Accountant-turned-professional caterer Bruce Salt is looking to expand his Bradford customer base after developing his outside catering business following the demise of his two delicatessen shops due to the recession.

Salt’s Catering currently delivers to four businesses in Bradford and Mr Salt sees the district as fertile ground for future growth. His company provides regular catering services to City Training Services, Eclipse Legal Systems, Drydens Solicitors and Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Meanwhile, award-winning Ilkley butcher David Lishman is to lead a team of five British butchers who are heading to New Zealand to pitch their skills against rivals from Down Under in a ground-breaking competition.

Bruce Salt has focused on the outside catering operating in the year since closing his two award-winning Leeds delicatessen shops and said his new business has enjoyed a healthy start.

He said: “We had always offered an outside catering service when we had the shops, which did very well, so keeping that side of the business going meant we could continue trading but without the costly overheads of city centre premises.

“We have significantly reduced overheads by operating from a production kitchen on the edge of Leeds city centre and now work as a small team creating, cooking and delivering homemade, sophisticated food across the region.”

The outside catering operation offers everything from a business lunch for five to corporate catering and private functions for 500. The Salt’s kitchen is led by chef David McMaster who joined the business last year following 25 years at catering outlets such as Boutique Catering and the Michelin-starred Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms near Skipton.

As well as an expanding business and private catering service, Salt’s Catering recently diversified into dedicated wedding catering and also features regularly at weekend farmers’ markets in the region.

Before opening his first delicatessen in May 2005, Bruce worked as a tax adviser at professional services firms KPMG, Deloitte and Mazars. A chartered accountant for 18 years, he worked with a number of high-profile companies across the region.

He was inspired to enter the catering business by the fresh produce found inSpain and Italy.

David Lishman will lead a team of five Q Guild British butchers on a five-day study tour of New Zealand next month which will culminate in a butchery competition against Kiwi and Australian counterparts.

David said: “Our ties with the Kiwis and Aussies go back a long way and so when Meat Retail New Zealand approached us to take part in the study tour, we had no hesitation in accepting as it presents a great opportunity for us to learn new skills, garner inspiration and establish links with a nation prized for its farming heritage.”