Making wedding catering menu’s come to life with local and seasonal produce…

We’ve just been designing  new catering  recipes that will incorporate some of the vinegars/ compotes/ marinades/ pickles  we have been concocting here at the Green Olive kitchen over the summer.  With the good weather came  bumper crop’s .  I had a massive yield in organic gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and raspberries over the past few months.  I’ve been chasing my tail trying to harvest them before the birds get to them, but being a wild life lover, I don’t really mind sharing my produce with our feathered friends.

The first of my fruits that appeared this season was gooseberries, at the same time as our beautiful aromatic indigenous elderflower.  I made an Elderflower syrup which scented the gooseberries into a compote.  You have to be careful not to overcook the gooseberries, so I sit them into the hot elderflower syrup to retain their structure and to give piquance to the compote.  I use the compote in my sharing platters in our wedding catering menu’s.  It marries well with cheeses and cured meats. 

We are at the height of the season for foraging at the moment here in Ireland.  Wild herbs and fruit are at their best just now and it’s important to harvest and extend their longevity through processes such as pickling, dehydrating, salting, curing, fermenting to name a few. 

Having been working for over twenty years in hot sweaty kitchens, I grab any opportunity I can to get out and about in the fresh air.  My Dad always said that if you work indoors you should find an outdoor hobby.  My great passion is cycling, but a close second is hunting and foraging for ingredients in my local area and tending to my organic herb and fruit beds.  I think there’s nothing better than using the local flora and fauna in my recipes.

 I love to experiment in the kitchen and play with food.  Lots of experiments don’t work first time, but I learn from them.  My next blog will tell you all about my flavoured vinegars, I’ve had great fun with them…

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