Advice on choosing a wedding menu that wows your guests

27 Mar 2015

Advice on choosing a wedding menu that wows your guests

Three master chefs from the Cotswolds offer advice on how to make the most of your wedding menu

Miles Hussey
Kitchen manager, Calcot Kitchens, outside caterers, Calcot Manor

Tell us about the food that you offer
Food is at the heart of everything we do. We source locally and always use the best, fresh ingredients to construct show-stopping dishes for our customers.

How do you advise couples on their menu choices?
We love working with our customers to create a bespoke experience for all involved. We work with food that is in season and to a budget that suits you. We build a rapport with our bride and grooms and find out exactly what food they like and dislike to ensure that the menu we design for them is everything they have dreamt it would be.

What are your most popular dishes?
Most probably our fillet of beef – nothing better than it served medium-rare with creamy, garlicky dauphinoise and turned baby seasonal vegetables, finished with a rich red wine jus. For those chocolate lovers out there, our chocolate opera cake for dessert is among the best – rich chocolate sandwiched between thin layers of coffee – simply divine

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples when choosing their wedding menu?
First and foremost provide a menu that you would like as it’s your day. It’s a once in a lifetime occasion and so it should represent both your personalities.

What has been the most unusual request you have had?
Every event is different in the catering scene, but the time we had to dress the waiting staff in medieval costumes (and the bride and groom arrived on horseback) sticks out the most.

Calcot Kitchens, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8YJ, 01666 891240, calcotkitchens.co.uk

 

Martin Bridgeman
Executive chef, Oxford Fine Dining

Tell us about the food that you offer
As an event caterer that offers a fine dining experience, every dish that we serve is designed to taste and look amazing. I’d describe our food as classic European food with a fine dining finish – so presentation is an integral part of the dish. We use locally-sourced produce and the very best ingredients that are prepared by our team of chefs in our brand new event kitchens using the latest equipment.

How do you advise couples on their menu choices?
We have a wide choice of dishes that couples can select from in a selection of seasonal menus. Their choices will depend on the time of the wedding, their vision for the day and the time of year. We help them choose a balanced menu that is not too heavy or rich and as seasonal as possible so that we can use the freshest ingredients. Before the day we meet with the couple to agree on the menu and see whether they want any of their favourite ingredients or dishes included, then we offer our couples the opportunity to come and enjoy a taste testing so they can be sure they have made the right choices.

What are your most popular dishes?
Our most popular currently is minted marinated rump of lamb with rosemary crust, mustard-scented dauphinoise potatoes and redcurrant gravy. Our top five canapés include sticky chilli tiger prawns on guacamole croute, Oxford blue cheese paté, roast walnut and pear crisps, butternut squash, sage and pine nut filo basket, smoked halibut bouchée, sorrel mayo and samphire garnish with a sweet canapé of mini summer berry tarts. As for desserts, chocolate is always a popular choice and our beetroot and dark chocolate soufflé cake with orange mascarpone cream is a twist on a classic.

Evening guests also need to be impressed and we often serve mini burgers, mini fish and chip pails, hot bacon rolls or a cheese board as a simpler, more modern option.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples when choosing their wedding menu?
Remember it is your day so pick the foodyou both like – your guests will love whatever you choose, but you are the most important couple in the room on that day. Outstanding event food makes the wedding memorable in the eyes of many guests.

What has been the most unusual request you have had?
Attention to detail makes all the difference, so we like to anticipate things like giving the bride’s mum her favourite tea without being asked. We are often asked to put up our kitchens in unusual places, often catering in some wonderful heritage buildings, which has its own challenges. Once we had to drive through a field of cows to get to a marquee – they were moved before the guests arrived!

Oxford Fine Dining Ltd, Oddington Grange, Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire, OX25 3QW, 01865 728240, oxfordfinedining.co.uk

 

Dillwyn Lewis
The Cotswold Roast and BBQ Company

Tell us about the food that you offer
As a small family-run firm, we provide self-contained outdoor catering. We offer barbecue foods like spit-roasted pig, rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes, salads and desserts and also offer a party barbecue home delivery service and a

Groom/Bride versus food competition (an adaptation of the TV programme where the presenter takes on a number of food challenges) for stag or hen parties. You can also hire a spit roaster machine from us, with the pig ready to cook yourselves.

How do you advise couples on their menu choices?
We are happy to discuss the bride and groom’s requirements either by phone, email or at their home or venue. We work with the couple to achieve the desired outcome and are flexible to their needs.

What is your most popular dish?
Spit-roasted pig.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples when choosing their wedding menu?
It’s your wedding day – make sure you choose what you want.

What has been the most unusual request you have had?
A Groom versus Food challenge.

The Cotswold Roast and BBQ Company, Gloucester, 01452 612746, cotswoldroast.co.uk

 

 

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