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Soil Association 70th Anniversary in the Royal Horticultural Halls London for 200

With a guest list that included Prue Leith, Hugh F-W, HRH, Monty Don and countless other worthies the pressure was on! With 100% organic ingredients and keeping to a budget we devised a menu to reflect the SA ethos of sustainability and good food for all. Right from the beginning we addressed the Waste issue and put a programme in place ~ which is easier to explain via this email 😀

  • Hi Bill Thank you so much for your lovely email . . . we love cooking for the Soil Association and also we cooked for the homeless ~ but not with the left overs, they got the bubble and squeak and you guys got the potato peelings from the bubble and squeak reinvented into chia seed and potato skin crackers! Nothing got wasted either, we used up the cream for butter, the left over salads went to the chickens, strawberries became jam, bread was dried into breadcrumbs and we are using the rhubarb vinegar this weekend! Sorry ~ I'm blowing my own trumpet here!!

    I'll let the girls know as well, they are still recovering from meeting some big names!

    As well as making potato peelings crackers we home smoked some of Patrick Holden's Hafod cheese ~ (got some startled looks when I told my kids I was "smoking a big cheese") made a nettle and roasted tomato salsa, potted some of Helen Browning's pork, made a hummus with broccoli stems and cauli leaves, got my sourdough bread action going, fermented a rhubarb vinegar and got some big batches of Kasaundi potted.


Corporate barbeque for 500 people at our venue in Purton, North Wiltshire

This company wanted a family fun day running like a village fete at Purton House. When dealing with large groups of people time is really of the essence. We decided on a barbeque as it is always popular and not too complicated for us caterers! We kept it simple but very good quality using our local suppliers and lots of preparation.

  • The barbeque had hand made burgers (beef, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper), Lincoln sausages, chicken wings with a honey and soy sauce marinade.
  • For vegetarians we had courgette and coriander fritters, stuffed pepper and corn on the cob with lemon butter.
  • As well as a red pepper salsa we also had mustards, piri piri sauce, garlic mayonnaise and an organic tomato ketchup for children.
  • We kept the salads to the basic - potato with mustard mayonnaise, tomato and basil salad and mixed green salad.
  • The soft rolls came from our artisan bakers.
  • For pudding we plated up strawberries and cream on individual meringues drizzled with dark chocolate sauce.
  • We also had a separate tent serving chilled organic squash, homemade flapjacks with sunflower seeds, homemade carrot cake, chocolate brownies and fairtrade tea and coffee throughout the day.

We served the barbeque on good quality recycled paper plates that went into compost and used stainless steel cutlery. Food waste was composted, even the meat went into our green cone compost system. Other rubbish was separated and sent to the Purton recycling centre.

The excess punnets of strawberries were made into jam later that day!


May ~ 175 people near Cirencester

This company were opening a wildlife sanctuary in the middle of nowhere in a marquee that had limited facilities in it (no water and one plug!). The guest of honour was the Prince of Wales who was going to do the formal opening. They wanted to feature their own beef on the menu of belted galloways but had a very limited budget. It was during May, the lean growing season so local vegetables were also very scarce. We came up with this menu that would allow as seasonal a menu as possible, stay in budget and allow guests to eat standing up.

  • Fairtrade organic tea, coffee, homemade and Duchy biscuits on arrival
  • For vegetarians we had courgette and coriander fritters, stuffed pepper and corn on the cob with lemon butter.
  • Tortilla wraps with organic winter vegetables and red beans
  • Albondigas (little Spanish meatballs) on sticks with apple, chilli and rosemary jelly
  • Spanish omelette with potatoes, onions and free range eggs
  • Carrot and coriander salad with ginger dressing
  • Lentil salad with local goats cheese and balsamic vinegar
  • Organic chilled lemon cordial
  • Flapjacks with sunflower seeds and carrot cake with final cup of fairtrade tea


Quality of Life Awards from Swindon Borough Council for 150 people.

Again this was during the lean vegetable months where not much is available, and the budget was tight.

  • Pot au feu soup of carrots, haricots and leeks in a chicken stock
  • Chickpea chowder with ginger, garlic, coconut, chilli and coriander
  • Lemon lentil loup
  • Focaccia with rosemary and rock salt
  • Plum and apple crumble cake
  • Flapjacks with sunflower seeds and honey


Sit down formal event near Fairford for 300 people in the winter.

  • Sweet onion tart with winter salad and walnut dressing
  • Duck confit on a bed of sauteéed potatoes with garlic and parsley
  • Caramalized root vegetables of carrots, parsnips, beetroot and onion
  • Braised red cabbage
  • Sourdough bread with Guernsey butter
  • Winter fruit compote in Armagnac with crème fraîche or
  • Quality artisan cheeses with date chutney


Traditional cold "famous five" picnic in Oxford in a field miles from civilization

  • Rare roast beef and horseradish
  • Locally produced ham with farmhouse chutney
  • Stilton and broccoli tart
  • New potato salad in the traditional way
  • Sourdough bread with Guernsey butter
  • Broad bean salad
  • Homemade rolls with Guernsey butter
  • Apple tart and Guernsy cream
  • Elderflower cordial


Mid-summer birthday party in a Hungerford garden for 70 people

Kathy and Frederik wanted a relaxed outdoor party with good friends and good food. They wanted it to be special but not too formal ~ something in the line of a hog roast. We came up with the idea of a porchetta.

  • We stuffed a side of free range pork with fennel, garlic rosemary, sage, a little chilli and pepper. This was slow roasted for 10 hours to make it extremely tender and then cooked at high heat to big up the crackling. .
  • We brought this out to the marquee on a massive chopping board garnished with rosemary and whole roasted garlic and sliced it as guests came to be served. Alongside we served:
  • Warm new potatoes with butter and cracked black pepper, roasted aubergine, red onion, garlic and courgette salad, beef tomato and sea salt with olive oil, mixed green leaves and ciabatta rolls.
  • For pudding we had chocolate and orange roulades covered with raspberries and a chunky, rustic fruit salad
  • Followed by fairtrade coffee and crazy dancing


Traditional English summer party for 60 people

Jill wanted an elegant and traditional birthday party from pre dinner canapés to afternoon tea. With the marquee in her cottage garden, using vintage bone handled cutlery and us caterers in "pretty" dresses (the most difficult part of the whole day) with our floral aprons.

  • With champagne we handed out canapés
  • The buffet table served free range ham with homemade chutneys, rare roast beef with horseradish, dressed salmon and Cumberland free range chicken with coriander
  • We had a potato salad with chives, a broad bean salad and a green salad
  • Homemade rolls and Guernsey butter
  • Summer pudding with Berkeley Farm Guernsey cream or a traditional cheese board followed with organic chutneys, and then of course the coffee

We had a couple of hours clearing whilst the guests watched the races (horsey people)

  • Very late afternoon we served loose leaf tea with cucumber sandwiches, scones and fruit cake


Open wood fire lamb roast at an Oxfordshire farm for 150 guests.

Sophie's parents wanted a relaxed and chilled 21st birthday party that had something a bit different about it.

  • We suggested an Argentinian asado, which means preparing a wood fire and cooking a lamb over it. It has a real air of theatre about it, as guests watched it cook over the crackling flames, being turned by hand every half hour.
  • We then carved it over a giant wooden board as guests picked up their ciabatta rolls, added some chimichura and rocket leaves and crammed in the tender, hot lamb morsels, some sitting and eating it around the hot wood fire.
  • Sophie's pudding was a massive stack of chocolate brownies covered with sparklers. We served vanilla ice cream with this.