Wedding Catering Dorset by The Foodie Queen
Heather is an exceptional cook (she wouldn’t let me use the term chef) working under the apt name “The Foodie Queen” wedding catering Dorset and the South Coast.
Heather kindly invited me to return to her rural abode and sample some of her home cooked food. How could I refuse an offer like that?! Heather kindly took a little time out from her wedding catering prep for a chat over a coffee, mouth wateringly moist chocolate brownies and a heavenly cranberry and macadamia flap jack. Yum!
Dorset Cookery School
Sat in Heather’s beautiful country kitchen the term ‘The Foodie Queen’ seemed incredibly well chosen. When she is not supplying wedding catering Dorset, parties and events she takes time to teach her own cookery school. When she is not doing that she runs fabulous food and cookery holidays in Italy!
I asked Heather how she got into the catering business, and realised what a silly question that was. I had already met her three strapping lads and husband. She explained that professional wedding catering has always been her long-term dream. Her passion and skill lies in being able to provide a delicious ‘home cooked’ style of menu with a twist, constantly perfecting her recipes with the willing help of her family.
As she started to multi-task at an impressive rate chopping, marinating, baking bread and roasting vegetables I realised that I was in for a surprise. I had not really thought about the vast quantity of food and incredible logistical organisation that goes into wedding catering.
Wedding Catering Dorset Behind The Scenes
A day later and I arrive at Cerne Abbas Village Hall wedding venue, set in the stunning Dorset countryside. The wedding is in full flow with guests milling about the grounds sipping champagne in the sun. I sneak into the large wedding marquee to see the wonderfully presented tables that The Foodie Queen had set up for the wedding breakfast. Upon noticing the gorgeous bride I have the strange sensation that this is the first time I have not taken any photographs of the bride and groom at a wedding. I didn’t want to tread on the official photographer’s shoes so set up camp ‘backstage’ in the wedding catering rooms and kitchen.
Heather’s staff arrive early and are a really friendly, well organised bunch. All of them obviously very keen and experienced (and ‘foodies’ too). After a briefing they spring into a flurry of action like a well coordinated ballet of cooks and waiters. An incredible amount of food was prepared with military precision. All under Heather’s watchful eyes and according to her well refined schedule.
Until you have seen the sheer amount of ingredients, cutlery, crockery and utensils required for a wedding you can’t fully appreciate the scale of a task that is often taken for granted. Witnessing the spread of plated up food laid out on tables ready to be served to the guests reminded me of a Gursky photograph, colourful, intriguing and full of repeating patterns.
Another ‘taken’ that the team had to deal with and did so with ease were the unexpected changes in diet. The extra vegetarians, the gluten and dairy free food and personal requests of guests. Only years of experience wedding catering Dorset could prepare Heather and her team to cope with the intricate timing. The extreme heat of the ovens and the varying wedding schedule to prepare, cook, deliver, clear and clean drinks and three courses for ninety guests. All of this in a window of just over four hours.
The single most surprising element of the day was Heather’s temperament. I myself love cooking for groups but at the best of times find it quite stressful and draining. Heather on the other hand, seemed calm and in control at all times. She works with a determined energy and passion that I found most inspiring.
As her staff cleaned up the mass of plates and equipment up around me I was presented with the same three course meal the guests had just eaten. Chicken liver and mushroom pate served with side salad and a drizzle of red currant sauce. Dorset chicken breast with apples and spring onions in a cider cream sauce, coriander and spinach-stuffed aubergine rolls. New potatoes, roast seasonal vegetables, mangetout and a huge slice of Fresh fruit Pavlova. I challenge you to imagine that on an empty stomach and not salivate!
Of course I would! Heather Slack, wedding and event caterer, cook, teacher, mother and manager has definitely earned her title as The Foodie Queen. I salute you.
The Foodie Queen website can be found at http://www.thefoodiequeen.co.uk and you can contact Heather herself on 01300 345582.