The Avala Team

Set up in 2005, Avala works with private and corporate clients throughout Surrey, West Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire and London. Over the years, our family-run business has grown steadily in line with our reputation for excellence and we are careful to ensure a consistently professional and personal service to each and every client. Our aim is to provide a bespoke luxury food experience, using ingredients that are seasonal and sustainably sourced. Taste our dishes and you’ll taste the difference.


Nigel Founder & Business Development

Born in Senegal to Mauritian/English parents, Nigel grew up in Ethiopia and moved to the UK to study Hotel and Catering Management at the University of Surrey. He worked in a number of high-end hotels in London, including Kensington Palace Hotel, before setting up Avala in 2005. His multicultural background and a love of travel has imbued his passion for food with international flavour – traditional Ethiopian food remains a favourite and bland is never an acceptable option! Nigel is also a talented wood turner and often creates items for client events, which adds a wonderfully unique touch.


Nick Director & Executive Head Chef

Nick has had a passion for food since he was very young, something he attributes to his father who was a master chef in the RAF. Since joining Avala in 2014, Nick has had a major impact on the development of the business, driving standards ever higher, developing our food offer and turning aspirations of becoming an industry leader into reality. Nick loves all types of gin as long as it’s served with lots of ice. He is less fond of spiders.


Andrea Operations Director

Andrea brings to Avala a prestigious background in hospitality and fine dining. Born and brought up in Germany, she was classically trained in Langenthal, Switzerland and then moved to the UK. She worked at leading restaurants and five-star hotels, including L’Escargot, Bank Westminster, Threadneedles and One Aldwych, for over 10 years. This probably explains her love of good food, particularly Chateaubriand with bearnaise sauce. Andrea joined Avala in 2010 and is responsible for all aspects of front of house operations and event management, ensuring that standards are consistently high.


Valerie Finance Director

French-born Valerie has strong foodie roots. Her father was a professional chef, so she was introduced to fine food at a very early age. She knows exactly how perfection should look and taste and her impeccable taste and her love of French food has influenced a number of Avala’s signature dishes. Valerie takes care of finance and HR, but she also enjoys getting involved at events. In her spare time, Valerie enjoys swimming and hiking, and loves Jhoom, an Indian dance class.


Josh Sous Chef

As well as running the kitchen team at events and making sure that every plate of food looks splendid, Josh loves experimenting in the kitchen to develop new ideas and flavours. He is, without doubt, passionate about food and brings to Avala excellent experience of high-end cuisine, having previously worked in a number of restaurants. He enjoys sport, particularly football, but his greatest passion is food – outside of the Avala kitchen, Josh can be found in the kitchen baking the most wonderful artisan breads.


Kat Events Manager

Kat is a highly experienced events manager, full of knowledge and always happy to help. She is a key contact for our clients and works closely with the kitchen and events teams to ensure everything runs smoothly. Kat has always worked in customer-facing roles and gained valuable experience within the world of luxury retail brands, but it was her decision to change career and work in hospitality that allowed Kat’s passion for planning to come to the fore. She thrives on the demands of her role and she has seemingly endless energy. Never one for sitting still, she recently took up Yoga, which helps her relax and unwind.