Wedding catering in Devon

Getting married this summer? Need wedding catering in Devon? Have you considered having an alternative wedding breakfast in the form of a barbecue?

Just imagine your friends and family milling around, talking amongst themselves while there’s laughter and music in the air, the sun shines and the barbecue sizzles. Here, at The Kitchen Table we can provide you with the barbeque, the staff to serve drinks and a delicious and creative menu for your guests to enjoy and remember forever. This means you can have a country wedding without having to consider hiring a kitchen; making it perfect for barns, farms, gardens and field weddings in particular.

There is nothing more satisfying than creating a range of flavours, colours and tastes that delight and impress. We have created original recipes to tantalise your taste buds. You may choose the popular option of beef, beetroot and horseradish burgers or our Greek-inspired; local lamb, mint, anchovies and olive burgers. We make gluten free and vegan options too – using Dragonfly tofu to make Thai-inspired treats or cheese from Country Cheese griddled with locally grown organic Med-veg. BBQ choices are served with delicious, seasonal and creative salads; such as organic leaves from School Farm Organics with edible flowers and homemade dressing, new potato, Laydilay mayo, fresh herbs and legume salad and zesty crunchy slaw with roasted nuts and citrus dressing. We make amazing sauces to go with your BBQ choices and Baker Tom’s is our new baker supplier.

We also do sweets such as a mouth-watering summer fruits Pavlova, rich chocolate and raspberry brownies or hazelnut & strawberry roulades.

If you are considering a summer barbeque wedding and are looking for a venue to host this special occasion, take a look at The Wedding Secret here. They feature a range of venues in Devon such as yurt camp-sites, barns, farms, gardens and field spaces so that you can have the summer wedding of your dreams.

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#vegshortage

The recent spate of #vegcrisis and #vegshortage stories has sparked some frustration in me. Not that we’re experiencing the shortage (or that the story seems to have blown out of all proportion – how often do you have a burning desire to buy more than 3 icebergs at once??), but that no-one seems to be using this as an opportunity to have a wider conversation.

We need to talk about our lack of resilience. We need to celebrate what we do grow locally, and to encourage the enjoyment of British produce. It seems to me, under the looming shadow of Brexit and the unknown challenges it may bring, now more than ever we could and should be talking about self sufficiency or at least a leaning towards that kind of resilience. I’m not talking dogma, a rejection of all that’s foreign. I love a lemon as much as the next person! But what struck me during the last few days, is how little anyone was asking why we need courgettes in January?? Guy Watson from Riverford in Devon, along with many other organic British farmers did, but it didn’t seem to me, at least from what I heard and saw, that the mainstream media mentioned this small, obscure and crucial fact. We, as consumers, are told that we want out of season things all year round.  But do we?

I have this conversation fairly often with clients. They would like, in February for instance, a roast pepper and courgette tart. I suggest that in the late winter, this won’t be available but offer instead something seasonal such as Kale, Sharpham rustic cheese and caramelised onion tart? In every instant, customers are delighted to have another option they hadn’t considered and often appreciate the seasonality highlighted to them.

It’s a funny thing, choice. Once, my father in the depths of winter cooked for me a delicious stir-fry with asparagus. I looked at the packet and highlighted to him that these legumes had been air-freighted from Peru. He said ‘but that’s what the recipe said to use’. This idea that a) the recipe needs following to a tee and b) all recipes should be used throughout the year can be challenged. I actually love foreign ingredients; I have travelled a lot. But I also love re-working recipes to use local ingredients and to eat dishes that reflect the season – that stirfy, in the winter would be delicious with carrots, leeks, broccoli and kale. In the winter I can happily exist on roast potatoes, meat, veg and gravy. This is great because there is an abundance of roots and brassicas and red wine makes any gravy sumptuous! In the summer I can happily eat salad everyday and griddled Med veg and stir-frys. Luckily, my local growers provide me with the most wonderful peppers, courgettes and aubergines, legumes, tomatoes and leaves and so I can!

I am very aware that the world has changed. I do not propose that we only eat indigenous veg and exclude all foreign flavours and ideas from our meals. But, to rely so entirely on imports, at this time when oil is getting pricier, we have no idea how trading with Europe will be and when in actual fact we have some wonderful market gardens and small farms growing heritage and fantastic veg here, seems short sighted and a shame.

For me, the greatest challenge is fruit. But I am always disappointed in an unripe mango here after I have tasted it straight from the tree in Asia and Australia. When it is berry time in Britain, I gorge myself on all that I can. When the season is over, and there are no local apples, pears or plums, I guiltlessly eat other fruits, buying from Europe only so I know they haven’t travelled too far, at least (I have a mild satsuma addiction!).

I guess for me, the idea is to always make conscious decisions. Sometimes, for financial or logistical reasons you might not always be able to make the choices you would like to, but if we all changed a few of our consumer preferences, bought local as much as we could, supported small growers and asked our retailers to source from their area more, we would maybe help make a more resilient and supportive system. The future’s so unsure, what’s the harm?

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Community support

For the love of community!

It’s been quite the month and a great start to the year! I spent several weeks buying and receiving the last pieces of equipment we needed at the unit, Frankie assembled (with unnatural patience and tolerance!) the shelves, Julia kindly braved the electric drill and put up my shelves and fire extinguisher etc and Ness and Martin delivered to me and assembled some shelves and a wonderful Turbo Oven for my use!

Hal, from FutureBound hosted two groups of Koreans visiting Totnes at the unit – we arranged the space to seat 37 the first time and 20 the second and I fed them a two course meal, which they thoroughly enjoyed! It tested the space and it was a success!

At the end of January, we threw a wonderful unit-warming party to celebrate our achievements! It was such a fantastic event. Apart from the really generous gifts of wine, mugs, lovely biscuit cutters, flowers and no less than TWO bottles of champagne, it was so lovely to share the unit with our friends, colleagues and supporters. People were pleasantly surprised with how good the unit looked! And how big it is – how much smoother and efficient production will be. They were also excited by the prospect of regular pop-up events we plan to hold!

In collaboration with Bar Blah Blah, we hope to hold a monthly cocktail and food evening with funky music (hopefully sometimes live) and later in the year (when the weather is less hideous!) we plan to have a monthly brunch club, with the coffee provision from Beanbug, exciting and interesting breakfast choices and delicious cocktails and mocktails! Watch this space for news on these.

What I have been really touched by, has been the very real and helpful mentoring and support I have received. Lynette Sinclair from Tideford Organics has mentored me since January 2016. She has advised and supported me in how I run the business, staffing, production efficiency and bookkeeping ideas. Jay Tompt from REconomy and his partner Jane have met with me, heard my concerns and thought processes, advised, encouraged and discussed plans and generally been really fab to have nearby. Richard O’Connell, a co-committee member of the Rotherfold Improvement Group I have known for years, attended the LEF last year and pledged to support my endeavour to take on a unit. Since May, Richard has helped me with my dealings with the landlord, advised me on rules and regulations I have not known about and helped me with many of the logistics I have found daunting in taking on a commercial unit.

Isn’t community a wonderful thing? Lynette came to the unit today and was very impressed. I can’t wait for Richard to return from his holiday to see the space. I feel so touched, so lucky and so privileged to live in a town that has such strong local links, to be part of a community that encourages businesses to support each other and to be part of Transition Town Totnes initiatives like the REconomy LEF which exists to help small entrepreneurs to grow and collaborate with others.

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