22 Dec 2009

December Big Picture

David the Chef works his magic at the range creating seared scallops to serve on pea puree with crisp pancetta wafers. Merry Christmas!

1 Dec 2009

Simon Says "Flaunt it at Fifty"

During the Naughties, it was the footballers wives who helped bring a new meaning to the term "extravagant party". In the TwentyTeens, my instinct (and my bookings diary) is telling me that it will be successful men in their forties and fifties who will dominate and redefine the entertaining scene as we know it. In the next twelve months the likes of Bono, Gary Lineker, Jeremy Clarkson, Jonathan Ross, Hugh Grant and Simon Le Bon will all be looking to hit five-oh in style and will no doubt set a high bar (literally) for anyone turning 50 between now and 2015 (take note Piers Morgan, Matthew Freud, Noel Gallagher, David Cameron etc).

Leading the charge is Simon Cowell whose fiftieth birthday extravaganza at Wrotham Park was a watershed moment for the private party industry. Since then, I've noticed a marked rise in enquiries from discerning gentlemen who know what they want, are proud of their success and want to celebrate their half century accordingly. Simon opted to serve his guests with mini bowls of comfort food: prawn and lobster martini, chicken soup (with the infamous alphabet spaghetti), shepherd’s pie, fish and chips followed by apple pie, rice pudding and bread and butter pudding. I was recently asked to create an equally as impressive yet slightly more flambouyant menu in honour of two successful film directors holding a joint 50th birthday party in a transparent, pink carpeted marquee beside their candlelit barn conversion and moonlit swimming pool.

Ricotta cakes with slow roasted vine tomatoes and basil wafers
Cucumber boxes of fresh feta, mint, parsley and purple shiso cress
Watermelon cubes with seared beef and pickled ginger
Brioche croutes with caramalised apple and Foie Gras
Crisp bread cups with quails egg Caesar salad

Chermoula red mullet on roasted baby fennel
with lemon yoghurt and chive oil

Duo plate of roasted tomato tatin
with a parmesan basket of yellow cherry tomato, feta and olives

Slow roasted fillet of beef wrapped in Prosciutto
served with oregano polenta, fine green beans and rich burgundy sauce

Involtini of chargrilled aubergines
with spinach, goats cheese and salsa verde

Vanilla panna cotta with English raspberries and Grappa
served on a square, pink Venetian glass dish

Pink Cocktails
Tanqueray Berry Collins
Absolute Mandarin Cosmopolitans

Pink Mocktails
Sparkling Raspberry and Elderflower
Minted Watermelon Cooler

Late Night Munchies
Bacon sandwiches with ketchup and HP sauce
Cheese toasties with anchovies and Worcester sauce

Late Night Shots
Spiced Bloody Mary's
Hot double espresso
Iced grappa with lime