This was the second year that we catered for the Function Fitness Christmas staff party. This year the event was to be held in January mainly because Charlie and Ceri (the owners) welcomed Jasper their new baby boy into the world which put event planning down the priority list and quite rightly. This was the second year we re-purposed the gyms’ Karate room as a pop up kitchen and served a 3 course fine dining evening for the gym staff and some of their members. With new babies and some big gym news the event brief was to keep the tradition going with a simple but very tasty menu that would appeal to as many of the members as possible as well as staying within budget. I think Charlie and Ceri would agree with me when I say we did this all a bit last minute with plans and dates for obvious reasons, but after seeing all the Instagram stories the party was a huge success. Dry January was not the winner here.
The plan was always to keep it as Christmasy as possible because even though it was January it was still very much the FF Christmas party and the tradition was not going to be missed. James came up with a different menu to year 1 but still with the fine dining, special Xmas meal in mind, something you wouldn’t usually get to eat locally. We took pre-orders throughout December and dietary requirements to ensure everyone was catered for, 3 vegans, one Gluten free and one wheat intolerance was really easy to handle, we made sure we knew where these people were sitting and tweak the dishes to suit. On the day of the event we had a total of 30 guests to prepare for, so our team got to work laying the tables, setting up the pop up kitchen and James was busy doing food prep. I also had the added job of setting up the beer tap system as Charlie had dry hired some of our beer taps so guest could get a nice cold beer or cider. The make shift pallet bar went in the Karate room next to the kitchen and when guests started to arrive it created a great atmosphere of activity and chatter.
We sat down for food at 7.30 and starters where on tables at 7.31 sharp. It was a laid back service as the last thing we wanted to do was rush people to eat, it was very much a relaxed atmosphere where guests were enjoying their surroundings and have a few drinks. We had 4 of us on site for service as for 30 guests this was ample hands on deck. James was firing on all cylinders in the kitchen plating 90 dishes on his own, a big task for a lesser chef but James hardly broke into a sweat, water off a ducks back. The prep we did off site really helped us to be prepared for the evening service and with accurate pre-orders locked in we knew the exact quantities which really can help when laying out the plan for service. Our goal is always top quality food served in a relaxed but efficient manner, we do not assume anything and work hard to ensure every detail in covered but at the same time we want our guests to feel we are always in complete control so no stress or worry to enable them to really enjoy the atmosphere.
The food was served and all plates clean by the end of service hardly a crumb remained, safe to say it was enjoyed by all. As we started to clean down the band “Maybe Naked” were set up and starting sound checks before Charlie got up to make his annual speech. It is great to see a local business grow and with Charlie’s announcement that they are moving to a bigger better premises in 2020 the reaction of the guests was amazing to see. This lead onto our plans for the next FF Christmas Party this December, we are planning a completely different style of service we have done fine dining twice so this time we are planning a new approach, really excited! Keep an eye on both our social medias to see more info as the year goes on. Thanks again to Charlie and Ceri for having us! See you all in December.