20 December 2011


I was recently contacted over the telephone by Lynne Shelbourn for advice on the catering to celebrate her husband's 60th Birthday party, being held in their own home near Hook in North Hampshire. I had been recommended by Jules and Sue Porter, being mutual friends of ours, whom I have cooked for on several occasions. I first met Jules and Sue when they did the photography for our wedding back in 2007, producing the most amazing  album and Rebbecca Shelbourne also had a great experience with them for her own wedding more recently.  Being a surprise party, it was difficult to arrange times when we could discuss requirements, however, we successfully came up with a great menu for the occasion with a few secret telephone calls and by exchanging emails through Rebbecca, Lynne's eldest daughter.

We decided for a selection of canapes on arrival, followed by a hot buffet menu, with a selection of desserts to finish.

I arrived late in the morning to set up where I first met Lynne, who was very friendly and showed me into the kitchen. We had a little over an hour before her husband Stuart was due to arrive so I had to be quick and get everything ready which isn't always easy when in a new environment! However, help was at hand and everything went to plan and family and friends of Lynne offered the canapes around before the main course was served buffet style and everyone helped themselves. I had plenty of great feed back from many guests and it made the day so rewarding and worthwhile that my small part of the day was appreciated at what was a great Birthday party. The day finished off with the desserts which also went down well and as the bulk of the guests left, I began to tidy up my equipment ready for another day.


Game pate, granary toast, caramelised red onion and port chutney,
Tempura King prawns, mango mayonnaise, sliced red chilli and fresh coriander,
Smoked salmon and cream cheese roullade, rocket, lemon, cracked black pepper,
Bruschetta, olive oil, mozzarella, blush tomato, avocado, fresh basil.

Beef Bourguignon, Red wine, shallots, wild mushrooms,
Chicken Chasseur, White wine, tomato, tarragon gravy,
Sweet potato and bean Goulash,
Basmati rice, Dressed tossed salad,

Vanilla and honeycomb creme brulee, vanilla shortbread,
Mango and coconut mousse, ginger tuille biscuit,
Fresh strawberries, balsamic, brandy snap biscuit,
Caramelised apple tart tartin, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream.

Lynne and her family were very hospitable and it was a great pleasure to cook for them in their home. Thank you for having me as a part of your celebration.

"Thank you so much for all your hard work on Sunday. The food not only looked good but also tasted delicious! Everyone commented on it. You could not have done more for us and I am really grateful. Thanks again"


  1. Hey chefy, it would be nice to get teh occasional mention on these reccomends !


  2. Thanks for the recommendation Jules and Sue!!
    It was a great day and Rebbecca commented on how great her wedding album was, with the pair of you being a important part of their day as you were to ours.