OFFICE LUNCH

Now that office lunch is on its way back, let us get you familiar with the different options that are available.

There are the hot buffets as well as cold buffets, always a go-to when you would like something more hearty delivered to your city office ready to set up, kept warm in chafing dishes where possible.

Lunch boxes provide individual lunches ready to eat when you are, with a variety to choose from, vegetarian and vegan are also here.

Finger food is a firm favourite among colleagues as it can offer a wide range of styles and tastes and eat anywhere. We can also make these individuals if you are looking for that choice.

Sometimes when reception is called for, we would be able to help with a wide range of canapes and drinks from cocktails to prosecco and or champagne.

Breakfast is also a good way to start your day, with filled croissants and fruit platters.

And there are sandwich lunches with popular fillings of fish, meats, vegetarian and vegan. Slices of bread can range from multi-grain, ciabatta, and wraps as well as gluten-free bread.

We would hope that we cover most aspects of an office lunch or the drinks reception you might be planning. From china and glassware, quality recyclable/compostable plates and cups. Waiting for staff if needed to serve and look after your guests or colleagues.

Please get in contact 0207 018 6610, orders@mavenfoods .co.uk and view our website mavenfoods.co.uk for more ideas and information.

 

 

LUNCH BAG – Blog

 

A Lunch bag, with all that you might need within it. A filled sandwich with either meat, fish, vegetarian or vegan on granary bread or if you are after a gluten-free bread too.

You can have a drink, a piece of fruit and a classic chocolate bar or crisps. Once the basics are decided you can add more such as a chocolate brownie, a savoury food such as sausage roll or a salad pot.

A lunch bag can do so much, help with social awareness, and keep colleagues safe. When you need people to feed but they would be in different areas, collect and go.

This brown paper bag can contain so much, it can be a safe option, you can add more and create your own selection for your colleagues, on the go lunch.

We are going to introduce some Asian flavoured foods, snacks that would be hard to find here, but would adda little twist in your lunch bag. From tempura seaweed to kimchi noodle bowls.

We are just expanding choice and flavours for you to enjoy

As well as an Asian influence, we are going to add breakfast bags to our lineup. With filled croissants , mini danish pastries, a drink and fruit, all that you might need for an early morning breakfast on the go.

Take a look at our lunch bag menu, it might be what you are looking for.

 

GRAZING TABLE OR BUFFET

We suppose there is not much difference between them, a buffet being a selection of foods normally placed in one line. You would take a dinner plate and choose

from a selection of what’s on offer and then be seated at a table to eat.

Please don’t get us wrong, a buffet would have a good choice of foods and a place to sit and enjoy whatever you may choose and some that works well, a bit more formal.

Whereas a grazing table in our minds is more individual items such as crostinis topped with mashed avocado and sunblushed tomatoes, rolls of prosciutto filled with celeriac remoulade. All decked out on a table to suit the number of guests, maybe at different levels with cut breads, fruits and flowers and foliage to set it all off.

For some this gives a more social aspect as you might not be seated once you have made your choice, but instead have smaller plates and a fork and rome around the grazing table to help yourself to whatever takes your eye

Sometimes desserts can be amongst the savoury, or placed on a grazing table of their own, for later in the evening. This can give colleagues a chance to nibble here and there, take a drink and keep going back for more. At some point introduce the desserts and again have a little of what you fancy more often.

There are no set rules, it’s what works for you in the space you might have available. Please call if you would like to explore grazing tables.

Is a BBQ just sausages and burgers!

So just to say there is nothing wrong with a good burger or great sausages, the question should be why stop there. There are so many flavours from around the world to explore, all on a bbq

Let’s start with a japanese style bbq with grilled shiitake mushrooms chicken wings and asparagus, simple yet tasty the way only Japanese could do. Match that with teriyaki glazed salmon, chicken balls and yakitori chicken.

What mexican foods, Chicken flavoured with smoked paprika, pickled jalapenos, mashed avocado and chipotle mayonnaise. Mexican spiced salmon, refried beans, sour cream. Smoky pork and black bean tacos, coriander yoghurt and roasted peppers. Full of the flavour of mexico, spicy, fresh with lime and a touch of coriander.

Why keep to skewers, joints of lamb butterflied, marinated in chilli, soy and orange. Or sirloin of beef marinated in miso and korean chilli paste, all finished on the bbq. These can be carved and served with salads or placed in buns with sauces and pickles.

Grilled food in wraps, pita breads, on skewers in buns, placed in tacos, topped with cheese, sauces, pickled vegetables, salsa and relish.
Add something different to your summer bbq, whatever you have in mind we can help to provide drinks, cocktails, glassware, china and cutlery or just a great bbq with burgers and sausages using biodegradable plates and cutlery. Please get in touch, see if we can help.

 

SWEET AND SOUR – A TOUCH OF MISO

Bored of the same old cakes and desserts. Made a salted caramel sauce to drizzle over ice cream, sundaes and waffles. Why not try adding a savoury twist to give your cakes a deeper flavour, another dimension. One of my favourite flavours to get to that point where you can not help but eat more than you should is miso. Miso makes an excellent edition to all of your favourite dishes. One of my favourite things to bake is cinnamon rolls with miso paste and blueberries. This gives a great twist and you will be surprised by what an excellent flavour the miso gives the cinnamon rolls. Umami is what the Japanese might say, but ‘swalty’ it seems we might say here!
Miso is a Japanese paste, a mix of soybeans, grains and sea salt. Once fermented and aged, the mixture is ready to use. The wonderful paste that results from this process comes in a few forms. Buttery shiro (white) misos to medium-bodied shinsu (yellow) misos to beefy, pungent aka (red) varieties. To get an idea of what makes them different, the darker in color the miso, the saltier and more pungent it tastes.
White chocolate and burnt butter miso make for a unique cookie. It can easily be whipped up for a cosy winter afternoon at home either with a hot chocolate or a smooth red wine.
Tried all the variety of brownie recipes. Why not add some white miso paste and give them an umami flavour you never knew was there.
Even cheesecakes can be given a little lift, even if you do use fresh fruit in your mix.
Not sure about miso, why not try adding your favourite vegetable to cakes, carrot, pumpkin, beetroot, butternut squash and courgette to muffins, brownies or loaf cake. Or why not follow the example of the Americans and make a pumpkin pie. But just add a teaspoon of miso, it will become one of your kitchen staples.
Go and explore your cupboard and delight your taste buds.

Korean Food

 

 

Korean food sits somewhere between Japanese and Chinese food, but still able to have a style and individuality all off its own. Top of the list is kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage or now it can use other vegetables, which is seen as a healthy food that benefits
its said, your diegeston with good bacteria.
There are a few Korean essential ingredients that are the bases for many dishes,
Gochujang​, a red chilli paste, with different heat strengths. Doenjang , a soy bean paste
Ssamjang, used to make a spicy dipping sauce Soy sauce, korean soy is on the lighter side

Chungjang, a fermented black bean paste Always garlic and ginger
Corn,rice,malt syrup, used as a sweetener Aek jeot, fish sauce
Danmuji, pickled daikon
With vegetables such as chinese cabbage, spring onions, perilla/shiso leaves and many other wonderful ingredients to explore.
These foods come together to make exciting and tasty dishes such as bulgogi, the korean bbq sauce for beef, pork, chicken and fish. Kimbap, the korean equivalent to japanese sushi, but then still in its own style.
Dakgangjeong, korean fried chicken, if you have not tried
this yet then it is a must. Spicy, sweet, crisp and yet the chicken remains moist.
Bibimbap, with a base of rice and vegetables, so colourful, top it off with a fried egg. Bossam is pork belly, full of flavour, wrapped in lettuce leaves. Japchae is the name for korean stir fry rice noodles. Galbi jjim is the delicious slow cooked beef short ribs.
There are so many more foods we could list, but these are
some of the more popular ones and if you have not tried any as yet, then start by looking in your local supermarket. A lot of the ingredients mentioned above are beginning to find their way onto the supermarket shelves.
See what you can find and give it a go.
Enjoy. .

Japanese Party Food

Japanese food has become increasingly well-known for more than just Sushi and Yakitori, as now Japan has become the number one destination for foodies to go to and try the vast variety of amazing, tasty dishes with a depth of flavour. This Umami taste comes from a mix of kombu kelp and bonito flakes, also miso, sugar, salt, soya sauce and rice vinegar. They are used widely and wisely to tantalise the taste buds. Miso and soy sauce are made everywhere in Japan: they change in colour and strength of the flavour in local areas. In the east, the taste is much stronger and the colour darker; in the west, it’s a light colour and gentle texture.

So, when it comes to planning parties, try hosting a Japanese food theme party. There are many types of Japanese food that guests can enjoy eating. Form simple starters like Edamame freshly cooked soya beans, Waka-kyu cucumber and seaweed salad with sweet vinaigrette dressing, simple miso soup garnished with lovely grilled king prawns.

Even if you’re having a reception for colleagues, dishes that can be shared like Gyoza, Tempura, yakitori are perfect as they can be meat and vegetarian and even vegan, without the need for plates or dishes, just great finger food for socialising. So, you don’t need to worry about not catering to anybody. 

Not to forget some temaki sushi rolls: you don’t need any chopsticks to eat them with simple cone hand rolls of many flavours. Beautiful salmon, tuna, with avocado, or just avocado or cucumber. For the perfect Japanese meal, it would be nice to finish with a hosomaki roll. A small sushi roll with a bit of rice inside to emphasize the taste of the fish, cucumber, or natto, chopped formatted soybeans season with some mustard and soya sauce and spring onions.

Incorporating all the flavours mentioned plus so many more into mini bowl foods could add so much more to your party, ramen noodles, tonkatsu, yakisoba and katsu curries.

Finally, desserts: the Japanese have perfected making desserts such as Japanese cheesecake (cotton cheesecake). It has a less sweet flavour and is lighter than your traditional cheesecake. Dorayaki is a Japanese pancake sandwich which is typically filled with Anko, a red sweet bean paste.

A very traditional Japanese dessert is Mochi, sticky rice called mochi Gome, can be toasted, dipped into a sauce, or sweetened with a topping called kinako. Daifuku is the same mochi that is filled with a variety of sweet fillings. A summer favourite is Daifuku ice cream – one interesting flavour is red bean paste, it has a subtle sweet taste, and is very refreshing in summer.

All scrumptious desserts are complimented with Japanese green tea, made fresh just before being served to keep the beautiful green colour of Matcha.

Gas Vs Charcoal

Grilling

It is an age-old debate as to whether Charcoal or Gas Barbecue is best for your catering event. We hope to solve this conundrum once and for all!

When catering for BBQ’s, our aim is always to provide great food, efficient service and value for money. There are many factors to consider and the equipment that we use can make or break an event. Here are the reasons why:

Taste

The die-hard barbecue fanatics out there insist coal fired BBQ tastes better and creates for succulent meat. In 2015, we tested this theory and used a gas barbecue and charcoal fired barbecue with wood chips. To our surprise only 6 out of the 30 guests tasted a difference. We feel the reason is because the length of cooking time of 3-10 minutes is not long enough to produce the distinctive smokey flavor unlike a smoker that requires 1-8 hours cooking time.

Speed of cooking

A typical evening corporate BBQ event starts around 6.30pm finishing at 10pm. From our experience, assuming food service starts at 6.30pm, approximately 80% guests would have eaten by 8pm. With guest numbers typically between 50-300 it is very important that we can feed the guests quickly. We also need the temperature of the grills to be controllable and consistent. We use Cinders gas barbecues – the best in the market. These have adjustable zones that allow for different temperature settings and this helps with controlling the speed of service.

Efficiency

Gas BBQ’s takes around 5 minutes to set up and fire up to temperature compared to charcoal which can take over 40-60 minutes to get to temperature. This is particularly important when timings change during an event or longer events. Gas Barbecues are more reliable in adverse weather conditions and can be switched on and off very quickly. Gas BBQ are also cheaper to run compared to coal. The predictability of heat source also allows for a more consistent end-product.

Smoke

Charcoal creates more smoke during the set up and throughout the event. Whilst it creates an authentic atmosphere. However, the downside is that the smell of smoke sticks to clothes and to neighbours laundry more so than gas.

Our conclusion: Gas barbecue is the clear winner for caterers. They are easy to operate and mitigates against many risks that can spoil an important corporate or private event and, in our view very little or no difference in the taste compared to charcoal.

Your Summer BBQ Checklist

bbqPlanning a BBQ event can be both time consuming and incredibly stressful. There are a lot people to please including management, colleagues and clients. So the last thing you want is to forget something or for your BBQ to not live up to your expectations. To ensure your BBQ is a success we want to give away some useful tips all compiled into a very handy checklist to make your life much easier. We promise that this is the only summer BBQ checklist you will ever need.

8-10 weeks in advance

Before you can even begin to start ticking things off your checklist you must first decide who is responsible for which tasks . Be clear about responsibilities and set clear deadlines for the  tasks to be completed.

Now that you’ve delegated all of the tasks you need to decide on the objectives of your BBQ event. Identify the best date and time to attract the desired amount of guests. It’s also important that you estimate the number of guests so then you can decide whether or not a  Set admission charge would be appropriate . Once the amount of guests has been decided you can then calculate the budget for the whole event.

The location of your BBQ is imperative to whether or not your guests will be able to attend. Make sure your BBQ is located in a convenient and legal location. For instance if it is at an external venue or local park – make sure you enquire and secure the venue or location as early as possible to avoid disappointment as well as obtain any permits from the local government if necessary. When booking your venue make sure you’re clear about the capacity, logistics of the venue, disability access,facilities provided and seating arrangements. Other additional extras for your venue to have could be guest cloak rooms, coat rails and coat hangers.

On your BBQ invitations illustrate the benefits to your guests for attending and make confirmation of attendance easy. Perhaps send invites and reminders at least two weeks before your event is scheduled. Also, consider telephoning guests you really want to attend and  ensure you have name cards/holders in place.

Now that all of the logistics are sorted out you should contact your BBQ caterer to discuss the menu that will best fit your BBQ party. Ensure that you let your BBQ caterer know of  any other requirements such as drinks, staffing, equipment, furniture, heat lamps, poseur tables and marquees as they may be able to help.

Have you considered a theme of your BBQ? The most successful themed events are well researched in terms of purpose, decorations and feasability. To make your BBQ extra comfortable for your guests why not hire hay bales, picnic blankets, bean bags or deck chairs?

Think about other services you may require for example: photographers, DJ’s, AV equipment, lighting/power, transportation, accommodation, external toilets, security, staging, florists, clown, magicians, face painters, photo booths, ice cream carts, sweet carts, chocolate fountains, candy floss carts and marquees.  As well as these services consider entertaining your guests with some fun outdoor games. Get into to the relaxed party mood and create some fun games that everyone can get involved in. For example, garden chess,croquet, skittles, mini bowls, swing tennis, and even a bouncy castle if your budget permits it!

5-6 weeks in advance

Make enquiries to all suppliers and gather costings. Ensure confirmation for both supplier and BBQ caterer bookings.

Organise site visits and discuss how best to use the event space in terms of what the most suitable set-up is as well as how catering will be delivered on the day.

Write a checklist for all the things required on the day.

2-3 weeks in advance

Write speeches (if you are planning on having any) and always decide on a plan B if guest speaker or main speaker cannot attend on the day due to any unforseen circumstances.
Send confirmation to attendees with site maps and check on any special dietary requirements they might have then relay these to your BBQ caterer.

Ensure fire safety and health and safety checks are done.

Allocate staff and their tasks on the day of the event.

Re-confirm everything is in order with all suppliers and BBQ caterer.

Write your event brief, with tasks and timings for all staff, suppliers and caterers on the day.

Ensure that any team leaders are fully briefed.

1 week in advance

Check you have first aid kits, emergency stationary such as sellotape, scissors, extension leads, string on hand and in place for your BBQ.

Make sure you have all the props for games.

Organise name cards.

1 day in advance

Do one last final confirmation and email to attendees to let them know that you are looking forward to their attendance.

Set up all decorations, games, tables, chairs, seating cards at the venue.

Final checklist check.

On the day

Brief all staff and suppliers on the day and be clear what is required – their positioning, dress code and delegated tasks.

Allow yourself plenty of time to set up before greeting your guests and importantly enjoy the day!

Post event

Evaluate the success of the event against the objectives set at the beginning.

Send a thank you note to attendees and note to non-attendees.

Solving the challenges of organising office catering in London

There is a myriad of challenges customers face daily when ordering client and staff catering in London. Everyone desires to partner with a corporate caterer that is reliable, adds value to your organisation and provides a high-quality service. In this article, we are going to address some of the main challenges clients face and how Maven Foods help solve them.

Special dietary requirements

Dietary requirements are probably the most regular topic of discussion when it comes to corporate catering. All hosts want to ensure that guests with special requirements such as gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, dairy-free etc. are not left out and are well catered for.

Maven Foods ensure everyone is spoilt for choice. When placing your order, you simply need to state how many guests and which dietary requirements are required. We will ensure that the main menu is adapted to suit all guests or – in most cases provide a special meal served separately. All our tailored meals are just as appetizing as our standard menus!

Variation of menus

No one wants to eat the same thing all the time. This is especially frustrating for the companies who order catering on a regular or daily basis and staff, guests and clients have become bored and unexcited about the delivered catering.

Maven Foods work closely with customers to ensure they get variety with every order. We have an unrivalled choice of breads, wraps, rolls as well as sandwich fillings, fresh salads, savoury finger food and desserts. However, we do not publish all the food that is on offer otherwise our website will look like an encyclopedia – so just ask if there’s something you would like that isn’t on the menu! For regular clients, we frequently rotate food items, add new ones and change to seasonal products to ensure the food is ALWAYS fresh, ALWAYS tasty, ALWAYS exciting and ALWAYS different so that your guests leave very satisfied and wanting to come back again!

Efficiency of ordering, reliability and on time deliveries

You’re busy and have a lot of balls to juggle when it comes to hosting a corporate event. So, understandably, when ordering corporate catering, you want the process to be easy, fast and hassle free.  You also want efficient response times and confirmations of orders and deliveries to be on time.

Maven Foods understand fully that efficiency and reliability is a crucial factor to maintain a long-term relationship. When you send a request for next day delivery, in almost all cases we will respond well within an hour. We won’t leave you waiting. You also don’t need to complete online forms – just send an email and we will take care of the rest, leaving you to get on with the rest of the day.

Delivering your food on time is an absolute priority to us. London tube strikes, road closures, road works and accidents permitting – we are very rarely late. But on the rare occasion we are behind schedule to deliver by a specified time, we will always telephone you to give you an estimated time of arrival to put your mind at rest.

Consistency

Customers often complain that their previous caterer’s quality of the food was inconsistent. One day it is amazing and the next it’s not so good. Other times, part of their order is missing or quantity is not consistent. Salads look tired and limp and generally unexciting or appetizing.

Maven Foods set themselves apart from the leading caterers because our products are consistently well presented and ALWAYS fresh on delivery. Consistency of products and presentation is very important to us. We make most things, especially sandwiches on the morning of delivery, salads are prepared just prior to delivery, dressings are served separately and food is delivered in our temperature controlled vans to ensure food quality and safety. So, no more hard or stale bread and no more bland, limp salads!

Last minute orders

You are informed late in the day that one of your meetings tomorrow requires catering or you require last minute adjustments to an existing order. Providing requests are made the day before and not just before we set off for delivery, in most cases we are usually able to accommodate.

Catering for important guests or special occasions

Lunch catering is generally straightforward but there are times when you require something special for a long-standing client, special occasion, important board meeting or potential new client.

Maven Foods have a lot of choice on our standard menus, from simple sandwich lunches and finger buffets to cold fork buffets. But if there is something that is not on our menu or you are working to a specific budget, simply let us know and we will happily create a bespoke menu for you. As mentioned earlier, we have too much choice to include in our standard menus – so offering something different and more premium is not a problem at all.