I evoke so much passion and pleasure from my cooking and I love to share it with as many people as possible, bringing smiles to their faces simply by providing amazing food. I am always willing to travel to do so and my latest Private Dinner Party was in London to celebrate Joel's 21st Birthday Party. It was great to meet and cook for a fantastic bunch of people who made me feel very welcome in their home and who really appreciated their food.
Simon initially contacted me over the telephone after finding my blog on line and from there, Rebecca and I worked together to build a menu that would suit their occasion. I have been looking forward to the event for the past few weeks and was especially buzzing nearer the time, when I got down to starting the food preparation on the day.
My wife came to help me as we had a fantastic menu planned and I could definitely do with the extra help. I also had a photographer friend arranged to come with me to give a hand and to take some great photos in the process. Stuart Webster is a very keen food photographer and I have been looking forwards to working with him for a while as he has taken some great photos which I know will bring out the best in my food.
I arrived about 5:30p.m with my lovely wife to set up, with the canapes to be ready for 7:00p.m. It was the first time I had met the hosts as all our menu planning had been done either via telephone or email. I was welcomed very warmly with a cup of tea and both Simon and Rebecca were really friendly which set the tone for all the other dinner guests to come later.
It was another new kitchen for me to work in which can be tricky but I got my head down and was just about on time when everyone started to arrive. The canapes went down really well and we were in good stead to go with the starters, which again received warm compliments. The rest of the evening went down fantastically, with all the diners being great sports and enjoying their food and champagne. Rebecca had worked really hard to pick a menu that would be well received all round, giving thought to her brother Joel, who's birthday it was. It certainly paid off as I was personally thanked by all, which really made the evening.
The full menu is below, with some amazing pictures to go with it. I look forwards to another event where I can get to cook such a great menu again.
Saute King prawns, chorizo, chilli, garlic, fresh coriander.
x x x
Caramelised figs, Parma ham, cinnamon, balsamic, honey.
x x x
Crisp fried calamari, fresh chilli, spring onion, sea salt, mango and lime mayo,
Carpacio of seared beef fillet, rocket leaves, cracked black pepper, lemon juice, truffle oil.
Carpacio of tuna, roasted sesame seeds, oriental salad, lime, wasabi crème fraiche, soy.
Trio of Gressingham duck,
Seared breast, soy and honey glaze,
Confit of duck shank, redcurrant and rosemary infused gravy,
Crispy shredded duck roll,
Whole sea bass, blush tomatoes, rosemary and garlic,
Lemon and white wine butter sauce.
Truffle scented mashed potatoes,
Roasted chantaney carrots,
Saute tender stem broccoli and pak choi.
Trio of desserts:
Vanilla and honeycomb crème brulee, tuille biscuit,
Chocolate fondant, vanilla ice cream,
Toffee apple crumble, chilled vanilla custard, caramel sauce.
"I cannot thank you enough for last night. The food was amazing, every person complementing you and the food"
Thank you soooo much Gary, the food was beautifully presented as well as delicious. All your staff were so lovely and friendly and gave a great service. It was very special to have it in our home and made it feel an exceptionally wonderful evening. Thank you so much,
Annabel Bowman x