Winning Silver at the ECats

12 Oct

Monday 8th of October was a great day for the Purple Grape team – we took part in the newly founded Event Caterer Team Challenge and came away with the silver award! The ECats challenged and showcased the UK’s top private caterers to demonstrate their culinary, front of house, conceptualization and design expertise, after being given an identical event brief to deliver in front of a live audience.


When we received the brief of what the challenge was based on – to provide a Halloween themed three course dinner to celebrate the 50th birthday of a partner at a city Law firm – the team jumped right into conceptualising how we could showcase what we do. This gave us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate what we are known so well for: our creative flair in all aspects of an event’s design, from food themes to table layout.


The chefs came up with a menu perfect for the theme. Canapés of ‘Grave digger fingers’ (Marinated Monkfish crusted with seeds and wasabi tobiko) or ‘Pumpkin lanterns’ (Pumpkin arancini with celery leaves), followed by a three course dinner that built the Halloween theme into the delicious and artistically arranged dishes. Every time one of us from the event team popped into the kitchen we were feasted with sites of the chefs creating and experimenting over bubbling cauldrons (ok, saucepans) to come up with the dishes that were served to the judges at the show.


On the day, Emily took up the mantel and presented to the judges, as if pitching the event to them – going into detail about why Purple Grape would be perfect to run the event, why we had chosen the menu being presented to them and how we would add our creative flair to the theming. This was followed by the chefs cooking and finishing the dishes in front of the live audience, ready for Chris (the fantastic waiter from Jam Staffing) to serve to the waiting judges.


After the judges had seen all the caterers, the awards were given out. Purple Grape was awarded Silver and this is such a huge achievement considering the company is only in its fourth year of operation. We were up against well-established catering companies with the likes of Sodexho Prestige and Richmond Creative competing against us, so we are more than delighted with the result.


This huge achievement would not have been possible without the support and help from some of our favourite suppliers. A hearty thanks goes out to Jam Staffing (for providing our expert waiting service), Well Dressed Tables (for providing the fantastic table-ware), Flowers For You (for the beautiful flowers) and Owen at Six Red Squares (for designing our fabulous spooky menus).