The 44-bedroom Castle hotel in Taunton has marked the launch of a new events and contract catering division by winning two contracts.
The new Castle Events & Contract Catering division will take over the catering at the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset County Library, after successfully completing a competitive tendering process last month.
Catering at the museum will involve a 60-seat café and events for up to 200 people in the building's 12th century Great Hall, while the library has a 60-seat café and meeting room.
Located adjacent to the castle hotel, the museum, which underwent a £7m refurbishment in 2011, became Taunton's top tourist destination with 90,000 visitors last year.
The new division will be headed by Hilde Stuiver, a Dutch national with a degree from Maastrict University's School of Hospitality Management. She has 20 years' experience in the industry, which include stints with Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental hotels.
Stuiver was part of the bid team for the two two-year contracts, along with Marc Mac Closkey, director and general manager of the Castle, Jon Peilow, the hotel's director of finance and head chef, Liam Finnegan, who will direct the production kitchen.
Kit Chapman, owner of the Castle, said he was thrilled by the success in winning the two contracts. "Hilde Stuiver is an outstanding professional who has the flair and ability to develop our new business," he explained. "Indeed, we already have more contracts in our sights and we are in negotiation to cater for a major event in Taunton later this year."
Carrie Blogg, business manager at the Museum of Somerset, said: "We are delighted to be working with the Castle hotel on this exciting new venture. The museum has become well known for its high standards of customer service, and the hotel's excellent reputation for great food and great service will enhance this even further."
By Janet Harmer
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