Blog, Ideas & Inspiration

What’s on the menu for your winter party or event?

October 30, 2017

I think we can safely say that we are now well into autumn. We are by no means slacking or storing our marquees away – as we so often say, just because it’s cold outside it doesn’t stop a marquee being the perfect space for a winter or Christmas party  and we’re looking forward to being involved in some fantastic events over the next few months. Naturally, we will be reaching more and more for our very effective heating systems when we’re loading equipment for an event!

In the same way that Inside Outside’s service adapts as the seasons change, so too do many of our suppliers’. We work with caterers who take pride in making the most of seasonal produce and ingredients so we had a chat with Carole Cory at Parties to Go to get a mouthwatering insight into some of the dishes they’ll be offering on their winter menus.

Carole told us: “Summer is always thought of as being very bountiful, with such a wide variety of produce available, but we get just as excited by the diversity of ingredients that are coming into season now. It’s a real pleasure to start working on winter canapes, devise hot and cold buffets or add a new twist to the wonderfully warming ‘comfort’ food that we all love at this time of year to create stylish and satisfying party food.

Delicious seasonal food served in a beautifully themed marquee – perfect ingredients for a winter party

Beef Wellington“The traditional Christmas dinner always has a place on our menus, but not everyone enjoys turkey. Roast duck breast and honey-glazed ham are very popular alternatives, and we can also offer quite different dishes such as baked trout cooked with a horseradish crème or Beef Wellington. And while this might sound like food for a sit-down meal, we know that many clients prefer a more relaxed approach for their parties, so we’ve worked out ways in which we can present Christmas favourites as bowl food – making it visually attractive, easy to eat standing up and still very satisfying.

“Once cranberries are in season we take full advantage of them! Chicken with CranberriesUnlike other fruits, cranberries need to be cooked to release their flavour. When we’re not serving them as a tasty homemade sauce or adding port to make a fantastic marinade, we like to use them in canapés such as turkey and cranberry muffins or mini turkey and cranberry pies.”

But no Brussels sprouts, right? Carole’s reaction immediately told us how wrong we were: “They just don’t get the love they deserve – many of us probably have childhood memories of Christmas dinners being spoilt by those little green balls that had been boiled for an eternity. But Brussels sprouts really do have great flavour –  toss them in garlic and chestnuts, or add bacon and cook them in white wine, and the humble Brussels sprout is elevated to something heavenly.

Chocolate Cups“Which leads me on to all the root vegetables we can get hold of. Again, these hardy stalwarts are so versatile in how they can be served, for instance carrots glazed with honey and thyme or parsnips roasted with parmesan, and their taste can be enhanced and made really special. Nuts and spices are also great ingredients to be using now. Cinnamon and nutmeg are two of our favourites to include and, when it comes to nuts, chestnuts, almonds and walnuts are an absolute must. Toast them or roast them, add them in puddings, cakes and stuffings, there are so many options! Current favourites in the Parties to Go kitchen have to be our mini chocolate cups with chocolate chestnut mousse and our chocolate chestnut truffle torte.”

Carole’s last comment left us regretting that we chatted on the phone – this surely should have been conducted over a tasting!

Have we given you an appetite for a winter party? Have yours in an Inside Outside marquee and we can introduce you to the very best suppliers around to ensure your guests have the most amazing experience. Call us on 020 3879 4196 or email sales to discuss your party plans.

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