A Spanish tapas lunch in the heart of London

At the beginning of June, we were delighted to be asked to create a Spanish tapas and paella lunch to help launch 15 King Street, a new corporate office space in central London. Working alongside the prestigious private wine club, 67 Pall Mall, and the ever inventive and delicious cheesemongers, Paxton & Whitfield, we created a spread of Spanish tapas and Spanish inspired salads. We wanted to keep the tapas flavours traditional (no Spanish tapas lunch is complete without Patatas Bravas or plenty of chorizo), but being an afternoon event, and paired with paella, we were conscious they shouldn’t be too heavy. The results were a mixture of traditional Spanish tapas flavours – cue Patatas Bravas, smoky chicken skewers and anchovy butter – but with a focus on balancing these with lighter, smaller options, including refreshing gazpacho shots, crisp salads, and lightly char-grilled vegetables.

The day was warm and the sun shone in through the windows showing off the venue in all its glory, while a huge paella cooking inside the office gave off a delicious aroma of spices and saffron. 60 surveyors passed through the building stopping for lunch across the afternoon, we kept the salads topped up and the hot food coming as they mingled, ate and enjoyed the space. Themed events are always fun and it was a delight to work with everyone involved. Please do get in touch if you’d like more information about how we can help with private and corporate catering.

  • Spanish Tapas Chorizo Skewers
  • Spanish Tapas Gazpacho shots
  • Spanish Tapas Chorizo Skewers and Flowers
  • Spanish Tapas olives and salads
  • Spanish Paella
  • Spanish tapas pan con tomate
  • Parsons Creative Food waitress
  • Fresh salad
  • Scotch eggs
  • Spanish salad spread
  • Tables laid
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Parsons Creative Food waiter
  • Wine glasses
  • Red wine

 

A Local Food Experience in Paris

Paris: the gastronomic capital of the world. Famous for its world class chefs and Michelin starred restaurants. However, unless you have booked more than a month in advance, and have the spending power of a city banker, the world of haute cuisine is daunting for some and inaccessible to most. But as Parson’s Chef Chloë discovered recently, Paris’ food culture is everywhere and able to be enjoyed by everyone…


One of the best and worst things about being a chef is that you get used to waking up at the break of day, and this habit can be difficult to change even when you’re on holiday. I recently went away to Paris, and, unable to sleep in, I decided to head out for a morning stroll to the local food market. As I walked through the 12ème arrondissement to the Marché d’Aligre, I watched as Paris slowly came to life: a young Chinese girl helped her mother set up chairs on the street outside their restaurant, tourists piled out of a hostel in search of a quick caffeine fix after a late night and everywhere the hum and buzz of traffic flowing throughout the city.

As I turned onto Rue D’Aligre, the relative tranquillity of the main street melted away and I was bombarded by the sights, smells and sounds of a bustling Parisian food market. Stalls lined each side of the pavement, laden with a colourful array of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sellers called out to passers by, “Carrotes! Fraises! Abricots!” and bartered with frumpy old French dames over the price per kilo of borlotti beans.

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One of many fruit and veg stalls, Aligre Market, Paris

Behind the stalls, the permanent shops had thrown open their doors, revealing trays of fish on ice beds, their scales shining in the sunlight, or wheels of aged cheese sat proudly on wooden crates, the air around them pungent. There was a different boulangerie at every turn, from the traditional French to a family-run Levantine bakery selling baklava and flatbreads. A coffee bar called Café Aouba opened up onto the street, and the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans permeated the air around it, beckoning me in. I bought a bag of coffee grounds from Costa Rica to take back to the team at Parsons, ordered ‘un café’ (an espresso in France) and knocked it back stood at the little wooden bar overlooking the street.

At the end of Rue D’Aligre there is a Marché Beauvau (covered market) with permanent stalls. Roast suckling pigs rotate slowly on spits next to one butchers stall and rows upon rows of French and Belgium beers line the crates of another. France is renowned for its sensational patisseries and this market does not fail to deliver; the dessert display at a little patisserie called Jojo & Co is a work of art in itself.

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Jojo & Co Pastries, Aligre Market, Paris

I spent a wonderful hour wandering through the market, absorbing everything, imagining dishes to create, and tasting the odd apricot (they were in season when I visited in July and so abundant that every seller was trying to shift their stock). I left the market laden with enough French cheese, fresh vegetables and handmade pastries to feed a small army, and the feeling that I had experienced Paris’ affordable culinary culture from a local’s perspective. Think I’ll save that trip to Le Cinq for next time.

Links:

Jojo & Co Patisserie

 

Cafe Aouba on Timeout

Spring Menus Announced

We are very excited to announce we have just launched our new spring menus. Over the past few months our culinary team has worked hard, refining classic recipes and adding some delicious new items that we believe will become modern classics. We hope you will be tempted to try something new!

Our philosophy is simple, to provide a high-quality catering service for any event in or around London, no matter how big or small. Our new menus are no exception. By using only exceptional, fresh and seasonal ingredients our experienced chefs have created an exciting new selection of food. Featuring bowl food, canapes, fine dining and finger buffets we can work together to plan the perfect menu for your event, taking into consideration all dietary requirements, themes, situational considerations and, of course, your personal preference. No challenge is too big and we love to put our creativity to the test. Take a look at our current menus here and get in touch at info@parsonscreativefood.co.uk to talk future about what you require.