Experienced chef Claire Duke has joined the team at Braddan-based kitchen and bathroom specialist HAUS, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge in catering and cookware.
Claire, who was previously a senior sous chef at the Hilton Hotel and sous chef at the Regency Hotel on Douglas promenade, will initially manage HAUS’s new tableware and cookware department.
HAUS sales director Bob Love said: ‘Claire is an excellent chef and will be a huge asset to our showroom, bringing with her technical and trade skills which she can use to enhance our customer experience.’
After 25 years trading under the In-toto franchise, HAUS is now an independent supplier of quality kitchens, bathrooms and, most recently, bedrooms.
Claire originally became involved with the company last year when she hosted a series of popular Christmas cookery master classes at HAUS’s headquarters on Cooil Road.
Claire, whose new role will see her hosting and catering for similar in-store events, said: ‘The showroom is ideal for demonstrations, with so much space and a range of functioning appliances including combi-steamers, induction hobs and working ovens allowing people to try before they buy.’
Her new position will also develop into a home economist role, with her assisting customers with choice of appliances and tableware products to complement kitchen installations.
She said: ‘The layout of any kitchen is hugely important and the designers at HAUS make sure they take into account space and flow. They take into consideration the clients’ specific requirements and can tailor specifications to suit.
‘It’s the same with tableware: we can advise on the collection and we can tailor a selection to the customers’ needs.’
Claire will also be able to demonstrate the use of appliances and other products after installation, offering tuition in the customers’ homes. She said: ‘I’ll be able to help clients by offering personal tuition in their own kitchens using their own equipment. It’s not the same when you learn in another kitchen.’
Claire initially trained in catering at the Isle of Man College in 2000 and has since worked in various local fine dining establishments, but her experience is not restricted to the island: during the college course, she spent time on working trips to Madrid to assist her development.
She also took an eight-month pastry apprenticeship in Switzerland, she worked for two years in the south west of France and she also spent a year in Australia where she developed a passion for fresh fish and fusion cooking.
Claire added: ‘I’m really looking forward to meeting new clients and getting back in the kitchen! I’m excited about tapping in to new people and developing new ideas.’