Caterer says food is all about flavour
Reporter Rexine Hawes speaks with caterer Sharion Thompson for our On The Job series.
A career in the food industry was never something Sharion Thompson imagined for herself.
But creating culinary wonders and delighting people with flavour-infused dishes is now her heart’s desire.
The former Air New Zealand trolley dolly’s real love affair with food started while in galley guide training for first class passengers.
She worked alongside wellknown chefs Peter Gordon and Tony Adcock.
‘‘That gave me passion,’’ she said.
‘‘I cooked before that. I always did good dinner parties.
‘‘They (Gordon and Adcock) would say I am going to take that away for my restaurant in my next menu. ‘‘It gave me a real buzz. ‘‘I never thought it would be a career.’’
She and husband Graeme moved to Matamata in the early 2000s to slow down and eventually retire.
But she says it didn’t quite work out that way.
‘‘I had six months off and got my real really bored. ‘‘I decided to open a cafe.’’ She opened Eat in 2006, as an upmarket eatery, something Matamata needed at the time. ‘‘It was huge four years.’’ She sold Eat in 2010 and eventually started her own catering company, Food by Design.
Sharion kitchen in home.
The home also boasts a large dining room with bar for diners looking for a quiet place to celebrate a special occasion.
She caters for weddings and events to small groups and even has a commercial their Tower Road for busy parents who want to host a dinner party.
She and Graeme work as a team - she handles all the cooking, while Graeme takes care of logistics.
She and Graeme eat simple food, but it is always packed with flavour - the heart of any culinary Do you knowsomeone with a unique job? Email firstname.lastname@example.org creation.
‘‘I love creating flavours and trying new foods. ‘‘Nothing goes without flavour. ‘‘You can put the plainest food down and have people say ‘I didn’t think this could taste like this’. That’s what food is about.
‘‘My passion is seeing a smile on somebody’s face.
‘‘That is what this business has built - people coming back, and seeing that smile.’’
Sharion says down time is rare, but it’s during those times that her inspiration flows and she get’s creating.
She becomes inspired while dining out and from reading cook books and food magazines.
‘‘I cook with my eyes. I taste it and then I create it. I very rarely follow a recipe.’’
Eventually, following retirement, the bits of paper will become a cook book, based on her travels and experiences with food, with a comical theme to it.
Food by Design caterer Sharion Thompson says the simplist of dishes can be amazing as long as they are packed with flavour.