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Talking canapés With &feast

Top tips for canapé success with &feast

Who doesn’t love canapés? Tasty little bite-sized morsels of joy, perfect for any party. TOAST caught up with event caterers extraordinaire &feast, who let us in on a few of their top tips for canapé success at your next event…



Gone are the days of stodgy mini quiches and soggy sausage rolls, the world of canapés has expanded and super stylish event caterers &Feast offer up a staggering list of options; from ricotta, honey-glazed pistachio and orange blossom toasts to chilli, lime and sesame crab croustades, crispy bocconcini with aubergine, caper and mint salsa, to harissa lamb croquettes with tahini yoghurt and pomegranate molasses.

‘We create seasonal specials to compliment our event menus, but we think variety and balance is very important, so we try to ensure that our menus reflect that. Ideas come from any food we've enjoyed, countries we've visited or chefs we admire, to try and create dishes that taste great and look amazing!’ explains &Feast founder Adam.

Feast

&Feast is an energetic and inventive catering company as well as a new foodie destination restaurant/café based in Barnes, South West London. Adam and his talented team are passionate about fresh and delicious produce, and delivering creative, delicious but simple food at various parties and in store.

‘We originally first came together to do the catering for the Tour of Britain 2013 explains Adam.

‘6 of us travelled with the race feeding the crew and hospitality guests for 8 days, culminating in 800 people on Whitehall for the finish! It was one of the most challenging things any of us had ever done and was where our ethos of "One More Push" was born!

‘Feeding the crew showed us what a difference great food can make to people - eating something really tasty that someone has obviously put thought and care into has the ability to make you happy and that's definitely the approach we continue to take now.’

Feast Barnes 9

On of the many joys of &Feast is that Adam and his team love to cater just about anything – from small, private dinner parties to massive corporate events.

‘Every event is different and we treat it as such - we try to work closely with clients so that we can provide them with exactly what they want. Each event, big or small, is equally important to us and our approach is always to deliver delicious food and great service based on the individual clients needs. From weddings and fashion launches, to film crew food, dinners for pop stars, christenings and bar-mitzvahs – we’ve done it all and we relish every new challenge!’

Canapés, to me, always feel like a treat. They are the perfect pre-dinner nibble, or they can provide sufficient sustenance at any drinks party but I always find there a lot of questions surrounding canapés – how many per head? When should I serve them, and how? Luckily &Feast are on hand to share with TOAST their event catering expertise and in depth canapé knowledge.

Read on for the perfect guide in preparation for the party season that lies ahead….


It’s a numbers game

‘We never like anyone to come away from a party hungry! If it’s drinks we would suggest 6-8 canapé choices with a mixture of vegetarian and meat options, so that there is something for everyone. For each choice we provide 2 bites per person so this would mean 12-16 canapés per person.

If you wanted to add sweet canapés as well we would suggest less - 5-6 choices and perhaps 2 sweet’

For before a meal (especially a three course one!) we usually say 2-4 canapé options, and maybe stick to 1 bite per person’

Life’s all about timing

‘We know parties never happen as exactly planned! So we try to start serving canapés as soon as about a third of the guests have arrived and have a drink, but we are completely flexible depending on the hosts.

People don't really like to be barraged as soon as they walk in so it's really about reading the situation and going from there. If guests are having a meal after, I would make sure there's enough time between the canapés finishing and sitting down to get a drink top-up etc.

But again, I think it depends on the party and I wouldn't say there's a right or wrong way to do things here’

Hot vs cold

‘We like a mixture of hot and cold canapés, just to keep it interesting! But as long as they are all delicious it doesn't really matter! It just depends on what you're looking for - some flavours work better hot and others work ambient or cold.’

Seasonal flavours

‘Obviously things taste at their best when they're in season but you don't need to limit yourselves by only cooking with seasonal produce. For canapés variety is key so we don't think there's anything wrong with serving fresh, Spring-inspired food at your Christmas Party along with mini Mince Pies!

Seasonal cooking is definitely important and is easier to do if you're getting your produce locally as we do; we source all of our meat and vegetables locally. Our first premises were next to a great green grocers Two Peas in a Pod and we continue to get all our vegetable from there. The owner, Malcolm, is a bit of a local institution and he's great if you're looking for some advice about seasonal produce!

Macken Brothers in Turnham Green Terrace is where we get our meat. There are an amazing old-school family butchers which serves to the public and restaurants alike. Their sausage meat is incredible! It's important to us to support local businesses, but we also think we're getting the best in quality and taste.’

Complimentary canapés

‘We think that choosing canapés that compliment each other is actually not hugely important, and we recommend that clients choose a range of different flavours. The great thing about canapés is that you can sample so many different things!

We would suggest being brave - keep it interesting but if you were only choosing 3, maybe stick to a meat, a fish and a vegetarian option so there's something for everyone. Of course we are always happy to give clients guidance if they're unsure, but the choice is usually based on personal preference.’

Serving up

‘At our parties we always serve our canapés on platters brought around by wait staff - this way guests don't have to break up their conversations to go in search of food!

Most of our canapés need to be assembled last minute to be at their best so sending out small amounts at a time on platters allows us to do this. It also gives us more control over presentation and - if the canapés are warm - temperature.

Napkins are pretty essential at canapé parties - most tasty canapés are also pretty messy!

Faux Pas?

‘Underseasoning – remember that canapés are one or two mouthfuls at most so the flavours should be pretty punchy. There's nothing more disappointing than a canapé that doesn't really taste of much!’

Feast Barnes 5

&FEAST’S TOP TIPS FOR CANAPÉ SUCCESS

  • It’s important to not rush food. Take your time. Allow enough time for your guests to try everything without having a different canapé offered to them, while they're still trying to finish the last one!
  • Choose your canapés based on what you think you and your guests will like, not what is fashionable.  
  • Make sure you use great ingredients. With canapés like beef skewers there's nowhere to hide, so it's important the meat is really good quality.
  • Don't be afraid to go for crowd-pleasers. One of our canapés that goes down the best at parties is our Honey Mustard Sausages - it may sound simple but they taste amazing and generally make people very happy, and that's what we're aiming for! You can see our recipe here!
&Feast are event caterers and also have a restaurant/café which can be found at 57 Church Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9HH. They also have an event and juice kitchen at 67 Sheen Lane, Sheen, London SW14 8AD. For more information take a look at thei rpage in our Little Black Book.
 

Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 04 October 2016

  canepes

  See All Articles

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