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Shirley’s love of food started in her childhood, her mum was a brilliant cook and prepared everything from scratch. Most of the vegetables, fruit and eggs came from the garden and local game was always on the menu during the season.
Training as a Chef then moving through the ranks within contract catering, Shirley’s catering career spans over 30 years. Identifying a niche in the market for a regional caterer with a focus on great fresh food, local suppliers and ‘second to none’ personal service, drove the desire to open her own business with Caroline in 1997. The business has grown considerably since then but Shirley, Caroline and the team at Edwards & Blake work hard to maintain the same values as the company set out with.
Aside from enjoying time running the business Shirley loves to travel and spending time with family and friends.
She has too many favourite foods to mention them all but Roast Shoulder of Local Pork with perfectly crisp crackling, bramley apple sauce and ‘proper’ crunchy roast potatoes, with a rich cider gravy takes some beating! Followed by a sticky toffee pudding with a superb ice cream. It is all down to the ingredients and the way something is cooked, not necessarily how fashionably pretty a dish sounds on the menu, it has to taste great!
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Growing up Caroline was destined to have a career in catering with her passion for good food from an early age and preparing the family’s meals at home.
Qualifying at City College, Norwich, she embarked on a career that took her through the kitchen into Regional Management, working primarily for national contract caterers.
The allure of being able to look after clients on a more personal level and providing great food purchased locally, was the driver to forming Edwards & Blake. Her passion for ‘getting it right’ is behind the company’s success, where standards of food and service are not compromised.
Away from work Caroline’s passion is football and she can regularly be seen travelling to away matches on the Norwich City Coach or attending home games at Carrow Road where she is a season ticket holder. She also enjoys walking her 3 dogs and any spare time is spent in the kitchen cooking up a treat for the family.
Favourite foods? There are so many…weekday favourites include a home cooked gammon with free range eggs, chips and HP sauce! and for dessert, a Chocolate and Pear Crumble with vanilla sauce, quality ingredients, cooked well and enjoyed with the family.