My favourite foods are as varied as my tastes in music.. everything from Led Zeppelin to Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Of course my favourite foods are always those that Karen makes us.
My all-time fave (and the thing I choose in most restaurants) is a burger. It all comes from Karen’s home-made burgers – which are of course the gold standard (even her mini burgers!). Back in 2010 we took a trip to Florida where she ground the beef, added the herbs (naturally) and we cooked them poolside on a BBQ. This completely spoilt me and I’ve been looking to replicate the experience ever since in restaurants around the world – almost always to disappointment. It just seems that people over-cook, over-rusk and under-season.
The closest to Karen’s burgers were Tom Barton’s at his Honest Burgers restaurant. In 2016 we catered Tom’s wedding in Leicestershire and he treated us to his burgers with rosemary fries when I was celebrating my 60th in London (on route to eat at the top of the Eifel Tower).
Now that was also a meal – again beef-based, but with THE most amazing reduction any mouth could experience – that and heavenly texture of the beef was the stuff of dreams.
Which leads me to comment that Karen has changed my life in so many ways (since we met in 2005), but none more so than her introducing me to a wider context how to treat really amazing food. Since meeting her I’ve learned to value it – and ironically that’s so much more than eating it and extends into the visual; the need to create the right ambience (pretty much every night we have a candlelit dinner, with great wine and soft music); and indeed to add some ‘ceremony’ to the eating.
The flavours, appearance and variety of foods made by Karen (compared to the rest of my life) are astounding. She makes (for example) a baked potato sing and dance so you want to hug it, never mind eat it – and I’ve really no idea what it is she does to turn such humble things into such works of gastronomic joy… her cheese on toast is just something else.
All the above are why I suggested all those years ago (2010) we got into wedding catering. I knew her food would astound people and we’d had so many poor eating eating experiences at weddings that I also knew we could really do something very special.
Now, 235 weddings on and 5 years as ‘Wedding Caterer of The Year’ for The West Midlands, she is still being as creative, passionate and inventive as ever, never loosing a single detail and rocking my gastronomic world.