Year-End Catering Tips
Give Your Staff Something to Write Home About
What is always one of the main topics of conversation after a party, conference, or year-end event? That’s right: FOOD.
Your catering choices and the levels of yum experienced can make or break your function.
In this blog, we share some year-end catering tips and mouth-watering suggestions that will make your party one for the books.
Speaking of books, because we love you, we might have some sneaky info from our catering team below that you will be printing for your recipe book.
Pro-Tip: Pick a theme for your year-end function and plan everything in line with your choice. It creates synergy, excitement, AND makes your life of organising much easier.
Cocktails, Mocktails, and Other Tails
There’s no question, your welcome drinks set the scene for the celebrations ahead. It creates a warm and relaxed environment that gets conversation flowing and hints at what’s to come.
You want to serve a drink that leaves them wanting more and forget about being anywhere else.
Always have a mocktail version for every cocktail on offer. Based on our experience, guests enjoy the below drinks, but we are always open to serving anything you desire.
Total Time: 5 minutes
- 1 Lime wheels, wedges
- 30ml Lemon juice
- 60ml Lime juice
- 240ml Simple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 30ml Orange juice
- 50ml tequila 100% agave
Rub the rim of your glass with a lime wheel so the salt sticks to it.
Mix the other ingredients with ice, then carefully pour them into the glass
Garnish and serve over ice.
- Daiquiri / Virgin
- Mojito / Virgin
For a mocktail version, just remove the alcoholic addition to the drink. Your staff will still love it.
Go for Bite-Size Appetisers (Starters)
“Life is short and unpredictable. Eat the dessert first!” – Helen Keller
A great year-end catering tip is choosing a relaxed high-tea style of serving food. Serve scrumptious bite-size food with both savoury and sweet options.
This allows your staff to happily enjoy all night at their leisure. Again, your year-end function theme or personal preference will determine how serve your starters.
Whether served as a sit-down meal or as the butler pass style, appetisers are always a successful way to warm up your staff’s appetite.
The MAIN Event
If you decide to go with a traditional three-course meal and started with a small starter to tease the taste buds, make sure the next course is the main event.
By the time this meal arrives, your staff will be longing for it. You’ve teased them enough, so it’s best to make this course satisfying.
Whatever your theme is, this has to be a balanced meal. Some protein, veggies, and starch will suffice.
Whether you go buffet style or ala carte, our year-end catering options are focused on creating a fulfilling experience. To tickle your taste buds, here are two recipes for you. We had to fight these out of our catering teams’ hands, so don’t forget to bookmark this page.
Unluckily, there are some recipes for our most famous dishes (like our butter chicken) that were locked up in a safe with the key lost forever. You will just have to organise your function at Focus Rooms to get a real taste of unforgettable.
1. Braised Pot Roast with Root Vegetables
Active Time: 60 minutes. Total Time: 2 hrs 30 minutes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 900 g Beef, cut into 1.5cm cubes
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- Corn Flour, dredging
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
- 2 leeks, (white and light green parts only, diced
- 500g celery, peeled and diced
- One 750ml bottle of Fruity Pinot Noir (Red Wine)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Pickled Red Onion
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
- 680g washed and peeled potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 medium onion chopped
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Some chopped parsley (for garnish)
Using a large casserole, heat the olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Working in batches, sear the meat over moderately high heat until browned all over. (Roughly 5 minutes per batch – transfer to a plate). Add the vegetables to the casserole and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Return the meat and juices to the pot. Add the wine and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is tender. (1 Hour and 30 min) Stir in the butter and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Pack the sliced red onion into a medium glass jar. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, bay leaf, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to boil until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the red onion and let cool. Drain well.
In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes and onion with cold water and bring to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt and simmer until the potatoes are very tender. 40 Minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Add the butter, season with salt & pepper, and whisk until a chunky puree form.
Spoon the mashed potatoes into shallow bowls. Top with the pot roast, garnish with the pickles red onion, and parsley, and drizzle with olive oil; serve.
2. Herb and Lemon Crusted Lamb Chops
Prep Time: 10 minutes. Total Time: 40 minutes
- 6 Lamb loin cutlets (140g French trimmed)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Slices of bread
- Salt and black pepper to season
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Handful fresh parsley chopped fine
- Handful of fresh mint leaves chopped fine
- Handful fresh thyme leaves chopped fine
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Rub the lamb chops with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and set aside.
Toast bread. Grate bread so that you are forming breadcrumbs. Add the grated parmesan cheese.
Combine the breadcrumbs with finely chopped herbs and lemon zest.
Dip and crumb the oily lamb chops and transfer to an oven-safe baking tray.
Bake for 40 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius until crispy.
Who Doesn’t Go Gaga for Dessert?
“Stressed” is “Dessert” spelt backwards.
The truth is that dessert makes everyone happy. But after an evening of good food, drinks and company, a sublime sweet treat leaves everyone joyful and content.
So here is the last in our list of year-end catering tips: It’s the perfect course to tie your year-end catering together, so make it a big deal.
These fan favourites will end things on a high note:
- Malva pudding
- Milk tart (Lucky you, we managed to get this recipe too)
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 1 1?2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1?2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1?3 cup caster or 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- 80g butter, softened
- 1 small egg
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 60 -100ml white sugar, depending on personal taste
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons cornflour
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Half teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons butter
Measure the flour, baking powder and salt in a jug and whisk until combined. Cream butter and sugar together with a beater attachment until pale and fluffy (about 3 mins). Add the egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated. By hand add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Press the dough into a 25cm/10inch tart plate with a removable base. Make sure that it isn’t too thick and dock with a fork. Place in the freezer for 30 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F and when ready bake the base for 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. You don’t need to weigh this down if you freeze the pastry. The pastry can be baked 1-2 days in advance and covered well and placed in an airtight container or box.
Heat the milk with the cinnamon stick to just under boiling point.
Lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, and then add the corn flour and flour.
Pour the hot milk into this mixture, stirring rapidly.
Return the mixture to heat and cook, stirring until the mixture becomes thick.
Keep stirring while it is cooking to prevent it from catching on the bottom of the pot and getting lumpy.
Take the mixture off the heat and add the vanilla essence and butter. Stir well until the butter is melted.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tart crust.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Remember, ice cream is an impeccable companion for almost all dessert types.
“Desserts are the fairy tales of the kitchen – a happily ever after to supper.” – Teri Guillemets
The Venue with Mouth-Watering Year-End Catering Options
We hope our year-end catering tips left you inspired to treat your staff to the very best of what Focus Rooms has to offer.
Remember, our food is just the cherry on top of all that we have to offer. It DOES get even better than this.
P.S.- If you try any of the above recipes, we would love to see the results. Please take a pic and post it on our Facebook page.