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Final week of 2014!

Final week, still busy on tastings and corporate lunches, with a wedding this Saturday and a private party to prep for, the kitchen is still buzzing!

But, What a year for all of us! We’ve catered for some fantastic clients, been part of beautiful weddings, memorable occasions, both big and small!

Last Saturday we went out for some well earned food and drinks at our Christmas party, no pics to blog from this! But everyone had a fab time! Few casualties! But no names mentioned!

We thank you all, all of our team, from Phil, our legend kitchen staff, to all our fantastic front of house waiting staff, to John, our superb head chef! We couldn’t of done it without you all! 2015 is looking lively for us and we can’t wait to be involved and be part of those memorable days once again!

Merry Christmas, to you all!

Dan & Laura x x

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This captures 2014 for us, we’ve put it up in the kitchens today!

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‘Tis the season to . . . Party!!

Wedding season finished, party season starting! The Kingfisher team are very busy over these few weeks with Christmas Corporate party’s, birthday party’s, christmas lunches all to be catered for. The kitchen is a buz of excitement with all hands on deck peeling and chopping, creating Kingfisher signature themed Christmassy dishes!

Last Friday saw us at Hightown’s Hawaiian Christmas themed office party! The office was transformed into a Hawaiian beach complete with a Tiki Bar serving cocktails of Sex on the beach and Pina Colada’s fantastically made and served by Ian & Mark.

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They arrived to canapes of sushi, spring rolls, deep fried tiger prawns all served on boards covered with banana leaves followed by a fork buffet consisting of Kalua pork, Katsu chicken curry, sweet potato and Yam fried vegetables. It was a colourful spread and smelt delicious!

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The guests really made the effort with their costumes, one even arrived in a cardboard box shaped like a surf board! All were given garlands on arrival, Drinks flowed, music rocked, they danced the night away. Great evening had by all!

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Sunday saw the team in Welwyn for Jonathan’s 60th Birthday lunch, cooked and prepped in their private kitchen, a beautiful spread for all the guests. Champagne and canapes on arrival of Hoisin duck wraps, Crispy pork belly with bramley apple quenelle. Chicken liver parfait with spicey plum comfit on toasted brioche and tempura prawns with a chilli dip.

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Thai green curry with coconut rice, Roast beef with handcut chips and bernaise sauce, slow roasted pork belly with spiced apple compot and honey roasted veg was all served in bowls for the guests to enjoy. These small bowls allow each guests to sample all the dishes and looks great as its served.

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A toast and birthday cake followed and was served alongside canape desserts of eton mess, pimms trifle and dark chocolate & banoffee pie completed the feast.

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Tomorrow sees us at Roundwood school serving traditional Christmas lunch to 400 infant school children and looking after 140 for the Harman Group in Potters Bar for their afternoon tea style Christmas lunch!

With tastings and meeting with clients for 2015 we are a busy team at the moment! But we can all kick back on Saturday when its our turn to let our hair down and party at our office Chrsitmas bash! This will be one I won’t be blogging about next Monday!!

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Parmiters School Annual Governors Dinner

Saturday the Kingfisher team cater for the lovely Governors at Parmiters School for their Annual Dinner. This is the 4th year we have been invited back to do so and we greatly appreciate their faith in us to deliver a wonderful meal for them.

150 guests arrived in black tie to a champagne reception, then they made their way through to the hall which was laid with white linen to round tables. Dipped lighting and a piano player transformed it from school hall to up market dinning room superbly!

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We served a four course feast with starters of Aberdeenshire Smoked Salmon, Celeriac Remoulade, Watercress, Creme Fraiche & Chive Jelly, Orange dressing followed by a Trio of Sausages, Applewood & Sage Mash, Red Onion Wine Gravy, Sticky Red Onions with Buttered Seasonal Vegetables. For dessert they had a Rolo Chocolate Brownie Stack served with Clotted Cream.

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Cheeseboards, biscuits and tea & Coffee followed along with homemade petit fours.

A lovely meal, enjoyed by everyone, we even got a Thank you in the speeches! Hopefully we lived up to their expectations once again and will be invited back next year to cater once again.

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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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Food Lovers!

Last Saturday we catered for the lovely Ellie & Mel at Creslow Manor, it was a big ask as they wanted something different and are both great ‘foodies’, so this was one for the kitchen to get right! Not that they don’t always!
Arrival drinks and canapes were served in the grounds of Quails Egg Benedict, and Parmesan Shortbread, Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade, and Confit Lamb Shouder Croquette, Sticky red onion jam.

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We suggested having twice baked goats cheese souffle, as a starter, this is served with figs, honeyed pecan and pink lady salad, parmesan cream. 115 souffles all cooked to perfection left the kitchen and empty plates returned!
For main course we suggested the different element would be to get a guest from each tabe to come to kitchen complete with apron and chefs hat to collect a sirlion of beef on a wooden board for them to serve. This went down so well, they posed, laughed and even carved well!
This was served with sides of roasted field mushrooms, hand cut chips, roasted butternut, red onions, crumbled feta and roasted courgettes, broccoli, lemon and oregano butter with toasted almonds.

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Great fun had by everyone involved. Today we received this lovely email from Ellie & Mal, its great to know we made every vision they had for their day come true! not to mention feeding them a meal that they will never forget! Well Done Team!

We wanted to send you an email to thank you so much for making our wedding reception so wonderful on Saturday. From rescuing the tablecloth situation to your calm under pressure, you and your team were the ultimate professionals, and we are so grateful.

The food was, without exception, spectacular, and every single guest commented on it to us. We love that it was different to the sort of wedding food that people normally experience – soufflé for 120 people really is quite something! The quality of the ingredients that you used was evident, especially in the roast beef which was cooked to perfection.

I don’t know what was in the lamb canapé, but at one point I discovered a black market of trading going on amongst the guests for the remaining ones…..you could trade one for up to a whole glass of champagne! People are still talking about them on Facebook!

As well as this, the team you brought with you really added to our enjoyment of the day. Laura did an utterly magnificent job managing the timings and checking things with us without stressing us out – her calmness, kindness and professional manner were amazing. She even managed to find time to make sure I felt ok and was being looked after.

All the waiting staff, in particular the lovely man who waited on top table, were so friendly and enthusiastic about the food, which really added to the occasion. They really seemed to care and take time over their work, and we can’t praise them enough.

Please pass on our thanks to all concerned. We feel so lucky to have found Kingfisher and will be recommending you to everyone – although your food and service speaks for itself for anyone that was at our wedding.

Thank you, a million times, for making two food-lovers very happy

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Marquee on Stlits!!

Another great wedding reception on Saturday for Nerissa & Phil in Narissa’s parents garden. On visiting the site I did wonder how they would site a marquee as the garden sloped away at quite a steep angle! I have never seen this before, what a great sight the marquee had been set in stilts!

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From inside you would have never known, unless like me vertigo set in as you looked down at the end of the marquee!

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Narissa & Phil were greeted by family and friends in the garden with champagne, Pimms and Bucks Fizz accompanied by a selection of canapés and finger foods made by John and MJ. The Thai style fish cakes with sweet chilli dipping sauce and the Lamb Kofte with saffron yogurt were a big hit amongst the guests.

After photographs they came into the marquee for a buffet style feast of Beef Bourgiugnon, Thai red vegetable curry and coconut rice and smoked haddock, salmon and prawn pie with Gruyere and spring onion mash, accompanied by bowls of lemon and garlic green beans, buttered carrots, roasted courgettes, peppers and red onions, and baby new potatoes. Delicious. They finished with a selection of mini desserts and coffee.

After the speeches Narissa’s & Phil surprised their guests with the most awesome first dance, starting off as a traditional waltz the music tempo changed and they went into a medley of disco dance moves including Michael Jackson’s Thriller!! They must have been practising for months, no one expected that!

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The evening entertainment got under way led by the fantastic buzz lightweight band. They had everyone dancing the night away and the marquee rocked! Quite literally! But the stilts held and everyone had a great evening! We left as the Irish songs started to be sung,I’m sure they kept on going until the early hours!

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Wedfest 2014!

Saturday we were at the beautiful Sandridgebury Farm for Georgia & Andrew’s Wedfest! The marquee was set out with long bench tables, a huge central bar and flags and bunting outside. Place names were marked with a polaroid picture of each guest with Georgia or Andrew, lovely touch.

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The guests arrived to Champagne and Pimms and were greeted by their guests throwing red rose petals over them as they walked down the carpet to the marquee. Red was the theme with Georgia looking a stunning bride in a beautiful red dress. Rather than canapes they had mini burgers in boxes; cheeseburgers, pulled pork & redslaw and cajan chicken with guacamole, Yum! These went down very well with the guests.


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The wedding breakfast followed with Roasted Sirloin of Beef served whole on a carving board for the guests to share. We put chefs hats on nominated guests to be the carvers. This was hilarious as some took it very seriously sharpening their knives beforehand and carving the perfect slices! Some did end up like doorsteps though! We served this with sides of hand cooked chips, homemade coleslaw, rocket, parmesan and pine nut salad and a vine tomato, boccocini, red onion and rocket pesto salad.

For dessert they had asked all their guests to bring a dessert, this Georgia and Andrew served to them with a little help from KF staff!

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The bar opened, the band played and they danced the night away. A great day had by all.

I must mention our very hard working staff, most of them will leave for uni soon, we will miss them, they have worked so hard over the summer for us, we hope to see you all back at Christmas and next summer! Thanks guys!

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Weren’t they lucky!

Our lovely couples on Saturday! Rain and storms Friday dampened the set ups and today washed out the clear up, but Saturday the sun shone all day with not a spot of rain! Someone was watching over them, they were all so delightful that they deserved the perfect day!

MJ & I went to Sandridgebury Farm for Kathryn & Chris’s reception. The marquee looked stunning with so many flower arrangements that her Mum and friend had made, with potted herbs as favours it looked and smelt fantastic!

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They arrived to chilled glasses of Prosecco and afternoon tea canapés shortly followed by their Lady Toast Master, Joyce Goodwin expertly setting up their receiving line, she politely told them that everyone will want to stand and chat for ages, but we have a feast to eat! So shake hands and pass them along the line, like passing a rugby ball! Couldn’t of said it better myself! Delightful lady, was a pleasure to work alongside her.

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They had a traditional three course wedding breakfast with a choice of Chicken Liver Pate, Spiced Red Onion Chutney, Cornichons, Ciabatta, Rocket Leaves or Bruschetta of Cherry Vine Tomatoes, Garlic, Olive Oil, Shaved Parmesan, Rocket Pesto, that was just for starters!

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Then for main course they had a hog roast, complete with stuffing and crackling accompanied by buttered baby new potatoes and salads of Rocket, Mixed Baby Leaves, Parmesan Shavings, Lime Dressing; Roasted Med Vegetables, Garlic, Lemon and Olive Oil; and Vine Tomato, Feta, Cucumber Black Olives and Rocket Pesto.

But MJ did save the best till last a choice of Eton Mess or Tiramisu, even all the staff’s mouths were drawling! It looked divine and not a bit was left by anyone!

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Dancing followed and a very happy couple started with a dance they had obviously been practising! Very sweet. Evening food of cheeseboards and wedding cake completed the feast! Joyce was right to get them in and moving so quickly! Lovely family, we all enjoyed being part of such a special occasion.

Dan & Ian were at Haileybury School for Lisa & Andy’s reception. Andy went to school here, so it seemed fitting to hold the ceremony there. After getting married in the schools chapel the bride and groom came down a red carpet with their friends and family to be greeted by chilled champagne and Kingfisher canapés in front of the marquee. The marquee sides were pulled back for the start of speeches to allow the sunshine to flood in.

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Another 3 course wedding breakfast was served with a choice once again over the courses. Busy prep week for the kitchen! Well done team and with JV sunning himself it can’t of been a easy week!
They started with Roasted Butternut, Rocket, Sun Blushed Tomato and Devon Blue Cheese Tart, Roasted Pepper Tapenade, Herb Salad or Poached Salmon and Tiger Prawn Tian, Lemon and Parsley Mayonnaise, Bloody Mary Dressing or Ham Hock and Parsley Terrine, Walnut Bread ,Spiced Apple Chutney, Pea Shoots.
Followed by a main course of either Roasted Breast of Corn Fed Chicken, Champ Potato, Warm Salad of Chorizo, Green Beans, Peas and Butternut, Madeira Jus or Rump of English Lamb, coleannon mash, asparagus and baby carrots and mint hollandaise or Black Olive Polenta, Roasted Vegetables and Mizuna Pesto.

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Lastly another Trio of Desserts of Pimms, Mint & Strawberry Trifle, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Salted Toffee Sauce, Clotted Cream & Lemon Posset, Raspberries, Ginger Biscuit! Delicious!

With the bar open and the sun cascading into the marquee, it was only a matter of time before everyone was dancing the night away to an amazing DJ.
With carriages arranged for midnight, the bride and groom and many friends and family made their way to their local hotels to continue their celebrations into the small hours!

So well done to all Kingfisher staff again! a huge effort this week by everyone involved! Here’s onto next week! Cheers!

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August Already!

August 2nd already! This season is flying past with us adding more and more great celebrations and weddings to our ever increasing portfolio! Saturday was again a day never to be forgotten.
My team and I made our way to the beautiful Lavender Farm nr Hitchin for Lucy & Kevin’s wedding, a lovely family who we have met on numerous occasions over the past few years, in fact we fist met them at Lavender Farm when we had an open day with Tipis for hire! The Lavender was in full bloom giving a stunning purple backdrop across the fields, it made the site seem so romantic and special.
Lucy & Kevin arrived with their son Jack to their guests toasting them with Pimms, they were a lively crowd keeping our bar staff busy even before the meal!
They feasted on a starter of Confit Lamb Shoulder Croquette, warm vegetable salad & mint dressing.

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Followed by our signature Kingfisher BBQ consisting of Beef & Stilton Burger, Summer Herb & Lemon Chicken Skewers, Peppered Rib Eye Steaks and Salmon, Monkfish & Prawn Skewer; all served with bowls & salads, cooked to perfection by John and MJ.
Lucy & Kevin partied hard, so did all of their guests, the bar was 3 deep most of the evening, even I danced with Dad! Great day had by all, so pleased for us to be part of such a special couples day!

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Team 2 with the lovely Ian, were back at the Holly Bush In St Albans for Laura & James’s wedding. The couple had been traveling for 6 months to exotic places like Cambodia, Australia, The Galápagos Islands and Brazil. They used these very personnel places to aptly name their tables in the marquee.

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Everyone looked stunning, the bride was complimented by a stunning array of bridesmaids dressed in soft green long flowing dresses. Canapés, Prosseco and freshly made jugs of Pimms greeted the wedding guests on arrival. from the lovely Vanessa & Steve. Although a brief down pour whilst the BBQ was being cooked it didn’t dampen proceedings, just the chefs got slighty wet! As always, it was a massive hit with all guests. Jeager bombs and drinks a plenty were flowering from the pubs doors, allowing guests to relax in the evening sunshine, another great day had by everyone.

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