Archive for October, 2014

Historical setting

Saturday took us the the magnificent Hampden House in Buckinghamshire. In the heart of the beautiful Chiltern Hills, this quintessentially English country house provided the perfect setting for Sian & Richard’s wedding day.

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They arrived to a champagne and canapé reception in the great hall and as the October sunshine set across the Chiltern Hills the guests took their drinks outside to enjoy the views and to have photographs take. Who would of thought that possible on October 25th!

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Wedding Breakfast announced, the guests made their way through to the dining room. The menu consisted of Chicken Liver Pate, spiced red onion chutney, cornichons, ciabatta, rocket leaves, followed by chicken breast, champ potato, warm salad of chorizo, green beans and roasted butternut, Madeira jus. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding, salted toffee sauce and clotted cream.

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The guests then moved back into the great hall to cut the cheese cake, the bar was opened and the ceilidh band started playing. Cheese and coffee were served in the brick parlour.
The guests could enjoy all the wonderful rooms here, being overlooked by great paintings of historic royalty! Lovely day enjoyed by all, we hope to return.

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Behind the Scenes

Hello and a warm welcome to all our regular readers, to introduce myself, my name is John and I am the head chef here at kingfisher. The blog is normally written by the lovely Laura but I’ll be hijacking the site for all things cheffy and food related over the coming weeks.

So where to start? recipes or restaurant reviews? how about peek behind the scenes and a snippet of the work that goes into organising the food for a wedding or event.

So last week we cooked at two events and all together 180 people needed feeding. So I sat down Monday morning with menus in hand, time to write a shopping list. Anyone been shopping for 180 people before? Working out the quantities is the key here, order enough but keep within budget!
Menu 1 was a Roast sirloin of beef, blue cheese Dauphinoise Potato, green beans, baby carrots and a red wine jus.
Menu 2 was a hot fork buffet consisting of amongst other dishes, a Braised blade of beef, root vegetables, red wine and rosemary served with a Creamed Potato.

Right, so how may potato’s do I need for 180 people? Ah! ok lets work this out, so 180 portions x 200g per person = 36 kg. So ok lets order in 50kg to be on the safe side. (Watching Tom our assistant chef peeling potatoes is like seeing bear grylls with a jungle trekking machete in hand!!)

All our vegetables turn up at 8am on Wednesday, delivered by our st Albans based supplier sourced from Covent Garden markets at 3am that day.

So spuds have arrived, it’s now prep time, so Tom makes a start (50kgs Ha! ha!) Three hours later, two broken peelers and one disgruntled chef, potato’s DONE (Thanks Gordon)

Still got 20 kgs of carrots and 3 cases of green beans to prepare. Might have to get of the laptop and give him a hand or could easily have munity.

Until next time . . .

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Autumn weddings

Saturday we catered for Ellen & Ben’s wedding in The Great Barn in Ruislip. A beautiful Grade 2 listed building that is over 700 years old. The ceremony took place first and with a quick turn around from the Kingfisher staff, we transformed the room into a beautiful breakfast room, complete with lights, flowers and set tables. Canapés and Prosecco was served in the gardens, luckily the rain held off long enough for the guests to enjoy this part outside, and lucky for us as we had so much to do inside!

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Starters of Ham Hock Terrine, mini cheese scones, candied apple purée, sea salt crackling or marinated vegetable & mozzarella timbale, Parmesan shavings, rocket leaves, raspberry balsamic syrup were served to the guests followed by Ellen’s a Dad’s very touching speech.

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Onto main course, this smelt delicious! Sirloin of beef, blue cheese dauphinoise, green beans, red wine jus or caramelised onion & gruyere tartlet, baby vegetable ratatouille. All plates returned empty!

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Grooms very funny speech followed then we served sticky toffee pudding with salted toffee sauce and custard for pudding. After coffee I didn’t think the best man could do a better speech but with video and props he had the whole room in stitches!

Dancing and drinking followed, a lovely couple and family, we thoroughly enjoyed looking after them for their day.

The wedding season is slowing now although we still have 5 more couples to cater for. Weddings aren’t just for summer anymore! And with the warm autumnal sunshine on Saturday I can understand why!

Last pic of Saturday! My great staff with of course our fantastic head chef John! Couldn’t work with a better bunch! Love you guys!

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Tipis Open Day

We are looking forward to show casing some canapés and finger foods tomorrow at the beautiful Lavender Farm near Hitchin at the Tipis 4 Hire open weekend!
We have enjoyed working with Tipis this summer and in previous years, it is such a great space to celebrate your wedding reception. Here’s at shot of Ben & Emilys day from a few weeks ago.
Hopefully we will meet some of our new couples for 2015 tomorrow! Exciting!

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