Ask the chef – your questions for Autumn wedding menus

Caviar & Chips Head Chef Mike Scott

Following on from our recent blog about Autumn wedding menu ideas, we received a number of questions about Autumn food and Autumn weddings. So we thought we’d record a question and answer with our Head Chef, Mike Scott, so that he can answer some of your questions and give you a little Caviar & Chips Experience.

When we’re crafting our menus and when we’re delivering menu tastings for our clients, the great thing is that we have our chefs with us giving lots of tips and advice. Hopefully this is a good way to share that chef wisdom with many more people looking for ideas and inspiration.

Click the recording below to watch and listen to Mike or you can read through his answers transcribed below:

1. Helena asks: I’ve been growing beetroot and parsnip so what autumn menu ideas would you have for beetroot and parsnip?

Beetroot is really earthy and I love beetroot personally. Parsnip has a nice sweet edge to it. I’m a big fan of a pickle so would look at something like a light, hearty salad – pickled beetroot, shaved, chopped and also roast the parsnips with a bit of honey and thyme. To finish add some leaf with some watercress and rocket. Because it’s earthy and sweet you need something a little tart and for beetroot and parsnip then a bit of apple would go great in there – perhaps with chopped apple matchsticks so it’s not too heavy. For a dressing then mustard would work really well or perhaps a sherry vinegar dressing as a base.

2. Martin asks: I’m getting married in October and wondered if you had some ideas for Autumn canapes?

Hopefully Martin is a fan of fish as one of my favourites is a sardine on a top of a chorizo stew on piece of toasted sourdough. The chorizo stew would have shallots, carrots maybe chickpeas cooked down and reduced in the chorizo.

As a vegetarian idea, mushrooms are fantastic in autumn something like a mushroom and truffle palmier. A puff pastry with mushrooms and black truffle cooked down and spread over the pastry which are then rolled and sliced with a tarragon cream

Venison would be great as a tartare or perhaps a bit more of a crowd-pleaser would be a venison and black pudding scotch quail egg. Lightened up with a celeriac roulade, touch of salt and pepper.

3. Becca had to postpone her wedding in March and now planning to get married in November and wanted to include Mediterranean foods. What would we recommend for Autumn?

It’s a tough one with Mediterranean dishes as they just make you think of summer and light dishes, but one that comes to mind is a Lamb Moussaka. One of my favourite Mediterranean dishes. Slow cook a lamb shoulder and pull that down which gives the moussaka more texture. Layer this up and use a yogurt and egg yolk mix reduced with a tomato sauce and that is a delicious dish for a main course.

Salad garnishes still work really well like a jewelled cous cous, mint, coriander, chopped apricots, carrots and red peppers. You could cook the stock from the Lamb and mix trough the cous cous and that would work well. Aubergines, peppers, garlics and herbs all still work really well too.

4. Zoe says that autumn makes her think of soup but is worried it’s a bit boring so what could we do to make it more exciting?

One of my favourite soups is sweet potato and chilli and this works really well as a late summer or early autumn dish. With soups it’s all about the garnish to make it more exciting. Tomato soup is a good example with some basil pesto and fresh herbs.

With a sweet potato and chilli soup I’d garnish it with a coriander cream so that you get that vibrant yellow colour of the soup with the clash of green in the coriander. The cream will slowly melt in the soup and then chopped chives and spring onion with some croutons or warm bread.

5. Chloe asks what’s the best autumn dessert that you could make at home?

I don’t think you could beat an Apple Tart Tatin. Core the apple and peel it and then cut really thin slices through apple rather than chunks. Layer up the apple and then make a caramel mixing up the apple and then layer up the dish about 6 inch size. Cut out a disc of puff pastry and then tuck this around the apple mix. Then egg wash the pastry and put a few holes through the pastry to allow the steam to let out. With vanilla ice cream is perfect but to take it up a notch a pecan brandy ice cream is delicious.

6. Jenny asks as a chef what would have for your autumn wedding menu?

I’d feel bad for the chefs at my wedding, but for my starter I’d go for Scallops. King Scallops with celeriac puree, with apple jelly and fresh apples. Different textures and flavours with black truffle grated over the top is my favourite dish of all.

For main course I’d go for Duck and I love Duck as there’s so many things you can do with it. I’d go for a pommes anna – thinly sliced potato tossed in butter layered and then cooked and pressed to crisp up the outside. It’s lighter than a dauphinoise potato. I really like it when you use the whole duck and then pull down the duck leg meat and make a mix and wrap in a cabbage parcel. Baby carrots and blackberry jus makes a perfect autumn dish

For dessert I’m a sucker for a chocolate delice. I always have been. I love chocolate and caramelised hazelnut and praline cream – praline is one of the best things in the world and then a bit of honeycomb.

We’ve really enjoyed receiving questions from everyone who has sent them in and hopefully we’ve answered them with some additional ideas and inspiration for your wedding menus. For even more menu inspiration you can check out our menu pages or wedding stories of how we created bespoke menus for brides and grooms around the country.

The next blog we have coming up will be on spring menus as that’s the season that we’re in and so we’ll look forward to receiving more questions around spring food and drink ideas for weddings and events…or even cooking at home!

To start your bespoke menu with Caviar & Chips drop us a line or give us a call 0800 978 8221 and our chefs can get to work a craft a menu just for you.