The Sauce Kitchen Caterers

– Gabrielle Lewis and Jill Elliott –

Our first adventure into owning a business together came in 2007 when we relocated from Christchurch to Duvauchelle on the Banks Peninsula, the Store there was in a poor state of repair and needed some new life brought to it. We started by a complete clean out and creating two businesses The Duvauchelle Store and The Duvauchelle Bar & Bistro. We created a hub for locals to connect, featuring local suppliers in both the store and the bistro. The community were craving great food and service and were able to bring together local suppliers and create special events in the great tradition of hospitality.

In 2009 we returned to Christchurch were we looked for a new business opportunity we loved the community feel of Duvauchelle and we wanted a business that had this kind on connection, we found a small hole in the wall business at 161 High Street that was for sale and loving the location we revamped this smaller venture into a great little espresso bar The Sauce Kitchen with takeaway food and a sideline in catering. This was the hay day of High street before the devastation of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. High Street was a bustling centre for fashionistas, artists and students, and we were devastated when our wee slice of life was demolished.

Not to be kept down, we, as so many others were doing, we re-invented our business, we took the catering side of things and developed this. We built a skyline building and fitted it out as a commercial kitchen and were able to get the catering up and running again within 6 months of the earthquakes. Unfortunately, we were located beside the Heathcote river and due to the changes in the river after the earthquakes, the river flooded and we needed to relocate again!! So in 2015 we moved to 24C Essex Street a commercial kitchen in a great location, just off Fitzgerald Ave putting us in a perfect location for servicing our clients as the city has come back to life.

Gabrielle Lewis

Having a passion for both art and cookery from an early age, a defining time for me was at 16 years old I received a Scholarship to go to Art School in Central America for one year, it was at this influential age that I was exposed to a different way of life and a very different food culture, on my return to New Zealand I started as so many young people do by working in cafes and restaurants as waitstaff and later lived and worked in Australia. I trained as a chef in 1995 and after training as an adult educator I was a tutor for 8 years at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, teaching Hospitality, barista training, Cookery and Wine appreciation. Through the Restaurant Association I won a Scholarship to travel to Spain, Portugal, London and Scotland. I completed my Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) advanced certificate in London and was certified to teach the WSET programme. Other culinary travels have taken me though Hong Kong and Thailand were I was inspired by the delicious fragrant food and have enjoyed learning from chefs in these countries ( and in some markets, not so fragrant food ! ) I work hands on in The Sauce Kitchen, as well as running the business side of things with Jilly, since 2011 I have been working on my personal education as a business owner, completing my diploma in Small Business and Project Management in 2018.

Jill Elliot

I grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, so in NZ I get teased a bit about deep fried Mars Bars ( I have never eaten one ! ) But Scotland has a long tradition of great produce including Angus Beef , Game, Seafood and Wild Salmon, not to mention the Whisky ! just out of school in 1991 I completed my chefs training with the goal of travelling around the world, I travelled to The Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Portugal and Australia, ending up in Christchurch New Zealand after meeting other travellers who told me “Go to New Zealand you will love it ! ”. I did indeed love it with the Scottish Heritage and stunning countryside I have been here for over 20 years! The first job I worked in was at The Bakehouse in The Arts Centre back in the day when pumpkin and chocolate muffins were all the rage. My travels around the world and in particular though India has given me a passion for spices and all things chilli. In 2018 I completed a Diploma in Small Business and Project Management, and continue to work daily in the Kitchen as well as on the day to day running of the business.

“Sauce Kitchen is hands down the best caterer in Christchurch. The food is so varied and flavorful. We have asked Gabrielle and Jilly to cater for a number of events where we have had vegetarian and gluten free guests – nothing has ever been a problem and the standards, unbelievably, keep getting better and better! I cannot recommend them enough – these people know food and will wow your guests with a gastronomic journey. Book them now – you won’t be disappointed!”
Care Publications – Esther Perriam General Manager
"We at Acorva Technical Recruitment have been calling on The Sauce Kitchen to provide morning and afternoon teas for our top clients for a few years now. Not only is their food genuinely tasty and superbly presented, they also go that extra mile for us at Acorva producing a special ‘Acorva Orange Cake’ – just for us!
Acorva Technical Recruitment – Lachlan McNeill
"The food is divine, each occasion demands a different variety, and the variety of foods is outstanding, and well suited for each different occasion.
The girls are very easy to deal with, their delivery and pick up service is an additional benefit and thoroughly reliable.
Cameron Company – Barristers and Solicitors G A Fallon, Partner
"The Sauce Kitchen not only provide the most innovative and delicious catering menu options to suit your budget and function size, they also provide an outstanding, friendly service.
Virna Smith, (Former) Marketing Manager, McKenzie & Wills

Make an Enquiry

Fill out the form here with the details of your event. Gabrielle will then contact you via return email with a confirmation of your order. Ideally small orders will be placed at least 5 days in advance, although this is not always possible – so if you have a last minute order give us a call on 03 389 3321 to check if we can fit it in. If you have a larger function coming up and you would like a special menu designed we are happy to help you with our expert advice to make your event a great success.