This menu was developed for a client who was holding a summer party for around 70 guests. The brief was to develop a buffet menu that was different, full of flavour and not Italian. This was a regular annual party for clients and they always traditionally serve Italian fare. It was time to be different! A couple of the guests have coeliac disease and so we developed a number of the dishes to be gluten free, one of which was a delightful lemon cake.

 

Once the menu had been prepared we developed tri-fold menu leaflets for the guests to read and we produced special menu leaflets for those suffering from coeliac so they knew exactly what they could and could not eat.

As guests arrived fabulous canapés were served with a glass of chilled prosecco. While these were being enjoyed the main dishes were being prepared. Everything was cooked at our own kitchens, but a number of the dishes were assembled at the client’s premises. We transport everything in sealed food containers within cold storage. We created 3 areas to serve the food – the Chilli Station, the Salad Bar and the Tart Table. The food was different, with ingredients many people were not familiar with and so we had a lot of questions and lots of praise. 

After the mains were served we cleared down and prepared for the desserts. My goodness, what a rush! Let’s just say they were very much appreciated and most definitely enjoyed. 

We can develop any menus for any occasion and would be delighted to talk through what we could do for you.
 

The Canapés

The French started offering canapés to their guests in the 18th century, and the English adopted the practice at the end of the following century. One modern version of the canapé is the amuse-bouche. Amuse-bouche literally means “mouth amuser”, but is translated more delicately as “palate pleaser”. A canapé is a small, prepared and decorative food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite.

MINI FISH CAKES

Smoked tuna fish cakes with garlic and fresh lemon mayo

SMOKED SALMON CRISP

Lightly baked crisps, smoked salmon & topped with crème fraîche & chives

PISTACHIO FIGS

Stuffed with goats cheese & drizzled with honey and fig balsamic vinegar

EGGPLANT ROLL UPS

Filled with ricotta and infused with cumin, mint & cream

GREEK CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Served with fresh tzatziki sauce

The Chilli Station

First thing you should know about Chilli Con Carne is that it is not Mexican, but American. It is a Texan dish whose early recorded origins seem to stem from a food market in San Antonio in the early 1880s. The market had chilli stands from which chilli or bowls o'red, as it was called, were sold by women who were called "chilli queens." We prepare the most divine and most fabulous chilli ever made which is of British origins and has won chilli cook offs.

GROUND BEEF CHILLI

The famous Chilli Barons Chilli served with rice, salad, garlic bread, tortilla chips, cheese & guacamole

BLACK BEAN CHILLI

The Big Chief’s vegetarian chilli made with black beans, lentils and dark 
chocolate

The Salads

The Romans and ancient Greeks ate mixed greens with dressing. The expansion of these empires made salads including layered and dressed popular in Europe. However, In his 1699 book, Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets, John Evelyn attempted with little success to encourage his fellow Britons to eat fresh salad greens. Mary, Queen of Scots, ate boiled celery root over greens covered with creamy mustard dressing, truffles, chervil, and slices of hard-boiled eggs. Throughout the second half of the 20th century most regions of the world adopted salads. From Europe and the Americas to China, Japan, and Australia, salads are sold in supermarkets, at restaurants and at fast food chains. 

ASIAN QUINOA

Dressed in sweet & tangy Asian 
flavours, loaded with tons of veggies!

CHICKEN, MANGO & CHILLI

Infused with coriander & toasted 
sesame oil

WATERMELON & FETA

A savoury and refreshing salad dressed with mint and lime & sprinkled with black olives

LEBANESE FREEKEH & FIG

A gloriously smoky, toasty whole-grain salad with spices

NIÇOISE

With fresh tuna, organic eggs, local tomatoes & olives and all dressed with a lovely vinaigrette

PERSIAN PILAF

With chickpeas, mint & harrisa

POTATO

A favoloso indulgent potato salad dressed with homemade garlic & herb mayonnaise

The Tarts

It is believed tarts originate from the pie making exploits of medieval times and date from around 1350. Tarts are similar to pies but with open tops. The enriched doughs, such as ‘short crust’ were in common use about two hundred years after pies. Europe has been the centre for pies and tarts. Pies were very much a commoner’s fare, but tarts were seen as high cuisine and therefore very popular among the nobility. The cooks of nobility turned to tarts as a way of a form of artistic work, they were more concerned of the way a tart looked, than tasted. Therefore, colourful vegetables, fruits and spices were employed in the making of tarts for the nobility. Tarts could be savoury, sweet or indeed both sweet and savoury!

LAVENDER, RED ONION & GOATS CHEESE

Caramelised red onion infused with lavender and dotted with rich goat’s cheese

CHICKEN, POTATO, BRIE & THYME

Sweet caramelised red onion, topped with potato & chicken & dotted with luscious brie

GRILLED VEGTABLE & HUMMUS

An all Mediterranean tart with garlic oil and herbs on an olive oil flaky crust

SMOKED SALMON

An impressive shortcrust tart, made with a smoked salmon & chive filling topped with salmon caviar

The Desserts

Sweets were fed to the gods in ancient Mesopotamia and India and other ancient civilizations. Dried fruit and honey were likely the first sweeteners used in most of the world, but the spread of sugarcane around the world was essential to the development of dessert. The word "dessert" originated from the French word desservir, meaning "to clear the table" and therefore dessert was served after the table had been cleared of other dishes. The term dates from the 14th century but attained its current meaning around the beginning of the 20th century.

SWEET POTATO & CHOCOLATE CAKE

Naturally sweetened & low fat with a malted chocolate custard made with fresh almond milk

FLOURLESS LEMON CAKE

With Strawberries. A gluten free cake offering a sharp citrus flavour with a soft, spongy centre 

GOATS CHEESECAKE

With rosemary and lavender
honey filling on a ginersnap crust

GOURMET FRUIT SALAD

The ultimate refreshing summer dessert with mixed fruit & lime & mint syrup