In 1983, young chefs Paul Heathcote and Gary Bates peeled potatoes at the renowned Michelin starred hotel and country house Sharrow Bay, Ullswater. During their time there, both Paul and Gary were ambitious to climb the catering ladder and later left Sharrow Bay in 1985 to kickstart their own career paths. Paul ventured to the Michelin starred Connaught, London and then later moved to Raymond Blancs two Michelin starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxford. After his time at Connaught and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Paul was appointed Head Chef at the privately owned Broughton Park. On the other hand, Gary joined the team at the Michelin starred Poole Court, and his family’s hotel before crossing paths with Paul at Broughton Park.
Impressed with Gary’s organisational skills, ability to organise large numbers, and his undoubted culinary skills he was headhunted by the General Manger, David Beswick. David then invited Gary to relocate with him to Edinburgh, where he would oversee the refurbishment, extension, and expansion of the Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club- the home of The Scottish Open and Solheim Cup.
After three years, Paul Heathcote opened his first of fourteen restaurants, where he achieved not only one, but two Michelin stars in his first four years. To this date, Paul remains the only chef in the North West to achieve this accolade. Many other honours followed, these include; Chef of The Year, three Catey awards, many TV appearances, and two successful books. One co-written with Matthew Fort, who is now the judge of the televised, highly popular, Great British Menu.
Paul and Gary remained friends, and in 1997 formed ‘Heathcotes Outside’. Catering mainly for restaurant clients who wished to have the Heathcote quality and styling in a venue of their choice, for private events, both at home and in the corporate market place. In their first year of business, Heathcote Outside’s secured a contract with Preston North End, Warrington Wolves new stadium development, Chester Racecourse, Bangor Racecourse, Liverpool Summer Pops, Liverpool Football Club, ACC Liverpool, and Manchester International Festival.
Their undoubted skills, passion for produce, food, service, and unique ways made Heathcotes Outside the caterer of choice for an impressive and enviable list of clients. Clients include; Armani, Boodles, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi UK, Marketing Manchester (MIPIM Cannes), Manchester Airport, and Co-Op (Annual Conference Belfast). Alongside this, personal clients also instilled trust in Heathcotes Outside to make their events unreservedly special. These personal clients include; Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Terry Wogan. The Heathcotes Outside team catered for 2165 guests at Sir Alex Ferguson’s testimonial dinner, Sir Paul McCartney’s home coming in Liverpool, and Sir Terry Wogan’s daughter’s wedding breakfast in a marquee at his home.
In 2007, Heathcotes Outside merged with Lindley Catering taking a £20 million turnover business to £60 million overnight. Both Gary and Paul stayed with the company, Gary as the Creative Director and Paul as a board member before the company was sold allowing the two to re-join as the newly formed Heathcote&Co in 2013. Where they both now work on events, projects and contracts that they passionately believe they can improve and make a difference to.