Steve Bailey – Head Chef Surrey Catering Company Pesto Food


Chef Owner

steve-bailey-pesto-foods-chef-new-image“I’ve probably always been cooking. A ‘picky eater’ as a child (despite mum’s prowess in the kitchen – nobody goes hungry with Nanny B) I put it down to a discerning palate! As a 12 year-old I was inspired by one of the first celebrity chefs, Robert Carrier. Glued to the TV series, Carrier’s Kitchen I learned the basics and in no time at all was creating spectacular dinners for my family.

Fast forward… best student at catering college, head chef of a smart French restaurant at 21 and hired by one of the country’s top luxury hotels, I was honing my skills and plying my trade in professional kitchens. The 6am to midnight shifts. The ability to avoid flying pans (and insults). Pretty soon I was looking for more inspiration.

A world tour of top kitchens followed and my stay in Australia was nearly permanent. However, the job I left, on my return to London was serendipitously available again. Working with prestigious London caterers Alison Price & Company, I was hired to create hip menus for the hottest parties in town. Life was a whirl of glitzy weddings, luxurious launches and private dinner parties in magnificent London mansions for royalty, dignitaries, celebrities and business magnates.

I became executive chef and a director of the company responsible for some ‘huge’ catered events:

  • A Royal Wedding: 1,000 guests, 100 of them heads of state. The wedding designer flew in from America on Concorde. A pantechnicon arrived from Ecuador containing 100,000 white roses. You get the picture.
  • A corporate weekend event on a 20 acre site with 24 food stations and 10,000 guests from the chairman to the newest recruit’s newborn!
  • Celebrity events for stars like Elton John, Geri Haliwell, George Michael and Joan Collins, Princess Diana – to name drop a few.
  • The sumptuous, low-profile, high-security annual gala-dinner for an exacting multi-national organisation – can’t tell you who – catering to film stars, business leaders and philanthropists.

Could life get any better? Well yes, I longed to run a business of my own. With a young family, we moved out of the jet-set city scene to a bucolic setting in Herefordshire to set up a catering business that quickly became the go-to wedding and private party caterer in the area for select clients. We bought a deli and café and produced our own range of healthy eating products sold nationally.

When the opportunity came to take on Pesto and move back to Surrey, my home town, I knew this was the direction I wanted to go. I’m looking forward to being of service and working with you.”

Steve Bailey

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Meet the team

  • steve-bailey-pesto-foods-chef
    Steve Bailey - Head Chef Surrey Catering Company Pesto Food

    Hi, I'm Steve, Chef owner of Pesto Food. In my career I've catered for the hippest parties in London, events attended by celebrities and dignitories and even for a Royal Wedding. I'm looking forward to working with you.

  • tessa-pesto-foods-office-manager
    Tessa - Event Catering Support & Services Pesto Food

    Tessa is our office manager, responsible for client liaison and party planning and administration.