Gerda’s Table were recently approached to cater for a vegan 40th birthday party. Initially I was very apprehensive as I realized though I have cooked for vegetarians...
Gerda’s Table were recently approached to cater for a vegan 40th birthday party. Initially I was very apprehensive as I realized though I have cooked for vegetarians and even love vegetarian food myself, I have never cooked a pure vegan meal. I thought well that is a challenge and I love challenges, but also that I can only learn something new. So I spent a few hours researching and reading up on the principles of the vegan diet and realized that I have the perfect solution to this way of cooking. All my Moroccan cooking books and of course Plenty of Ottolenghi have wonderous vegetarian dishes. I have cooked from my book Jewel by Bethany Kehdy many flavourful vegetarian dishes. And yes as quoted by my client’s review the
“brief wasn’t a simple one, with some dietary restrictions thrown in”
But at the same time it opens up a world of seasonal vegetable dishes and really makes you carefully consider and think of what you are choosing for a meal. I love the fact that “we tread a lot softer on this earth” by not using any animal products. The challenge also inspired my creativity as I had to carefully think about colour, texture, balance of flavours for the end presentation. Here is the final menu- and the cherry to top it all was the chickpea covered chocolate balls for the vegan birthday chocolate cake decoration!
40th Birthday party
Aperitive -Chargrilled sweet pepper and walnut dip served with thin toasted flat bread
Starters -Roasted tomato soup served in small cups, Spinach & sumac turnovers
Mains - Broad beans, peas & Fennel tagine served with couscous
Sides - Upside down cauliflower rice cake
Spring Sprout salad - Butternut squash with buckwheat polenta and tempura lemon
Dessert - Chocolate cake served with fresh berries and vegan buttercream
In principle I decided not to use any store bought products from vegan shops as I wanted the dishes to be original, seasonal and healthy. With some detailed planning and taking interest in the preparation of each dish it was not difficult to achieve a tasty and colourful array of vegan dishes.
This is the comment I received from my client after a star review on our facebook page:
“it is rare to find someone who looks beyond a ‘’chickpea curry” when you ask for a vegan menu. I stay at 5 star hotels and eat out at 5 star restaurants as part of my job and so often I am left eating a plate of veggies for main and a plain fruit salad for dessert. So I really do appreciate that you put in so much effort for us”.
This is really sad as 5 star places has a lot more infrastructure and capital to put towards innovative menus. There are many small vegan restaurants that cook fantastic food and these large 5 star places should really find collaboration with them to cater for every ones need.