about Kelmsley bespoke catering

Kelmsley Catering is based between London and Brighton, in the rural Sussex village of Ardingly, surrounded by delectable local produce. We are a small, family run business; a friendly bunch of food-obsessed, organised and outgoing individuals. We really love what we do. Since our first event nearly a decade ago, every member of our dedicated team shares our passion for exceeding expectations. 

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Classically trained at Tante Marie Culinary Academy, Head chef and Kelmsley Catering Founder Jacqueline Wise, holds the prestigious Cordon Bleu Diploma. Jacqueline worked at Buckingham Palace, The Ritz and Michelin Star restaurants, as well as private homes, traditional pubs and small establishments before setting up Kelmsley Catering in 2015. Quite a turnaround from a History Graduate working the cut throat world of marketing and advertising. Jacqueline has been on the Radio and Television sharing her knowledge and reached the semi-finals of Young Chef of the Year competition. She won TV Cookery Show 'Win it Cook it' on Channel 4, and also appeared on Masterchef The Professionals. When she isn’t cooking, or thinking about cooking, you’ll find Jacqueline sailing, surfing or wandering the hedgerows in search of foraged goodness with her daughter, husband and sunglass-wearing golden retriever named Dill. 

Karleen

Operations manager, chef and right hand to Jacqueline, Karleen is at the beating heart of Kelmsley Catering. From speaking to clients, to prepping, packing and setting up and running things on the day, she is highly organised, efficient and conscientious. An Aussie, with an excellent sense of humour, she is also known for her ‘looks,’ ensuring no one steps out of line. “How do you make a sausage roll? Push it...”

Jennifer

With experience managing pubs and venues as well as in the kitchen, Jen has been an indispensable part of the team from the very beginning. Known for being usefully OCD for the details, she is in charge of keeping our HQ organised and ready for anything, and helps to ensure front of house runs smoothly. “I just love it when everything is just so neatly lined up in rows, and looking entirely PERFECT” 

Tom

Having been brought up in a family of caterers, working events both front of house and in the kitchen, is second nature to Tom. Whether it be designing the perfect set up solution or expertly searing steaks, he is always on hand, to lend a hand. He is known for his unflappable nature, and penchant for Guinness at the end of a long shift. Good man. “Sometimes the best ideas, are the simplest ones”

Nikki

Having trained under Jacqueline and worked with us from the beginning, Nikki knows Kelmsley inside out. With experience at top Brighton restaurants and an expert at food presentation, she is a highly skilled chef who is enthuses over eating delicious things as Jacqueline 

herself, almost. She runs events and manages the kitchen seamlessly. She is also an award-winning photography graduate, and bread obsessive. “You can NEVER have too much butter” 

Mike

Also known as ‘Spreadsheet,’ Husband to Jacqueline, Mike has designed our very fancy excel quoting system. This ensures the quick turnaround of bespoke menus for our clients, which are as competitive as possible. He is King of the risk assessments, and very particular when it comes to making sure all necessary procedures to running a sharp outfit, are carefully followed. “Always check, and then check again”

Izzy

An experienced chef, our cheeky ‘Frizzy Izzy,’ has creative flair for vegan and vegetarian food as well as cooking for those with dietary requirements, ensuring no one feels left our or goes hungry. She is also an award-winning ceramics designer, allotment holder and is always thinking of creative ways to display our food and keep our menus current. “Oh, I have never tried that before” (Said to every food, every time!)

Pip

A hard working and enthusiastic chef, Pip has a real eye for the details. She has a thorough knowledge of traditional cookery and methodical approach, as well as a keen wit; bright as her blue hair. An adventurous spirit, and animal lover, she is the ultimate team player and is always the first to step up to any challenge. “Always ready to go boss!”

Nicky

With us from the beginning, working front of house and as our bar manager, often with her twin boys Oscar and Archie, Nicky is always a bit sassy. She loves anything sparkly and is a fun and friendly asset to our team, as are her charming sons. Her many years of experience in events and hospitality are always be relied upon, and nothing is too much trouble for our glamorous gal, the ultimate grafter whose positive attitude never fails to keep us all smiling. “Team work makes the dream work darling” 

David

From designing fabulous cocktails for an intimate celebration to leading service teams on our biggest events, David’s many years of experience managing hotels and working in customer service roles means he knows what needs to be done and when. Always looking dapper with impossibly perfect hair, David’s welcoming nature and genuine care for others makes him a very important member of the Kelmsley Team. “Service and style, delivered with a smile darlings” 

Emily

Emily works front of house as a key member of the Kelmsley Catering Team. Her proactive and hardworking mindset coupled with years of experience working at top 5 start hotels, means she is quick thinking and a delight to work with. Always up for a giggle and with boundless enthusiasm for fantastic events and service, we are lucky to have her. Nothing is too much trouble for our lovely Emily.

"I know I am always smiling, it's just the way I am I guess!"

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