With so many options for dining out or being able to purchase all sorts of ingredients from our local supermarket to try at home, we are spoilt for choice these days with what cuisine we are going to try next!
Granary caterers Hall & Co. Event Design gave us an insight into modern cuisine and how they think the catering world is developing as we celebrate World Food Day 2019.
How have tastes and attitudes towards foreign cuisine changed over the years with your wedding couples?
Couples are focusing more and more on their own tastes, rather than choosing “safe” dishes. We really support this move towards a couples travels and tastes influencing their menus as we believe every aspect of the day should be a reflection of the couple, right down to the flavouring and presentation of the dishes.
Are there particular cuisines that you see being popular in 2020?
Over the last 12 months & heading into 2020 we have seen a much larger percentage of weddings going for middle eastern influences within their menu, this also ties in well with the feasting trends we have seen in the industry with large mezze platters being a popular way to kick off the wedding breakfast.
Does having a foreign cuisine for your wedding/event food mean that it will cost a lot more?
Not usually, as a rule this doesn’t add to the cost with us. The only time it does is where ingredients or elements of the dishes aren’t readily available from our usual suppliers, however there’s not a lot we can’t get hold of!
Give us some examples of some delicious dishes that you have created in the past year….
o Chicken, apricot and hazelnut koftas, charred sweetcorn and za'atar salsa, coriander and lime yogurt, crispy sage and lemon oil
o Curried chicken poppadom crisp, mango chutney, toasted coconut & lime pickle
o Buttermilk tempura broccoli, cumin seed slaw, pickled red cabbage, sriracha mayonnaise, sweet chilli cashews
o Moroccan spiced cauliflower steak, caramelised cauliflower puree, garlic & shallot buttered greens, lemon & coriander yoghurt, pomegranate & toasted almonds
o Spanish Pinxtos including Brochetta de gambas with vingerette, onions, red pepper, green pepper
o Our evening food Gyros stand has also been very popular!
What about dessert dishes?
This has been a slower trend than the savoury, however we have had some delicious desserts incorporating rose, honey & pistachios this summer, along with traditional baklava & Pastel de nata (which are the best!)
How have your personal travels influenced your menus?
Our menu is influenced by both our and the teams personal tastes, food journey, travels and previous careers. Also within the menu pack are lots of dishes that have been created as bespoke menus for clients but that we loved so much we’ve added to the pack.
Whenever we travel it’s the food stops that get planned first and then everything else slots in around it!
Lots of our team are also focusing on a more plant based diet and you will see lots of influence from this throughout the menu pack, something that has been really well received by our couples.
How do the chefs get inspiration?
Eating out both in restaurants, pubs and from street food markets, good old Instagram helps us keep up to date with trends further afield, produce sample boxes from our suppliers is also a great way for our team to experiment with more obscure ingredients that they perhaps hadn’t considered before. We have nearly 100 cookbooks in the office for the kitchen team to dip into when looking for inspiration, these range from French classics to Indian spicing and everything inbetween.
Does the food influence the styling aspect and how the food is served?
Absolutely and as does the couple. Couples can select from a range of food presentation items and we will always talk through the different presentation options. Couples have also cited influences such as Ottolenghi for presentation styles and this covers anything from the way in which the vegetables are cut to how the items are dressed.
What are your favourite cuisines and where would you like to visit next?
Spanish (we had an amazing bespoke Spanish influenced menu this year)
Would like to visit Sri Lanka & Morocco next!
A RECIPE TO TRY AT HOME
Moroccan spiced cauliflower steak, caramelised cauliflower puree, garlic & shallot buttered greens, lemon & coriander yoghurt, pomegranate & toasted almonds
To make the receipt vegan swap the butter for a dairy free alternative and swap the Greek yogurt for coconut yogurt.
Feeds 4 people
2 large cauliflowers
2 tsp harissa paste
2 tsp ras al hanout paste
1 bulb garlic
Good handful chopped coriander
2 lemons - zest and juice
500ml vegetable stock
Block unsalted butter
2 large shallots diced
500g Seasonal greens, we like to use cavalo nero
200g Greek yoghurt
100g toasted flaked almonds
Begin by cutting four steaks out of the cauliflower. Do this by cutting the cauliflower directly down the middle. Then cut off the curved edges leavening a steak about 1- 2 inch thick. (The reason we cut from the middle is this is where the core is, so the steak will stay whole while cooking).
Place the cauliflower trim in a sauce pan and leave to one side.
In a small bowl mix together the harissa, ras al hanout, half of the coriander, 3 crushed cloves of garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Spread this all over the steaks and give it a good rub in with your hands. Allow to marinate until cooking, this can be done the day before.
For the puree, add a knob of butter to the pan with the cauliflower trim and gently fry the trim until it starts to lightly colour.
Add the vegetable stock and cream and bring to the boil. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender.
Drain the cauliflower and keep the liquid in a jug.
Put the cauliflower in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add any of the additional liquid to help with the consistency, this can now be left in a small pan to be reheated once needed.
For the garlic and shallot butter, take ½ a block of butter, mix with the diced shallot and 3 cloves of grated garlic, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
To prepare the cavolo nero, remove the centre by holding it in one hand and pulling the leaves off with the other.
To make the yoghurt, mix with the rest of the coriander and the zest and juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the pomegranate in half and with a rolling pin, bash the outer side of the fruit to release the seeds and place in a bowl until needed, be careful to pick any white bits out as these are from the core of the fruit and not nice to eat.
To cook the steaks, warm 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan, place the 4 steaks in the pan and fry until golden brown. Flip the steaks and add the rest of the butter. With a large spoon, baste the steaks with the butter, turn the hob down and keep basting for a further 5 minutes.
With a knife check the steak is cooked, if not pop in the oven on 180 for 5 minute to finish cooking.
While the steak is cooking, warm the puree.
Gently melt the garlic and shallot butter and add the cavolo nero to the butter, fry gently until tender.
Place a spoonful of puree in the middle of each plate and in a circular motion spread the puree out, place a good handful of cavolo nero in the middle of the puree and place the steak on top, dollop a good spoonful of yoghurt and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds. Enjoy!!!