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Pud, glorious pud!

PUBLISHED: 09:49 23 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:12 20 February 2013

Pud, glorious pud!

Pud, glorious pud!

Paul Simon meets a Hadleigh couple who are enjoying sweet success

Paul Simon meets a Hadleigh couple who are enjoying sweet success




Everyone knows the saying from little acorns do great oak trees grow. But in the case of Simon and Ros Cook, the starting point was their perfectly turned out roulades and delicious steamed puddings.
For the owners of the Smuggler Pudding Club, and before that Smugglers Restaurant in Hadleigh, have seen a fantastic growth in their business over the last two years, built on their real homemade cooking and locally sourced products.
According to Simon the company has moved on several stages but everything we do is still homemade. Yet as well as running special events for the 60 or 70 subscribers to the Pudding Club, who after a buffet main course get through five or six freshly cooked puddings like the Sussex Swamp pudding or plum duff, we now offer the same service for outside catering events.
We didnt really appreciate how far our reputation had travelled, but the business has grown much more quickly than we thought it would we do and now we find ourselves doing everything from christenings and weddings to much smaller functions.
Ros suggests that certain puddings remain firm favourites regardless of the event, although Suffolk clients are not averse to experimentation. Desserts such as creamy roulades and tiramisu are ideal for a couple of people coming round for dinner. We allow the host to be able to say look what Ive done with no worries. It doesnt cost and arm and a leg which is why they are so popular.
We now make four varieties of cheesecake and four different types of roulades which are always popular. In the last few months we have added eight new lines including apricot and mandarin indulgences and brandy and chocolate indulgences.
Smugglers also makes fresh puddings for other outside caterers as well as supplying Tastes of Anglia, who distribute their produce to farm shops and other outlets across the region from their hub in Witnesham.
Sadly, they found that their legendary fresh steam puddings just didnt work in this context.
Simon explains how we found it was difficult to move them via farm shops or similar as they really needed to be eaten then and there. Hot-on-the-night puddings were just not right in a shelf environment as we could only do it if we could sell them hot with someone standing around spooning custard over them!
Even if that was desirable, the Cooks just wouldnt have the time to do it. Again building on their reputation for quality and local food, Simon has found himself working in more food demonstrations across the county, including the recent Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, than ever before.
At such events, I find myself running a whole live theatre with six to eight other chefs working on over a dozen meals during the day. All the focus is on healthy eating, food miles and locally sourced products. So if Im near the coast, I always try to come up with fish or shellfish recipes.
At the moment Im doing more talking than cooking, but these events never get boring. I want to inspire people to be more creative, he laughs.
There can be few chefs as creative as Simon and Ros and this husband and wife team have years of growing success ahead of them based as it is on the foundations of their excellent puddings.
For more information on Simon and Ros Cooks company, go to: http://smugglerscatering.com/

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