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Getting to know Anthony Whitehouse
Meet Anthony Whitehouse “The Conductor” and Director at Create Consultants. A self-proclaimed crazy Brit he has managed events for Prime Ministers, a President and Royalty. He loves a glass of Shiraz and gets his inspiration from London and New York, but his favourite type of food is eaten at home on the couch. Join us as we get to know another fabulous Event Pro, Anthony Whitehouse…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date
I started my career in the early ‘90s at some of London’s finest dining spots including The Ivy and Le Caprice before opening my first restaurant, Blues Bistro and Bar in Soho. I quickly saw an opportunity in the functions and events market and developed a separate catering and events company, Soho Catering and Events in 1996 to provide events for new and existing clients including PWC, Moet Hennessy, EMAP and 20th Century Fox. I branched outside Soho and set up Pumpkin Events in 2004. Over the next seven years I hosted numerous high profile events including La Dolce Vita Ball with Gordon Ramsey, Dom Perignon at Royal Ascot, the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Monaco Grand Prix and catering contracts for five leading football clubs including QPR, AFC Bournemouth and Northampton Town FC. During this time I took over the legendary Hole in the Wall restaurant in Bath to save it from administrators. Within two years it was named the Best Restaurant in South West England by Metro Magazine and the restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star.
In 2011 I moved to Sydney with my Australian wife and young family and I became General Manager at the Compass Group. Here I was responsible for all catering and retail outlets at Taronga Zoo, looking after its 1.3 million hungry visitors. In 2013 I decided to go it alone and set up my own catering and events business, Create Consultants. Just one year later my company was awarded the catering contract for the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, catering for a number of prestigious events including the G20 summit, the visits of the British and Indian Prime Ministers, the French president and 129,000 visitors for the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Gallipoli landings in 2015.
Since then the company has gone from strength to strength, winning catering contracts for the Australian Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory and Olleyville at Shaw Vineyard Estate, as well as creating bespoke events for the likes of Australian Superyachts, AGL and Adobe.
What is the most memorable event you have worked on and why?
Monaco Grand Prix on a yacht with Prince Albert and the F1 drivers after the race. The Why is answered by the sentence?
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
Be prepared for the client to arrive early.
What are three personality traits that you think are required to succeed in the events industry?
Organisational skills, creativity and a great sense of humour
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
You’ll need to work hard, think outside the box and keep the crying to when you get home
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Anything by Depeche Mode
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
London, so the family can attend
Favourite type of food?
Anything I can eat on my couch
How would your friends describe your job?
Describe yourself in two words?
How do you unwind after a big event?
Netflix and Shiraz
Words to live by?
Peace and love
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
There is only opportunity
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
London and NY
Bills and Catalina in Sydney
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
Make is casual – Moules marinière, big bowls of prawns and few salads
Best event you’ve been to as a guest?
My sister’s annual Christmas lunch with all the family
What do you prefer, cocktail party or sit-down dinner?
Sit down dinner
What is your ideal holiday destination?
Staying with my best friend in Sardinia
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Shiraz or our spritzed up martini
It’s event day – heels or flats?
Who would you love to invite to dinner (past or present)?
My father, Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Horatio Nelson, Jesus and Mohammed
What is your best party trick?
Why do you love your job?
Because it’s not a job
If you weren’t working in events what would you do?
Probably working in the city like the rest of my family