We’d like to introduce you to AmberMaze, a full dining experience that takes place in the comfort of your own home.
AmberMaze works with you to create a menu that suits your taste and that of your guests. The evening consists of Canapés, Starter, Mains, Palette Cleanser, Pre-dessert, Dessert, Coffee & Petit Fours.
The team arrive at your house and ask that you sit back and relax whilst they lay the table and prepare your guests canapés ready for their arrival. Catering Michelin standard tasting food to a minimum of four diners to a maximum of 24 – each course is served in a time frame that suits you and your needs.
No need to worry about cutlery, crockery, napkins or cleaning and washing dishes – the team takes care of it all so you can concentrate of entertaining your guests and enjoying your evening without having to worry about who’s driving home!
We met up with chef Chad Hughes who runs AmberMaze with his wife Susan to learn a little bit more about the company…
How did you get your start in cooking?
I started my career at the late age of 30 and the only person whom would consider me was Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor. I had previously worked in call centres for banks and finance companies, so cooking was a completely different direction! Leaving behind a nice salary, company car and a 35-hour week for half the pay and twice the number of working hours seemed like madness to those around me, but my wife Susan and my mum believed in me and supported me to achieve my dream.
I approached Simon Radley and offered my services for free. I worked for 3 months unpaid until he eventually relented and offered me a position as an apprentice chef earning £120 a week. I think he too probably thought I was crackers, but for me I had found my calling. He schooled me very well and within 18 months I was working in his Michelin starred restaurant.
What inspired you to open the business AmberMaze?
I competed on Masterchef the Professionals in 2013 which, with hindsight, was way too soon in my career, but my successes and failures on the show taught me valuable lessons as well as inner strength and determination. I decided to start up a fine dining service taking the food to the customer in their own home, as I realised that there was a gap in the market. The business concept was to cook dishes using the customer’s favourite ingredients thus creating a meal bespoke to them. The inspiration for the name comes from my daughters, Amber & Maisie or Maze for short.
What makes Welsh cuisine so special?
On the North Wales coast we have the luxury of both the sea and the land which provides us with amazing produce. Sheep and cattle grazing on lush pastures and great fish and shellfish from the Dee Estuary and the Irish Sea. Add into this the wealth of ‘food for free’ growing all around us. We utilise as much of the foraged ingredients around my home which vary from Elderflower and woodruff right through to samphire and sea herbs from the banks of the estuary.
What local suppliers do you work with?
Our potatoes are grown literally within a mile of my home on the Coast Road by D W Williams, Mermaids of Llandudno for our fish, J R Kennedy butchers less than half a mile away. For Welsh Lamb and dry ingredients, we work with Castell Howell and Harlech Foodservice. As we are so close to England we use the amazing produce grown by Peter Jones of Wirral Watercress – which may be over the border into England but he’s still within a 20-mile radius of our home.
Who do you admire in the culinary world?
Raymond Blanc as he started his career as a chef also very late and look where he is now! His books are also excellent as they give an insight into the science behind cooking.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Probably winning AA Welsh Pub Restaurant of the Year In 2015 with winning Best Tasting Afternoon Tea in 2018 as a close second.
Who would you like to cook for and why?
Marcus Wareing as it was his book ‘How to cook the perfect…’ that first started me on this journey. I’d like to show him how far I have come and thank him for planting the seed. I might even get him to sign my well-worn copy of his book!
What advice would you give a culinary enthusiast?
Forget what you see on the TV. Real cooking isn’t all glitz and glamour! It’s all about early starts and long days earning your stripes and learning your craft. It’s a rewarding and special skill to bring people pleasure though food. n
For more information visit www.ambermaze.co.uk, or call 07715 905080 to book a private dinner party at your North Wales home!