Meet the Grape and Grain Catering Co. Team | Lara Silveira
We think it’s really important to show you the hardworking faces behind our brand, and allow you to get to know a bit more about each member of the core team.
We kick start this blog with our Catering & Events Sales Coordinator, Lara Silveira. Lara joined us in August 2018, after working for famous chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, as a catering manager at one of his restaurants in London.
Being the first port of call for any new enquiries that get in touch, Lara truly is a key member of the team. From menu building and costing, to meetings with clients and venues – Lara sets the scene for all our events and ensures the quality and detail is delivered from the very beginning.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background, before Grape and Grain Catering?
I was born in Portugal and lived there for 18 years. I then moved away from the family home to university and studied a master’s degree in Lisbon. After a solo trip to South America I decided that I had to leave Portugal to see more of the world and applied for a internship sponsored by the European Union and ended up going to Paris where I stayed for 2 years working in a music agency.
After 2 years in Paris I wanted to learn more about music business and moved to London to study Music Business. On my first week in the UK I was lucky enough to get a job as a waiter in Ottolenghi which allowed me to find my feet until I could be financially stable. The dream of working in the music business was replaced by salad platters, new spices and ingredients I had never heard of and the heart-warming smiles of people I would meet every day and that would love to talk about food and to try new things. I realised that I have always liked food and worked in hospitality and being a catering manager proved to be the natural path to take.
Last year I decided to leave London and try a new city and got the opportunity to work for Grape & Grain.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to keep an eye on the best eats in town and try new restaurants and food whenever possible. My favourite places to go out for dinner would be ‘Where The Light Gets In‘ and ‘Hispi‘. You really must try these places if you class yourself as a real foodie!
What is your favourite thing about working for Grape and Grain Catering?
Well aside from our delicious core menus, we can also deliver completely bespoke and creative dishes for our clients. Once we have a brief from our clients, we work closely with them to produce a unique dining experience that marries up with their themes or objectives. One of my favourite menus was a Mancunian themed canapé service and we served a number of different items but my favourites were: Pastrami, MCR beer pickle, Swiss cheese & mustard on rye and the Salford Roasters artisan coffee tiramisu in a valhrona dark chocolate cup. Yum!
What has been your most memorable event of 2019?
Definitely 700 guests service at Manchester Cathedral for the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution. It was a beautiful summer evening and the light through the Cathedral windows as guests were arriving was something magical.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
I do enjoy a good challenge, however I’d say its normally when we have clients that wish to host their events outdoors. It’s always important to visit the venue first, before making a decision and really committing to our clients. We want to ensure that we can 100% deliver on our promises, and catering outdoors can certainly have its difficulties. For example, finding running water, flat and safe surfaces to work on and access to the site for all the equipment required.
What tip would you give our followers when cooking at home?
Tackle the wastage in your fridge and cupboard and be creative with your dishes. All you need is the basic ingredients and a good selection of seasoning. Don’t be afraid to create something random – you never know, it could be your new favourite.
What would you say is your favourite dish on our menus?
I love our Street Eats menu; as it’s really tasty food but simple, easy and available to eat on the go. It’s hard to choose really, but two strong favourites would be the Panko breaded katsu chicken curry served with steamed jasmine rice, toasted peanut, & coriander; and the Buffalo cauliflower & mixed bean taco, lime, avocado crema, spring onion.
What nationality is your favourite type of food?
I am bias if I say Portuguese food because I do miss it; and it is hard to choose only one nationality… I love Korean and Japanese food, as well Peruvian cuisine. The flavours are amazing.
What’s your favourite dish to make at home?
I am trying to perfect my Northern English cooking skills and at the moment, my favourite dish to make is a meat pie with a mean mashed potato served with homemade gravy. Especially with a beef & ale filling. My partner loves this dish, and it’s safe to say he’s really got me hooked on it! What makes it even better, is its one of the dishes on our Casual Dining menu – so I can get my fix in and outside of work.
Why not have a read about our recent events and campaigns in our other blog posts. Watch this space for our next ‘meet the team’ blog – coming soon!