A bit about the chefs

Rachel Steiger

Cooking is something that I love to do, I find it relaxing, I can literally lose myself for hours in the kitchen, it is where I am happiest and most relaxed.

I have cooked from a young age by my mother’s side and always found it enjoyable, I am sure it is my mother’s love of a social gathering, the food preparation, cooking and then the serving that has led me back to my roots as I call it, and starting this new venture.

My happiest memories from school were cookery and art classes, I loved to cook in the individual kitchens that we had, going to get the ingredient from the cupboard was like a sweet shop, with rows of ingredients for baking and decoration, it was a real treat and then to take the finished goods home, if they made it that far!
From school I went to catering college, imagine a whole week of doing something that I loved with likeminded people, it was great.

Post college it was off into the wonderful world of the Hotel and Catering industry, it was hard, long hours and hot, but I truly loved it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The summers were the best as it was the wedding season, back then the trend was to have a banquet of aspic salmons, chaud froid hams and glazed sides of beef (I am probably showing my age here!) along with beautiful salads, hot potatoes and pretty deserts. They were works of art and beautiful to look at once all laid out ready for the guest. There is something very satisfying about seeing your efforts and the reaction of the guest as they come in.

I left the catering industry many years ago now to return to university to extend my food knowledge, with a desire of finding a job without the unsociable hours that the catering industry offered, which I did. On to a career in the food manufacturing industry, this also led to us relocating to Banbury. Whilst I have enjoyed working in the manufacturing side of the food industry, its real food that I miss, these are my roots and something that I would like to get back too. With this in mind and a business partner (actually a like-minded good friend) I am excited to be able to open my home to cook for you.

Our menus offer British style cuisine with an accent of French, Greek, Italian, Asian and Indian, to name but a few. We source locally and seasonally where possible, to keep our menus varied. We only revealed the menu on the night as we feel this adds to the experience and offers’ an element of surprise, which has been well received so far.

Rachel and her family
Jo Smith

Jo Smith

I love cooking, I always have done, ever since I can remember I have baked alongside my mum in the kitchen telling me all her secret recipes that were passed down to her from her Nan. We grew up in the sticks, and I mean the sticks. The small village had a dozen houses, a dead end at the bottom of the road with a little church, and a farm as you entered, not much at all. However there was plenty of woodland and wild animals. Deer, monk jack, pheasants, hare, rabbits, partridge. The farm grew mostly corn, but there was always fields of potatoes, sweetcorn and peas around when in season. We had the most amazing summers with long hot days, food fresh from the garden, and life was great as a kid.

As the years passed, cooking with mum was always a favourite, whether baking cakes or peeling spuds there was always something going on, junior school cake bakes were great and making cakes to sell at the school fete was a speciality of the Smiths. Senior school and home economics, (showing my age here!) were good fun. I enjoyed creating new dishes and learning new techniques. Then a Saturday job came along, waiting on tables in a local café/restaurant. I loved the interaction with the customers when taking their orders and waiting on them.

Then on to my first real full time job, I moved away from home and I loved life. Over those 5 year I went from front of house as a waitress, to becoming the supervisor. Next was working in the Silver service restaurant, head waitress no less. The food that came out of the kitchen was amazing, and I started to fall in love with the creation of food.

Over the next … years I worked in numerous Kitchens, progressing through the ranks to become head chef. Always learning and wanting to learn from other chefs that had a passion for food. The industry moves so fast and there are so many different possibilities within the Catering and Hospitality Industry.

I moved to Banbury and worked in a research and development department with food. I went to University and learnt more about the Food Manufacturing Industry and all aspects of Food Science. All the while my passion for food grew and grew.

I loved cooking when friends came over, and the common joke was ‘you should be a chef, sell your food it’s amazing!’ Then one day along came Rachel, a friend that I had known for a while and worked with before, and said ‘I have an idea what do you think about this?’ and from that day on The Supper Circle was born.

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