Posted: 17th October 2013
41 Portland Place’s Head Chef Will Carvalho and I recently hosted an away day for global finance gurus Deloitte. The day’s agenda was jam-packed with productive, brain-boggling tasks, and it was our job to ensure the team let their hair down for the afternoon activity – exercising their taste buds and bonding with their colleagues over the love of food.
We kicked off the ‘Deloitte Canapé Cup’ in the Exhibition Area, where we hosted a quick master class on how to create two of the canapés from our Canapéculiar menu. For those who aren’t familiar with the 41PP Canapéculiar menu, this is a collection of canapés Chef Will cleverly created which skilfully mingles curious flavours together to create an out -of –ordinary taste sensation. During the master class Will demonstrated how to create a dark chocolate mousse with crispy shallots and potato chips with cream of brie & vanilla. After the presentation, the inquisitive audience sampled Will’s creations in preparation for part two of the session.Next it was time to put those taste buds to the test. I chose two teams of three to go head-to-head in a blind tasting. One by one each member was blindfolded whilst their team mate popped a canapé in their mouth. The candidate then had 15 seconds write down the suspected ingredients.
First up was the ham hock and chicken terrine with apple chutney – a tricky combination of two meats which really put our first tasters to the test. Next up was the lobster with caviar- a concoction for the more refined palette. The scores stood at one-all after the second round with everything resting on the final canapé, strawberry with parmesan shortbread and crispy pancetta. Each team had to identify the meat, the fruit and the base. After each team described the summer fruits and shortbread base it all rested on tasting out the meat…unfortunately both teams struggled to identify the third ingredient which meant a draw. Nevertheless the prize bottles of wine were greatly received by both teams.
After a quick question and answer session with Chef Will, we moved onto part three of the activity. The 35 guests were asked to split into four teams and move into the Laurie Landeau and Fellows Room. I then asked each team to take their seats at their designated table where they found mini bowls of scallops, passion fruit puree, white chocolate truffle mix, guava puree, parmesan, cooked Lamb, parsnip puree, pears and chocolate flakes. Armed with canapé spoons, each team were tasked with creating three canapés from the ingredients to present to Will in a final taste-off.
Little did they know all of the ingredients provided made up three of our existing canapés from the Canapéculiar Menu. The aim of the game was to establish which flavours enhance others to create 3 tasty canapés (with extra points awarded for guessing which flavours made up the canapés from our menu). After Chef Will had tasted all 12 canapé creations the winning team was announced and awarded with the Deloitte Canapé Cup!
After a quick freshen-up, guests made their way up to the Terrace where chilled beers and a sizzling barbecue awaited them.
The afternoon was a huge success and I was so pleased to have a group of delegates who were so hands on with every aspect of the activity.
Deloitte said…“We had a fantastic day at 41PP. The venue is fabulous and was the ideal location for our team strategy day. Nikki did a great job of designing our afternoon activity – it was great to get out of office to spend some time together as a team and have everyone taking part in such an interesting and different activity. Chef Will was really engaging and we all went away with some great ideas for canapés to try at home! Thanks to everyone at 41PP for a great day – we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending 41PP as a venue for meetings and away days.”
Anna Chapman, Director, Deloitte