On Monday it was all happening at the terribly grand Porchester Hall in Bayswater. The teams from all our company-owned shops got together to celebrate, share ideas, and try all of our new summer dishes.
Our Moroccan dishes are incredibly popular and perfect for large get-togethers. Here are our top tips for hosting a phenomenal Moroccan dinner…
For pre-dinner nibbles, our favourites are little bowls of olives, some Moroccan Spice Chickpea Crispbreads to dip in a homemade Baba Ganoush … which, honestly, is a lot easier to make than it is to spell! Our co-founder Dale will walk you through it.
In March 1997, under the name Cakes and Casseroles, our first shop opened in Farnham. It’s been quite a journey and a lot has changed in those twenty years … but a lot has stayed the same: we still prepare all our meals by hand from quality ingredients, just like you would at home.
“To be quite honest, we’re kicking ourselves we didn’t make this earlier. It’s an absolutely classic Indian dish, based on a traditional recipe from the coastal region of Goa. Succulent pieces of chicken, marinated in tamarind, in an aromatic, mild curry sauce made with coconut milk and coriander, with vibrant green spinach and cherry tomatoes. Unusually, it gets its mild heat from mustard seeds rather than chilli. Mild and aromatic, this is a real crowd pleaser.”
‘Bhunaring’ is a COOKism for the first stage in making our delicious Indian curries. But, while we might have made up the word itself, the technique is as old as the hills – it’s the tradition cooking method used by Indian chefs all over the world.
It’s more of an art than a science and it will take a bit of practice (plus there’s a fair chance it will make your kitchen smell like a takeaway) but master it and you’ll soon be creating your own signature curries.
“The nation’s favourite curry! The story goes it was invented when some British diners didn’t realise that Chicken Tikka was a dry dish and asked for some sauce, and a quick thinking chef added a creamy coconut and tomato one to keep them happy. Whether that’s true or not, I learnt how to make it myself many moons ago now from an experienced Indian chef at a great local restaurant. And it’s still one of my absolute favourites.”
Charlotte, our Social Impact Manager, and Romane from Finance recently went to visit a FoodCycle hub near King’s Cross in London.They have 29 projects across the UK, and their volunteers cook surplus food in space kitchen spaces to feed those at risk of food poverty and social isolation. We give them the money we get from the 5p bag charge... which really add up and make a big difference.
A message from Arta, a chef in our Prep Team who used some of the paid leave we offer our office team to volunteer…
This January I went to Costa Rica for 3 weeks to work with children from vulnerable backgrounds, orphans and kids that suffer from abuse. We did a two-week Christian summer camp called Camp Hope for them completely free of cost where they could come and just be children again. We did loads of fun things together like rock climbing, ropes course, water day, games, dance, music and many other things.