SOKA is owned and managed by husband and wife team Natalie and Henry Jacob who love good food delivered with great service. We believe that simple food done well with a service that's knowledgeable and friendly is the perfect combination. We pride ourselves on having great relationships with our clients and strive to ensure they have the best food and the best experience at their events.
As an experienced events manager, from intimate dinners to large scale catering events for 600+ people, Natalie thrives on pressure and has a keen eye for detail. Henry is a passionate chef having worked under Cameron Emirali at 10 Greek Street and Ashley Hancill at Gatherers Catering Co.
Food is their passion and they always ensure their guests have a great time.
"They say that with age comes wisdom. For me that wisdom came when I realised what my values are. The countless leadership and training courses I attended in my previous career as a buyer did not teach me what MY values were but only that of the values of the company I was working for at the time.
I believe strongly that life is all one big lesson, that we are here to learn and that with that knowledge we will build future generations.
I care about people, I care about the environment I live in, I care about the things I consume and I care about sharing the knowledge I’ve gained so far.
Our time is oh so precious and when we choose to spend time with friends and family we want to ensure that every moment of that is enjoyable. What we do is create an environment that you and your guests can relax and be yourselves in. We don’t believe in stuffy service, pretentious food or over priced menus, we believe that everyone deserves to eat delicious food in a warm and welcoming environment.
Our food is sourced as locally as possible and to the best possible welfare standards. We love to cook and eat delicious food and sourcing the best seasonal and local produce contributes to that love.
I love to cook. I remember being a small kid, peering over the counter top watching my parents cook dinner each night. I remember the feeling of satisfaction I got from cooking for my wife back when we were dating! I remember always being curious about what was going on behind those swinging doors in every restaurant I ate in.
Visiting street markets and farm shops, travelling the world in my career in PR and eating new and exciting food in new and exciting environments, cooking for friends at home and growing our own produce on our allotment transformed my fascination into a passion. So I decided to make a change, I decided that the corporate world wasn't for me. I decided to cook.
It’s been a life changing experience for me.
Starting out by being a helping hand with a catering company taught me about hard work and seeing a project through from literally building a kitchen to meticulously building a canapé board.
Securing a job at 10 Greek Street under Cameron Emirali & Drake Aldrich taught me about creativity, consistency, quality and the importance of following the seasons and using truly fresh produce.
Managing the kitchen for Gatherers at Wilton’s Music Hall with Ashley Hancill & Clive Greenhalgh meant constantly learning new techniques, flavour combinations and how to plan and execute a menu for 200 people versus creating a plate of food for one, without compromising on quality.
With Ashley I learned how to be a more rounded chef who truly enjoys his craft.
For me SOKA represents everything I have learned since making the leap into the food world whilst remembering why I got into it in the first place. It’s about creating special moments for people, putting all of my passion onto that plate and helping our customers have the best possible experience. But most of all, for me, it’s about having fun.
Story behind the name SOKA
SOKA is a central teaching of Mahayana Buddhism which holds that Buddhahood, characterised by compassion, wisdom and courage, is inherent within every person and that we are guided by the shared goal of contributing to peace, culture and education based on respect for the dignity of life.
We understand that food is not a huge focus of buddhist teachings but even the Dali Lama has said that food is helpful in creating one world and emphasising what we all share in common. We believe that food is a fundamental part of everyone’s life and that we can apply the value’s of SOKA to sourcing, preparing and serving food.