Friday, June 25, 2010

Tips on Picking a Wedding Cake

  • You can never have a big enough cake, the bigger the more grand. Big is beautiful in wedding cake world. The cake should always stand out during your reception. You can add height through dummy tiers, columns or even flowers in between each tier. Make a statement with the size of your cake, your cake has to be very visible. However, if you really want something not so big, it needs to be a little bit dramatic. Your wedding cake has to be seen and remembered.
  • Sounds basic but arrange a tasting. The look of the cake is important especially the finishing but don’t just go on how your cake looks – how does it taste? A cake tasting session is a great way to explore the many different options and flavours available, the choice and varieties are huge. Each tier can be a different flavour, something for everyone.
  • Nothing is grander than a shinning cake stand. As well as adding height it should also complement your cake style – a wow cake needs a gold cake stand, white for a more contemporary English feel and silver for all round class. Don’t forget to get a matching cake knife, the little details matter!
  • Cupcakes are everywhere. However, I’m not tired of them (just yet). Nothing could be prettier then a fabulous cake stand filled with various colours and designs of cupcakes. They can also double up as gift favours for your guests!
  • Striking colours and stylish monograms are a huge trend for cakes in 2010. Whether its edible painted ruffles, lace or flowers –the details matter!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food for thought

I saw two programmes a while ago on weddings: 3 Grand Weddings on Sky Wedding TV and Four Weddings on Living TV.  Both programmes featured  a Nigerian couple. For the Four Weddings, each bride had to attend and judge each others weddings based on set criteria which included presentation. On both programmes. Each bride had to present their day, talk about budgets, dresses, venues, food basically every detail of their big day. The Nigerian bride’s presentation was hilarious.Personally, I didn’t find any of it funny, if anything, I found it really embarrassing. In my opinion, the Nigerian food was poorly presented.

Nigeria is blessed with abundant resources. The country has countless cuisines, excellent chefs naturally blessed with amazing culinary skills, so many delicacies. Most of our Chefs have no formal training but are naturally gifted with amazing cooking skills. I will be the first to agree that some of our food can be considered unhealthy, highly over cooked and badly presented,  I can argue that our cuisines can be sort after like the Tikka Masalas and Thai curries. We just need to adapt our cooking to appeal to a wider audience. On the Four Weddings programme, the Nigerian bride to be described ‘Tripe’ as ‘Intestine’, that description most definitely will put anyone off!  A good description helps stimulate the taste bud, for instance, if I simply say ‘Jellof Rice’ that might not appeal much to many but by adding ‘Rice cooked in spicy tomatoes sauce with herbs’ that might challenge your audience to at least want to try the food out.

So what are we doing wrong? What are we not getting right? Indian foods are spicy, Chinese food is not the most healthy yet we all clamour for them. I think the major turnoff really is how our food is presented. For the food tasting sessions, the food courses presented by the caterer for the Nigerian bride was appalling. On the wedding day, the food service which was a buffet style service, was also badly presented - this was an opportunity to set up the buffet area as part of the decor.

Nigerian caterer need to improve on food design and display, there is a saying that says “the eyes eats before the mouth…” I totally agree and believe that the traditional Nigerian food can be healthy,  as it is cooked with a lot of fresh vegetables which makes it very nutritious and it can compete with other cuisines worldwide.

At Hannah Michael, we are passionate about food, service and presentation.  We offer bespoke and a la carte menus designed and delivered in the style that will wow your guests and that is uniquely you.