David Wilkinson - 17 Jun 2013

Embassy events drive demand for cultural cuisine

The OGGS Brazilian Navy ‘Pastel de Carne’
Photograph by Izabela Bartusik (Food and Beverage Supervisor at One Great George Street)
A little while back I wrote about the growing demand for culturally-themed menus. Following my posts, under the headings ‘World of Cuisines in my Westminster Kitchen’ and ‘Growing Appetite for Bespoke themed menus’ we are getting more requests for themed menus based on particular cultures. It is helped by the many diplomatic missions based in our locality, leading to calls from embassy PA’s and secretaries who are looking to host Westminster dining events for diplomats and other embassy employees.


Embassy bashes aren’t the only occasions where we serve up culturally-themed menus. We also do it for:

Networking events
Private Dinners
Medal Ceremonies
National Day celebrations
Independence Day anniversaries
Summits
General Assemblies

We’ve been to all kind of places on our culinary travels from our Westminster kitchen. They include:

Brazil
India
Switzerland
Denmark
St Lucia
Iran
China

Brazil

Just last week we journeyed via Brazil on our way to the high profile annual ICE President’s dinner in the same week. We made Brazilian canapés and bowl food for 300 hungry sailors when we hosted the 148th anniversary of the Brazilian Navy day. I say the ‘sailor bit’ in jest as we had many high profile attendees including many naval attachés from various diplomatic missions and the Royal Navy received by Admiral Mendonça, the Brazilian Navy’s most senior representative in London and his wife.

The Brazilian Ambassador to the Court of St James’s presented military medals to seven people prior to the reception. The menu included meat pastries (Pastel de Carne) and Shrimp Bobo.

OGGS version of Shrimp Bobo - Photograph by Izabela Bartusik
Our version of Shrimp Bobo – Photograph by Izabela Bartusik
 (Food and Beverage Supervisor at One Great George Street)

Some input from our Portuguese Catering Manager, Joao came in handy. The lovely food was washed down with Caipirinhas and Guaraná; a soft drink made out of  tropical red berries from the Amazon. It’s growing in popularity here in the UK and can be found in Waitrose.

Guarana - Photograph by Izabela Bartusik
Guaraná – Photograph by Izabela Bartusik
 (Food and Beverage Supervisor at One Great George Street)

India

For Harshika and Jason’s wedding, we made Karahi chicken, Aubergine curry, Jeera rice, Dhal Makhani, Bhatura bread, tomato raita and Jeera Mogo served with tamarind chutney, green chilli and coriander chutney for 220 hungry wedding guests.

I hear culinary flights to Malaysia, back to Brazil and India may be on the cards soon for my team. Not a bad thing…maybe we all look a bit too relaxed in the recent photo below!

Chef and his wonderful team Photograph by Paul Dawson on our main staircase leading to the Great Hall
Chef and his wonderful team
Photograph by Paul Dawson on our main staircase leading to the Great Hall

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