There’s nothing quite like a taste of home. After months of preparation and a week working alongside one of Britain’s most renowned chefs, the Global Gourmet Catering team spent three nights transporting a crowd of primarily-British guests back “across the pond” one intimate dinner party at a time.
The pop-up dining experience was created for British Airways Visa Signature cardholders through a partnership with Tom Kerridge, executive chef of Buckinghamshire’s the Hand and Flowers. The Hand and Flowers is a two Michelin star establishment, and the only two-star pub in The Michelin Guide. Our team was carefully interviewed and hand-picked for the event from amongst San Francisco’s best caterers, and we were excited to recreate Kerridge’s award-winning gastropub fare.
Our culinary team, including Executive Chef Aaron Zimmer and Executive Event Sous Chef Val Armstrong, joined Kerridge in the kitchen at The Pearl to craft a six-course tasting menu of his best dishes, paired with cocktails from our beverage team. The meal included a Salt Cod Canape, Parsley Soup, a take on the traditional Gala Pie, and an interactive, “proper” Roast Beef carving lesson at each table.
Dessert was another unique undertaking — Steven Cheung, our Executive Pastry Chef, worked with Claire Clark, the amazing pastry chef from The French Laundry, to fill towers of petit fours decorated with the Union Jack, black cabs, crowns and double-decker busses.
Each course of the meal was another leg on a short trip across Britain; to fully immerse the guests, scenes from across the isles — sources of ingredients or inspiration — were projected against the walls. Fewer than 100 patrons were seated each night and the family-style dining room “moved” from the cliffs of Scotland for Angus beef, to a stop in Cheddar for a cheese course and closed in Brighton with our staff carrying boxes of boardwalk-themed treats around the room. The meal closed with afternoon tea overlooking the London skyline, complete with excited guests taking touristy selfies in front of the projected panorama. Each evening was a rich, engaging taste of British culture and we loved seeing our guests, from Britain and elsewhere, delighted with the experience.
For a glimpse of an evening at the #BringingBritainCloser pop-up, watch the video below from British Airways.
Photo credit: PureWow.
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