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THE EVENT: celebrating the collaboration between one of London’s most iconic buildings, the Royal Albert Hall and top event caterers “rhubarb”, as well as the latter’s new and exclusive partnership with Fat Duck head chef extraordinaire Heston Blumenthal
THE VENUE: the Royal Albert Hall
HOSTS: Royal Albert Hall and “rhubarb"
THE THEME: glamour was the word of the night, from the sea of stylish cocktail dresses to the building itself
THE MENU: canapés and bowl food such as roasted fillet of Japanese-style beef served with wasabi hollandaise on a black-crystal skewer and pork belly with sweetcorn panna cotta and wild mushrooms, as well Heston’s ‘Liquid Nitro Stall’ and “rhubarb’s” miniature pudding stall, serving milkshake shots and salted caramel and chocolate tarts, among other sugary delights
TO DRINK: Champagne, raspberry martini mojitos, beer, white wine and red wine (a Domaine Bertier Sauvignon Viognier and a Amapola Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a variety of Bellinis
THE ENTERTAINMENT: music by George Michael’s support group Raven, a harpist and jazz singer Alexander Stewart
ON THE GUESTLIST: 465 guests from the events industry, it is also rumoured that members from the cast of Hollyoaks were around (sadly we didn’t spot them!)
IN THE GOODIE BAG: a “rhubarb” cupcake in the company colours
THE TALKING POINT: Heston’s ‘Liquid Nitro Stall’, serving lime essence spray with three different flavoured palate cleansers: fizzy gin and tonic, blood orange and Campari, all poached in liquid nitrogen
SPEECHES: Christopher Cotton, chief executive of the RAH, two minutes, Pieter-Bas Jacobse (PB), managing director of “rhubarb”, two minutes and Heston Blumenthal, who needs no introduction, five minutes
SUPPLIERS: furniture, Great Hire; flowers, Lavender Green; theming, Apple Design; music, Sound by Design; photography, Ben Phillips
When we decided to move into events we shopped around a bit, we wanted to work with a caterer that focuses on high quality food, so we chose “rhubarb”.
Why did you decide to expand into events? There are still limitations in restaurants but this is a new world of creative opportunity, I want people to experience something that they can’t at a restaurant.
How is the partnership going? It’s a really exciting time, the chefs have been with me in the kitchen and they’re so enthusiastic. “rhubarb” and I are working together on ideas, for example I already had the concept of the liquid nitrogen palate cleansing foams but didn’t know how to present it, so their team came up with the ice bar.
Will we be seeing your classic Fat Duck dishes at events? The first step is to try and create some of the historic dishes to the same quality we do at the restaurant. But essentially no, there are some things that won’t be practical.