Meet our team?

A business is only ever as good as its team and that’s why we only employ the best. Our phenomenally talented chefs, kitchen team and front-of-house service staff are all hand-picked for their food expertise, their ‘service with a smile’ and their absolute attention to detail. We’re proud of our team and of the incredible passion they bring to their work. It’s what makes every event the stand-out success it deserves to be.

Management

Victoria Food Services is Canterbury owned and operated. As a management team, we’re personally invested in the success of your event with the promise of fabulous food, exceptional presentation and top-notch service from beginning to end. 


Sam Hedges

Sam Hedges

Director, Finance Manager

Brought up by parents who owned a catering company in Oamaru, Sam's an old hand at the catering business. After a commerce degree at Otago University, and a stint with the Commonwealth Office in London, he was well equipped to look after the operations and finances of Victoria Foods. Despite his self-confessed perfectionist tendencies, Sam brings an air of calm and organisation to the business. When not working, he loves sport, cooking, music and travel.


Trudy Hedges

Trudy Hedges

Director, General Manager

While Sam brings organisation and calm to the team, his wife Trudy brings energy and passion. Formerly trained as a nurse, Trudy is equipped to efficiently deal with any scenario that arises in the planning and running of your event. Apart from loving planning and organising everything from weddings to conference, she enjoys reading, kayaking and walking on the beach.


Nigel Fenton-Lee

Nigel Fenton-Lee

Executive Chef

Nigel discovered his passion for food whilst working in hotels in his youth. His biggest inspirations are from tasting dishes around the world, and he rates Sanomas in San Fransisco for its quality, style and 'wow' factor. He plans to bring the same 'wow' factor to our customers as well as continuously innovative and tasty dishes. He inspires us all with his personal motto 'just do it'.


Vanessa Leeming

Vanessa Leeming

Event Manager

It's rare to meet someone with such an extensive amount of management experience as Vanessa. With 15 years as a wedding planner, experience as a busy hotel manager and a degree in management, she makes every event a smooth and seamless delight.Vanessa takes flexibility to a new level; not only does she manage to fit in being a wife, mother and the family dog walker, she's also a keen yoga enthusiast.


Gael Hayward

Gael Hayward

Business Development

With a background in sales and marketing, Gael is the first point of contact for our brides and event organisers. Her years of experience in varied work environments have proven her ability to multi-task and use initiative in high pressure situations. Gael has a real passion for food and has sampled many different cuisines on her travels around the world. Outside of work you'll find her cooking up a storm in her own kitchen for her family and friends