10 MINUTES WITH TOP CATERERS AND FOODIES CAPER & BERRY 

In 2013 we were thrilled to discover that one of the country’s top up and coming caterers Caper & Berry were based on our doorstep in Surrey and it was the start of an incredibly exciting and rewarding relationship. Tim Brennan, the owner and his fun and professional team have proved time and time again why they are one of our go-to caterers no matter where we are working in the UK.

Choosing the right caterers and menu options for your party, wedding or event can be both time consuming and overwhelming. Here at Apollo, we help our clients navigate the planning process, part of which involves us connecting them with our chosen partners.

“Caper & Berry’s creative and professional approach means they get the food design element spot on every time.”

Can you talk us through the Caper & Berry experience from tasting through to the main event?

Our clients are invited to dine at our beautiful tasting cottage right next to our office. The log fire roars as chef brings in a selection of delicious canapes to enjoy with champagne. After the tasting, our amazing wedding specialist puts together a function sheet which is passed along to both our event manager and Apollo to make sure the event is recorded. Caper & Berry are always on hand for support from initial enquiry right up to the last candle is blown out at the end of an event.

How do you go about designing a wedding a menu? Can a caterer instantly get a sense of the couples’ taste and style and make suggestions?

We always have changing core menus with seasonal suggestions. These are tried and tested and are all designed to be achievable from 10-1000 guests. Our clients usually know if they want something very formal and seated, but sometimes prefer to have food station and bowl foods. We listen carefully to our clients ideas and make sure we deliver this in the initial menu and constantly make amendments until we get it right!

What advice can you offer a couple wanting an amazing food experience at their wedding on a budget?

Fresh, local and seasonal. Let the flavours do the talking – you don’t need fancy ingredients to experience amazing food on a budget.

If a party or wedding has a particular theme, how do you go about integrating that into the food?

We are so lucky to have a very well-travelled team of chefs who bring back some amazing ideas from across the world. Ultimately it’s all about research and understanding what the client wants. When designing a bespoke menu with a specific theme, it must suit the event so it works logically for the caterers but it must also be a magnificent culinary journey for the client.

Why do you like working with Apollo?

Not only is Tim’s fantastic organisation key to a fabulous event, his totally electric enthusiasm and willingness to always want to please the client is inspirational. The experience the clients receive with Apollo and their client journey is something that doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s exactly the reason we like being associated with Apollo.

What are the newest food trends you’re seeing in entertaining?

Simple but complex. Stripping the food back and concentrating on the flavour that the food produces. Using modern techniques to get the most out of seasonal produce.

What are some of your clients’ favourite dishes?

It goes without saying our most popular dish of all time is Our Beef Wellington;

Fillet of sous vide Hampshire beef, on a caramelised shallot tart tatin and fondant potato, with wilted baby spinach, baby watercress and an intense truffle infused jus. It’s been on the menu for as long as we can remember! Every now and again, we try to change one of the elements, but the reason it’s so loved is because it’s so totally moreish!

You share our creative approach and meticulous attention to detail – one of the many reasons we love working with Caper & Berry.  What are your 5 top priorities when catering for a large event?

There is so much that goes into planning an event that your guests couldn’t even begin to imagine!

  1. Great Staff
  2. Organised Seating Plans
  3. Logistics – how we get our stuff in and out on time
  4. Which supplier is providing what
  5. Who is doing what on the day – working with Apollo is brilliant, as they allow us to concentrate on what we do best – the food.

What is the most unusual foodie request you’ve had to prepare for a party, wedding or event?

A few years ago we were asked to make some unusually shaped jelly moulds… The event was in a central London gallery – the exhibition opening was all about the female form!

What has been the worst thing that has happened at an event, and how did you cope with it?

Power Cuts are by far the most inconvenient. We managed to get an extra generator just in time – the marquee company wasn’t based locally to us, but thankfully we have some amazing local connections and they came to the rescue.

Do you have a rule of thumb when it comes to the ratio of waiting staff to guests, if so what is it?

1 staff member to every 10 guests as an absolute minimum. No guests at a Caper & Berry event will be left with a cocktail stick or empty glass!

To set the wheels in motion working with Apollo and Caper & Berry www.caperandberry.co.uk

get in touch with Tim@apollo-ec.co.uk