Posts Tagged Dauphinoise

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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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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Beechwood Park Great Gatsby Ball

Another busy weekend for the KF team, it was Beechwood Park’s school annual charity event raising money for Keech Hospice and BPSPA. This is the second year we have catered the event for over 400 guests and long may it continue!
This years theme, The Great Gatsby, was a tremendous choice, lots of time and care was spent in the planning and setting up of the event. The room looked amazing with floating balloons and twinkly lights, reminiscent of a Jay Gatsby’s famous parties!

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The guests arrived to saucers of champagne, greeted by our lovely KF staff and dancing girls, then made their way through to the marquee.

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PeeWee our lovely presenter & host for the evening started the entertainment either an auction for a bottle of 2001 Chateau Lafite, top London restaurants have this on their wine list for £1000! It finally sold for £1100, not sure that will ever get opened!

Other kitchen team laid out all the starters and my lovely staff, all 32 of them! started serving to tables, the choice was Marinated Vegetable a& Mozzarella a Timbale, Parmesan Shavings, Rocket leaves, raspberry balsamic syrup or Salad of Seared Duck, a Watercress, pink Grapefruit, Honey Lavender Dressing, served with a selection of breads and butters.

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After a few games orchestrated by Pee Wee the kitchen set up to serve main course. 2 stations of chefs, waiting staff lined up and off we went, we managed to serve all 419 in under 25minutes! Well done team! That was some service! They choice was Roasted Chicken Breast, blue cheese dauphinoise, warm salad of green beans, chorizo and chantennay carrots, Madeira jus, or Roasted Sirloin of Beef with blue cheese dauphinoise, warm salad of green beans, chorizo and chantennay carrots, Madeira jus or the vegetarian option of Summer Vegetable Risotto, Pan Fried Haloumi, red chilli pesto.
It looked and smelt delicious and judging by the clean plates that came back it was enjoyed!

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A trio of desserts followed of Lemon and raspberry posset, ginger biscuit, dark chocolate torte, passion fruit meringue pie, all washed down with lashings of wine and champagne! Tea & coffee then, followed by lots and lots of dancing!

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The guests partied hard till 2am, fuelled by the great Metropolis band and a great feel good spirit, the atmosphere in the room was electric at times, a fantastic evening, enjoyed by all!
We look forward to doing it all again next year!

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Rump of Lamb, Shepherds Pie, Vegetable Dauphinoise!

So Saturday saw the KF team in Henham Village Hall, for Dan & Katie’s village fete style wedding! Beautifully dressed village hall with bunting, homemade cakes and homemade cocktails! Mixed to perfection by Jodie!
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Drinks dispensers by http://www.drinkstuff.com
Both cocktails were created by the bride & groom to show their individual style. So Dan’s ‘The Big Apple’ was made from Apple & cinnamon infused whiskey, pressed apple juice & ginger beer. And Katie’ ‘Henham Hedgerow’, vodka with fresh blackberries, elderflower, mint & soda.
Katie & Dan arrived in a camper van in true style of the day! Guests enjoyed the cocktails and canapés despite the drizzly rain. They were then seated for a wonderful 3 course wedding breakfast of anti Pasti boards of Proscuitto, salami Milano, chorizo, olives, artichokes, marinated roasted peppers and bruschettas.
Main course was delicious, cooked to perfection, by John & MJ in probably the smallest kitchen we have ever worked in!
Rump of Lamb, mini shepherds pie, root vegetable dauphinoise, green beans and redcurrant jus.
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Desserts supplied by friends and family of Apple pies, cheesecakes, fairy cakes topped off the meal with tea & coffee.
We then cleared the room to make way for lots of dancing and did they party! Even grandma was tapping her feet!

Another great wedding weekend, last one for a while for us, now getting prepared for those Christmas corporate parties!!

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Busy week at HQ!

Another busy week for the kitchen this week, 5 tastings for clients for bookings next year, a corporate buffet and getting set for Katie and Dan’s big day tomorrow! It’s all go! And we are supposed to be quietening down!
Tomorrow’s menu consists of anti pasti boards for starters, rump of lamb, mini shepherds pie, root vegetable dauphinoise, green beans & redcurrant jus. Followed by homemade deserts! Yum!
My best bit is the cocktails we are mixing for arrival drinks! Henham hedgerow! Vodka, elderflower, lime, soda and blackberries and big apple, made up of spiced whiskey, apple juice and ginger beer! Great autumnal warmers!
Let’s hope for sunshine and a great day for our last wedding of the season but with those cocktails I can’t think it will be anything but!

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