Summers on its way and its going to be a scorcher!

As you know The Great Food Company are providing picnics at Ascot this year and other exquisite venues, so what makes our picnics so special I hear you ask?  This sample menu shows how delightful a catered picnic is with all the vibrant colors and tastes of the Mediterranean, all crockery, cutlery and glassware is provided so you can enjoy every moment of your occasion. Get in touch to book your picnic.

Exquisite British Picnic

Hand Raised Pork Pie, Walnut & Apricot Chutney and Vine tomatoes
Perhaps Poached chicken with Sun Blush Tomatoes and Pesto
Smoked Salmon with Lime, Capers & Coriander
Caramelised Onion, Thyme & Feta Tart

Greek Salad – plum tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, red onion, black olives & Oregano Dressing
Green Salad with French Dressing
Crème Fraiche & Minted New Potatoes 

Artisan Bread & Salted Butter
Summer Fruit & Basil Puddings with Clotted Cream
Gluten free Chocolate Brownie
Cheeseboard with Crackers, Chutney & Bread

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Treat yourselves to the most decadent Ascot Picnic!

We love a classic picnic with a twist at The Great Food Company – is there a nicer way to spend a sunny (always special when the sun shines) day in the timeless classic of the Private Enclosure at Royal Ascot Week, with a decadent picnic and a glass of crisp cold bubbly.   We recently hosted a tasting for the 4 day Ascot week event – and wanted to show the staging of the food and decoration – to illustrate a really fabulous occasion.  Picnic baskets, chalk menus, canape boxes & grass all go towards creating & setting the scene – really bringing the food to life. To make your Ascot week extra special – get in touch to book your picnic.

Catered picnics for Royal Ascot

Make Canapes like a pro this Christmas!

cucumber-canapesCome on folks, there’s no need to go to Iceland or reach for the Philadelphia this Christmas.

Canapes don’t have to be difficult, in fact with a few shop bought items you can look like a pro’ and your bite sized nibbles will taste infinitely better than anything you will buy in a foil tin ready to be “popped” in the oven.

Medjool dates

Plump soft and succulent flesh with a deep delicious caramel flavour, simply take out the pip and discard.  Wrap the date in Prosciutto and warm through for a few minutes in the oven. They must be Medjool and it must be Prociutto or Iberico Ham.  Others masquerading here will not come up to scratch and soon be rooted out by your guests.

Choux or puff balls

These can easily be bought nowadays and can take a variety of flavours. Of course you can fill them with Chantilly cream and dip them in your favourite melted chocolate, but they will also take fishy fillings. Try filling with Prawn cocktail and dusting with some bright red paprika from Extremadura. (Not the stuff that was sat on Granny’s shelf for a decade) you can even buy the prawn cocktail if you like.

Cucumber Cups

Not only gluten free, but a lovely refreshing alternative to the carby canapes so often eaten.  Cut about 1cm thick slices, scoop a little of the flesh part out of the middle and top with a variety of fillings – Broad Bean, Pea & Asparagus in a Pesto sauce or Smoked Salmon with Dill Sauce & Capers, or St Agur Mousse with Crispy Bacon.

Toppings

A ficelle is like a baguette but much thinner, easy canapés best friend. Slice to pound coin thickness and lightly grill on both sides then rub the warm bread all over with a peeled garlic clove, then add your toppings, here we like it with rare rib eye steak thinly sliced with fragrant salsa verdi and a sprig of watercress or breast of duck with blackberry confit. Goats Cheese & Balsamic Grape Bruschetta or Elderflower Dressed Broad Bean & Burrata Bruschetta.  The combinations are endless!

Banged up! A unique catering experience at HM Reading Prison

HM Prison Reading opened recently for the first time to the public as artists, writers and performers respond to its most notorious inmate, Oscar Wilde. The Great Food Company were delighted to cater for the opening of the event, in such a resonant site, which showed though art & archive material how Wilde suffered. The exhibition created by Artangel runs until 30th October, book here.

It felt special to be part of such an event, and good for us all to remember how lucky we are, and teach the younger team some important history!! At the opening, guests were welcomed with drinks and our delicious bowl food:

  • Poached Salmon & Rocket Salad with Lemon Dill Dressing
  • Sumac Chicken with Pink Grapefruit & Watercress Salad
  • Moroccan Aubergine & Chick Pea Salad with Jewelled Couscous

“A big thank you to your team, and especially Patrick. What a star! 
We were delighted with the service, the food and the management of the event.”

Leah Swain, Development Manager – Artangel

reading-prison-art

At any event whether its a private party, corporate ‘do’, product launch or wedding there are a myriad of catering choices to suit your desires and budget, get in touch to find out more.

The Laverstoke – a Gin cocktail to tantalise the senses

Our Cocktail of the month comes from a very enjoyable afternoon spent with my ladies at the Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery, in Laverstoke.  A stunning venue, very contemporary & we enjoyed the Gin Masterclass Cocktail Experience very much, however it still needs some tweaks…

Being the World’s most popular brand of Gin & the only one of its kind – infusing the flavours through vapour, there was a lot to learn & take in.  Laverstoke Mill is a working distillery and it’s great to understand the mechanics behind the brand and taste. Laverstoke is becoming a great hub for foodies – with the Laverstoke Park Farm nearby offering the freshly made Buffalo mozzarella. Back to the cocktail…

  • Squeeze 2 freshly cut lime wedges into a clean glass (try to use a balloon glass) and then drop them in
  • Measure and pour in 25ml Bottlegreen elderflower cordial, 50ml Martini Bianco and 25ml Bombay Sapphire gin into the glass over the lime
  • Fill the glass completely full of good quality cubed ice and briefly stir with a bar spoon to chill
  • Top up with FeverTree Ginger Ale
  • Decorate with a thin slice of ginger, and don’t forget a sprig of mint (which you need to flick first to release the fragrance)

ladies-who-do-gin-cocktails

Cocktails can be used to delight guests, enhance a theme & create a real sense of occasion, our mixologists provide a sense of theatre at any event. Call us on  0118 373 2311 or drop us an email: info@thegreatfoodcompany.co.uk to find out more.

A stunning celeb fundraiser at the The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club

One of our 2016 highlights was being asked to cater for the The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, Lord Sebastian Coe Charitable Foundation, supporting Cancer Research UK.  Lord Coe hosted a high-profile charitable fundraiser and first class polo match with one-hundred high-society guests who dug deep into their pockets to support a great cause.

Working along side the great events team at RCBPC and after a tasting at our HQ of a selection of dishes the menu was agreed on – with a change from the formal plated 3 course, with the starters being served family style.  Family style is by far our most popular service – as guests are encouraged to talk to their neighbours by passing around gorgeous platters of delights & all guests sample a lovely variety. RCBPC owners, Greta and Jamie chose handmade Cumberland scotch eggs with red onion chutney, spinach gruyere and pancetta tarts & mozzarella, juicy heritage tomatoes with fresh basil salad, accompanied by artisan bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar – a huge success. Followed by crispy confit of duck on a bed of creamy pea and mint risotto with a blackberry sauce. And then topped off by a classic, summer fruit and basil infused puddings with creme fraiche.

Catering at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club

You can see our Mediterranean influences coming out in the style and tastes in our menu. Its just so lovely to excite guests with new and interesting flavours and dishes – a real joy. And we are very lucky to have such innovative clients that we can work along side with.

We were delighted and extremely proud to receive this glowing testimonial from Production Manager, Alissandre Henneton:

“As one of the ‘big four’ Polo Clubs in the country, the Great Food Company has allowed us to lead the industry in an unprecedented quality and level of service that is simply unmatched by our competitors. Hosting Sebastian Coe’s largest charitable fundraiser, the Great Food Company catered for 200 of the great and the good producing an exceptionally tasty menu, presented and served flawlessly. Previously the company catered at our annual Prince of Wales Trophy, again serving superb quality that arrives on the table is if prepared to order. Not only is the quality of their catering above and beyond anything I have ever experienced, the attention to detail and range of options available has provided us with a level of service that has been met with extremely positive feedback from guests, players and patrons. The company has provided us with everything from three-course fine dining to afternoon tea for the local Mayor that helped raise thousands of pounds for charity. Five stars!”

Whatever your occasion, get in touch – we love to create memorable events. Tel: 0118 373 2311 or drop us an email: info@thegreatfoodcompany.co.uk

 

A fabulous fizzy twist on a classic cocktail

We all have a bottle (don’t we?) of tequila lurking in the back of our “cocktail cabinets” so lets marry up an old favourite with a new sensation – Prosecco Margaritas.

  • Makes 4-6 cocktailsProsecco Margaritas
  • 100ml Tequila
  • 125ml Cointreau or other orange liquer
  • 125ml chilled simple syrup (see recipe below), or to taste
  • 250ml freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • 1  bottle chilled Prosecco (preferrably on the sweeter side – BRUT which I normally drink does not work as well)
  • coarse salt, to rim glasses
  • fresh lime wedges, for garnish

Method

  1. In a small to bowl, add the tequila, orange liquer, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice. Prepare this mixture at least a couple hours before you’re going to serve the margaritas, and place in refrigerator to chill.
  2. This recipe will make 6 smaller or 4 medium-sized margaritas so if salting the rims of your glasses, run the cut edge of a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip the rim into a small plate of coarse salt. Repeat with remaining glasses. Add ice to glasses and divide the tequila mixture amongst the glasses. Top with Prosecco, dividing evenly amongst the glasses. Give a little stir to combine.
  3. You can adjust for individual tastes by adding more syrup to make the drink sweeter or more lime for tartness.  Even more tequila if you fancy! Squeeze a lime wedge over the top and add another one to the rim of your glass.
  4. Simple syrup is really easy to make, and ensures you get the lovely sweet margarita taste to offset the salt! Stir together a small cup of sugar with a cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow this to cool at room temperature, and then your can store it in the fridge – it keeps for a while (couple of weeks or so).
  5. Sit back and enjoy!

Days of Summer…

Summer entertaining need not be a chore. Fire up the barbeque for a laid back alfresco lunch with friends. Eating outside should be relaxed and enjoyable. If you prepare everything in advance you can spend all your time sipping sparkles with your friends instead of running to and from the kitchen.

Keep your menu simple, marinate your fish or meat the day before and the flavours will develop, prepare your salads before your guests arrive and keep them chilled in the fridge.

You can be really adventurous with your salads, creamy blue cheese goes well with spring onions, nuts and crunchy lettuce like Romaine. Griddled aubergines and courgettes, seasoned and mixed with a jar of roasted peppers create a Mediterranean feel. Diced butternut squash roasted then mixed with crumbled feta cheese drizzled with olive oil and crushed black pepper. The combinations are endless.

Dessert can also be delicious but really simple. Peel and poach some pears in red wine and sugar and serve with your favourite liquor poured over them, Grand Marnier for instance. Crumble Amaretti biscuits and combine in a glass with summer fruits and your favourite indulgent ice cream. Eton Mess is another crowd pleaser and so easy, all you have to do is combine the three ingredients broken Meringue, thick cream and sliced strawberries. What about a fruit fool?

Strawberry Fool

  • 450g StrawberriesDelicious strawberries
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream

Hull and chop your strawberries and put them in a bowl with half the sugar and leave for 30 minutes so they exude their juices, then pulse them in a blender. Then whip your cream until thick and combine with the rest of the sugar. Now stir the two together to get a marbled effect. Serve in a big bowl or 4 individual glasses.

Cheers!

However, you may have your own ideas, so let our team know your likes and desires, and we can create a gastro feast for you to remember – foodcrew@thegreatfoodcompany.co.uk, or call us on 0118 373 2311

Clash of the Titans – Prince Charles Trophy and David Brown Cup’s

 

This year The Great Food Company were asked to cater for one of the greatest tournaments for Polo’s top players and finest horsepower at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in Windsor.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the tournament bestowed to the club by its first member H.R.H Prince Charles.

The lawn was adorned with over 75 Aston Martins including prestigious and heritage models right through to the latest supercars, a chance to see all of these models all gathered in one place is a rare and not to be missed experience.

TGFC’s three course lunch included a starter of seasonal Heirloom Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad decorated with edible flowers and herbs of green and white in tribute to Aston’s colours, supplied by Maddox Farm in Devon.

Main course was succulent French trimmed Chicken Supremes wrapped in Prosciutto accompanied by buttered Jersey Royals, vinaigrette French beans and a creamy Tarragon Gloss.

Whilst guests dined they could view paintings, sculptures and works by some of the most accomplished equestrian and Polo artists.

The dessert was canapes of Lemon Curd Meringues, Gooey Chocolate Brownies and Crème Patisserie and Blackberry Tartlets.

After Lunch guests were invited to watch a spectacle of fashion on the catwalk where the latest summer outfits were modelled.

The superb high-goal tournament final, the Prince of Wales Trophy, was won by Valiente Dubai beating Apes Hill in the eighth Chukka.  Then followed by The David Brown Trophy, played in honour of the longstanding Chairman of Aston Martin where team Vantage got the upper hand over Lagonda