We got chatting to Jean Luc from Sainlo Events wedding catering on Twitter the other night and the photos of their amazing food caught our attention! We wanted to get to know Jean Luc and Coleen and their sophisticated wedding catering so are thrilled they are happy to feature on our blog. Thank you both!
Luxury classic cuisine for weddings
Your food looks incredible! How would you describe your style?
Thank you! I like to describe my style as classic cuisine, by which I mean that I am a classically trained French chef and I enjoy putting together beautiful and well balanced dishes, ensuring that they are packed with rich layers of flavour and beautifully presented. I did my training in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and then took an apprenticeship with Phillipe Chavent a Michelin starred chef. In the UK I went on to work in one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and later at the Auberge du Lac run by Jean-Christophe Novelli. That said I was born in the Caribbean so I do sometimes offer creole or Caribbean menus too.
What inspired you to become a chef and start the business?
I had a dream I was a chef as a child – the only dream I really remember – I said to my sister at the time I would be a chef and she thought I was crazy! Aside from that my mum and dad cooked for our family and I enjoyed helping them and learning about cooking. I guess that inspired me. Guadaloupe, where I was born has a culture of social eating and home cooking so everyone grows up eating well and learning to cook well.
Do you offer wedding packages?
We do offer wedding packages. We work both directly with couples who want to use a venue that allows external caterers (or their home/garden etc) and also with venues who provide preferred supplier lists to couples rather than having in-house caterers. Because we offer bespoke menus we start with a consultation with our couples rather than sending out a standard wedding menu. This helps us to offer something realistic based on budget as well as saving time in the long run going back and forth with lots of different menu options while we get it right and start to understand what the couple really want.
Wedding themes and food styles
If couples have a particular theme for their wedding, can they have a bespoke menu in keeping with the theme?
Of course! We have done Israeli style lamb spit roasts, for a Christmas wedding we did gammon and turkey with Brie and cranberry for the vegetarians and we have also done a Caribbean menu including goat curry to the bride’s mother’s own recipe. We always try to work with our couples. Often they have decided to use a caterer rather than a venue package because they want more input to their menu and we enjoy delivering that.
What’s been your favourite event to cater for so far?
That’s a really tough question because every event is different. This summer I have really enjoyed hosting my own supper club events because I got to introduce my food to an entirely new group of people, the setting was beautiful and I got to be really creative with the menus and presentation too.
Of all the food you make, what’s your personal favourite dish to eat?
I’m a carnivore really – French chef, need I say more – so I really enjoy my duo of lamb dish, which is lamb fillet and a lamb croquette I usually serve it with cous cous in the summer and root vegetable dauphinoise in the winter.
Do you travel to places outside of London for weddings?
Yes. We work in and around the M25. I have done events in Hampshire over the summer and some of my regular private chef clients are based in Surrey/Sussex. Obviously, it would have to be a location that worked logistically both for us and the client but we are very much open to traveling to new locations.
How much should couples budget for per head?
This is a really tough question as it depends very much on your menu, the number of courses and the number of guests. We try to meet couples budgets and develop realistic menus with that base line in mind.
What I would say is that whatever your food budget is, it is important to consider staffing and tableware hire charges. These are necessary costs to ensure the smooth running of your event. A caterer will often give you a cost per head on food only initially. What will be needed in terms of staff and hire items will vary dependent on the menu and service style you choose. Couples need to have factored in some budget for this element too.
What’s the best way for couples to contact you?
We are a husband and wife team. On the phone it’s best to contact Colleen on 07792 225535 as I’m often in the kitchen working and unable to really take down details. By email we both pick up firstname.lastname@example.org and will make sure one of us gets back to you to take some details as soon as we can.