Slowly but surely over the last few years, The Shard grew against London’s skyline and in Londoners’ imaginations until its completion in March last year. This magnificent building became an immediate icon and we are thrilled when we were contacted to cater for our first event at those dizzy heights.
The event was for Shard’s charity partners Booktrust, to celebrate the launch of their new Children’s Reading Fund, a fundraising drive which aims to 'change the story' for the UK's most vulnerable and disengaged children through the power of books and reading.
Tasked with creating a range of canapés for this event, literature seemed like the natural choice for theming, and so our chefs Andy and Lukasz took inspiration from a range of children’s favourites, from the classic to the modern.
Presented on edible sand, tea and rum soaked salmon on a sour cream and saffron sphere topped blini is the chefs’ take on The Treasure Island. The Hobbit is represented by a fillet of rare roast beef served on a sourdough croute with horseradish, while there are delightful little "peaches” – peach jelly spheres containing duck and foie gras rillettes – to evoke James and The Giant Peach. There’s a Harry Potter inspired hot canapé – "butter beer” and spiced pumpkin soup with gruyere foam, coconut and black pepper prawn skewers with mango crème fraîche are our homage to Robinson Crusoe, and we pay tribute to the magical fungi of Alice in Wonderland with our wild mushroom and lemon hollandaise filled baby brioche.
Dessert is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired forest of hand decorated chocolate lollipops, many featuring popping candy for extra "whizz pop, whizz bang”!
The canapé selection was presented at the menu tasting for the event, served on trays decorated with almost as much care as the dishes themselves. These were given theming to match the book represented by each menu item, creating a seamless and beautiful presentation. For example, Andy and Lukasz tackled the challenge of giving their mini "peaches” a sense of the giant by presenting them alongside tiny figures, dwarfed by their fruity counterparts! We like to add little details like these not just to our events, but to the tastings too to give a taste of the magic and flair that event organisers can expect when they create an occasion with Ampersand Events.
Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity which works to empower people of all ages and abilities by giving them confidence in reading, with the aim of building a literate, connected, and creative society.”