Before I begin please let me assure you that details I provide below relate to my real family recipe. Whether it is a secret or not is up for debate, but the fact that this recipe was handed down from my maternal Great Grandmother is beyond question. As for its secrecy it may be more accurate to say that this is a recipe shrouded in apathy because to my knowledge only my mother and I from the Wilkinson clan have ever used it. (more…)
This may be hard to believe but my road to One Great George Street (OGGS) really began way back in 1979, a few years before I left school, and was heavily influenced by just one individual. That person’s name was Margaret Thatcher.
“Strange,” I hear you say, “I don’t remember Maggie setting up too many catering initiatives in the formative years of her premiership” and you would be right, but in those early years there was very little else left.
The excellent One Great George Street website and blog do not happen by accident. They are the creation of our full-time Marketing & PR Manager and part-time slave driver, Katie McCarthy, who brilliantly manages the whole thing including all the blog contributors; a job akin to herding cats.
The way it works is this. Katie draws up a grand plan for the year’s editorial calendar including outline blog concepts and then we agree on five or six different subjects, each of which will have a deadline so that they can be ready for publication. There is, of course, room for spontaneous posts too, but I always know when a pre-agreed deadline is approaching because I get an email that is beautifully written but essentially a thinly veiled threat reminding me of the consequence of non-compliance. Usually at this point, I jump into action because I have forgotten the deadline. However, on this occasion I struggled to start the blog because I didn’t know how to.
One of our biggest undertakings of the year is without doubt the writing of the banqueting menu. At the moment we are right in the middle of the main of period of menu writing, but the process started months ago and will continue for a few more months to come. To be honest by the time the new menu comes into operation in January 2017 it will feel like an old friend and we will be comfortable and confident with our new dishes. Strange as it may seem, the process of creating the next year’s menu starts with the first function of the year in January. We will be looking at the customer’s menu choices to see what information we can learn. Have they gone for the new dishes or stuck with what they know? What combinations have they chosen? Are they choosing safe options or being bold?
Catering for me is bit like watching one of those massive passenger aircrafts taking off. Hundreds of tonnes of people, metal, luggage and fuel taking to the air being held up by nothing more than air pressure, something you can’t even see. Everything about it says that it should work but you have to grudgingly accept that it just does.
Likewise everything about catering says that disaster is waiting around every corner but 99% of the time all the parts that are moving in different directions suddenly come together at the crucial moment and the day is saved. So what do I mean by moving parts?