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Kalm News :   07 / 02 / 19

New Menus

Developing new menus is an ever-evolving process at Kalm Kitchen. ‘It never starts and never stops, ‘ says James Middlehurst, Executive Chef at Kalm Kitchen. ‘We’re always bringing new ideas to the table. In the first place, the kitchen team will come up with concepts, and from there we’ll extensively test them. After that, we present them to front of house (very important),  take on their feedback and finesse them with the help of the whole company. In the end, we come up with dishes that we can all stand by, and that everyone believes in.’

From an initial list of anywhere around 50 contenders, the team whittle it down to a shortlist of around 25 dishes. And what makes for a successful menu which becomes a firm favourite at weddings? ‘The art is in finding the balance between taste, appearance and perfect delivery of the product,’ explains James. ‘The food should be fun, make people talk and leave a lasting memory.’ And the ultimate measure of success? ‘I like to hear the sound of wow as it gets delivered,’ he confides.

We asked James which are the plates he’s particularly proud to share from the latest collection…

Salmon 99er with beetroot crisp

‘This canapé is pure fun. Resembling the classic ice cream cone, you get a visual shot of salmon pink. We specifically designed it to give a punch of flavour. Fennel blossom and flowers give it a hit of aniseed, and the beetroot crisp provides a lovely crisp texture.’

Chicken liver parfait choux bun with pistachio

‘Taking a classic dessert concept, we create a superbly rich chicken liver parfait, which is cooked at a low temperature and packed with flavour, which comes from the addition of port, shallots and thyme. It’s all encapsulated in a bite-sized choux bun and finished with a nutty sprinkle of pistachios.’

Charred salmon with cauliflower panna cotta and watercress veloute

‘Well, visually this dish is stunning. We cook the salmon sous vide to keep it tender and almost rare all the way through. Then we char it for a lovely, smoky flavour. It’s served alongside our take on a savoury panna cotta on a watercress velouté which brings a peppery hit to the dish. Lastly, we like to add some Romesco, both charred and pickled, which brings acidity, and of course it looks stunning too.’

Lamb Nicoise and pickled walnuts with a caramelised onion puree

‘Nicoise is such a classic, but we’ve given it a modern spin. We take a fillet of lamb and wrap it in Nori, the umami flavour of this edible seaweed gives the dish a real complexity. The expected elements of a Nicoise are there – quail’s egg, Violetta potatoes, and a potato glass. But we also add some pickled walnuts. The end result is mature and complex.’

Seared venison with black pudding salsify, potato fondant and blackberry jus

‘We’ve balanced this rich, gamey meat with a sweet jus, and delicate salsify. The result is a lighter version of what you might consider a traditional game dish. It looks exceptionally stunning too.’

Bread and butter pudding with pineapple salsa, rum custard and coconut ice cream

‘A taste of pure nostalgia, we get lots of requests for bread and butter pudding. We’ve created a lighter version though using brioche and tropical flavours of coconut, pineapple and rum. A pineapple salsa adds a welcome sharpness to the dish.’

Kalm News :   24 / 12 / 18

Happy Christmas

However you’re spending the festive season, we’d like to wish you a very Happy Christmas. We gathered some of the Kalm Kitchen team together for a little glimpse into how we’ll be celebrating this year…

//Q: What’s your favourite Christmas cocktail?

Lara: It has to be a Pornstar Martini: Vanilla-infused vodka with passion fruit, shaken over ice with vanilla sugar and passion fruit puree.

Lily: Espresso Martini for me: A blend of vodka, freshly brewed espresso, Kahlua and coffee beans over ice. Delicious!

//Q: What Christmas canapés will you be serving up this year?

Emily: Can’t beat the Kalm Kitchen mini blue cheese oatcakes with walnut chutney – so festive.

Lara: Beetroot cured salmon on horseradish blinis are amazing alongside a glass of fizz.

//Q: What’s your ultimate Christmas day side dish?

Jen: Has to be Brussels sprouts tossed with chestnuts.

Lily & Lara: (*said in chorus, enthusiastically) Bread sauce!

Emily: It’s all about the stuffing. My family do a twist on sage and onion with sausage meat, which is so delicious.

//Q: What do you always cook up on Boxing Day?

Jen: Simple – I just graze on all the leftover cheese, all day long!

Emily: Our tradition is to have the leftover ham alongside a big, creamy, delicious Dauphinoise.

Lily: Cold bread sauce, it’s my guilty pleasure!

//Q: Favourite Christmas song?

Lily: Last Christmas by Wham.

Lara: All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey.

Emily: Anything by Michael Bublé – the absolute Christmas playlist.

//Q: Which movie will you definitely be watching over the Christmas season?

Lara: Elf

Emily Love Actually

Lily: Home Alone

Louisa: The Holiday

//Q: What’s your favourite Christmas chocolate?

Lara: Oh, it’s all about the white chocolate.

Emily: Give me a Chocolate Orange!

Lily: I love a Toblerone.

//Q: And finally, what’s on your Christmas wish list?

Lily: An old-school Polaroid camera.

Emily: I’ve asked for a teal Le Creuset casserole pot.

Kalm News :   06 / 12 / 18

A Day In The Life

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing an amazing event or celebration come to life. But have you ever wondered how much hard work and planning goes on behind the scenes? We took a peek at a day in the life of Kalm Kitchen Event Manager Hannah Woodley as she helped make one couple’s dream of their perfect day come true!

‘Event planning is so varied, and here at Kalm Kitchen no day is ever the same. That’s one of the many reasons I love it. Some of our clients plan their event over three years, and others plan them in three months.

One of the most significant factors of event planning is the amount of detail that goes into every single event, regardless of whether it is a corporate dinner for 30 people, or a wedding for 200 people. Here at Kalm Kitchen we have a structured, sequential process that runs across all departments of the business, from the office team to event managers, kitchen, logistics and finance. Every individual has responsibilities, but we all support each other and respect the role each of us plays. At the heart of it, Kalm Kitchen is built on teamwork, which is critical for event planning.

Our commitment to each event starts right from the moment of initial enquiry, through inspiration meetings and onto discussing minute details of logistics and final preparations. There is no typical day as every event is different, and the amount of prep and planning can vary hugely. But here’s an idea of what we might get up to on one super-long day!’

Morning set up:

// It’s typically an 8.30am arrival time on site. That means we’re up with the sun – and rarely home before it sets!

// First task is to greet the venue staff, sign-in process followed and walk through event timings for the day.

// The van will have been already packed, so our job is to unload van with the Head Chef and Porter, checking off all items against the logistics packing list.

// Then the tables are dressed with linen and guest napkins. The theme for the day really starts to take shape now.

// We run through the menu with the chefs and cross-check timings for the day, such as when speeches are happening, when the cake will be cut, presentations etc. A service plan is then planned and written.

// It’s my responsibility to contact waiting staff for the day to confirm arrival times, parking instructions and check correct details have all been received. Then I’ll greet other suppliers such as photographer, videographer, florist, and run through details and timings for the day so everyone is confident, on the same page and all working to the same schedule.

// The fun part – we lay-up tables for the wedding breakfast including bridal styling items, and set up the bar, plus any additional styled stations or features for pre-ceremony. For this wedding we had an interactive ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ station, with items such as passion fruit, raspberries and cassis. Later on guests were invited to ‘Pimp their Gin’!

// Shortly before guests are due, I liaise with main point of contact, ie; MC, party planners etc, then waiting staff arrive around half an hour before guests arrive. I’ll hold a team briefing with front of house, waiting team and the chef team, walking through the entire event: timings, menu, staff roles & responsibilities so no detail is left to chance!

Event goes live:

// Guests arrive and drinks and canapés reception starts, which lasts for around one and a half hours. Beautiful, styled drinks and canapés are circulated, and we always create a canapé tray that is exclusively designed for the Bride and Groom or VIP guests hosting the event.

// During the reception, final touches are made – candle lighting, icing of jugs, triple checking the table plan against the laid-up tables, aligning place settings, steaming of tablecloths if required etc.

// We try to sneak the photographers and videographers into the venue where the main meal is taking place to capture the final setting, closely followed by the Bride and Groom. If we’re lucky, their reactions to seeing all of their hard work, planning and ideas brought to life is caught on camera!

// Announcement is made for guests to check the table plan before making their way to the dining room and take their seats. Guests are poured with initial drinks or toast drink if speeches are due to take place before the meal. During speeches, our waiting team set up stations such as tea and coffee, patisserie bars etc. to add a show-stopping surprise to the end of the meal.

// Food is plated up, service begins, and everyone tucks into the menu we have spent months creating!

Evening structure:

// At the end of any seated meal, Kalm Kitchen provides a staffed tea and coffee station, complimented with some delicious petit fours, which is set up alongside the evening bar.

// The band starts up pretty quickly at the end of the meal and the evening party commences! Depending on the event, cake cutting is soon after the end of the meal and flows straight into the first dance so that the Bride and Groom or event hosts can relax and enjoy a drink and get stuck into the evening party with their guests.

// During this point the waiting team start clearing the tables of any items left over from the meal that are no longer required, refocusing attention back to the intricate bridal styling items and stunning floral centerpieces. Cake is carried away back to the kitchen where our chefs cut up what is required and style it beautifully for guests to help themselves to throughout the evening.

// The front of house team is reduced to the required amount for evening food service and staffing the bar if we are running it. Food continues to be circulated, grazing stations are maintained, replenished and cleared until the end of the event.

// The last leg of the event is loading up the catering van (there’s an in-house joke about who’s best at playing Tetris!) and leaving our kitchen sparkling ready for the next adventure. Then it’s home to bed for a much-needed rest!

Would you like to talk to one of our friendly team about helping to plan any event or celebration – however big or small? Do get in touch at info@kalmkitchen.co.uk or call us on 01483 813360.

Kalm News :   19 / 06 / 18

Fuelling the future

At Kalm Kitchen, we’ve always been committed to producing the best food on the planet, but more recently we’ve been taking steps to make our eco credentials just as impressive. We caught up with Kalm Kitchen’s very own ‘green champion’ Holly Spooner to find out how.

Q: Holly, why is being environmentally conscious so important to Kalm Kitchen?

A: I think it’s a given that we should all be taking responsibility for our environment at home and at work, and we realised that as a business there were some very effective ways we could go greener without sacrificing the quality of what we produce.

Q: So, how did you go about implementing greener ways of working?

A: The first – possibly biggest – initiative for us is that none of our food waste is ‘wasted’. All the by-products from our kitchen – scraps, peelings and leftovers are collected and turned into renewable resources such as electricity, heat and organic fertiliser. In addition, all excess cooking oil is also recycled into renewable energy. The result is that hardly anything from our kitchen goes to landfill.

Q: What other measures have you taken to make the kitchen greener?

A: We’re looking into ways of reducing our use of plastics and non-sustainable packaging as much as we possibly can. It can be a challenge as obviously we have hygiene and food safety standards to maintain too, but we are committed to finding alternatives, which are sustainable, fit for purpose and hard-wearing. Reducing our use of clingfilm, for instance, has been a big priority, and also replacing anything disposable with re-usable containers. It goes without saying, but also we’re obviously huge champions of sourcing the most local, freshest ingredients, which has its own positive impact on our carbon footprint.

Q: How do you make sure your events are as green as possible?

A: We’ve never been a company to use any kind of disposable tableware. We prefer beautifully sourced (often vintage) items from our stocks. Even if we’re catering a kids party, for example, we would always shy away from plastics – if anything, we would use wooden cutlery as a greener alternative. And of course, any glass gets recycled – we see a LOT of Champagne bottles being sent off to recycling!

Q: How about at the Kalm Kitchen Café?

A: Yes, being environmentally conscious is a huge priority at the café. For starters, everything is either handmade by Kalm Kitchen, or by carefully selected suppliers who we know share our same eco credentials. We’ve phased out plastic straws, and all our cups, food boxes and containers are bio-degradable or recyclable.

Q: And finally, being surrounded by the beautiful Surrey countryside at your headquarters must make you extra aware of protecting the planet. What kind of measures have you taken in the offices?

A: We’re all conscious of the basics – switching off lights, reducing our energy output with the electricals we use, and we also only use rechargeable batteries. We’ll never stop looking at ways we can go greener and make a difference to the legacy we leave behind.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out how we could cater for your special occasion. info@kalmkitchen.co.uk 01483 813360

Kalm News :   05 / 06 / 18

We are 10!

It’s fair to say we know a thing or two about parties. But recently, Kalm Kitchen had its own cause for celebrations as we marked our 10th birthday! There was an incredible canapé-themed cake, provided by Odiham Cake Company, plus a glass {or two} of fizz, and a photo shoot with Eddie Judd to capture the team who have made our story so far very special. With a fair amount of nostalgia on our minds, we caught up with co-founder Jen Middlehurst to take a look back and reflect on where it all began…

Q: Jen, tell us, how and where did the Kalm Kitchen journey begin?

A: My husband James was already involved in event catering, and meanwhile I was working as a private maternity nurse. Although we had quite different skill sets, we knew we wanted to do something together and felt we had enough vision between us to make it happen. In some ways it was all quite a leap of faith – we had no formal business plan, and we took the fairly bold move to relocate from London to Guildford to set up our first kitchen. At first we were dealing with mainly corporate clients, and then we did our first wedding and things really took off from there. I guess what has worked so well is that our skill sets are a perfect blend. James’s strengths are exceptional food delivery and attention to detail, I’m all about passion, people and creativity. In essence though, we both love exceeding people’s dreams and expectations.

Q: How has the business evolved, and what are the key things which have brought you to where you are today?

A: One thing which hasn’t changed at all is our passion, and the desire to create exciting visual, food displays. Our philosophy right from the start has been to make food accessible, while capturing people’s imaginations – giving generous servings, breaking boundaries in terms of presentation. We quickly established a reputation for inventive food stations and trailblazing new food trends. Once word started to spread, we outgrew the premises in Guildford and moved to a new property in nearby Compton, which could accommodate a separate commercial kitchen. We also welcomed our first child (the first of three) shortly after setting up the business, so it’s fair to say we had our hands full!

Once things started expanding rapidly, we realised we needed premises which could serve as a wash-up/storage for all our tableware. That’s when we first came to Puttenham – and now we have a large, fully-equipped commercial kitchen, offices, meeting rooms and storage facility all in one place. Quite a journey!

Q: Which is the part of the business which excites you the most?

I suppose it is, and always has been, creating food and visual displays which truly push boundaries. We’re just not willing to settle for ‘standard’ in anything we do. Every aspect has to always be of a consistently high quality – and that doesn’t mean stuffy and formal, it’s about re-establishing people’s expectations of event catering, and giving them something that isn’t just exceptional quality, but also generous, delicious and abundant. Food that captures people’s imaginations and creates magical, lasting memories.

Q: What is the most memorable event you’ve been involved in and what made it so special?

A: In fact, it was very recent – a fabulous wedding we had been asked to cater for industry colleagues and friends on the Isle of Wight. They trusted us to do our thing and allowed us to do what we’re best at. The result was just beautiful, and as I was a guest I was able to step back and appreciate what the team had pulled together. I must say, I felt extremely proud.

Q: What would you say has been your biggest achievement?

A: For me, it would be the fact that we’ve created a positive environment for people to work in. Our aim is to nurture a team and see it flourish. Many of our staff have been with us since the very start, and it’s such an honour that they have even chosen us to cater their own weddings. So yes, people are at the heart of what we do, and we are very grateful to have such an amazing crew around us.

Q: What is your favourite ever dish on the Kalm Kitchen menu?

A: One that totally sums us up is our Sharing Millefeuille – an elegant, but gloriously messy, generous, utterly delicious dessert, which encourages everyone to get together and get stuck in!

Q: Who in the food world inspires you?

A: It would be Ottolenghi – his principles of abundance and creating food to be shared and celebrated is very much what we aspire to. I remember years ago wandering past his Notting Hill store almost daily and swooning over the magnificent visual displays in the window. He is such an inspiration.

Q: What’s next for Kalm Kitchen?

A: We’ll continue to work alongside the incredible venues we’re already lucky enough to have links with, and hopefully establish some new, exciting partnerships too. And whether we’ll have our own venue one day? Well, you’ll have to watch this space…

Stay tuned on the blog as we’ll be going behind the scenes and finding out a little more about the faces behind Kalm Kitchen over the coming months. In the meantime, click here to Meet the Team.

Photography: Eddie Judd {eddiejuddphotography.com}

Kalm News :   08 / 04 / 18

Spring is here

We love Spring! It brings so much hope, growth and new life and the event season notches up a gear or two! We cannot wait for the wedding season to start and to be a part of so many incredibly special events and weddings!

Close Wedding Catering Surrey

CONTACT US

Head Office
Kalm Kitchen Ltd.
Unit 5 Lascombe Estate,
Highfield Lane,
Puttenham,
Surrey,
GU3 1BB

Enquiries: 01483 813360
Isle of Wight Enquiries: 01983 640340
Email: info@kalmkitchen.co.uk

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