Tag: food

Catering, Fun Story

Easter, The First Major Funfair Event Of The Season

29 March 2024

The first of the major funfair holiday events has just kicked off.

Red Easter Eggs
Red Easter Eggs Symbolising The Blood Of Christ

Easter Eggs

Of course everyone is aware of the tradition of giving eggs for Easter. But have you ever thought why?

Easter is a Christian festival, and for Christians giving eggs symbolises new life. It is claimed this practice started with the early Christians of Mesopotamia who stained birds eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ.

There is also an association in Western Christians not being allowed to eat eggs during Lent, but allowed them at Easter.

A common practice in medieval England was for children to go door to door begging for eggs on the Saturday before Lent. These were handed out as special treats.

I remember during my youth going door to door. Many of the elder generation would give us hard boiled eggs that had been painted. The better of neighbours actually gave us chocolate. Many would also press a few coppers on us, when you were five or six years old, the few pounds you accrued made you think you were rich.


Decorated Ostrich Egg
Decorated Ostrich Eggs

It wasn’t an exclusively Christian thing though. London’s British Museum contains some large ostrich eggs that have been carved and painted. These have been found in tombs. After investigation it is believed that eggs like this can date back up to 5000 years, well before the Christian religion. And decorated eggs up to 60,000 years old have been discovered in Africa.

Chocolate Easter Egg
Chocolate Easter Eggs

Chocolate Eggs

J.S. Fry and sons of England introduced their first chocolate egg in 1873, closely followed by Cadbury’s in 1875. Cadbury’s created the modern egg with the introduction of pure cocoa butter that could be moulded into hollow egg shapes. Now up to 80 million chocolate eggs are consumed in the UK alone. It’s nice to see the steady move away from plastic packaging to more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Faberge Egg
Copyright Miguel Hermoso Cuesta CCA Licence

Faberge Eggs

Personally my favourite eggs are those produced by the Russian craftsman at Faberge for the last two Russian Tsars. Masterpieces of decorative art, many contain hidden surprises such as clockwork birds or miniature toys.

Catering, Unusual Restaurants

Unusual Restaurants, Cabbages and Condoms

23 March 2024
C&C Logo

Cabbages and condoms, as restaurants go, this one not only has an unusual name, it had an unusual beginning. Originally a small vegetable stall in Bangkok on some office premises of the PDA, a community development association concerned with family planning.

The outfit used to sell vegetables, lace panties, t-shirts, condoms and oral contraceptives! Somehow I doubt we will ever see a similar portfolio in Burger King or McDonalds.

The chairman of the PDA Mechai Viravaidya called the shop cabbages and condoms. The catchy sobriquet it seemed tended to amuse passers by, and drew people into the shop. In the seventies, a small restaurant was added serving Thai dishes.

The cuisine gained a following due to its quality, and eventually it developed into a full restaurant.

Sing Outside Condoms And Cabbages Restaurant
Condoms decorating Cabbages and Condoms
Weldon Kennedy C&C Decor

Condoms Instead Of Mints
Condoms Instead Of Mints

Expansion Abroad

The chain now has restaurants in Japan and England. More precisely Bicester in Oxfordshire, though I don’t think the decor etc is quite the same, being more of a vanilla style Thai eatery.

We offer a range of noodles and such like, though sadly without the condoms, for that you need to stick with cabbages and condoms.

Catering, Event Planning, Unusual Restaurants

Unusual Restaurants, La Bodega Negra

9 March 2024
La Bodega Negra Logo

Ever fancied a stroll down Soho. That side of London that was renowned for its seediness, that eventually morphed into a sort of coolness.

Whilst you are there, what about popping into the establishment below!

No, we haven’t just turned into some sort of cheap Only Fans knock off. This fine frontage is actually the entrance to one of London’s best Mexican restaurants. Oh and they make a fabulous tequila cocktail.

You walk in only to be met with a an interior exactly like you would expect a sex show to present. I have to admit, it is quite daunting, trying to figure out if you have just brought the wife to an actual Mexican restaurant. Or if you are going to have to spend the night convincing her you weren’t actually trying to drag her into a peep show.

Happily, once through the next door, you do actually find yourself in an actual purveyor of food and drink, rather than pleasures of the flesh.

The Interior

If you want something a little less daring but with a touch of fabulous gourmet catering check us out.

Catering, Equipment, Fun Story, Unusual Restaurants

Unusual Restaurants, Dinner In The Sky

10 February 2024
Dinner In The Sky Logo

Dinner In The Sky, another in our series looking at some of the more unusual eating establishments around the globe. This one is different because it is situated around 150 feet in the sky!

This one is present in around 60 countries. Starting in Belgian in 2007, David Ghysels who owned a marketing company and Stefan Kerkhofs, a bungee jump organiser partnered to create an aerial based dinner for the Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe association.

This led to them being contacted by people from around the world who wanted to replicate the experience. They decided to go down the franchise route.

By 2009 Dinner In The Sky they were operating in more than a dozen countries including China and Canada.

By Nebo.Oly – Own work,

Permanent Location

Michael and Janeen Hinden discovered the concept at a trade fair in 2008. They tested the concept at a New Years party, and eventually put the plans in motion for a permanent location in Las Vegas. Costing $4 million the location was to have a ground based restaurant as well as the high flying set up.

We can take to new heights with our gourmet catering options, but admittedly not 150ft dinner in the sky.

Catering, Equipment

Burger Joints Of The World, Nathan’s Famous

20 January 2024
Nathans Famous Logo

Another American chain tracing their history back over 100 years. Starting life as a nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island in 1916, the chain bears the name of it’s co founder, Nathan Handwerker. Nathan started the business with his wife Ida. The hot dog recipe they used was her idea, with her grandmother creating the secret spice sauce.

Although they were Jewish, their produce lacked rabbinic supervision and the meat wasn’t kosher, they advertised it as ‘kosher style.’

Handwerker was an immigrant who arrived in New York and found work at Feltman’s restaurant in Coney Island.

Going Into Business For Himself

One legend has it that Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante, the ‘singing waiters’ encouraged him to start his own restaurant. The official company history doesn’t mention this, but it’s a nice story. The couple spent their life savings of $300 to start the business.

When he launched he undercut his former employer who was charging 10c for a hot dog. Nathan’s came in at 5c!

At the time, food regulation wasn’t really a thing, and hot dogs were considered cheap fare. Handwerker had customers dressed in surgeons smocks eating at his place, presumably surgeons would only eat good food.

The original Nathan's famous hot dog store
By Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA


Nathan’s son Murray drove the expansion of the chain. A second branch in New York was added in 1959 and a third in 1965. By 1968 the company had gone public.

The family sold the chain to a group of private investors in 1987, at which point the chain was franchised and expanded rapidly. They acquired Kenny Rogers Roasters and Miami Subs Grill.

By 2001 Nathan’s Famous had 24 company owned units, 380 franchised units and 1400 stores in 17 foreign countries around the globe.

They signed a deal with major league baseball in 2017 to become the official hot dog sponsor.

The original store had remained open 365 days a year since its inception, until being forced to close due to hurricane Sandy, but six months later it was repaired and reopened.

One quirk is that the original store still served fried frogs legs which has been on the menu since the 1950’s

Hot Dog Contest

On the 4th July Nathan’s Famous hosts an annual hot dog eating contest. Starting in the 1970’s the contest sees contestants trying to eat as many hot dogs as possible in 10 minutes. The current record holder is Joey Chestnut with 76 hot dogs and Miki Sudo with 48 and 1/2 for the ladies.

Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan's Famous
By Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA

Catering, Equipment

Burgers of The World, The Big Mac

13 January 2024
Big Mac Advert

There are few burgers as iconic as the Big Mac. Indeed there are few products as iconic full stop.

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun” as the jingle goes. Our hero burst onto the scene in the 1960’s, but it’s birth wasn’t a smooth one.

Michael James ‘Jim’ Delligatti

Our hero was a WWII veteran by the name of Michael Delligatti, or ‘Jim’ as he was known. Jim, opened his first franchised McDonalds in 1957 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. A successful store saw him eventually opening just short of 50 stores.

Jim, found that his key customers weren’t entirely satisfied by the burgers he served. After a hard shift in the local steel mills, they wanted something more substantial. Local diners tended to sell big sandwiches, and it was this he took as his inspiration.

The Boss Says No

Hard to believe given its superstar status. At first, the higher ups in the McDonalds organisation were reluctant to stray from their established formula. McD’s worked because it was a standard offering across the nation. Wherever you went, you knew exactly what you were getting, because they all tasted the same.

Jim, refused to back down, and eventually in 1967, he was given the green light to create his masterpiece. They did have one condition though, he had to use only products which were already in use at McDonalds. Being the maverick, though Delligatti replaced the existing burger buns, with a double sliced sesame-seed topped bun.

The Big Mac Is Born

The Mighty Big Mac

After coming up with its signature secret sauce, he launched his creation at his Uniontown store for the price of 45 cents.

At its launch though it wasn’t called the Big Mac. It was at various times called the Blue Ribbon Burger and the Aristocrat. Enter the second of our hero’s in the story. A young advertising secretary, Esther Rose is widely credited with coming up with the name Big Mac.

The burger was a roaring success. So much so that the bosses at McD’s performed a 180 degree turn and decided to roll the creation out nationwide.

Today’s Big Mac, is pretty much the same as its original version. Though the secret sauce has been tinkered about with over the years, but evidentially was restored to its original recipe in 2004.

For a better than a Big Mac Burger visit us.

Catering, Food Trucks, Fun Story

New Equipment, Our Churros Box

30 December 2023
Churros Box At Night

As part of our ongoing efforts to expand our services, especially for larger events. We have added a new Spanish Churros unit.

In the past we have added churros making equipment to various of our existing catering units. This one has been purpose built especially for high volume events, although it will work just as well at a wedding or smaller event.

Our Little Blue Churros Box

High Capacity Churros Making Kit

To partner with our new unit, we selected a range of kit from J L Blanco, one of Spain’s leading manufacturers of churros making equipment.

High yield circular fryers were added in both electric and gas versions, allowing us the ability to operate with low power generators where necessary, or utilise the higher throughput of the electric fryer when adequate power is avialable.

Electric Churros Fryer
Electric Churros Fryer

Automatic Churros Dispenser

To partner with the fryer we selected a fully automatic dough dispenser. This dispenses, measures and cuts the extruded dough to the correct length, dropping a pre selected number of churros into the fryer at the touch of a button giving our churros box a super high yield potential.

Automatic Churros Dispenser
Automatic Churros Dispenser

Of course knowing the propensity of electronics to cease working at the most inconvenient of times, we also added a manual dispenser, allowing us to do it the old fashioned way.

Manual Dispenser
Manual Dispenser

Birmingham Cathedral Market

The first outing for the new churros box was the cathedral Christmas market in Birmingham. A 5 week stint serving churros at the festive event proved the units worth.

Although the unit is perfectly at home with smaller events, it is designed primarily for larger events and festival, where it can operate constantly at high speed for hours on end. If you are planning a major event, or just have a lot of hungry guests then this is the way to go.

Ask us for more details, remember all you need is love and churros.

Catering, Equipment, Event Planning

Upgrading Our Churros Units

26 December 2023
Spanish Churros Sign

We have provided churros for a few years now. Originally baked churros, using a split baker, a bit like our waffles on a stick machine. Due to repeated requests, we eventually added traditional deep fried churros maker. This was using a single hand cranked extruder and a deep fat fryer, seconded from our burger units.

Our First Machine For Deep Fried Churros
Our First Machine For Deep Fried Churros

TBH, this worked perfectly well. It wasn’t the fastest thing in Christendom, but for most events of 150 or so guests it was perfectly adequate. And as most of our jobs were paid corporate events, people were content to wait for their churros.

Upgrading To A Retail Set Up

Now No1 daughter, decided that she was going back to our roots, and dipping her toe in the fickle waters of retail. Thing is in retail, what you can earn is directly tied to how fast you can cook and serve. To this end, we looked at who were probably the world’s leading authority on Spanish Churros. Yup, the Spanish.

Talking to a contact that deals a lot with Spanish Showmen, he reported back that most of them had a thing for churros maker kit from the venerable company of José Luis Blanco.

Established in 1958 the company has been producing some of the worlds most highly rated churros machinery for over 60 years.

Auto Or Manual

That was the question, auto dispensers are good, require less staff training, and in the hands of the inexperienced are quicker than manual. The drawback is they use computers. Which when they work are very good. When they don’t they aren’t.

We decided that we would take the hit on productivity, to trade it against reliability. Manual has much less to go wrong, and losing one good day due to a malfunction would more than wipe out the extra from making a few more portions every minute.

We went with the 5 litre manual churros maker, which is the largest Blanco make.

Blanco 5 Litre Dispenser
Blanco 5 Litre Dispenser

I duly ordered this, and winced. It was bloody expensive. Like more than my first car expensive. However, when it turned up I had to say it was a work of art. I could just about lift the thing. It was like fusing a Rolls Royce with a Swiss Clock. Catering equipment porn.

Adding The Fryer

We also needed a fryer. The little fish and chip fryers, were not only big enough for high capacity. They also didn’t have the theatre of swirling the oil around the circular pan a la Spanish style.

So we talked to Blanco and ordered a high capacity electric fryer. Trouble was, it seems there is a bout a three month backlog waiting for delivery. As No1 daughter had decided to book the new churros cart into Christmas at The Cathedral in Birmingham, which happened to be only five weeks away, this wasn’t really going to work.

Blanco Electric Fryer

Additionally this thing takes 56 freaking amps to run it. We could have gone overboard and got the bigger one, which takes 125 amps, but we don’t have a private bloody power station to run it. Well, OK we do have a range of generators which can, but 125 amps jeez.

Enter liquid petroleum gas. Or LPG as it is commonly referred to. Churros fryers are also available as gas powered alternatives. Blanco do these as well. With the same waiting time so we were no further forward.

Enter Churro Sur. Another supplier, that evidently isn’t in the top tier, but still well regarded. They offered to have a gas fryer to us before the start date of the market on 15th November.

Churro Sur Gas Fryer

This company also produces diesel powered fryers. We opted to stick with gas. There is enough hate being spewed about diesel powered stuff from the enviro brigade without us being picketed for being a churros polluter.

Catering, Fun Story, Unusual Restaurants

Unusual Restaurants, Dans Le Noir

22 December 2023
Dans Le Noir Logo

Starting in Japan (where else would a totally quirky theme start), the concept of a ‘blind restaurant’ saw a non profit organisation called SIEN, and Higan-ji, a virtual Buddhist temple created by Japanese monks join forces at Ryokusen-ji, a temple in Asakusa to introduce a blind or ‘black’ restaurant.

The concept is, that dining is carried out in complete darkness. The theory being that with the lack of sight, your other senses are heightened, and becomes more of a sensual experience.

Dans Le Noir

Translating as In The Dark. This is a chain of restaurants spread through Europe and also with some locations in Africa and New Zealand. They offer the experience of dining in the dark, with your serving staff being blind or partially sighted.

Dans Le Noir Restaurant
Blacked Out Windows Of A Dans Le Noir

The food is typically higher end fare, think 5 star rather than local café. Another benefit is the relationships with your dining companions. You have no idea who you are talking to, so the conversation tends to be without preconceived notions.

This is definitely on our bucket list to try.

In the meantime if you need food you can actually see, then check out our gourmet burgers.

Catering, Event Planning, Food Trucks, Fun Story

Burgers Of The World, White Castle Slider

18 December 2023

The first in our series about some of the weird and wonderful burgers out there. The ‘slider’ comes from White Castle, who are generally accepted to be the earliest burger chain in the good ole USA.

Launched in 1921 by Billy Ingram, selling small square hamburgers ‘so easy to eat’ they were dubbed sliders. the idea was you ‘bought em by the sack.’ They were designed to be bought in bulk, more of a bite sized burger than a full on meal.

1921 Slider

Inspired by the burger that started it all, the original White Castle Slider. Caramelised onions, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickles.

1921 White Castle Slider

Holes In The Burgers

One unusual feature of the sliders, are the five holes in the patty. This serves the dual purpose of cooking the pattie quicker, as they are usually piled high in the steamer, and allowing the flavour from the bed of onions they are cooked upon, to permeate throughout the stack.

White Castle Sliders With Holes

Chicken and Waffle Slider

They now have a range of different sliders, not only in the typical burger bun, but in between waffles or toast.

This one comes with crispy chicken breast, topped with bacon and sandwiched between two Belgian waffles.

Chicken and Waffle Slider

French Toast Slider

Or how about this one, Cinnamon swirl French toast, with egg, American cheese and sausage or smoked bacon.

French Toast Slider

White castle sliders are considered to be one of the most influential burgers in history, kickstarting an entire fast food industry, along with innovations such as standardised food production across the whole chain, and the kitchen as a production line.

We currently don’t do square, and we don’t do sliders, but if you want a top class gourmet burger then check us out.