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Toms Feast - local, seasonal, organic
Inspirational food hero and ethical chef Tom Hunt of Tom's Feast joined Green Union recently and we are excited to let you in on the secret...
Tom is so passionate about his food and the wedding catering service they provide, that we thought it would be best to let him tell you about it in his own words:
"I sincerely enjoy every minute of a wedding. First the planning, with animated and creative discussions about the banquets we can create, then working together to find a location, and finally the big day itself. Delivering fresh ethical food at such a merry celebration is massively rewarding.
There’s nothing we like better than cooking huge communal feasts, of celebration, with abundant vibrant dishes that are great shared between loved ones. We like to bring an alfresco french wedding feel to the food, keeping it rustic and packed with flavour.
I really love cooking outside and if possible with fire! I have a beautiful wood oven and chargrill that we bring along to all our do’s. It allows us to make really special dishes like authentic porchetta, wood roasted sea bass with fennel and stone baked breads.
Our green wedding credentials: We care about the environmental impact of our work. We pride ourselves on sourcing our food ethically - all our ingredients are seasonal without question and we prioritise buying local, organic ingredients from sources we trust.
“how do you feed 270 people michelin-starred food in the middle of the wilderness? you call Tom and his team” – James Whewell, Organiser Wilderness festival.
Oh, and Tom's Feast was featured last year in one of our Natural Nuptials blog posts.
The Wholeleaf Co. - the smartest use (ever!) for fallen leaves…
Usually, at this time of the year the mere mention of ‘fallen leaves’ makes my heart drop because it usually means raking for hours on end, clearing the leaves in my the garden and piling them in the leaf bin for next year’s leaf mould supply.
This time The Wholeleaf Co’s fallen leaf plates and bowls brought a smile to my face as there was absolutely no raking involved! Just perfectly formed plates, bowls and platters ideal for green wedding celebrations.
The Wholeleaf Co’s fantastic Palm Leaf Plates are made from the naturally shed leaves of the Areca palm trees growing in the lush green forests of Southern India - a renewable material. All they do to turn the leaf into a plate, bowl or platter is wash it in locally sourced spring water and heat-press it into shape. That's it! They don't use any chemicals, resins, agents, glues or anything else just the leaf, the Wholeleaf and nothing but the leaf, and some water.
Wedding food doesn't get better that this ...
Chatting to Alex, who runs Alexandra's Kitchen in West Sussex along with her husband Nor, the other day, I couldn't help but be thoroughly impressed with their food philosophy.
Posted in Green Wedding Caterers, Food & Drink
With wedding receptions becoming more informal affairs - a huge future trend - we thought ingenious small catering business, Georgios Pizzas, could be the perfect choice for a fantastically fun gathering!
Georgios is a small Somerset based local business, launched in 2009 by their love for traditionally delicious organic sourdough based pizzas baked in a mobile wood fired pizza oven. The pizzas are made using locally produced Organic Shipton Mill flour and the sourdough process means that there is no yeast added to the bread, giving them a great bite which is far lighter than the western deep pan variety.
This is a unique pizza catering experience; they are happy to travel to weddings and parties, though South West based, and conscious of their carbon footprint, they say they do like to keep things as local as possible, sorry New York, London and Japan!
If you try them you are sure to find them as addictive and delicious as we have!
A wedding that won’t cost the Earth ...
If you are as committed to a green way of life, as you are to each other, then naturally you will want to ensure that your wedding is truly Green!
And with the average wedding costing dearly in monetary value and the earth’s resources, there are lots of measures you can take to make sure your wedding day doesn’t go against all that you believe in. You'll be looking for a thoughtfully planned menu for your wedding breakfast, an organic wedding cake, recycled stationery and a vintage wedding dress which all gain eco-points, so choosing an eco chic wedding venue will top the bill. Look no further, The Green House Hotel is a must see ...
The Green House, Bournmouth's 'Small Hotel of the Year 2010', a stylish and modern eco-friendly four star boutique hotel, boasts about being one of the Greenest hotels in the UK with excellent service and luxurious accommodation.
A Valentines Day Gift of Health
Give your Valentine a wonderful gift of health with a two day's Food and Health Course an Penrhos' Green Cuisine Cookery School. Get a head start on your new married life by learning all about the nourishing food that gives you Health & Vitality.
It's a practical course suitable for anyone wanting to learn how their choice of foods determines their health, well being and quality of life. Participants prepare their meals from whole, fresh, organically grown and seasonal food.
The course covers:
Dishes you prepare are seasonal but may include:
Two-day residential course costs £325.00 per person and includes:
For two people sharing a room on the Food and Health course, there is a discount of £40 per person.
And to celebrate Valentine's Penrhos' extra gift to you is a bottle of organic Champagne
For more details email Jean at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 01544 230720
Fabulous fairtrade chocolate offer for Christmas! Plus lots of other goodies - there's still time to buy ...
This weekend! Organic Food Festival at Bristol
Get down to Bristol Harbourside for Europe’s largest showcase of all things organic.
As part of Organic Fortnight and now in its ninth successful year, the Soil Association’s Organic Food Festival, in association with Yeo Valley, will be showcasing delicious organic food and drink with shopping, cookery demos and taste workshops for kids - alongside gorgeous skincare, fabulous fashion, organic textiles, home design, and advice on organic gardening.
You’ll find hundreds of organic products, an organic bar, cooking with Raymond Blanc, Barny Haughton and other top chefs, and a lively street food bazaar. It’s a great day out for the whole family, not least because it’s £5 per ticket .
When? Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 September
For more information see the website:
Summer loving berry scrumptious!
The sun is shining again and British summer goes hand in hand with British Strawberries. Which beings to mind our lovely partners Berry Scrumptious who grow their own strawberries in Aberdeenshire and then dip them in the most luscious chocolate creating sublime wedding favours, alternative wedding cakes, wedding desserts, gifts and special treats.
Now they're entering the BBC Four Food and Farming Awards and we can help them scoop this prestigious award which they wholeheartedly deserve! All you need to do is go to the nomination form and choose Best Food Producer from the drop down categories, fill in your personal details then put Berry Scruptious and their contact details in the copy entry and wax lyrical about them! Easy peasy.
Oh, and if you're stuck for a present for the person who has everything, a box of their fresh chocolate covered strawberries will do the trick. Order online at www.berryscrumptious.co.uk/shop before 10.30am for next day delivery from Tuesday – Saturday.
Small screen stars
Berry Scrumptious, talented and dedicated creators of delicious chocolate dipped strawberry wedding favours, are stars of the small screen this week with an appearance on BBC2’s Working Lunch.
They're showing off their new raspberry flavoured chocolate range. Take a look on the BBC i Player here. The feature starts 6 minutes in.
Apart from their gorgeous chocolate strawberries which make inspired wedding favours and a very original idea for alternative wedding cakes, the new raspberry flavoured chocolate is a great present for Father’s Day (next Sunday for all those who have forgotten!).
You can buy online at Berry Scrumptious' own online shop.
Have a great weekend!
Posted in Green Wedding Caterers, Food & Drink
Proof of the pudding
We're not at all surprised to discover, I admit a little belatedly, that Dartmoor Kitchen scooped the 'Weddings Matter' award for Westcountry Wedding Caterer of the Year 2009 at the Westcountry Wedding Awards in April.
Dartmoor Kitchen’s ethos – ‘a fresh approach to food’ – and individual attention have made the eating experience a highlight of so many gorgeously eco chic weddings and events in the South West and they are recognised throughout the Westcountry as the sustainable and stylish caterer of choice.
What's more, Dartmoor Kitchen's Head Chef and Manager Tom Cull is passionate about promoting and maintaining a vibrant, contemporary approach to food production and presentation. He's committed to sourcing the very best local and seasonal produce from his own Dartmoor doorstep and this committment means he is quite willing to source organic food when required.
The Dartmoor Kitchen team is committed and close knit, all totally dedicated to providing their clients and wedding parties with the best possible service. Having worked with them, I can personally vouch for that!
"The food was outstanding...the highlight of our wedding" Savannah Miller
Posted in Green Wedding Caterers, Food & Drink
Venue Down, Next Up: The Menu
We have been increasingly aware of the connections between our food systems and sustainability, and wanted to make sure our wedding menu wasn’t a complete divergence from our general efforts to consume sustainable foods. One of the reasons we moved to Oregon was the abundance of local food options, and we want to make sure to reflect that in the wedding meals. For us, we have two meals to think about—the day prior to the wedding we’ll have a “Welcome to Town” picnic in a local park, including lunch, and then dinner at the reception on our wedding day.
We are planning to do the cooking for the picnic (with the help of our best friends, wedding party members, who will come to town a few days early to help). This will give us complete control over the menu and ingredients for one of the two meals. We’re also going to be swimming in veggies by the wedding weekend—we have a small community garden spot we’ve planted full of vegetables (and a few strawberries), and belong to a CSA which provides us with a week’s worth of fresh produce. Most likely we’ll do a vegetarian lasagna meal for the picnic, which will be easy to prepare in advance, and can accommodate whatever vegetables we end up with from the CSA.
For the day of the wedding, our venue will be catering the dinner, and they sent us a 25-page document full of food options. Our next task is to narrow the dinner down—at this point we are planning to have a vegetarian and a meat option (probably seafood since we are coastal, but that’s still up in the air). Of course, the budget comes into play here too. We had originally wanted, in lieu of a cake, to have ice cream and a “berry bar” filled with local berries. While there are berries of every sort available here in the summer, the cost of getting enough for 75 people put that idea to rest.
Alcohol is easy to get locally, since the venue has a brewery and winery on site! We decided to provide beer and wine for our reception, and have other drinks available on a pay-as-you-drink basis. This will keep our costs down a bit and focus our guests on the local options.
Now, back to the endless task of trying to finalize the guest list!
Posted by Kerry - Blogger Bride
Fabulous new wedding venue!
We think you'll love this fabulous new wedding venue - Clavelshay Barn in Somerset.
Nestling in its own private valley, Clavelshay is set in a beautiful, peaceful and tranquil rural setting. The traditional stone barn which was built around 1700, was simply and sympathetically converted by the owners using natural materials and the oak flooring in the restaurant, cedar staircase and window sills are all made with wood from the farm. The spectacular elm roof beams are original and still have wooden pegs in the joints!
A perfect background for those ever special wedding photographs.
Somerset grows and produces some of the best food in the country and the Clavelshay kitchen is totally committed to selecting the very best local growers and suppliers for the food it serves, including the farm's own home-reared beef. Bread is baked daily and even the water on the table is from the farm's own spring.
Although the Barn only seats 50 wedding guests, there is ample space outside for a marquee or tent that can accommodate up to 100 guests.
You might think it a drawback that Clavelshay doesn't have a civil wedding license but this shouldn't be a problem if you are happy to get wed in the local registry office and then hold your reception at the Barn. Make a day of it and bus your guests from the ceremony to the reception in an old charabang!
And following on our theme of gorgeous glowing autumn colours, textures and produce, it's that time of the year again...
APPLE DAY celebrating the heritage of English apples, is on 21 October this year and there are heaps of events all over the country this weekend or next, celebrating the quintessential qualities and diversity of the appplicious English apple. You can find out more at Common Ground or just do your own thing. Full of rich symbolism, the apple is a wonderful way of carrying a theme through your wedding day if you're marrying in the autumn. Delicious to eat cooked and raw, beautiful to look at and a jewel when used in decorations, place settings or as wedding favours, use apples to your heart's content.
William Crump, American Mother, Adams Pearmain, Tom Putt, Lucombe’s, Pine Major, Woolbrook Russet, Upton Pyne, Plum Vite, Hoarry Morning and Slack ma Girdle are just a few of the wonderful names of apples - use them for your table names.
Go pick a few apples or support your local farmer's market and wander home to make this delicious apple cake:
Cream together 125gms butter and 125gms soft brown sugar and mix in 2 eggs beaten.
Eat warm with lashings of clotted cream! Mmmmmmmmmm...
Passionate about food?
BBC3 is looking for people to take part in a returning series of the ground-breaking programme Kill it, Cook it, Eat it.
This new series will explore our attitudes to killing and eating wild game. The programme will cover every aspect of the process from hunting and shooting animals to preparing the carcass for the kitchen They will be killing, cooking and eating deer, rabbit, grouse and duck.
They aim to challenge and probe your views on this issue: where do you draw the line with the meat you’re prepared to eat – and why? Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat connoisseur, or simply want to see for yourself the processes involved in getting meat to your plate, then get in touch.
They’re looking for a handful of people with vocal opinions about meat and where it comes from to join them. Kate told me that "Obviously this is a fantastic series in terms of generating discussion and we welcome viewpoints from a variety of people, from vegan to pro-hunt. We would love to discuss the series with people whose views of the killing and cooking of animals is influenced by their lifestyle choices, (such as sustainable living)."
If you would like to be considered, simply give them a call on 0207 033 2300 or send them an email with your NAME and NUMBER and they will be in touch with application details. Filming is in Scotland and you will be needed for one or possibly two days (with an overnight stay) in late September.
For further information contact Kate on 020 7033 2271 or email email@example.com
Wedding breakfast inspiration
Are you spending the weekend planning for your ethical wedding this time next year?
Here's a little seasonal foodie inspiration for your eco friendly wedding menu:
'Tis the season for asparagus, globe artichokes, broad beans, spinach, beetroot, radishes, broccoli, peas, horseradish, runner beans, fennel, Cornish earlies, spring onions, lettuce, stawberries and cream, gooseberries, cherries, rhubarb, elderflowers, spring lamb, wood pigeon, line-caught sea bass, lobster, halibut, john dory, herring, plaice, lemon sole, crab, line-caught mackerel, pollack and sardines.
If you're not sure how to find someone to source and dish up a delicious seasonal feast then look no further than our directory of Caterers, Food and Drink.
Tuck in and enjoy a feast of locally grown seasonal British food!
Real Food Festival
If you're in London this weekend and you love food, then the Real Food Festival at Earls Court is the place to be.
Raymond Blanc, Chef-Patron of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons says, "In choosing our food we make a statement as to which consumer were are, whether we are responsible or not, ethical or not. We are now engaged in a process of reconnecting our food with our culture - and ethics will now drive our choice. Whether we are parent, employer, farmer, chef, industrialist etc each of us individually and collectively will have the responsibility to make better choices to create a better food chain. The Real Food Festival will definitely take us one step closer to discovering new and innovative propositions to our produce conundrums."
They promise incredible wines and drinks from small, unique producers, restaurants serving carefully sourced dishes and a comprehensive programme of entertaining and educational workshops where visitors will discover some of the best food and drink in the world…
And not only can you meet the people that reared the pigs, planted the carrots, milked the cows and crushed the grapes, you can taste their produce, learn about it, then buy it to take home.
So if you're wondering what seasonal food to serve your guests on your ethical wedding day, this is the place to start looking.
The Real Food Festival - 24th to 27th April, Earl's Court 1, London
Seven green ways to personalise your wedding day - Day 5
And just to get you going here are a couple of delicious cocktail recipes from Luscombes Organic Drinks who make the best drinks in Devon using only the freshest ingredients and leaving out all the nasties:
Is chicken on the menu?
Celebrate on Apple Day
What a brilliant idea for a wedding theme!
Throughout October, wherever apples are grown and loved round the world, communities celebrate their own apple day. In England its 21st October, and throwing a green wedding on, or around Apple Day will go a long way to demonstrating to your guests and the world that you are in tune with the countryside and the seasons.
Celebrate the wonderful variety of our apples which vary from region to region, even village to village in some cases. Have your wedding feast in the midst of an orchard, use apples in your floral decorations, drink apple juice, cider, cider brandy or have a warm apple punch to welcome your guests to the reception.
Organic Fortnight - Food
Yesterday we went to the Organic Food Festival in Bristol. What a great day! We took the train to Bristol and then a boat from Temple Meads Station ferried us right to the heart of the Festival at the Harbourside - such a civilised way to travel and so stress free.
The Soil Association, which hosted the Organic Food Festival says that "Choosing organic is one simple way to help curb climate change, because organic farming typically uses 30% less energy than non-organic agriculture. Rather than using climate-change boosting artificial fertilisers, organic farmers build fertility naturally using plants like clover.
Posted in Green Wedding Caterers, Food & Drink
There's still time to vote for your local food hero
UKTVfood says "There's been a resurgence of interest in local food traditions and commitment to quality - and with good reason. While modern farming methods, microwave meals, and food miles continue to cast a shadow, there's a growing band of dedicated people who care enough to make a difference on what we buy and how we eat. We're looking to support small-scale businesses that exhibit pride and passion for their craft. These are the unsung food heroes that don't compromise on quality in favour of making a fast buck on mass production lines."
So get voting! Tomorrow's the deadline and if you care about all those wonderful people who make delicious food, give them your support now.
Image: West Yeo Moor Farm Shop near South Molton, Devon
Posted in Green Wedding Caterers, Food & Drink
What's in season?
If you're planning a green wedding at this time of the year you or your florist won't find it hard to source locally grown seasonal flowers that haven't been flown from the other side of the world. At Churchtown Farm on the Isles of Scilly they grow wonderfully scented pinks throughout the summer and autumn. Arrange them with other summer flowers like daisies, veronica, grasses, cornflowers, nigella seed pods and cosmos for a relaxed laid back affair like a picnic or country vintage theme like this one by Idyllic Days.
You'll be spoilt for choice with an abundance of local seasonal food. Courgettes, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, wonderful cheeses and salad leaves, soft fruits like raspberries and strawberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants. Fish, especially local lobster, is at its best if the weather's good, but our small boats in Devon have had a hard time of it trying to get out this month because the weather's been too rough, so fish is in short supply at the moment. Get your caterer to source only the very best local and organic food.
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