Gem of the Week ~ Passion for Food

We’re very happy to introduce elite Wedding Caterers and the stars of our Christmas party catering – Passion for Food! After spoiling us with many culinary delights at our Sparkly Christmas Party on the 22nd November, we took some time out with Philip Baker, Owner of Passion For Food and his team to find out a little more about them.

When did you launch?
May 2003

Where are you based? 
Westcott, Buckinghamshire, close to Waddesdon and just over twenty miles from Oxford.

Where did the inspiration to become Wedding Caterers come from? 
I started in the catering industry at an early age and developed a real Passion and enthusiasm for fantastic flavours, ingredients and new cooking methods.  This lead to a natural progression to run my own company and I have now have now been in the catering world for over twenty years, still passionate about food, hence the reason for the company name – ‘Passion for Food’. 

What did you do before running your businesses? 
I was offered a job by chef, restaurateur and author Gary Rhodes OBE and at the same time a rare opportunity arose, when long term friend and actor Kenneth Cope presented me with the opportunity of leasing his restaurant in Eynsham, Oxfordshire in 1995, which I renamed as Bakers.

What catering services do you offer?
We cater for weddings, private dinners, corporate events and Christmas parties in stunning venues, marquees, client’s homes and places of work.  We can also advise on other important elements such as marquees, florists and chair hire as we have great working relationships with our preferred suppliers.

What has been your biggest achievement?
Acquiring The Dairy at Waddesdon Manor as a venue and client for all functions and weddings, in addition to catering for Lord Rothschild’s private functions at the Manor. Following on from this we are now a preferred supplier to English Heritage venues and The Oxford University.

What do you love about weddings?
Being able to provide first class food and service exceeding the expectations of our clients and receiving compliments about our food.  It is lovely to be involved in our brides’ and grooms’ big day adding an element of enjoyment from our food.

Who inspires you?
During my two years, whilst attending Oxford College of Further Education, I was lucky to have a fantastic tutor called Mr Osborne (Chef) and as a sixteen year old, he inspired me enormously.

I was also fortunate to be taken to many of the top restaurants in London and the Home Counties, such as The Canteen, The Greenhouse, The Waterside at Bray, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and met some of the chefs who ran these establishments, who gave me some good advice. I was inspired by tasting the top quality food they served and was determined that one day I would be serving food to the same high standards.  I still take inspiration from some of these same chefs and also from all the current trends within the industry on a global level and from my own fabulous staff.

What is your pearl of wisdom for a Bride to Be planning her wedding day?
We tell our brides to relax and enjoy their day and we will ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Tell us a secret?
Wearing a gas mask when peeling onions stops your eyes watering 😉 

What is your favourite wedding breakfast?
Our Signature Wedding Menu:

Canapés – Watermelon cup feta and black olive salt (V), Sashimi Tuna, cumin, coriander and lemon crème fraiche, Little spoons of confit pork, Kimchi slaw, Baby tomato tartare (V), Middle Eastern lamb bon-bon, green chili and coriander, Panko crumbed cods cheeks, tartare.

Starter – Ceviche of line caught sea bass, crispy shallots, fried wild rice, Japanese salad, Mirin and soy dressing or Pea mousse, Woolsery feta, pickled asparagus, radish and pea shot salad, black olive tulle (V).

Main Course – Cornish lamb leg pave, fondant potato, tomato fondue, pea puree, garden baby vegetables and a thyme jus. Or  Cannelloni of courgette filled with summer truffle risotto, tempura courgette flower, fricassee of salsify and girolles, lemon oil (V).

Dessert – Basil panna cotta, raspberry and champagne jelly, raspberry ripple ice cream, pistachio brittle.

What wedding food trends have you seen for 2013 and what do you think is in store for 2014? 
Trends for 2013 have been more casual and informal weddings with bowl food and street food menus being served to guests as an evening food option.

Trends for 2014 are likely to follow the same lines with themed weddings making a return and ‘festival style’ weddings becoming more popular.

Telephone: 08452 969226
Twitter @passionffood

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