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Bath Lives Bath lives


Nancy, left, with business partner Rebecca


Nancy Gardener


THE GOURMET READY MEAL GURU, AND CO-OWNER OF CAVENDISH COOKS, TALKS LOCAL FOOD HEROES AND BEING A FORMER FASHION MODEL


Q. Gourmet ready meals have never been so in vogue – how did you get into it? A. Gosh, that’s a long story! We started selling pâtés, cakes and tarts to delis in Bath and soon realised there was too much waste, as if they didn’t sell they would have to be thrown away. So after a little menu drop, we began cooking meals for residents in Lansdown. It snowballed from there. Instead of cooking coq au vin for four we decided to cook it for 50 and freeze it, so we got a shop on St James’s Street and you know the rest… It was a huge gamble but after long hours and sacrifice we have made it work. Q. What sets Cavendish Cooks apart from the rest? A. Rebecca and I have such high standards, every dish we send out has to be perfect. We only use the most


98 Bath Life www.mediaclash.co.uk


exquisite ingredients and we research and experiment with our recipes time and time again. We really pride ourselves on selling an exceptional product. Q. Any exciting news? A. Our big news is that by this September we will have launched our online shop and will be supplying our ready meals all over the UK. Q. What’s the best bit about your job? A. Lots of best bits! Our lovely loyal customers, recognition of all our hard work with special awards, an exciting future to look forward to and, lastly, we laugh a lot. Q. And the worst? A. Probably smelling of cooking all the time. Q. Who are Bath’s top food heroes in your book and why? A. There are so many. Sam Moody


Top: Hudson is a family favourite Middle: Sam Moody of The Bath Priory Bottom: Beef Wellington, Nancy’s signature dinner party dish


and Chris Staines for THE most divine fine dining. Richard Bertinet for his diverse career, his Bakery, Cookery School and best-selling books. And Rachel Demuth for having such a long, successful career. I admire these people enormously. Q. What’s your signature dinner party dish? A. It won’t come as a surprise but it’s our Beef Wellington with dauphinoise potatoes. It never fails to impress. Q. And who would be your dream guests? A. I would love to say Jesus, Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde but if I wanted to have huge fun and some eye candy, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Simon Cowell, Victoria Beckham and my latest obsession, Bryan Cranston aka Walter White in Breaking Bad. Q. Where would you take the family for a celebration meal? A. Hudson Steakhouse is always a favourite for a family celebration and if it is a really special occasion it has to be The Bath Priory. Q. Most loved café, shop and pub? A. I do love Society Café, it is so chic; Sisi & May have some gorgeous things and my favourite pub is The Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay. Q. What do you never leave home without? A. My iPhone. Q. Where’s home in Bath and why do you choose to live there? A. I live in Dunkerton with my husband and two children. We moved out of Bath to get a huge garden. Q. Share a favourite spot in the city… A. Sitting in the garden of the Royal Crescent Hotel. You are in the middle of Bath but it is just the most peaceful spot with great wine! Q. Finest hour (so far)? A. Winning the Bath Life Award 2013 for Best New Business was a huge achievement. Being judged by fellow Bath business owners and winning makes us feel extremely proud. Q. Tell us something surprising? A. I used to be a fashion model. BL


cavendishcooks.co.uk


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