Interview with Emma J Leaver from City Gateway:
What did you set out to achieve for your event and how did the catering play a part in this?
This event was a real celebration of the power of partnerships and made us focus more on making connections and strengthening relationships, both new and long-standing with our service users and corporate partners. My concept was to have catering elements that sparked interest and intrigue and encouraged conversations, therefore we had a reception before and after dinner, with speciality cocktails, port and cheese. The dinner really encouraged mingling and guests did not feel trapped in their seats at their allocated tables.
We also had a midnight garden theme but I was very keen for it not to be stereotypical. It had to be delivered with an understated elegance that matched the location of the prestigious Guildhall. The team at Seasoned went above and beyond to truly understand what I wanted and the holistic experience for our guests.
What things were you looking for in a catering partner?
I was keen to deliver a “bespoke dining experience” rather than a traditional three course sit down dinner and it was important to work with a company like Seasoned who worked to understand and deliver a unique event that matched my brief rather than shoehorning resources they already had into it. Seasoned exceeded my expectations from coming out to meet us on-site to understand our organisation through to the detailed tasting and on the night delivery.
What was your favourite aspect of the event?
I have to say how great it was that Seasoned understood my idea about a sharing platter to start. The quality and variety of choices, truly beautiful themed display and the fact guests had no choice but to talk to each other to rotate plates and try a bit of everything was brilliant! It was simple but very clever and really set the tone for the evening. Then when the lights were dimmed for Youthwork’s dance project performance, the lanterns that had replaced the dishes made the room look like a beautiful summer evening.
What was the best piece of feedback you received from the event?
There are two – firstly, guests who organise events really think they might start using the sharing platter starter concept at their events (imitation is the best form of flattery!) and one staff member who doesn’t usually like attending hospitality events came out with a big smile on his face having had a really wonderful evening.
If you had to sum up the service you received in four words, what would they be?
Detailed, imaginative, supportive, expert.