You find me sitting in the office. I’m looking out the window. Golden sunlight is washing over the yard and across the evergreen fields of Newton Don Home Farm. It’s the shortest day, December the 21st 2016. The winter solstice brings with it expectations of lengthening days and a busy summer ahead. However, we’re listening to Bruce Springsteen on the radio and I’m about to don my Christmas Jumper. My brother Christian and I are preparing for a jaunt up to Edinburgh with some childhood friends this evening. Another year has passed for the Orde Food Company. My email inbox has been attended to and last minute plans for Wedding tastings and Hogmanay parties have been arranged.
2016 has been a hell of year for the Orde Food Company and it’s team members. Significant awards have been won (Scottish Banqueting & Event Chef of the Year – Craig Gibb), over 300 events have been catered for (Lead by Christian Orde and Alan Thomson) and I got engaged on the 1st of January. I’ve spent this past year watching couples get married and families celebrate birthdays, christenings, wedding anniversaries and marking the passing of loved ones at funerals. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal and witnessing some of the most intimate moments of people’s lives reminds me of this. One could become blasé if we viewed our jobs as simply a means to an end. But how could be become blasé about a job where we see our clients as they may never see us? We see our clients at their best, most happy and sometimes even at their most vulnerable. We get to see real life unfold in front of us, it could be as simple and touching as the adoring look a Father gives his Daughter on her wedding day. We become friends and having helped to create a special moment for someone is really a privilege.
This is why I’m not going to write a checklist of each and every booking and the various amounts of indulgence our guests were able to enjoy. Equally, how could I deem to distinguish one person’s highlight or happy day from another? Instead I’d just like to share with you an insight into what I believe and what doing my job means to me and perhaps my colleagues. We’ve served our guests whilst loved ones have attended family weddings and even funerals without us, we’ve spent time in car parks until 3AM so guests won’t have to sit waiting for a taxi alone. We’ve entertained children so busy Mums can have a break; we’ve helped elderly guests to their cars and even parked those cars or pulled them out of a field when required (So many muddy fields and marquees!). In short we’ve always done more than just cater. We’ve done it because we’ve wanted to and because we know that at any occasion we only get one chance to get it right. Plainly put, we’ve done it because we want to be able to look ourselves in the eye and know we did our best.
I’m so proud of my colleagues and I look back on this past year and know we’ve worked hard and often it’s been, for many of my team, through some significant sacrifice. So, I say thank you to them all. Thank you for making it happen. Thank you Christian, Michael, Gill, Becky, Craig, Alan, Helen, Lorne, Lorraine, Alasdair, Robbie, Laura, Lewis, Katy, Eva, Steve, John, Ashley, Matej, Holly, Jordan, Ari, Megan, Abby, Duncan, Maitland, Hayley, Emma, Lara, Sophie, Tara, Alexandra, Barnie, Calum, Fallon, Leigh, Bradley, Jack, Kenny, Emma D, Sam, Ellenor, Euan, Rachel, Aaron, Rebekah, Amie and all the parents and partners who gave lifts, picked up and dropped off staff, cleaned uniforms and helped at the last minute when something absolutely, positively had to be done! You are all the people that make Orde Food more than just caterers and restaurateurs. Thank you for a great 2016.