Golden Wedding lunch on Sunday

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
We got home from the wedding (previous entry) to 5 foot of water ungulfing town, and my house,with the emergency services evacuating the last people in town by lifeboat and helicopter. Undaunted we set about preparations for the (largely vegetarian) Sunday buffet lunch.
Our journey to Paxford on Sunday saw only a couple of floods, with one steaming out of the van bonnet. All these items were made fresh on the day.

Potato rosti with smoked salmon and courgettes

Crisp filo rolls with spinach and Gorsehill Abbey Farm St. Agnes cheese. The spinach was seasoned with nutmeg to produce that classic flavour.

Nicoise vegetable tarts

Croutes of glazed goats cheese with pickled red pepper

Grilled vegetable fajitas with sun dried tomatoes and pesto

Toasted muffins with creamed wild mushrooms

Baked new potatoes with hommous and asparagus

Strawberry and champagne tartlets, chocolate and nut torte

Mixed berries with vanilla marscapone

Marquee barbeque wedding breakfast for 120 people

"We were delighted with the catering and so thankful to you and your staff for managing to get here through the floods! The food was absolutely delicious and much commented on by our guests. Very clever of you to produce such a barbecue feast in such adverse weather conditions! Your waiting staff were super too - all very nice people who did their job impeccably. Thank you all so much for your part in helping to make our day so special!"

This is the weekend when the town became Tewkesbury-on- Sea. Unable to get to my house on Friday night (an the rest of the following week) due to 5 feet of water surrounding the town we went straight into Saturday, traversing roads to Newent that saw other drivers take one look and turn around.
There were no vegetable deliveries as our vegetable supplier was surrouned by not flooded roads but lakes, so it was lucky we had been prepared the day before the rains began. It takes more than a few floods to stop us.
Tomato and olive salad
Carrot and toasted seed salad with lemon dressing
Roasted pepper and fresh herb cous cous
Potato, spring onion and chive salad with creme fraiche
Salad leaves with fresh beetroot
An array of dressings

... and barbequed asparagus and garlic butter for steaks

Chicken poached in cherry wine and wrapped in parma ham

Sausages, provided a guest who produces them on his farm

- Sirloin steak marinated in barbeque sauce, here cooked rare. They were barbequed in batches as we served guests to prevent them over-cooking.
- Chicken and leek & chicken and apricot burgers. Thesewere provided by anoher guest, also farmer who produces them.

Friend and ex-Claridges colleague Adam Peirson cooks on the barbque in the catering marquee while we set up front of house.

Related posts

Other wedding events

Link to: Wedding catering at Benson of Broadway


Chicken poached in cherry wine wrapped in parma ham
Skewer of salmon and basil
Sirloin steak marinaded in barbeque sauce
garlic Oakfield organic fied mushroom

Served with an array of dressings and salads. More information on our barbeque menu can be seen on our website:

Caramelised pineapple and strawberry skewers on the barbeque at Upper Court


Sirloin steak on the barbeque at Upper Court...... as the great rains begin


Vegan lemon 'cheesecake'

Sunday, July 15, 2007
Vegan food can be very varied, and very tasty given a little thought. This cheesecake for example uses vegan margarine to bind the base, and tofu to replace the cheese. Here it is glazed with a blow torch and served with raspberries and raspberry coulis.


Many people have asked for the recipe - it's here: Be warned though - it does need cooling overnight in the fridge for the centre to set.

For vegans use vegan margarine (like 'Pure' and vegan biscuits - look in the 'free from' supermarket aisles).

Related posts:

Vegan chocolate tart with vegan ice cream


A weekend catering at Rectory Park, Slimbridge

Ballottine of chicken and apricot wrapped in pancetta

To take out for a lunch time picnic Saturday

Sunday Lunch

Luckily the weather was fine for Sunday lunch too, so after we had served breakfast, the group walked round Slimbridge nature reserve while we made the preparations for Sunday Lunch which we were able to serve outside on the terrace.


Salad of parma ham with rocket, parmesan, caper berries, olive oil and balsamic

Salad of haricot bean puree with broad beans and parmesan

Served as a vegetarian alternative, and it was difficult to tell which was nicer.

Main Course

Roast sirloin of beef, rosemary roast potatoes, french beans in red onion, glazed Chantenay carrots and red wine sauce, served with yorkshire puddings

The roast potatoes crisped very well in the hottest oven of the aga, while the beef started off in the hot oven, then moved down to the slower oven to cook more slowly. Meanwhile in the warming oven were the plates and homemade caraway seed bread rolls. When the beef was cooked it rested on the warming plate on top of the aga. Agas make cooking so enjoyable, and produce great results.

Almond nut roast

Vegetarian food can be very good. This was made about an hour before serving - as fresh as it could be. Ground almonds were mixed with red onions, baby sweetcorn, yellow pepper, fresh thyme and mixed spice. Flaked almonds were mixed in last so they didn't break up. This was laid flat on baking paper, then prunes soaked in rum rolled into the middle. The roulade was cooked wrapped in the aga for about twenty minutes, the unwrapped and returned for about ten minutes to crisp the outside. Again, once cooked this could be held in the warming oven.


Tarte tatin with homemade vanilla ice cream

Once the main course had been served the tarte tatins went in the hot oven, served with carmel sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream.

Sunday Evening Buffet

Sunday Evening fish buffet delivered in the evening to be self served

Prawns in marie rose sauce
Crab with crème fraiche, lemon and chive
Pickled herrings

Parcels of smoked trout on pumpernickel
Herb roasted salmon
Tiger prawns

All served with salad, tarragon mayonnaise and French dressing

Homemade chive and onion bread

Dessert was pear and blackberry tart with crème angalise


Delivery canapes

- Rice paper wraps with mango, basil and mint served with chilli and soy dip
- Prawn and coriander, and vegetable sushi served with wasabi and soy sauce

Chocolate and three nut torte with vanilla marscapone and summer berries


Scallops with pea puree, saffron potatoes and pancetta

Monday, July 02, 2007

Taken last Thursday near Dowdeswell, Cheltenham, the brightness has been photoshopped - hence the strange glow.
I'm still using some saffron I brought back from Spain for the potatoes. When my Grandparents first went to Spain on holiday they used to get tiny sachets of saffron instead of change in some shops, and we have an old family recipe for paella, handed down from a real Spaniard who had it past from his family - safe to say it is the best ever paella, and is saved for very special occasions. Sadly these days you go shopping in Spain only get Euros in change.
The basil sauce is made with chicken stock, cream, milk and basil, and has been frothed with a hand blender to make it lighter.
This is a very summery dish, and was served with a medley of runner beans, mange tout and broad beans.

Strawberry meringue roulade with cava sorbet

Stawberry meringue roulade with cava sorbet. Strawberries are at their best right now - the reason? Beacuse they are local rather than imported. They can ripen on the plant rather than being forced and picked under ripe. I mix the cream filling with madagascan vanilla and sugar, and coat the outside with flaked amonds. The homemade cava sorbet adds a fresh contrast to the cream.

Peppered Goats cheese

Peppered goats cheese with marinated cherry tomatoes and watermelon, served on the crockery of Wysdom Hall, Burford for a hen party last Saturday night. The cut cherry tomatoes are seasoned with Maldon salt, then flashed in the aga to soften them slightly. The tomatoes are mixed with fresh basil and watermelon, and the resulting juice is spooned into the goats cheese rings.

Fruit plate for Brunch delivery

Here fruit is set up for a brunch delivery on Sunday morning, as part of our weekend holiday cottage catering package.
Nectarines, apple, pear, pineapple, galia and charantais melon, mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, dates and grapes


Elderflowers - the english hedgrow's strongest perfume.

The months worth of rain would fall in the next 36 hours they said on the radio, so I knew the elderflowers had to picked right then, before the rains came. The trouble with food season is they're so short. Asparagus came and went again so quickly this year - again I picked up the last of the crop from Bangrove Farm near Teddington. A walk down the river from my house confirmed the worst - the elderflowers had all gone over and berries were starting to emerge. That's the problem with microclimates. There was one chance left though - the hills around Snowshill, everything blooms/ fruits later. Here I found laden elderflower trees and picked a bumper crop. Here they are before soaking in cold water in the fridge for a couple of days.

This liquor will then be used to make the elderflower poached chicken photographed in an earlier entry, and also elderflower sorbet, 'champagne' and cordial.

Ref: Chicken poached in wild elderflower