The event was organised by Chloe Astin of Queensberry Productions, a fantastic event planner with whom Avala Catering has worked on many occasions, so we knew it would be a very special and spectacular occasion. The clients were very specific about the menu.
They didn’t want their guests to spend too long sat eating, they wanted everyone mingling and dancing as much as possible. They wanted a satisfying and enjoyable meal but one that wouldn’t take hours. And there had to be pies. Given that challenge, we worked on a bespoke ‘fast food’ menu that would look impressive and taste divine but be quick to prepare and serve.
Creating the perfect menu
We arranged a tasting session at our kitchen for our clients and Chloe ahead of the event and finalised the menu. There was a selection of cold and warm canapés, including mini battered fish and chip cones served with ketchup and mayo. The pie fillings were steak and ale, made with prime cuts of slow-cooked British steak, and chicken and mushroom in a creamy sauce flavoured with tarragon and mustard. Several guests were vegetarian, vegan and gluten intolerant, and we provided a tasty sweet potato, chickpea and spinach casserole.
As the day of the party got closer, and because speed would be of the essence during the event itself, we carried out a site visit to check that our kitchen space was ready for action, with enough power points for all the equipment we’d need. We’d done as much as we could to make sure that it’d be alright on the night!
Nothing slothful about everyone’s efforts on the night
The most successful events are the ones where all suppliers willingly pull together. We partnered with the bar staff to welcome guests with ‘sinful’ cocktails as they arrived. And while we served the canapés we’d prepared, we also helped the peacock lady who was serving sushi (complete with shredded ginger, soy sauce and wasabi) from her plexiglass ‘skirt’, keeping her well stocked with supplies.
As event organiser, Chloe orchestrated the proceedings beautifully. Andrea worked closely with Chloe to make sure guests’ glasses were always topped up, as well as ensuring the food came out on time. And our 20-strong team of chefs and serving staff worked brilliantly to deliver a smooth service, including the very impressive achievement of serving almost 200 pies within just 15 minutes!
We should also mention our friends at Crystal Hire, who supplied the wooden tables and cross-backed chairs needed to seat everyone for dinner. We arranged the hire on behalf of the clients and Crystal Hire did us proud. And then of course there was the marquee itself, supplied by Claremont Marquees. Big enough to seat 200 people, the space was cleverly zoned into areas – a bar, dance floor, ‘Gluttony’ dessert buffet area, a ‘Sloth’ chill-out area and ‘Vanity’ selfie booth area – it was inspired!