5 Great Tips for a Successful Catering Event

With staff to manage, food to cook and a new environment to work in; catering is a challenging and exciting industry to be a part of. Here are some tips to make sure your next catering events goes off without a hitch.

Calendar with pen
 Image © Can Stock Photo / vinnstock

Plan, Prepare and Plan Some More: 
When you acquire a new booking, ask your client about the venue and the cooking space. Visit the venue if you have time to get familiar with what you have to work with on the day. If you have time to do this, it can give you notice you may need to overcome any challenges, such as a small kitchen, or a long distance to the dinner tables. A well thought out plan, with a detailed checklist is key for the success of any event. This will ensure you’ve packed everything you need and prepped the food you need to prep.

Food Festivals Worth Visiting in 2018

Although we’re now half way through the year, there are still plenty of unmissable food festivals left to explore. Whether you’re a meat eater, fan of fish or want to discover some new vegetarian or vegan dishes, there’s a festival for everyone. There are also some great family friendly food festivals, so if you fancy taking the whole family away for the weekend to enjoy something a little different. Below are a select few that are worth visiting, so why not pick one and make a weekend of it!

Food cooking in a wok
© Can Stock Photo / kasto

Plymouth Seafood Festival:
Now in its 7th year, this food festival celebrates locally sourced and sustainably caught, high quality seafood. This festival is fun for the whole family, with activities including children’s cookery fun, where they can touch and taste the local produce, it’s a festival for everyone to enjoy! Some of the most well known regional chefs will be making an appearance and showing off their culinary skills in the special Cookery Theatre. If this sounds like the festival for you, then why not book the Friday off work and make a long weekend of it and explore some more of the area.

Meatopia Festival:
A London based festival which takes place from the 31st August to the 2nd of September, Meatopia is the perfect food festival for the meat lovers. All the dishes are taster sized, so you’ll be able to sample a few, which is perfect for discovering something new. You also purchase Meatbucks, as you don’t pay with cash on the food stalls, which can be handy as these can be purchased with your ticket ahead of time. As this is a London based festival, it provides the perfect excuse to spend the weekend exploring the city and taking in some of the sights. There are some affordable London hostels nearby, which make for the perfect place to recover after all that food tasting!

The Big Feastival:
A great family friendly festival, The Big Feastival is a music and food festival, the perfect combination! Located in the idyllic settings of the Cotswolds, this is a rural festival with a lot to offer. With some impressive headline acts, there is also an extensive food line up too! With Alex James’ cheese hub, a street food line up, a collaboration kitchen with Tabasco (perfect for spicing up your day) and there’s also a food and drink market for you to shop some of your favourites. With so much going on food wise, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to do! There’s a camping option available, which includes some a glamping option should you feel like upgrading your stay!

The Lincoln Sausage Festival:
One of the city’s most popular events, the Lincoln sausage festival draws in a big crowd, with over 30,000 sausages on offer and set within the grounds of Lincoln Castle, it’s not much of a surprise! Entry to this festival is also impressively cheap, so it makes for an affordable day out. There’s entertainment, cookery demonstrations and children’s performers to help keep your younger ones entertained too! If you fancy buying some of the produce, you’ll have plenty of opportunity as there’s a lot of award winning produce available from the local butchers showcasing their products. This food festival takes place in October, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan in a visit to this historic city!

Disclosure: I did not receive payment for this post. I believe it's something my readers will be interested in reading.

The Food Myths you shouldn't believe

Nowadays, dietary tips can be found anywhere and everywhere. However, how much of these are actually good advice or not? Facts and research change all the time - one day red wine is good for you, the next it’s not that great - which is why it is so hard to know what we we should be believing. Well, now it is finally time to put some of those myths behind us, give ourselves a little bit of a reality check and understand which common food myths to completely ignore.

© Can Stock Photo / monticello

Eating carrots helps you see in the dark:
This is a myth our parents always used to encourage us to eat more veggies as a kid - after all, what child doesn’t want the power to see at night? This carrot tale dates back years with so many of us believing it to this day. Although carrots have nutrients and vitamins in them to help boost eye health, they won’t give you night vision.

Mint Julep Recipe - Judge Bubble Crystalline Glasses

Now that the weather has 'hopefully' sorted itself out and is actually feeling like summer may be here at last it's a great excuse to make refreshing long drinks or tall cocktails.

But with that said, personally I don't actually like cocktails! But for some reason I fancied making Mint Julep which is a mix of fresh mint, crushed ice and Bourbon. Anyway I have a friend that likes a Mint Julep or two so I had a go at making it; actually it was an excuse to show of these rather nice Crystalline Tall Bubble Glasses from Judge Cookware.

Mint Julep in a tall bubble glass
Crystalline glass has wonderful clarity and strength making them dishwasher safe. 

Garject - The Best Garlic Press

Oh wow! This has to be the best garlic press ever invented and it is in fact the most awarded garlic press. No mess, no fuss, it just does the job perfectly and all in a couple of presses. I've tried to take photos but really the video show it in action and you'll see what I mean - I say it's a brilliant must have gadget!

Garlic press

Above photo supplied by Dreamfarm.

Designed by a company in Australia called Dreamfarm Garlic press scrape eject! Since we love garlic in this house, this already has been very well used. Life is too short to be messing with the usual garlic presses; all that trying to pick the peel out lark. Those days have gone. I'm truly loving the Garject 😊

How does it work?
As the Garject is opened it's spring-loaded scraper automatically scrapes off the garlic straight to wherever you want it. Push the 'peel eject' button to discard the peel into the bin; and that's it, job done!

Check out this video to see it in action:

A nice bowl of warm sudsy water, rinse and dry is all that's needed although it is top rack dishwasher safe.

For more info on this and a huge range of other gorgeous products by Dreamfarm pop over to Forma House. The Garject from Forma House has a RRP of £28 although I've noticed it can be purchased via Amazon at around £23

Disclosure: I was sent the Garject to try out. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to write anything positive.

Throwing the Ultimate Office Party

So, you’ve been tasked with throwing the office party. It could be a birthday, it could be someone from accounting that’s finally retiring, Christmas, or maybe your work buddy is moving on to pastures new. Whatever the reason behind your office get together, you’ll need these tips on making it one to remember.

Thumbs Smiling

The Food
Food is an integral part of any party. Some would go as far as to say there is no party without it! So, with that in mind, here are some party food ideas that are sure to get all your guests in the mood to party.

  • A hog roast. If you’re party venue is spacious enough then why not go the whole hog and hire a hog roast? You’ll literally have the food covered in one fell swoop, and with minimal clean up and no constant refilling crisp bowls, you can enjoy the party as much as everyone else. Check out this website to find out more. 

  • A make it station: this could be anything. If the venue permits you could hire a pizza oven and have the party guests create their own pizza masterpieces, a taco bar where they could pile toppings and fillings onto their taco shells or maybe even an ice cream bar; where your guests can scoop up their favourite ice cream flavours and top them off with anything and everything they want! Sprinkles, chocolate sticks, sauces, nuts, wafers, crumbled cookies – the possibilities are endless. 

  • Ice Cream van. Got enough room outside? Hire a local ice cream van and treat everyone to some gorgeous creamy ice cream treats and cool refreshing ices! Everyone will thank you for it!

Escape the room
If your planning on a little trip out somewhere away from the office then why not consider an Escape the room experience? You and your colleagues will be locked in a room and be tasked with finding a way out by following a series of clues and solving cryptic puzzles within the room itself before the time runs out! These venues are proving popular and their popping up all over the place, so simply have a quick Google search to find your nearest venue.

Escape the room is a perfect way to spend a few hours together – if the boss asks, just say you’re team building!

Bowling Night (with a twist)
Everyone loves bowling. It’s a leisurely activity that requires as much skill and effort as you want to give. You can be split into teams and then do a play off or bowl at your leisure, sit and drink with your work buddies or stuff your face while you’re waiting for your turn.

You could make it a little different by giving the evening a theme! Is your work colleague leaving to go travelling in Australia? Have an Australian theme and get everyone dressed up in costumes. If they’re leaving to pursue a career in medicine, go dressed as doctors and patients! The possibilities are endless – all you need is a little imagination.

Disclosure: I believe this article is something my readers will be interested in. I did not receive any payment for publishing this article.

New Stay Cool Cookware by Stellar - Mexican Chilli Chicken with Toasted Corn

Oh my goodness, I just have to tell you about the new 'Stay Cool' range of cookware from Stellar. I love the silicone edged glass lids and the nice chunky, sturdy handles which stay cool to the touch when cooking; hence their name. I seriously like the whole look of these pans and can not fault the casserole I've been sent 😍

Casserole by Stellar Cookware

Of course I couldn't wait to use my shiny new Stay Cool Casserole so, Mexican Chilli Chicken it had to be. Keep reading for the recipe.

Mexican Chilli Chicken with Toasted Corn

The Stay Cool range is manufactured in high grade stainless steel which means these pans will also retain their looks, all of which is supported by a lifetime guarantee. When you place the lid on the pan there's no cluttering, metal on metal noise as the silicone rim fits quietly and snugly into the pan's.

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5 Great Tips for a Successful Catering Event

With staff to manage, food to cook and a new environment to work in; catering is a challenging and exciting industry to be a part of. Here a...