Former celebrity private chef to open luxury sandwich shop in Cardiff

A former private chef who cooks for Formula 1 drivers and top musicians including Eric Clapton and Jules Hollande is set to open a luxury sandwich and salad shop in Cardiff city centre.

The Tidy Kitchen Company will open its first shop on Museum Place in the spring of 2022 and is owned by Laura Willett, who is originally from Zimbabwe but moved to Cardiff to study at university.

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Laura trained as a chef at the Leith School of Food and Wine in London, and after years of working as a chef at Super Yachts in Palma, Antigua and the Middle East, she went on to start her own catering company. Moved back to South Wales in 2017. clean kitchen company

Laura Willett outside the new Clean Kitchen Company store on Museum Place

While cooking around the world sounds like a dream job, Laura has always felt a stretch to move back to Wales.

“It was an incredible lifestyle, a little different from reality. But it was amazing,” Laura said.

“But I reached an age where I no longer wanted to be in a bunk bed. I really wanted to get back closer to my family as they are in Brecon and I thought to myself that if I’m going to go back, I want to do it while I’m still young enough to set something up. ,

Since founding The Tidy Kitchen Company, Laura has worked with a variety of celebrity clients, from Formula 1 drivers to chart-topping musicians. Laura also appeared in Matt Pritchard’s TV show, dirty vegetarian Helping the extreme athlete prepare and cook hearty vegetarian meals.

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Laura with Matt Pritchard from Dirty Vegan

The Tidy Kitchen Company has built up a loyal following by creating handmade meals using predominantly Welsh, seasonal ingredients for corporate events, special occasions and private customers. But during the pandemic, the business began selling platters of freshly cooked comfort food and pastures, which could be ordered online for home delivery.

It was the experience of working through the pandemic that caused Laura to rethink her business model.

She said, “During the lockdown, we really saw a demand for quality food, which gave people an easy way to eat well without having to cook from scratch every time.

Now that people’s lives are returning to normal, we’ve seen that demand remains the same – people are still looking for convenience to help ease their daily lives – but there’s more to local and support. Have become more passionate about giving importance to high quality content.”

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Seasonal food from The Tidy Kitchen Company

The Tidy Kitchen Company shop will sell a wide range of freshly made salads, soups and sandwiches. To complement all diets, they will be primarily plant-based, with the option of adding Welsh beef, lamb or free-range chicken.

A Welsh twist on the Cuban sandwich would be made with a low and slow-cooked shoulder of Welsh cheese, pork and Welsh ham.

“A lot of people get into that mindset where you stop and you take a sandwich and it’s four quids and it’s just two little triangles with some disgusting tuna and mayo. Our salads and sandwiches are generous with lots of, There are going to be healthy and delicious different textures, flavors and colors.”

Laura is also developing a variety of luxury ready meals in collaboration with the Food Industry Center at Cardiff Metropolitan University, which she plans to sell in-store as well as distribute nationwide.

“We have been working on this for about six months. It was something that my friends in London really liked because they were very poor and happy with disposable income and they wanted to eat for a week without thinking about it. .

“We really want to highlight Wales. I think there’s a lot of scope for people to feel how good the production is here and get it across the UK.”

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The Tidy Kitchen Company is also developing a variety of luxury ready meals

In an effort to create a more sustainable business, The Teddy Kitchen Company will sell a low-cost salad bowl using ingredients that are otherwise destined to be food waste. Reusable food cans will also be available to reuse customers, who can claim discounts for each use.

“We’re really conscious of food waste overall. And do whatever we can to stop it.

“I think there’s a lot of greenwashing in places where you think you’re doing the right thing, but really, it’s not the right thing. So we want to educate ourselves and we want to educate the buyer.” , in terms of getting good food, but also being aware of where it is coming from.”