Could you work with your mum or daughter?
The women who do reveal things can get very spiky! There's nothing like the bond between a mother and daughter — but it’s no secret that this relationship can also be one of the most emotionally fraught.
So what happens when you see your mum every single day — and have to take orders from her, too?
Many women would shudder at the thought, but these five mothers and daughters insist working together has helped their businesses to thrive — despite a few tense moments along the way. Studies support the idea that relatives working together can be a route to success, with 93 per cent of family-owned businesses expecting to grow, according to research by PwC. Another survey found bosses see employing younger family members as a good way to get a millennial’s point of view — without the risk their younger workers will quit in search of pastures new after a year or two. So, what’s it like to work as a mother-and-daughter team?
As Mother’s Day approaches, JILL FOSTER speaks to ten women about the ups and downs of keeping business in the family . . .
WHEN DAD DIED, WE KEPT GOING TOGETHER Laura King, 58, from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, employs daughter Holly, 24, as director of sales at King’s Fine Food, which specialises in caviar. She also has a son, Harry, 19, and two stepchildren.
Laura says: When my husband John and I asked Holly if she’d like to work for us four years ago, we wanted to help her out with a first job. It turned out she was the greatest help we could have hoped for.
Soon after, in June 2014, John was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. It was devastating, but Holly was incredible — doing things a daughter really shouldn’t have to do for her dad, such as feeding him and taking him to the bathroom.
We shared our responsibilities at work and she never complained. Had she not been around, I would have had to quit, which would have been catastrophic for the business.
Since John died in 2015, I feel so lucky to see Holly every day. I’ve joked she can never leave home — I’m not sure how she feels about that.
I’ve worked throughout my life, even when the children were small. Now, I feel I’m making up for lost time with Holly, in a way.
But we do have our differences. She can be stroppy in the mornings, but at least I can tell her to shut up. A normal boss wouldn’t be so frank.
There have even been occasions when she’s stormed off and says she’s leaving the business. But we always make up. She has such a strong work ethic — she puts in more hours because she doesn’t want to be ‘the boss’s daughter’.
I’m so proud of her. John adored her and would be so proud, too.
Holly says: I feel so lucky I was around to help when Dad got ill. That experience brought me and Mum closer. At first, I thought there was no way I could work for her without us killing one another. I said ‘yes’ as I thought I’d only be there for a couple of months, but then, slowly, I realised how much I enjoyed it.
At first, calling her ‘Mum’ in the office felt strange, but calling her ‘Laura’ felt wrong, too. Now, I mostly use ‘Laura’ — but if we’re not in work, people think I’m being rude.
Likewise, there are times in the office when she slips up and calls me ‘Bubs’ — her pet name for me — and I have to say: ‘Don’t do that!’
At 7am, she’ll fling open my door and say ‘Get up, Holly,’ like she did when I was at school. Sometimes, when she offers me a lift, I say ‘No chance’ and drive off myself, hoping she gets stuck in traffic so I can have some time alone.
You can never take a sickie working for your mum. But, all in all, I love it. Being in the family business means I still feel close to my dad, too.
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I would like to introduce you to a very special lady Laura Hutcheson and ‘Team Loz’ who will be running the Hampton Court Half Marathon for the John King Brain Tumour Foundation on 18th March 2018.
Here is Laura’s story
Thank you for taking the time to visit my Just Giving Page, which explains a bit, more about my fundraising goal.
In April 2017, I experienced a seizure whilst away on a family holiday. When I returned home, an EEG and MRI confirmed the reason for the seizure and I was diagnosed with Grade I Meningioma (brain tumour).
I was referred to the care of neurosurgeon Dr Tim Jones and at the beginning of May, I was admitted to the McKissock ward in the Atkinson Morley wing at St Georges Hospital. Dr Tim and his team performed a craniotomy and were able to successfully remove the tumour from the front part of my brain.
During my time at St Georges, my husband David and myself spent a lot of time in the McKissock gardens and were so grateful to have an area to sit outside of the ward and my room.
The John King Brain Tumour Foundation maintains the gardens. The family of the former patient of Dr Tim’s runs the Foundation. Its other project is raising money for a state of the art microscope for brain surgery, which is not currently available through NHS funding. As a way of showing my gratitude for the incredible care I receive from everyone at the Atkinson Morley and for Dr Tim (and in particular for leaving me with a very bumpy head but most of my hair to cover it!) I want to support the John King Brain Tumour Foundation and the work they do to maintain the sanctuary, which is the McKissock gardens.
So on 18th march 2018, I have co-erred 9 friend into joining a little team to run the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon.
Whilst I cant train to the full extent I would like the DVLA aren't keen on me driving right now, I’m getting my miles in walking the pavements of Oxshott! My fellow team members will be training in the mean January/February weather and I’m hoping your support will help spur them on!
Every donation, however small, will make a massive difference to the efforts of the John King Foundation and our efforts to get round the course on the day. I would like to say a HUGE thank you for reading this and for any contributions to the cause!
Please dig deep and support Laura and her team to raise these valuable funds for such a worthy cause.
How to enjoy King's Caviar by Laura King
Caviar is best served as simple as possible – using mother of pearl or horn utensils.
To taste caviar: We always taste caviar on the soft cushion of the back of our hand between the thumb and forefinger.
Let it rest for a few seconds and then taste by lifting the caviar from your flesh with your lips and tongue and allow it to gently roll round your mouth.The caviar will be very soft on the palette.
Caviar should not pop in the mouth - this only happens with caviar that has been pasteurized which firms up the egg and gives caviar an ambient shelf life. This is not something we recommend as pasteurisation takes away the subtlety of the product.
Considered as the King of caviar, Beluga is rare because it takes 12 years to produces its eggs. It commands a very high price, often three times the price of all other caviar. Steely grey in colour, it’s generally the largest egg with notes of walnuts and cream and hints of both the sea and finest quality salt.
Oscietra sturgeon produce their eggs after 8 years. With a beautiful golden/brown colour, they have a nutty, mellow taste, which develops into a buttery sweetness, similar to lobster. Historically the egg is smaller than Beluga, but with increased farming, the egg size can sometimes be almost as large as its mighty cousin.
Historically, when wild caviar was available, Golden Oscietra was always referred to as “The Shah’s Caviar”. This rare egg is rich, creamy and has a beautiful light gold colour. It is often bigger than darker egg Oscietra.
This Siberian sturgeon is 5-6 years old when it produces its eggs. It has a more intense mackerel-like flavour than Oscietra, often with long hazelnut notes and a colour ranging from dark grey to ebony. This sturgeon is farmed far more than any other as it produces its eggs relatively quickly.
Aquitaine produces the eggs after 5 years. It has a nutty sea taste with low acidity, and ranges from a steely grey colour, similar to Sevruga, to jet black. Aquitaine, like our Siberian Sturgeon, is also from a Baerii sturgeon but is exclusively farmed in France.
This is a hybrid of the Acipenser Schrenckii and Acipenser Dauricus. The caviar from China has a large sized egg with delicate but intense almond cream flavour. Sometimes, these eggs can be remarkably golden in colour, but more commonly are a vibrant walnut brown to olive green hue.
A hybrid caviar of Oscietra and Siberian Sturgeon, Platinum has fresh and intense flavour, often with long nutty notes and a buttery undertone and a colour ranging from dark grey to ebony. This is one of the least expensive caviars but incredibly popular, with a very large egg.
Sevruga tastes of the sea. It is often the preferred choice for caviar dealers around the world because of its resemblance to wild caviar. This small, grey egg is packed with a delicious salty flavour that lingers, often more than other caviars.
A Brief History of Caviar
The word ‘caviar’ is a Persian term that means ‘cake of strength’. It’s a common assumption that the Russians began extracting and consuming caviar, when it was actually the Persians in the 16th century. They believed it had healing properties. In the 18th century, caviar was regarded as the food of the poor until royal chefs introduced Russian Tsars and nobility to it. This set-in motion the demand for caviar as a delicacy – until 2008, when wild sturgeon fishing was banned under the Bern Convention, an international agreement to protect animals and the environment. Since then, all legally produced caviar has come from sturgeon farms.
Caviar is the food of the Gods and an experience never forgotten…
So, come on, feel the Noizé:
TOM PARKER BOWLES enjoys a lunch of scallops and partridge at this discreet London restaurant. By Tom Parker Bowles For The Mail On Sunday
Noizé 39 Whitfield Street London, W1T 2SF
Two weeks into January and I’ve yet to talk about culinary trends, and my prescient predictions for the thrilling year ahead. I’ve let you down. Hell, I’ve let myself down. I’m sorry, really I am. Because I know how much you all care about the trite and transient, the flash-in-the-pans and the one-day-wonders, the dull, ditzy and dumb. Because to suggest a vegan diet, say, or probiotics, prebiotics or sushi-filled bloody doughnut (douchi – I kid you not), will be in fashion means, by its very fickle nature, that it will fall from grace mere moments after. A brief suckle on Mammon’s trendy teat, before an eternity of despair, humiliation and self-hate, consigned to the deepest, darkest depths of the shop-soiled discount dungeon. So rather than bore you with some half-witted hot air about nut milk and radical plant proteins (be still my rumbling gut), how about a few simple restaurant requests? Rooms, comfortable, well-lit rooms with decent acoustics, rooms in which one wants to linger – with kitchens that cook food, good food, that you actually want to eat. Served by warm, charming, professional staff who are decently paid and properly looked after. Meaning the tip, or service charge, is theirs, and theirs alone.
Oh, and if they could please write down my order, however brilliant their memory may be, I’d be eternally grateful. Prices don’t have to be dirt cheap, but they must reflect value. And please, when it comes to wine lists, don’t take the Michael. Which brings me neatly on to Noizé, a small, discreet restaurant north of Oxford Street that opened last year with the minimum of fuss. In fact, the first time I heard of its existence was when Fay Maschler, the empress of eating out, whispered of its wonders while we were filming something for the telly. And trust me, that’s a tip from the top. Mathieu Germond is the man behind it, a much-lauded veteran of Pied à Terre, where he was both sommelier and general manager. The head chef, Ed Dutton, is another who did time at Pied à Terre, and he’s there for all to see, behind an immaculate wall of glass, in a quiet, calm, industrious kitchen.
I’m lunching with my friend Laura, the queen of caviar and much else besides, and she likes the place immediately. So do I, as this is a room made for eating. Thick, pristine linen tablecloths, solid cutlery and elegant glasses. There’s room to stretch, and gossip, without fear of being overheard. Next door, a bottle is opened and poured. They’re not fans. Without so much as wrinkle of his brow, Germond whisks it away and brings them something else. Where he leads, his staff follow. Service here is magnifique. As is the food. Gougères, light and airy as my New Year’s resolutions, are filled with warmly oozing cheddar. They’re better than the ones at The Waterside. And, dare I say it, better even than Simon Hopkinson’s wonders. Pig beignets are rather more strident, deep- fried and beautifully bosky. While chicken liver pâté, piped artfully on to fingers of toast, and sat under a scattering of tart grapes, has a truly regal richness. My scallop ceviche is a very different beast from the Peruvian original, though both are obsessed with the freshness of their fish. But while the South American version is fierce with chilli and salt, at Noizé it’s softer and more fragrant. Thanks, in part, to the use of kaffir lime, less strident than its conventional cousin. Ribbons of fennel are tangled on top, along with cool balls of cucumber. It’s properly seasoned too. Laura’s fois gras is as filthily lascivious as it should be, beautifully cooked and quivering atop a chewy tarte tatin. A woman wise in the ways of engorged liver, she nods her approval. Lots of sweat and elbow grease for a few mouthfuls that are both big-flavoured and elegantly refined, Tom Parker-Bowles writes +3 Lots of sweat and elbow grease for a few mouthfuls that are both big-flavoured and elegantly refined, Tom Parker-Bowles writes Partridge arrives as two burnished breasts, the skin both crisp and chewy, sat atop a pile of celeriac and translucent slices of apple, with the most intense and reduced veal jus poured on top. Served with peerless pommes dauphinoise, this is old-fashioned haute French cooking at its best, the sort that reminds one why they once ruled the culinary roost. Lots of sweat and elbow grease for a few mouthfuls that are both big-flavoured and elegantly refined.
Laura eats seabass, still translucent in the middle, with crisp skin and salsify, and a bold but surprisingly delicate red wine sauce. More culinary classicism, lovingly wrought. Apple tarte fine, for pudding. Like everything else at Noizé, there’s poise and precision and understated art, a respect for tradition, without being boorishly bound to it. We drink a bottle of wonderful Riesling. And finish with a glass of Poire William, chilled, of course.
With the minimum of fuss, and maximum of charm, Noizé gets it just right.
So my predictions for 2018?
More Noizé. Please.
About £40 per head
Born and raised in South Shields, the son of a fisherman, John started his rise to Michelin star studying catering at South Shields College and then Westminster College, London.
His first job in London aged 16 was at the Royal Garden Hotel. By 27, he was Premier Sous Chef with Mario Lesnik at Claridge’s, before moving on to the Berkeley and then to the Ritz where he is Executive Chef.
At the Ritz, John has built on the principles and beliefs of Auguste Escoffier, being inspired by classic dishes with a modern touch for today’s market.
He is hugely respected by his peers. At the launch of the 2017 edition of the Michelin Guide, John received a standing ovation when it was announced that the Ritz had been awarded a Michelin star. John told The Caterer, when asked why they had won it now:
“It’s the 110th anniversary of the Ritz this year and it’s a real accolade and we are just over the moon. It is something that you work for and I believed that we were good enough and I just wondered why. And we need a star because if you are a world class hotel, you need to have a star.
We have been cooking the same, we haven’t changed. The Ritz tells us what to cook because of the building and the style. I think it is very important that it remains classical but also that it remains relevant for today’s modern diner. But I have got very good people and I have had very good people for a long time. I haven’t got the answer but I have always known that the cooking was good enough so the only thing I can take from it was consistency has got better.”
John has received many awards and accolades. He was the first British chef to be awarded a CMA for services to French cuisine by the French Government. In 2008 he was awarded an MBE for services to hospitality and is a Master of Culinary Arts.
John is a passionate educator, passing on his skills to the next generation. He has been chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts for 13 years. John has been a great advocate of Kings Fine Food, using King’s Oscietra in one of his signature dishes and Amedei chocolate in his desserts. He was a longstanding colleague and friend of John King and has been a great support to Laura.
Celebrating on Derby Day at the RAC Club L to R Sergio Rebecchi, Laura King, John Williams, Brian Turner, Michel Roux Jr and Phil Corrick
Laura commented: “John is an absolute star and being recognised by The Michelin Guide was a long time coming. The Ritz continues to be one of my all time favourite restaurants. John’s food never disappoints.”