Renowned for its exemplary service and exquisite culinary delights, the in-house culinary team is led by Northamptonshire ‘Chef of the Year’ Lee Gaskins. He offers some exclusive insight to the wedding menu planning process…
What is it about the wedding food service at Highgate House that makes it stand out?
We follow high set standards and never accept anything that is second best to what we know we can offer. We all share the vision that we want our wedding couples to recommend our services and are dedicated to being as professional, friendly, flexible, accurate and consistent as possible. I also truly believe that when you have a group of people who love their profession as much we do, it shines through in even the tiniest of details. Its the attention to detail and such personalized service that makes the difference and sets us apart.
How do you go about preparing a wedding day menu at Highgate House? A wedding menu is not just about the food, it is about the celebration at hand and needs to echo this. Every wedding is as individual as the bride and groom-to-be. It therefore entails really listening to your customer, seeing how the wedding will reflect personal, cultural and religious elements, offering guidance and support, being meticulous in the planning and clear in your communication with all involved. Only in bringing together all these elements can we then deliver the goods that meets our standards, not just the expectation of the couple.
How do you recommend a wedding couple approach the difficult choice of what to have on their wedding menu?
There are many things to consider when planning a wedding menu so we always encourage that wedding couples approach it with some flexibility. A good place to start however, is simply with a list of food that they like or must have. It is then a process of elimination where food combinations, alternatives and veggie options are all discussed in detail so that each course works well with the one to follow. Add to this our creativity and culinary expertise and the whole menu suddenly starts to take shape. It does help if wedding couples can advise at the time if there are any special dietary requests that need taking into consideration for any of their guests.
Wedding breakfasts are becoming quite popular; what kind of things could a wedding couple expect to see on a wedding breakfast menu?
Most Ideas can be incorporated one way or another but there are some firm favourites such as our creamed mushrooms and roast beef. We also do a sharp lemon tart at least once a month.
Which items of local produce are winners on a wedding menu at Highgate?
We often have requests for local Lamb Racks and most of the vegetables are local, as is the cream.
Whether it is finger food or a sit down meal, all the dishes are so beautifully decorated. Do you find that the personality and cultural background of the wedding couple influences your creativity?
Yes. Everyone is different so we like to tailor-make our dishes and wedding menu to best suit individual personalities wherever we can. The style of wedding will often be the biggest factor, although this will sometimes tie back in with cultural or religious background. Traditional or themed weddings, we like to bring elements that reflect the wedding couple into the food to personalize the menu and make it a culinary experience, not just a meal. This influence could be reflected in an item on the menu, a creative twist to a traditional dish or the decoration. It also depends what ideas the wedding couple have for their big day when we first meet with them. Nonetheless, we always like to add an element of surprise in there somewhere; so as not just meet expectations but go beyond them.
What is most unusual wedding menu request you have received at Highgate House?
We like a Challenge and have seen a few ‘out-of-the-
What advice would you give to couples considering their wedding menu at Highgate House? The best advice we can give is to come with an open mind and have a look, think about likes and dislikes in advance and be prepared to discuss all possibilities.
For further information on all-inclusive wedding packages and food options at Highgate House, please visit: http://www.sundialweddings.com/