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The Inside Track

For the last week and a half, I have been helping Alix from Caiger & Co at her catering business. Alix needed help with organising her recipe and menu database as she is writing a cookery book, so exciting.

Hoping that one day my dream will come true to have a catering company such as Caiger & Co, I’m doing my best to get as much knowledge and skills out of these two weeks. So, working on organising canapés, amuse bouches, starters, mains etc etc into each right folder, alternated by working on jobs in the kitchen, it sounds like the ideal learning environment for a becoming chef.

Last week we had to prepare a drop off lunch job for 40 people. It was good to see how much work and love goes into each dish we prepared. Flo, the other intern, and I prepared most of the savoury dishes and Alix did the bakewells. I absolutely loved the bakewells, and as there were a few pieces left after the job, they were gone in just a few minutes……

Anyway, while Flo concentrated on making miso, sweet potato, mozzarella and basil aubergine rolls, I focused on these really cute sweet potato and feta filo parcels with sumac and lemon.

To begin with, I roasted 1,5 sweet potatoes in the oven for about 2 hours, until the flesh was completely cooked. I left it to cool for a few minutes and then scooped out all the flesh into a bowl. Crumbled about 200g of feta into the sweet potato and seasoned it with salt, ground black pepper and a drop of nice olive oil. Mixed everything really well.

I melted some butter in a small saucepan and took the filo pastry out of the fridge. The important thing with filo pastry is to keep is chilled, as it dries out really easy and will rip apart which makes it unable to use! So I brushed the filo pastry with some of the melted butter, then layered 3 sheets of filo pastry on top of each other and cut the sheets into 6 pieces.  Adding a tablespoonful of the sweet potato and feta mix in the middle of each sheet, I brought up the sides of the pastry towards each other and made them stick together. Brushed the tops with a little more butter and they were ready to go in the oven! These parcels are easily made in advance, which makes them so convenient.

All you have to do after making the parcels is bake them off in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180c. When they come out, sprinkle some sumac, a lovely zingy tasting spice, over the tops and they are ready to be served.

These parcels are as lovely served warm as when they are served room temperature. An easy, delicious canapé, starter or even picnic bite! This is just one of the dishes that has inspired me while learning at Caiger & Co. It’s lovely to be surrounded by so many types of dishes, cuisines and kitchen styles, in which I get to learn so much!