What are we scared of!?


When it comes to October, Halloween is just around the corner, when we can become creative, dressing in a fashion that would make you think, “Is that a real zombie!”

You know that it is not real; it is not going to harm you. Is that the same as riding on a ghost train, that you are in a safe place, you are strapped in. Yet when it’s dark with eerie noises, subdued lighting and an ominous figure would jump out and make your heart pound and fingers clench tight, wanting this to end.

Yet here you are, wanting that feeling, wanting to be frightened, wanting to be spooked. So why do we become unnerved by new foods? What happened to eating offal or seafood that might not have been heard of? Are we losing touch with eating all that a sheep might offer?

Do we just go for the start-forward steak or chicken supreme because it’s easy or just safe? All the off-cuts become disguised as something else, such as sausages or pate. Are we losing the real street food?

On a trip to Sicily, we ended up in some back street restaurant ordering food, what? We did not know, but surely that is not the point, it’s the taste, using the whole of the animal, the heritage behind these dishes.

This is much like, “I’m a celebrity; get me out of here.” They are not going to feed you something that would cause any harm. So if you are given a broomstick that’s made of food or stuffed braised lamb hearts, explore, taste and enjoy; it’s not going to hurt you.

Deciding on what suits you, we can help guide you.

We only say this as we had been asked how much food one needed and what they should order for a birthday reception. This may sound easy as we are caterers, but this was a question from a friend who was arranging an evening at a restaurant in the city. They were given a list of canapes and costings and asked to decide on which they would like.

We advised them on our thoughts, but then that got us thinking. Are we beginning to be helpful enough? How many canapes should we have, bowl foods or finger foods? It may be an odd question, but when you are arranging food and drinks for an office meeting, a celebration, lunch, canapes or even a dinner, it can be quite daunting.

Here at Maven Foods, we hope to find a menu on our website, and if not, we can make a bespoke one for you. If ever you are unsure on whether you would like canapes or finger foods, a cold buffet or individual lunch boxes, then please give us a call or drop us an email; we are always here to help you and guide you through all our food options.

Take bowl foods; how many are needed per guest, and what does that relate too. We would say, three bowls food for each colleague, which amounts to a light meal.

When it comes to drinks, you might have an idea on which you would like: bottled beers, prosecco, red, white wines or some cocktails. We would give guidance on quantity, but always bring a little extra if needed – we would inform the organiser before they are used. Ask questions, look at our Instagram pictures, and go to our website.

www mavenfoods.co.uk.


Cold Buffet


A cold buffet laid out on a summer evening, placed on a table at the office, for guests to help themselves at a party or even a wedding. The buffet or even sharing platters ticks a lot of boxes; once set up, it can be grazed on over a period of time or ready for the lunchtime break for an all-day conference.

Whether it’s sit down at laid tables – we can help there too – or fork food as space is limited but would like to offer a more substantial meal. With a selection of desserts or even mini desserts to follow, the choice is ther

When planning a cold buffet, try to have a mix of colours and textures, even if you are having a cheese buffet. Select hard and soft cheese, blue and colourful cheeses. A variety of flavoured biscuits – beetroot, charcoal, herb flavoured, bread, rye, seeded, ciabatta, homemade crisp crostinis sprinkled with smoked paprika, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Mini pots of pickles and relish, grapes, apples, strawberries, apricots and dates and, where possible, a sprinkling of nuts. And that’s just cheese, or maybe not just cheese!

With meats, fish, vegetarian dishes, and salads of all tastes and flavours. Dessert tables, too, all there to be enjoyed.

If you are in need of staff, chinaware or glassware, get in touch.



Burgers, where do we start? The choice is no longer between a cheeseburger or non-cheese burger or, come to that, seeded or seedless bun. There is a myriad of fillings; patty, beef, pork, lamb, vegetarian, vegan, fish, and not forgetting chicken. Then you have tomato, salad, mushroom, pickles, slaw, sauces and a variety of cheeses. Buns?

Brioche and charcoal are up there. This could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. To start, a good cut of minced meat, one of our favourites is a beef patty with chorizo. This gives it that little bit of extra taste, with cheese, sliced beef tomato, roasted peppers and salad. Finished with our own special sauce. Korean fried chicken with slaw, crispy onions and spiced flavoured kewpie mayonnaise.

Baja style fish burger, marinated and in a beer batter. Very tasty. Now it’s coming up to summer, and outdoor dining can begin, whether it’s a bbq or mini-sized burgers served from a food station. Having a selection of fillings, flavoured burgers and buns coupled with salads or just tray-served burgers is popular and not going away.

As a part of a selection of other mini foods, such as baby fish and chips, tempura prawn dogs are finished with mashed avocado and Asian slaw. With some vegan burgers and buns available – gluten-free too – there is something for everyone.


Easter is the time for new beginnings when spring starts to show what has been hidden away beneath the earth. It’s also a time for families to get together, to sit and eat and enjoy the year ahead.

A Sunday roast was always the highlight of our week as a family, though we never understood whether Sunday is the first day of the week and so the beginning or the last, the seventh day of the week. Either way round we would all sit round the dining room table and enjoy whichever roast, with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, vegetables and lots of gravy made from the meat juices. The meat fat was always kept to make dripping which would be spread on toast the next morning as well as any leftovers cooked up the next day for pies and soup. It seems that using every part of a joint of meat was important then and just as important today, not to waste but to make more of what we have got.


Serving drinks, where it’s for a gallery opening, drinks to compliment canapes or bowl foods, a buffet or just for the office party. It can be hard choices to make as to how much to buy, let alone what to offer. Even with the bar itself, should you go for the table, tablecloth or a light-up bar or other types?

This might depend on space and budget. Sometimes keeping it simple with beers and wine, with a table set up with glassware and some ice, is all you might need. For an office or a reception, tats were to begin. To add to your setup, maybe add some cocktails, popular ones such as a mojito, or blackberry tom collin, or even a prosecco cocktail. With cocktails, you can limit the amount to be served or just for a few hours.

This gives you control on your budget as well as some extra variety and would not cost the earth as they are more straightforward. When it comes to gin, vodka and other spirits, it can be a hard one to call. You do wish your colleagues and friends to enjoy themselves but might not want things to get out of hand.

Setting limits on what spirits – all single measures – are available and for how long (a set period of time) as well as the volume you might have, maybe keeping it a few litre bottles. With some ice to cool drinks, lemons and limes, helpful bar staff to serve and clear dirty glassware away.

Whichever way you would like your bar setup, we can help with your arrangements and what can be offered.

Colours Have Meanings

Colours create instant impressions in the mind, so reactive and instinctual that we don’t even recognize them happening. This could go back to our far removed ancestors, who depended on at a glance, telling a toxic berry from a tasty one, a potential snack from a venomous bite.

Somewhere along the way, this deeply ingrained colour coding lost its necessity. However, the mental impressions colours give still affect our preferences, decisions and possibly even how we taste food once it’s in our mouths! In the catering industry, professionals try to harness this connection between colour and flavour to create a higher food and beverage experience.

Red, spicy, sweet. White, salty, cool, fresh.Green, crisp, crunchy. Brown, deep, savoury. There are certain expectations created by foods of certain colours. Now, these are by no means hard rules, but when you look at food, your brain makes a snap judgement on what it might taste like. These expectations could then actually affect how you choose and eventually taste the food. Subverting these expectations can cause a tremendous reaction and help your dishes stand out. One great example was an experiment in which people intricately described the subtle flavours of a red wine… which turned out to be white wine with food colouring.

When presenting food, the contrast between dishes or even on the same dish can be used to highlight certain parts of the dish or heighten the visual and mental impact of each colour on the plate. Against a full green salad, for example, the opposing red of a tomato or pepper will push the brain into seeing more ‘greenness’, creating a feeling of clean, fresher food. A similar effect is achieved with a small piece of red-toned garnish on a plate of lush green vegetables and deep brown meat, like a juicy steak.

The red tone creates contrast, making the whole dish more exciting to the mind. This could work between courses, using different colours in each course to really separate them and keep the palette invested and hungry for each subsequent dish. Or on a buffet spread to keep the viewer looking around the whole table, making each and every dish interesting and inviting. So, the next time you are cooking for guests, working in food service, or putting out a buffet spread, keep in mind that you may be able to manipulate the guests’ taste buds in your favour by beginning the tasting process right at the beginning; when their eyes see the colours of your lovely foods.




Why save brunch just for the weekends when a spot of let breakfast during the week might be just what your colleagues would enjoy.

With coffees, teas of different flavours and some juices, brunch might make a change from croissants, fruits and bacon rolls.

If you’re planning to start your business meeting a little later, or if you had started very early and a mid-morning break was due but needed more substantial food, lunch is going to be late.

Then try some gluten-free sweetcorn pancakes made with chickpea flour, topped with bacon and fried plantain, and drizzled with maple syrup.

A tuna and spring onion omelette, avocado mash with smoked salmon with some sriracha sauce and nigella seeds. Just like the Mexican dish where tomato, chorizo and peppers are fried in a pan and then topped with a baked egg, huevos rancheros.

Well, try this with a Korean twist with fried kimchi, prawns and peppers with the addition of Gochujang with a baked, fried egg. Not quite bibimbap. But with a spicy kick.


Summertime Picnics


Now summer is truly here; sitting in the park or any quiet space under the canvas of trees, to spread out a blanket, open your cool box to reveal foods neatly packed or even individual lunch boxes.

Summer gives colleagues the chance to enjoy some time together, games can be organised such as rounders or if there are a few colleagues, French cricket. Drinks can be chilled, whether it’s pre-made cocktails, beers or soft drinks. With some light sports, not too much, it is for fun, and this is a chance to have a get-together. A fun afternoon can be had by all.

From simple lunch bags to trays of Italian antipasto to Korean fried chicken with Asian salads. A selection to suit all tastes as well as gluten-free and other allergens.

We can prepare duck rillettes and pulled ham hock with mustard and pickles, smoked salmon pate, and spanakopita. Home-made crostinis and roasted pita flavoured with smoked paprika, oregano and seasoning, black pudding scotch eggs and asparagus wrapped with prosciutto and rocket, ham and cheese croquettes. A picnic does not have to be sandwiches and crudites. If drinks are wanted, then we can assist there too. We would hope everyone’s tastes are covered.

Get out and enjoy the outside space. Summer is here!




South America has a rich history, with a mix of many cultures who in turn have brought their foods to add to the pot. The indigenous people already grow potatoes, corn, avocados, sweet potatoes, chillies and so much more.

With the arrival of the Spanish, French and Portuguese, bridging with them their own style of cuisine but mixing it and using local ingredients. When Africa and Asia are added to the mix, we have an exciting array of foods that are used in everyday cooking.

With the development of cattle ranches, beef and for that matter all meats play a big part in the foods of South America. With charcoal easily available, barbecuing has found its place. With accompanying sauces and marinades, giving get the flavour to enjoy with colleagues, family and friends. With so many chilis, each gives its unique flavour and spice to your dish.

You can not leave out avocados, sliced, mashed guacamole, or the coolness of the spice.

Chimichurri sauce, a mix of herbs, garlic and chillies spooned over steaks, prawns and even bbq cauliflower, add a fresh touch. Green salsa made with tomatillo and jalapenos is another great accompaniment to pork, chicken and grilled sweet potatoes.

Honey and ponzu dressing from Asia, tequila and lime prawns, honey-chipotle chicken wings.

Lots to savour as always, but great to give your BBQ a new direction and get the taste buds going.