Sunday, 1 March 2015

Best Companies 2015 Awards Night!!

Well every year for the past 4 years Connect Catering have entered in to the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For Award.

And this year I was invited to the Ceremony at Battersea Evolution.

Hosted by Ben Shephard, the atmosphere in the Evoloution was electric.

The Champagne was flowing and I was in good company with me fellow colleagues.

It all kicked off with a starter of Treacle and Sesame Roast Salmon Fillet with Spring Onions and Roasted Beets.

Followed by

Honey and Harissa Marinated Chicken with Roasted Leek and Carrot, White Onion Purée and Smoked Potatoes

And for Dessert

Trio of Desserts

Cranberry Bread and Butter Pudding, Bacchus Jelly with Pear and Cornish Cream ice cream Treacle Tart

After all that the awards finally started, announcing the top 5 first, unbelievably we weren't called up! Then it was the top 100 countdown!

It's a bit like the chart show on a Sunday, the announcing is so fast it's hard to keep up! 

Before I knew it the run down was already at the top 10 and still Connect Catering weren't called! 

We finally ended up being number 6! 

The cheers from our tables was deafening and quite rightly so! 

An amazing company to work for with amazing people at the top and throughout. 

Well done everyone at Connect Catering and thanks for making it a special place to work!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Easy White Sugar Cake

I know I know!!! Its been a while but in my defence it has been super busy lack of staff amongst other things!!

So Ive been mucking about in preperation for Chinese New Year, I hate the usual dessert idea of banana fritters so after extensive research (google) came up with this!


1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups water

5 tsp dried yeast

Chuck the rice flour sugar and water in a pan and continuously stir on a medium heat for around 10 mins until it starts to thicken up.

Allow to cool for about 20 mins then lob in the yeast and give it another mix.

Set aside for an hour or so until it starts to bubble and double in size.

To cook

Pour mix into a steaming pan lined with parchment and cover.

Steam for around 20 mins.

Let it cool before cutting it up. If you are impatient like me it just sticks to your knife!!!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Food For Life

 Ok so the company I work for thought it would be great to get involved in all this Food For Life business, truth be told I didn't really understand it at first and if I really tell the truth thought it would just be more paperwork to follow.

But we pressed on, went on courses and attended work groups with other chef managers. We even had a training session with a lovely lady from The Soil Association.

After going through all the different aspects of the Catering Mark that you need to reach I quickly realised I might not be as far off as I first thought. Inspection day came and the auditor was due in at 9 30am, with all the evidence I needed to gather at hand we started going through old menus and invoices to show that I am actually doing what I say I do.

Its a bit nerve wracking at first but the auditor was a really nice guy and very supportive in the things that we were missing ( certain declarations to say that our meat is farm assured and our fish is not from the at risk list),

When the audit was complete we waited a couple of days to hear back from the certification officer to tell us what extra info we needed to submit. And after a couple more days of chasing suppliers were finally awarded the Bronze Award.

One of the criteria for the award is at least 75% of food must be freshly prepared and after talking to the auditor we came out at 100% freshly made, usually 75% to 80% according to the powers that be at The Soil Association, with 100% being quite a rare thing!!!

Although it seems like a lot of hard work its definitely worth applying for, it might be a good tool for your companies marketing team to use but it also shows that you actually care about where our food comes from, how we prepare it and  the health benefits for everyone!

Check out what its all about at The Soil Association and make sure you apply for your award too.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

How to make creamy Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

I used to make this in a restaurant I used to work in and recently got asked for the recipe, and as it has been remembered from seven years ago it must be a good one!!

So you need:

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 large banana shallot/medium onion finely chopped

6 sliced button mushrooms

A couple of handfuls of baby spinach

200g penne pasta

400g fresh thick cream

Drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and chuck in your pasta with a good pinch of salt.

While that's cooking in a frying pan lightly fry your onion and garlic until soft, then chuck in your sliced mushrooms.
Cook for a few minutes stirring occasionly then lob in your cream.
Simmer for a few more minutes but keep stirring so the cream doesn't burn.
Turn the heat down and throw in your spinach, cook for 2 more minutes.
Season with saslt and pepper.
Drain your pasta and add it to the sauce.

This serves 2 so if you need someone to share it with give me a shout!!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How to make Chip Shop Curry Sauce

Everyone loves a bit of chip shop curry sauce right?? If im honest I've "borrowed" this recipe. I didnt would work but how wrong was I?? Its wicked and super easy!!
Obviously depends on how much you want to make but all you need is....
2 cups boiling water
4 table spoons of curry powder
1 vegetable stock cube
A good splodge of mango chutney
Cornflour to thicken
Add the curry powder, stock cube and mango chutney to the water. Let it cook for a bit. (5 mins) at this point give it a taste and decide if you need more curry or mango.
Add a dash of water to your cornflour and lob it in the sauce. Thicken untill it's sauce like.
Ps thanks Kay!!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Food Service Cateys 2014!!

Oh My Goodness!!!

Well I don't know if you are all aware but last year I was shortlisted for a Food Service Catey which astounded me!! Just to be on the list is an honour and if you read my earlier post about it you will know what an amazing night it was. To be on that list for the second time in a row is unbelievable. When I got the email I was beside myself!

So massive thanks to the people that nominated me again and to the judges that saw fit to put me on the list again!!

The best of luck to eveyone shortlisted this year and of course ill be posting my outcome via Twitter on October 10th!!


Friday, 11 July 2014

How to make Curry Powder

OK so its been a while since my last post but things have been super busy lately!!

No excuse I know so I thought I'd give you this little gem!!!

Shop bought powders are fine but can sometimes be lacking in flavour or can be a little too spicy so...

Basic ingredients are

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

1 tablespoon tumeric

and depending on how hot you want it 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Works great as a rub too