Posts Tagged wedding

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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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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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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A Beautiful summer wedding!

Saturday saw the KF team in Amersham at Rebecca & James wedding reception, held in a marquee in James’s parents stunning garden. Mum Jenny had spent hours tending to the garden and it certainly paid off, it was the perfect setting.

We arrived on Friday to an empty marquee, here are the girls starting the lay up with a blank canvass to work with, it always transforms from glasses being added and once the flowers are set.

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Saturday began with arrival drinks and canapés in the garden, the bride and groom looked stunning, arriving in an old Bentley, to greet their friends and family. The bridesmaids looked beautiful in navy with bouquets matching the flowers decorations in the marquee, every last detail had been thought about.

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Speeches in the marquee followed by a buffet feast of Honey & Orange glazed ham, Broccoli & Blue cheese quiche, Poached Salmon a Fillets, lime Hollandaise and the couples favourite Coronation Chicken. This was accompanied by Greek Salad, Penne, roasted courgette, aubergine, red peppers, capers, salsa verde and Green beans, peas, rocket, sugar snaps, balsamic oil dressing with buttered new potatoes! Almost every table came back for seconds, some even thirds!

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This was followed by a KF speciality, a trio of desserts consisting if a Treacle tart, Eton mess and a Pimms, mint & Strawberry Trifle. one of our Jodie’s favourites!

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A delightful Jazz band played through the evening, the champagne kept flowing. Our wonderful Tom & Ian kept the bar stocked and pulled many a pint of real ale for the guests. A delightful family and another successful event for team KF, well done all!

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Hot! Hot! hot!

Saturday 19th will go down in Kingfisher history as being the hotest ever to day to cook and serve in a marquee! Three very different wedding this weekend for us but all of them professionally executed by the chefs and front of house teams despite everyone feeling like they’d had a fully clothed shower! At least the threatened thunder and lightning stayed away but it left us with soaring temperatures and humidity! It’s not an easy task with ovens and barbecues throwing out heat aswell! So well done everyone for keeping their cool!

So I took off with John and the team to the lovely Sandridgebury Farm in St Albans for Sally & Andys wedding reception. Marquee overlooking beautiful countryside, such a picturesque spot. With Pimms and canapés on arrival, garden games and backing music, the setting was glorious. Even my staff seemed to be enjoying it!

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Speeches started the wedding breakfast and then they all tucked into Rump of Lamb, Colcannon Mash, Asparagus and baby carrots and mint hollandaise, delicious, the bridal party agreed with me, it’s the sauce that makes this dish! Well cooked John!

This followed by a trio of desserts, Dark chocolate torte, orange shortbread, pistachio cream; Raspberry Brûlée, vanilla shortbread; lemon & ginger cheesecake, mint & raspberry Coulis. All washed down with ice cold wine and followed by tea, coffee & petit fours.

Lots & lots of evening guests arrived and danced the night away to a live band, Jodie, Amelia & Kate keep the drinks flowing from the bar with the help of our lovely chef John, who is becoming a bit of a legend behind the bar! Great day!

Ian and his team looked after Craig and Lisa’s wedding set in Tipis at Lavender Farm in Hitchin. Bench style tables set with fresh Lavender set the scene, the bridal party arrived in two white Rolls Royces.

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Canapés and champagne on arrival, followed by a lovely meal exceptionally cooked by MJ and Stewart. The Kingfisher signature trio of desserts was devoured Ian said! Evening food of Fish and chips, with disco dancing and cold beer from the bar made a memorable evening, for all apart from the guests drinking jager bombs, they may not of remembered to much this morning! Great time had by all!

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Team 3 went with a Dan & Seema to Chesham for Akexa & Ryan’s wedding celebrations! They had planned to have a very informal day with canapés and bowl food served to the guests in their parents garden. No particular seating plan was required, just a very relaxed style of service. Unfortunately due to the storm predictions they managed to secure the local church hall and moved everyone there instead, then in typical British fashion it didn’t rain a drop! Great day had by all though, they ate loads and partied hard into the night, with Tom expertly pouring and serving drinks from the bar the day flowed without a hitch!

So another trio for team Kingfisher! Well done to everyone involved, we are making these exceptionally busy weekends a great success! Long may it continue!

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It’s the finishing touches that make the day!

Another 3 events completed on Saturday with once again over 600 guests catered for, this is becoming a bit if a habit! A large Charity 3 course dinner at Edgegrove School in Radlett for Dan and the kitchen team, a wedding for me in Olney for 180 guests and another wedding for Ian and team in Chesham.

When I arrived in Olney on Saturday morning, I was blown away by the attention to detail Ros & Mike had applied to their marquee, from bunting & lighting, haybales to Lavendar & wild flowers to Alice in Wonderland style drinking vials, to signposts & postboxes! It looked every bit a country wedding set in the glorious surroundings of Snelsons Farm.

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They feasted on a buffet style menu of lemon Roasted Salmon Fillets, braised blade of beef, root vegetables, red wine & rosemary, breast of chicken, cream, tarragon, field mushrooms & sherry accompanied by Classic Caesar salad, buttered baby new potatoes and lemon & garlic green beans. This was followed by cakes made by friends and family and they then danced ceidligh in the warm summers evening! Beautiful couple, beautiful day!

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Ian and his team catered for Nick & Jess’s wedding in Amersham, they had stunning Tipis in the family garden where they said their own personally written vows to each other in front of family and friends under a beautifully decorated arch. They then dined on hog roast and salads, homemade wedding cake and even an ice cream van visited to complete the meal.
They decorated the Tipis with a 1000 origami cranes folded individually by the family which hung from the beams with fishing wire, the effect was stunning! It is a Japanese legend, that promises to bring eternal good luck for the couple. It takes months and months to do, that’s dedication!

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MJ did Kingfisher proud by cooking up 100 portions of spicy chicken & vegetable noodle boxes from the family kitchen. The smells from the kitchen had peoples mouthwatering and the queue kept growing longer and longer!
The band and following disco kept the guests dancing well into small hours. What a great day!

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Looking at the time both our couples spent planning and decorating their venues made both completely different but still both looking so unique and very special. The whole Kingfisher team worked very hard once again to carry through the commitment that had been months in the planning for our couples. Well done to all! Another successful weekend!

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Sunshine & Showers!

Saturday saw the KF team back at 2 beautiful venues for 2 very different weddings! We managed to dodge the downpours and lay up, by the time the guest arrived the sun made that all important appearance!

Firstly Ian, Dan and the team went to North Hill Farm in Chorleywood for Kristeen & Daniel’s international themed wedding. Guests travelled from far and wide to attend and Portuguese beer was served from behind the bar by Rosie and Francis!

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The 120 guests feasted on Rustic style Bruschetta with vine tomatoes to start followed by Roasted Supreme of Chicken with Honey, Thyme & lemon, Roasted a Parsnips and sweet potato and salsa verde. Finished with a trio of desserts of dark chocolate and candied hazelnut torte, sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch sauce & clotted cream, and Eton mess, blossom honey, strawberry shortbread. Delicious!

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They danced the night away to a live band and enjoyed the evening nibbles of bacon & sausage baps and chips! great day!

Team 2 with me, John & MJ found ourselves at the stunning Holly Bush pub in St Albans for Amy & David’s wedding celebrations. Amy looked stunning in her organza style gown and with David’s vivid blue suit they certainly made a striking pair!

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The wedding breakfast was served buffet style to them at the tables, so they could help themselves, carve their own venison and pass bits around. It’s a great way if making sure all your guests get chatting early on!
The food looked and smelt gorgeous, it was something a bit different but was devoured by all 160 guests!
So for starters they had;
English Asparagus Spears, Hot Lemon Butter Beetroot, Childwickbury Goats Cheese and Watercress, and Proscuitto Crudo, Smoked Duck Breast, Smoked Pigeon Breast, Cornichons, Marinated Vegetables, and Redbournbury Mill Breads & Balsamic Oil
Main Course was Flaked Sea Trout, Samphire, Dill Hollandaise Roasted Venison Haunch
, and Buttered English New Potatoes, and Roasted Butternut and Courgette, Raspberry Balsamic, Oregano and Shaved Parmesan, and Sun-Blushed Tomato, Caramelised Onion and Gruyere Tartlets.
For dessert they had a big bowl of Hawkswick Lodge Farm Fruit and Pimms Trifle.
Everyone enjoyed the food and after their speeches they cut their doughnut wedding cake! Always great to have something different! The band rocked the night away, the drinks flowed and a great time was had by all.

They even managed to eat all the fish and chips served here by the lovely Joel!

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