Cooking for Experts


A couple with Syrian heritage on one side had decided to concentrate their budget on food, saving thousands of pounds on a venue by using the Hartest Institute.  A lovely building in a really pretty village. Like a few other village halls in Suffolk  which are beautiful inside and out it offers a great inexpensive alternative wedding venue.    95 guests where squeezed  in  and we cooked a lot outside.  The kitchen although quite well equipped is  more suitable to afternoon tea than prepared and  cooked from fresh Ottolenghi salads and BBQ whole chickens

The bride and groom were late 20s and had a lot of vegan friends.  The menu apart from the chicken was mainly vegan and gluten free.  The brides father supplied  Zaatar he had made in Syria and we used  it to dust the fresh flat breads  we made.

Once laid up there was no room to get between the tables as the venue claimed it had seated 110 before.  ( may be for a children’s party!)  so guests were happy to pass food down the trestle tables and also pass the plates back.    I was pleased to be complimented on my hummus and falafels from Syrians as cooking for experts is always pressurised!

It was a lovely day  we were probably over ambitious with the menu which  would  have been very tricky had the weather not been kind as we ended up cooking outside on paths between bushes.  A  kitchen that looks reasonable empty is very full with 8 people preparing food in and the smoke alarms did not like flat breads and the complicated fire alarm system required a local to sort it out so the noise of that going off as we prepared for service  was grating to say the least.