Stirling Food Assembly and Forth Environment Link

We were asked by F.E.L. to provide catering for their Christmas shindig in Stirling for approximately 60-90 guests potentially attending. The brief was fun, really fun! I was to use produce from as many suppliers as I could include that were part of Stirling Food Assembly. Another aspect was that the food should be in the form of tasters.

A feast took shape as I tried to curtail my portioning to ‘tasters’. Slow cooked brisket chilli was a hit topped with rich crème fraiche, a farmer’s hummus was topped with fresh flowers, and veg from the veggie box. Also from the veggies, savoury tarts and an epic frittata, which are a classic way to showcase hearty Scottish veg. Fresh salad and sourdough from just around the corner and of course shortbread and brownies using coconut sugar. It was a lovely experience in a crowd of inspiring people.

If you’re not familiar with the Food Assembly concept, it is a community led online market for local suppliers to sell their produce. The idea is that anyone can pre-order online during the week and collect their delicious bounty on a set day at a local collection point. It’s a wonderful thing as the produce available in Scotland is amazing, and you get to meet the suppliers themselves when you collect. A bit different than going to your local express supermarket, so look it up there may well be one near you!

Stirling Food Assembly is a highly successful branch, with a strong regular custom and wide range of suppliers. They run a slick operation and are passionate about introducing people to local food straight from the supplier. I was later asked to join them as they promoted the Food Assembly, by providing tasters so I know how much they care and love the produce themselves! Below were some of the tasters we provided with a shout out to some of the suppliers.

Beetroot smoothie bowl topped with raw spiced raisin granola

Locavore Chapel farm veggie box, Laurianne’s Raw Cakes granola, Katy Rodgers natural yoghurt

Coconut shortbread topped with raspberry curd

IQ Coconut palm sugar, Perthshire Preserves raspberry curd

Hot chai with superfood chocolate tasters

IQ Coconut palm sugar, IQ superfood chocolate bar

Toulouse sausage scotch eggs

Ardunan Farm Toulouse sausages, Egglicious Eggs

Rye melba toasts topped with crowdie and roasted grapes

Riverside bakery caraway and rye bread, Katy Rodgers Crowdie

Sourdough crostini topped with Lady Mary wild garlic cheese

Riverside bakery Pain de Lothian, Strathearn Cheese co. Lady Mary

Gluten free sausage rolls with curried tomato and chilli chutney

Ardunan Farm sausages, Perthshire Preserves and Locavore veggie box

Pork belly skewers with plum and apple chutney

Ardunan Farm pork belly, Perthshire preserves

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Coburg House Open Studios Weekend

Coburg House is a collection of around 60 artist studios, in a beautiful converted building near The Shore in Leith. Twice a year they open their doors to the public, and have received up to 1000 people through their doors. As there are so many studios to see, it would be cruel not to provide a coffee/tea and cake stop. I was lucky enough to win the pitch for a pop up café.
For the Christmas Open Studio, we were built a temporary café counter and bar by Plywood and Bolts, Woodside Parker Kirk architects. Along with a cosy bench seating area, which was great, saved a lot of set up time and mostly looked inviting for customers to visit!
Being a pop-up, we kept the menu very simple each time, but all freshly made with love of course, below are a few of the offerings…

Ben and Kerry’s Wedding

 

Ben and Kerry were married on a beautiful sunny day in Comrie, Perth in a gorgeous outdoor setting, festooned with bunting and hay bales. This was our first ever wedding event that we had catered and I couldn’t have asked for a more laid back and positive couple to cater for. The only requests were for luscious and plentiful fresh dishes, family friendly flavours inclusive for kids.

For their drinks reception, we arranged an antipasti table to compliment personal contributions from their guests. Ben’s parents are bakers and so had brought a wide and delicious selection of bread from their bakery. Una’s olive tapenade was a big hit and again so tasty, as was Emma’s sweet chilli jam. Both of which had provided such generous amounts that they were happily revisited at the midnight cheese board.

From these elements, we decided to go for Spanish and Italian antipasti. Warm Spanish tortillas, topped with Parma ham, classic and studded with chorizo were cut into traditional tapas bites. Alongside, fresh Caprese skewers with basil pesto dip, Padron peppers grilled and seasoned, Parma ham, prosciutto and salami and finally some lemon and herb marinated olives. All were a very welcome addition to a celebration tipple from the fantastic gin station or Ben’s amazing bar that he had lovingly constructed, fully stocked with draught beers.

Later, after a range of outdoor games and cheer, dinner was served on vintage platters for guests to share at their tables. A local Hog Roast company were providing the meat and theatre with a slow roast in the courtyard. While our menu included fish and vegetarian options, salads and sides that worked together with the pork. A lovely evening was had with a great crowd of hungry and happy folk, two types of potatoes were very well received!

Dessert time and a family friendly classic of sea salt brownies with fresh strawberries and cream. Our brownies are soft in the middle with a meringue like crust, always a crowd pleaser with a reviving cup of Edinburgh roasted coffee.

The evening was mainly concentrated on the dancefloor and ever popular silent disco to combat the after 11pm noise rules at the venue. Outside an inviting campfire was lit, and at around midnight (I confess a tad later than planned) we brought out a luscious cheeseboard, with an array from our favourite cheese monger I. J. Mellis. More chutneys appeared from another beloved guest and were served alongside Peter’s yard sourdough crackers.

It was a very special wedding to cater, not as it was our first, but because Ben and Kerry brought together such a wonderful and loving party of people. A testament to what a brilliant team they make and true inspiration for why catering weddings are the most fun!

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