Eight Scottish caterers tell us about times they’ve risen to the challenge

Step aside mere mortals – these big-day gourmet gurus can tackle any test of foodie skill

Fighting fire with fire

What could be better than munching on a BBQ at the height of summer? Serving a feast of grilled meat and veg chimes nicely with the chilled-out barn settings currently in vogue. It’s just one of the many strings to Regis Banqueting’s catering bow. Thinking on their feet is another, as the company’s Becky McDonald tells us: We catered a wedding earlier this year and when we arrived, the BBQ we planned to use was faulty. Thankfully, the venue had two large fire pits, so we put grills onto these and cooked the food directly on them. The guests and couple loved this solution.


A berry nice story

An off-season wilderness wedding threw up a few issues for the team at The Thistle Vintage Bus Bar, but planning ahead meant there were no problems, as Morean Hamilton explains: We were hired for a remote wedding which required stacks of strawberries. However, the fruit was out of season, so to create the champagne and strawberry daiquiris we had to arrange for fast-frozen berries to arrive by courier!


A mouthwatering meat-free menu

Most wedding meals offer chicken or beef. Not for one couple. Susannah Nixon of Bespoke Catering & Events explains, “Committed vegans Andrew and Kirsty approached us to cater their wedding. We worked with them to find out more about their favourite dishes, then head chef Danny Kelsey threw himself in to researching and experimenting with ways to use our tried-and-tested recipes and get the same high-quality results using only vegan ingredients.” The outcome? A delicious meal guests couldn’t get enough of.


No hanging on for Orde

For her wedding of 200 guests, one bride asked for something a little different to a standard hog or lamb roast, divulges Justin Orde, owner of The Orde Food Company. The wedding was to take place on her family’s farm using meat that had been raised and cared for there so we knew that a hãngi was the way forward, adds Justin. Originating from New Zealand, hãngi is an ancient Maori method of cooking using a pit with heated stones. This novel approach was a hit with the guests.


A water-logged wedding

Nothing could have prepared one couple’s suppliers for the almighty flood they faced [above] when they came to set up the marquee. “It was an unprecedented situation that needed our undivided attention,” exclaims Gary Moore owner of Moore Catering Services. With wellies on and all hands on deck, Gary and his team brought the equipment to an indoor back-up on dry land! 


Haggis bon bons – three ways!

For Thistle Catering, juggling a multitude of dietary requirements is commonplace. “Vegetarian and vegan-friendly foods are much more in demand, as are gluten- and lactose-free options,” states Lorraine Smith. At a recent wedding, the team had to cover a range of dietary needs – with one canapé! “We served three different options of haggis bon bon: gluten-free haggis with gluten-free breadcrumbs, veggie haggis bon bons and meat haggis bon bons,” adds Lorraine. Phew! “It was challenging as everything had to be cooked separately, but they all tasted great – and that’s what matters.”


Some like it hot

Simon Preece Food Creations recently had to spice things up in the kitchen, as he recounts: “We catered for a Nigerian wedding not too long ago. We had never prepared that type of cuisine before, so I swotted up. Reading through the recipes, I noticed they were calling for a LOT of chillies.” When the wedding rolled around, the team set to work preparing the feast – until the deep burn started to take hold. “The chillies were so hot,  the kitchen crew had to wear goggles, face guards and black protective gloves. It was a heroic effort getting the plates out,” laughs Simon.


Dealing with aversions

Many of us suffer from allergies that have to be taken into consideration from the outset. Kirstin Irons at Saltire Hospitality tells us more, “Dietary requirements are challenges we face regularly. From vegetarian and dairy-free to conditions that could have severe health repercussions. A recent bride was allergic to lentils, peas, beans, pulses, nuts and fish. We had to take the precaution of preparing the meal in a separate kitchen as well as ensuring there was no contamination across equipment used.”