Who We Are

Founded by Stephanie Sowden, Black Butter Catering was born from her passion for creating food with character using the best ingredients available.  After moving on from time spent as a journalist in London in her early twenties,  Steph moved home to Manchester to pursue another love and trained in Patisserie and Confectionery.  She spent her first few years surrounded by all things sugar and baking, before moving into the savoury sector to work in kitchens both in Manchester and London, including a time spent rediscovering her pastry roots at a bakery in Bondi Beach, Sydney.  Eight years later and Steph is happy to be able to split her time between catering parties and whipping up delicious feasts, and developing recipes in her very own commercial kitchen.

Based on the site of the family business, in the very building where her Austrian Opa (or Grandad to translate!) set up his engineering works Rubert & Co. Ltd. in 1941, Black Butter Catering is a new extension of that lineage.  Now run by her uncle, who is currently renovating the old building which will house a co-working space as well as a hub of independent food businesses, Black Butter has its own private kitchen and dining room for clients to take full advantage of for tastings or dinner parties.

With apple and cherry trees on the land, an apiary out back to produce our own honey, as well as two very aggressive turkeys, we have access to an unexpected haven of home-grown ingredients in amongst an industrial estate in South Manchester.   As a centuries old apple preserve, Black Butter seemed the perfect name to represent everything we stand for.

Black Butter has heritage, history and harvest at its very core.

What We Do

We specialise in bespoke catering for every event, whether the most important day of your life or an intimate dinner for several close friends.  We firmly believe that food is about community and feeling, and best expressing how you feel about the people you’re eating with.  That’s why, while we can happily provide sample menus and ideas, we love working with you to make sure that every element is personal to your tastes and memories.  Creativity and finding new dishes to play around with is the heart of what we do, and ties in well to our Recipe Development arm, working with brands and publications to test and create exciting new recipes that bring something fresh to your kitchen.

Whether it’s a Spanish holiday you’re looking to recreate, a beloved family dish, or a new cuisine you’ve always wanted to try we’re here to help you create the perfect menu for the right budget whatever the occasion.  Vegan, veggie or gluten free are not a problem, and we love building dishes that fit everyone’s requirements.

Hosted at home, a marquee, barn, hotel or even from our exclusive use private dining room hired out at no extra charge, Steph and her staff are experienced and flexible about working in whatever kitchen space is available.

For our corporate clients we have a more structured offering in place but can still offer bespoke menus for those special conferences or client events.