Haute Couture Catering With Bubble Food

TOAST talks luxurious and innovative catering with Bubble Food

Bespoke, luxurious and innovative, TOAST caught up with Michael Collins, Managing Director of Bubble Food, to hear more about their inventive haute couture catering, and *those* Absolutely Fabulous cocktails…

There are many things that can make or break an event. The music’s too loud, the lighting’s not right, one of the guests is horribly drunk and fallen over (who? Me? Never!) but one of the worst things, surely, is when the food is just plain boring – which is something that can never be said of Bubble Food’s incredibly inventive repertoire.

“We became so bored with everyone producing the same old canapés and cocktails. We wanted to make events more fun - provide some intrigue and some curiosity, to guest guests talking and excited about being there,” explains Bubble Food’s Managing Director Michael Collins. 

“We’ve had a highly creative ethos from the very beginning and we absolutely love to create theatre, often with immersive, multi-sensory, personalised and/or branded elements. We’ve been so lucky to work on some incredible events…we’ve had a weird and wonderful range of briefs, that might have had many standard caterers running for the hills!”

Bubble Food Immersive Dining

Recent events that Bubble have unleashed their creativity on include the Progress 1000 reception at the London Science Museum where Prince Charles and Sadiq Khan were guests of honour, the GQ & Glamour Woman of the Year Awards and of course, the Absolutely Fabulous film premiere after-party at luxury London department store Liberty, where the tongue-in-cheek cocktails created and served by Bubble have become the stuff of legend: a raspberry cosmopolitan complete with a rolled up bank note and a small bag of a mysterious white powder clipped to the side of the glass (it was sherbet, naturally).

Our Skyfall Martini is also hugely popular!” Michael adds. Made with Ketel One vodka, Tanqueray gin, Cocchi Americano, plum wine, lemon and yuzu juice - you can understand why.

Skyfall Bubble Food

(Skyfall Martini)

Bubble Food Abfab

(AbFab Martinis)

“We often work on private events too – weddings, parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversary dinners, etc” Michael explains.

“The process is exactly the same, except that we offer a little more support if the client hasn’t had experience of event planning before. I’d love to tell you about some of the high profile private events we’ve worked on, but I am afraid I can’t!

At the helm of the Bubble kitchen is visionary Executive Head Chef Jens Nisson, who has carved out a formidable reputation for pushing the boundaries of event catering above and beyond established expectations. Imagination and innovation is key, and the whole team is invited to participate in creative meetings where their ingenious dishes and wider experiences are dreamt up and developed.  

“We discuss trends, and experiences that we’ve had while travelling or at restaurants, etc. We also focus on things like what we loved eating as kids, and what traditions or rituals were important to us” explains Michael. 

“We really want our food to resonate with guests and we find that this is best achieved by reaching them on an emotional level – helping trigger fun flashbacks of holidays or childhood memories. This in turn creates a more impactful event – and often results in guests sharing their experiences on social media, to a much wider audience.”

As well as creating mind-boggling imaginative food that tastes as good as it looks, Bubble can also project manage the entire event if the client so desires. Their philosophy is ‘at a Bubble experience, every guest is a star’ and Michael believes that the key to event success lies not only in fabulous and innovative food, but in the service too.

“Our staff receive rigorous training and briefings to ensure that they are fully prepared to offer 5 star service. Above this, they are always asked to pre-empt what guests may require and to discreetly provide this as appropriate, and so we are often told that we exceed our clients’ expectations” he explains.

And of course, like many events, it’s the personal touches that make the difference too. Bubble, of course, takes this to the next level.  

“We worked on an event whereby the client wished to create a unique and innovative experience for each individual guest. On arrival, guests were asked to complete a short personality type questionnaire and were equipped with RFID enabled wristbands. Bubble used this data to create bespoke experiences for each guest by pairing personality types with cocktail and food selections, as guests ‘touched in’ around the space.”

As if that wasn’t enough, about 5 years ago Bubble began offering a full range of molecular gastronomy menus that would make Heston feel inadequate, featuring the likes of wagyu beef tartare and shallot vinegar pearls served in a gold leaf brioche bun, to scarlet shrimp served with a sea water gel. 

“We wanted to offer something different and a little more provocative than what we saw happening in the industry at the time," Michael explains.

“One of my favourite Bubble events was the multi-sensory celebration dinner for Chivas 21 Year Old Royal Salute, which was held in the King’s State Apartment at Kensington Palace. We worked with a food curator and other partners to create 21 exquisitely crafted moments of sight, sound, feel, taste and smell, honouring the 21 blends in the whisky and its Scottish heritage.”

Guests were greeted in their taxis with specially designed canapés, whilst listening to a soundscape recording. Once they had enjoyed arrival drinks and hot towels fragranced with gunpowder and flint, guests were invited to forage in heathland-style foliage where they discovered edible pickled mushrooms. After that, dinner commenced with smoked oyster and chanterelle mushroom soup served in velvet lined bowls, accompanied by bread rolls which had been laser cut with the guests’ names.

The eight course dinner concluded with ‘perfect balance of power and grace’ petit fours made from candied spices like ginger, juniper berry, coriander seeds and chilli, covered in dark chocolate and golden chocolate ‘weights’ presented with Victorian scales which guests were invited to keep balanced!

“It was such a detailed and carefully created event, and our first dinner held at Kensington Palace, where we had to adhere to very strict guidelines. It was an immense challenge, where precision and timing were crucial, and so it was hugely rewarding for the whole team that the event was such a success!”

TUFF RHS Bubble By Christa Holka

New Season Lamb Bubble Food

(New Season Lamb)

Other fabulous foodie experiences include Bubble’s ‘Wasp Ice-cream’ – honey sabayon served on a small spike with bee pollen and a electric flower, accompanied by warm sunshine lighting, and sounds of chimes and buzzing, transporting guests back to being a child fending off wasps from an ice-cream van treat, and their ‘Bubble Bake Off’ which features mini puddings in mixing bowls resembling cake ingredients, so that guests can lick the bowl clean to the soundtrack of Fanny Craddock reading a cake recipe in her traditional country kitchen

Wasp Icecream Bubble Food

(Bubble Food Wasp Ice Cream)

Bake Off Bubble Food

(Bubble Bake Off)

Oh and did I mention their fish and chips canapé? Served on edible ‘newspaper’ - the wording of which can be customised.

“We also offer molecular pearls which can be added to champagne or other sparkling drinks to reinforce event or brand colours, whilst creating additional flavour combinations. Sometimes we even set up pearl-making workshops for guests so that they can make their own.” Michael adds.

I really do feel very proud when I go to Bubble events and see the ideas we have all discussed come to life!”

Bubble Food Canapes(Bubble Food Canepe)

Bubble Food Magnifying Glass

Bubble Food

UMAMI Bomb Aubergine Dashi Electric Button


Smokehouse Sea Trout Bubble Food

(Smokehouse Sea Trout)

To learn more about Bubble Food and how they can help bring some of your own ideas to life then take a look at their listing in our Little Black Book

With thanks to Samantha Welstead-Wood, Business Development Manager at Bubble Food.


Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 17 November 2016

  catering, creative food, immersive food

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