Food is in the Detail
As well as selling direct to the public, Peter Bouchier also supplies meat and smallgoods to some of Melbourne's best cafes, restaurants and catering companies including CNK Food Design, an Albert Park-based catering company that prides itself on using fresh seasonal produce to create interesting menus personally tailored to each client's needs. Set up five years ago by Nigel Stainwall and Khrissy Visscher, CNK brings a personal touch to every function they cater, paying attention to detail to every facet of their clients' functions.
While Khrissy looks after sales and marketing, Nigel takes the helm in the kitchen, turning his clients' culinary vision into reality. He says since going out on his own he's never looked back. “If I'd known how great it would be running your own catering business, I'd have done it back when I started as a chef 26 years ago,” he says.
The catering industry can be notoriously tough, but Nigel and Khrissy's passion for their business trumps any of the associated challenges. “The hours never worried me – sometimes we do 18-hour days,” says Nigel. The reaction we get from our clients puts us on a high that overrides any level of exhaustion.”
Nigel enjoys the creative control he has with CNK Food Design. “Running your own business allows you to innovate, and to provide a level of hands-on, personal service you can never offer when you're working for other people,” he says.
CNK caters functions ranging from low key events to 18th and 21st birthday parties, to high-end fine dining, weddings, and the Future Music Festival. The company is also the exclusive caterer for the Old Melbourne Gaol, and preferred caterers at the State Library of Victoria and other unique venues throughout the Melbourne CBD. This wide range of clients gives Nigel plenty of opportunity to stretch his creative wings.
“I love cooking, I don't think I could do anything else,” he says. “I enjoy every aspect of catering and like to experiment, with different cuisines from around the world. My experience, vision and commitment to building strong relationships with our clients are behind everything I do, As long as it tastes good, and looks appealing, it works for me.”
CNK menus are designed around seasonal produce so Nigel finds that with some suppliers the quality can vary depending on the season. “We like the consistency of Peter Bouchier's produce,” says Nigel. “I want the quality, I don’t take short cuts so I am prepared to spend the money if the quality is there. I don't like suppliers skimping on me – we give our clients what they pay for. I personally taste most of the food we serve our clients so I know the exact quality of the produce – and you can't beat quality.”
CNK Food Design is renowned for the personal attention they pay to each and every one of their clients. So not surprisingly, Nigel expects the same level of attention from his suppliers.” I like to deal directly with the owners of the suppliers. When I place orders,” says Nigel, who buys meat, poultry and smallgoods from Peter Bouchier. The attention to detail I get from Peter Bouchier is exceptional.
“I have dealt with many butchers in the past and have not received the level of service that I get from Peter. Building a good relationship with my suppliers is imperative. Peter gets on the phone with me when I place orders and we talk through everything. That communication is essential for making sure produce is to the right standard and that we are getting exactly what we ask for. Peter is so knowledgeable about his produce – that interaction is invaluable.”
Nigel very kindly agreed to provide us with one of the signature dishes he creates with the pork belly he sources from us here at Peter Bouchier.