Food station commotion

Everyone is all over the food station at the moment. It gives theatre to an event. And thanks to Heston (no surname required ) all guests and clients are looking for theatre with every mouthful and they are quick to move on to the next thing . They are even bored of dry ice God damn it. I do wonder where it will all end up. My husband is  a chef -a bloody good one at that- and he’s paring his components right back so maybe we are actually going full circle.

All the intricate flowers placed on the plate with with long tweezers with millimetre precision are being stripped right back. Just look at Vijante my favourite restaurant oh no it closed down. Hmmm . Look at how many new restaurants popped up in the last couple of years up with only one or two things on the menu (even bigger stateside)  like Burger & Lobster, Ooze (risotto only) Bubbledogs, Meatballs. etc. Not to mention the upmarket burger explosion. Simple is back ..for a while anyway.

But for us the event caterers we have to give choice – and that we do. Food from every nation. I’ve had to research diets and religions. Like the Jains diet. I’d never heard of it until I started working in event catering. So yes everyone is quite used to Canapes with their champagne now. Or, if the guests are special enough – a sit down dinner. But now it’s the rise of the FOOD STATION & BOWL FOOD event. This is where it would appear I come in. Event managers call me in when their client says “we’d like interaction” “a food station”  “mini bowls” so their guests can talk to each other while slurping over a delicious noodle dish from an authentic 8oz chinese pail. Or tempura veg served in cones made from Chinese newspaper that I’ve run to China town to pick up 50 copies of.   Don’t get me wrong it’s not a new concept I’ve been designing food stations for 8 years plus but it’s really ramped up in the last year or two!

So my job is a bit more like set design in this respect.  You need to create a mini China on a 6 foot trestle table or India, Italy, Mexico or a picnic or seaside scene. I discuss with the Event managers, get the brief work with the Chefs on what food they will be serving and start sourcing and researching. Here’s a few from the last twelve months :

Tiffany theme food station
Tiffany theme breakfast buffet
English summer picnic theme
English summer picnic at The Granary building Central Saint Martins University of Arts
Seaside theme food station
Seaside theme foodstation

 

Indian theme food station
Indian Theme food station at the Natural History Museum

 

Chinese food station
Chinese food station

 

Sweetie food station
Sweetie bar
Italian theme food station
Italian Deli food theme.

 

Usherette tray fabrication – from concept through to event

So this is the story of a set of Usherette trays from the design to production.

Macaroon trays

Ohlala-macarons contacted us looking for a unique way to serve their macarons (French style macaroons) . The team gave us some requirements like holes for syringes and shallow trays for fresh fruit . They also requested scalloped trays to protect the shells and we suggested business card slots and hidden compartments underneath for extra shells – to avoid trips back to the kitchen for re stocking.

We then had a CAD drawing made up – or seven !!!

usherette tray

Once it looked perfect on paper we begged for a barbie size one to take to the client. This is 1/3 scale model, complete with strap holes. Too cute!

bespoke usherette tray model

Signed off, fabricated…AND now they are going out on events complete with the poodle branding.

Meredith bespoke

Macaroon trays

Usherette trays are a growing trend and oh la la have got in there early with their fab idea !

Fast & furious 6 premier party

2013 was a very good year for me. You can tell – the blog ceased for 12 months!! Since the launch of the website I have been splitting my time between designing bespoke creations and hands on styling events. But it’s fun juggling both. I was even listed in Event magazine in the ‘Fab 50 newcomers’. Have a look here!

This event was one of the highlights in 2013. Working with Bubble food who have gone from strength to strength themselves over the last couple of years so when they ask me to assist with styling an event I know it’s going to be a fun one. This was to turn Somerset house into 6 food stalls in the court yard surrounded by the fast and furious cars straight from Leicester square.

It started with a tasting..

Italian buffet

Building in day light

Mexican food stall

Film Premier

And finishing with a sweetie bar

Sweetie station

 

Judging of the Caterer of the year Awards 2012

I was asked by the lovely Moving Venue to create an enchanted forest for the table centres for the judging of the caterer of the year awards for Event Magazine. I had lots of fun with this..

Moss and dry ice table centre

I used a tray and mounds of moss with real Shimeji mushrooms and rocket flowers. And for the finale…

Caterer of the Year table centre

Dry ice table centre

…Dry ice, to feel like the forest floor.

Have a look at the video for all the contenders and my bit 42 seconds in ;0)