Interview with Kate Dyer, Cofounder of Dish

If you’ve ever attended one of our Pitch Meetings, you’ll know how fantastic the food is. That’s all down to the amazing Dish Catering & Events, one of the Middle East’s leading caterers. We don’t have a Pitch Meeting go by without someone sending us an email afterwards how much they loved the catering!

We had the chance to speak to Kate Dyer, the Cofounder and Stylist at Dish, who illuminated on Dish and what it’s like running a catering business.

Can you introduce yourself?

Kate Dyer – Cofounder and Stylist at Dish Catering & Events

What first brought you to Dubai?

Travel and opportunity, I was always interested in the region and I first landed here in 2005 at the ripe age of 21. I flew with Emirates for a couple of years before working in branding and marketing and then finally taking the plunge with my husband to open Dish.

Can you introduce Dish?

Dish Catering is a boutique, high end catering service with a focus on “service with personality and food that steals the show”.

Why did you found Dish?

Both Henry and myself have worked in catering and hospitality in Melbourne. We saw a real gap in the market for reliable service, exciting creative food concepts and most of all businesses run with passion and care.

What opportunities are there for caterers in the UAE?

Huge opportunities. It’s constant and growing. Just when you think it can’t get bigger, it does. Dubai is an amazing place, you just have to talk to people and show that you care about what you do and you can succeed. The events here are extravagant, luxurious and exciting. We are constantly evolving as our clients interests change and grow.

What’s been the strangest/craziest/most random catering job you’ve worked on in the UAE?

Ooh wow there’s been a few. Breakfast for 40 on hot air balloons, Eggs Benedict nonetheless, elegant luxurious sit down dinners in the desert for 500 – a sandy affair. We have also worked on gala dinners for 500 on Nurai Island, the entire operation has to go over on boats at 3am (ovens, water, gas bottles, tables – the works!…)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of setting up a business in the UAE?

Bureaucratically it’s difficult. There’s a lot of red tape and administration, hoops to jump through, especially when opening an operationally sound kitchen. On the plus side the strict guidelines in the UAE for food safely and handling means we know our kitchen is one of the best in the region, if not the world.

Do you have any advice for potential entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the UAE?

Yes be patient, find mentors, ask questions and always be on the edge of your comfort zone. If you’re not pushing yourself you’re not growing.

Is there anything you would have done differently when starting up Dish?

Yes – built a bigger kitchen! We started with a modest space but we outgrew it quickly, since we have built a kitchen 4 times the size, a 12 month process. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

How have you found being an entrepreneur and cofounder?

It’s exciting and challenging but very rewarding, Ours is also a family business, so Dish really is part of who we are.