-up called “Baked by Natalie”.
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 started working in a brasserie followed by five-star hotel establishments where she worked with 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 that was offered. Since joining Compass, Natalie has taken part in various events where she has catered at various Restaurant Associates’ Summits and Chef Expos. She also contributed to the Hidden Chefs cookbook produced by Restaurant Associates in 2014.
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.
On Women in Food:
I think Women in Food is a brilliant way to encourage more women to come into the industry. It gives women more information around the benefits of becoming a chef, especially in the contract catering sector. Women in Food is a great way to empower women, encourage them and prove that women can work as an equal in a male dominated industry. As a Women in Food ambassador I really hope 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.
On Compass Group UK & Ireland:
So far my time at Compass has been brilliant – I wouldn’t have been in this company for so long if it was otherwise. As a company, 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. Contract catering as a whole has so much to offer and at Compass there is so much to learn from each sector.
Natalie is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Women in Food Ambassador programme which aims to support the needs of female chefs and was formed the business’ ‘Women in Food’ initiative.