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Category Archive: CC News

  1. Halloween and the world of pumpkins

    Halloween is almost upon us and here at Caterer’s Club HQ, to get into the seasonal spirit, we have been learning all about the world of pumpkins; or more importantly the need to promote the colourful and nutritious culinary delights!

    Halloween takes up a large slice of the British social calendar, much more than it  did a decade ago; possibly due to the rising popularity of North America’s cultural  charm diffusing across to the UK. Given the pumpkins’ fiery orange hue, it is clear to  see why it is used to illuminate homes and provide a colourful glow for retail  establishments. However, the autumnal North American ritual of actually eating the  pumpkin is yet to take on in the UK.

    It has been estimated that 12 million pumpkins are grown in the UK each year. Yet  whilst there are about 15 culinary pumpkin varieties, just 3% of the UK’s production  is geared specifically towards cooking varieties. Even though the government is  actively encouraging people to reduce food waste, the flesh of the many millions of carved pumpkins is likely to go to waste. The flesh is not only edible but highly nutritious: pumpkins are high in fibre and beta-carotene (which the body converts into nutrients).

    What our experts say
    Steve Whitworth, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire based Oakley Farms says:

    “We are seeing a bit of an increase in edible varieties of cucurbits, including butternut squash and pumpkins. Twenty-odd years ago edibles were sought after, then they weren’t, and now they are coming back in vogue again but it probably ties in with seasonal squash and butternut squash sales.”

    Renowned pumpkin grower Paul Southall of D Southall & Sons in Worcestershire also believes the interest in culinary pumpkin varieties has stepped up along with the seasonal availability of squashes and pumpkins. He says:

    “My impression is it’s something that’s building up. There’s now good interest in edible pumpkins, and over a reasonable period from September/early October until post-November. I think the whole pumpkin thing is coming together – along with the “monsters” (extra large-sized pumpkins), squash, Halloween… you’d hope that the edible side is part of it all!”

    As part of a retail wide drive to reduce waste, large supermarket chains are publishing useful recipe ideas to encourage consumers to use up their pumpkin flesh after carving. Some of the recipes include, soups, salads, pasta dishes, curries, cakes, muffins and pies, to name a few! But are these online resources enough to brew up public interest on a monster-sized scale?

    Charlotte Wheeler of Tozer Seeds, Surrey based vegetable breeder believes the industry needs a celebrity face to join the campaign against wasting the pumpkin. Wheeler believes the help of a celebrity chef to make the vegetable fashionable would give the culinary market the boost it needs.

    Paul Southall agrees that the edible side of pumpkins needs to be pushed. He added that:

    “Fortunately, as Halloween nears, some retails are starting to promote these amber globes.” For instance, supermarket Morrisons, recently posted a link on Twitter to a recipe on its website, resourcefully encouraging people to use up leftover pumpkin flesh.”

    pumpkin patch

    It’s a WRAP!

    Waste charity WRAP have launched a campaign, Love Food Hate Waste, which has taken to Twitter to promote the fact that there are so many ways to cook a pumpkin. Social media activity is bound to enchant consumers. Perhaps then, the key to growing the pumpkin category is for the fresh produce industry to lend more support by making the most of all forms of communication? This would include social media platforms, endorsement from chefs and in-store recipe cards that run alongside promotions during the Halloween season.

    Get in touch!

    We love to hear from our members at Caterer’s Club. Do you have any pumpkin recipe ideas? Or perhaps you sell pumpkin based products? Please share this with us by sending any recipes or stories to

  2. Ice Cream Alliance Exhibition

    Caterer’s Club are excited to announce that they will be attending the Ice Cream Alliance Exhibition on the 17th, 18th and 19th February 2015!

    ice cream alliance

    Held at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, the one-stop show encourages the production,retailing and consumption of high quality frozen treats. Whether you are looking for new products, new suppliers or inspiration, there is something for everyone. Last year was a huge success, with more than 1700 patrons visiting. As the only dedicated exhibition to the industry, we are very pleased be attending!

    We will have our own stand at the event with plenty of leaflets listing our latest news, as well as mini cupcakes and coffee. Why not come and visit us over the three days? We have lots to tell you, and a £200 Red Letter Days voucher to give away.


  3. The perfect bonfire party!

    With bonfire night only a matter of days away, we’re currently planning on how to make our firework bash go with a bang, from fireworks to food!

    You don’t have to have a large garden for fireworks – in fact you don’t have to have a garden of any size. Thanks to a company called Indoor Fireworks (, you can have a fireworks display on your kitchen table, using just a plate and a box of matches!

    However, for proper ‘big bang’ fireworks with trails of smoke, you do need a bit of outside space. The safest way to set up a firework display is to decide where your spectators are going to stand, and then measure out a “clearance distance”, which should be a minimum of five metres and may have to go to 25 or even 40 depending on how big a bang you’re planning. Once you’ve measured out your clearance gap to the blast-off point, you need to measure out a similar amount again for a fall-out space.

    Choose what kind of fireworks you want. Modern fireworks companies – among the best are Kimbolton, Fireworks Crazy, Ghenghis, Newsbox and Black Cat – supply inventive and fantastic fireworks. You can even watch videos of some of the fireworks before you buy them.

    And don’t forget the sparklers for the little ones!

    Always, always read the instructions for each firework closely and make sure that you follow them.

    But what are your guests going to eat when all the whizzing and banging is going on? You want rich, filling autumn food. You also want food that can be held in one hand, with the other free for a beer bottle, a wine glass or a small child’s hand.

    Below you’ll find some mouth-watering recipes ideas:

    Spicy sausages also work well, stuffed into fresh French bread with loads of mustard, ketchup and caramelised onions.

    Homemade burgers are ideal too using high-quality beef mince, with finely chopped onion, parmesan, finely grated carrot, an egg yolk, some salt and pepper and perhaps some breadcrumbs! Leave the patties for an hour or so in the fridge. Or you can put large field mushrooms into the oven, covered with huge knobs of butter and chopped garlic and let them cook, and then stick them into crunchy, mustard-smeared sandwiches.

    Cups of pumpkin soup are always popular. Use the leftover pumpkin from Halloween and boil the flesh in water until it’s tender. Put a medium red chilli (chopped and de-seeded) into a blender along with half a handful of coriander leaves, two chopped cloves of garlic and some salt and pepper…and whizz! It will give off the most aromatic, spicy smell imaginable. Add the cooked pumpkin, whizz again, and then put back into a saucepan with a can of coconut milk and bring back to simmering heat.

    Johnny Ray’s bonfire-night punch

    This will fill four large tumblers.

    Stir together in a jug:

    50ml White Rum

    50ml Dark Rum

    50ml Cachaça

    25ml Passoa Passion Fruit Liqueur

    25ml Gabriel Boudier Curaçao Triple Sec or Cointreau


    200ml Pineapple juice

    200ml Lemonade

    100ml Pomegranate juice

    100ml Fizzy water

    50ml Fresh Lime juice

    Plenty of ice

    Stir again and serve up with a mint or basil leaf garnish.

    But let’s not forget the best part: the bonfire. Sitting, staring into glowing embers is perhaps the best possible environment for gentle chatter, a bit of banter and a few heartfelt moments. What better way to begin the long dark nights of November? Just remember to stay safe and have fun!

    To read more safety tips and recipe ideas please click here:


  4. And our winner is…!

    Thank you to those of you who sent in your photos of your wonderful cake creations for our very own bake off competition!

    Thank you to all of you who donned your aprons and baked something lovely for our Caterer’s Club Bake off competition.

    The cakes that brought us the biggest smile were sent from Kim Jones from Leicester. BIG congratulations go to you!

    The Cookie Monster cakes looked amazingly yummy, so creative and brought back fond memories of Sesame Street!

    Kim the latest copy of the Great British Bake Off cookbook is winging its way to you!

    Keep an eye out for more exciting competitions we’ll be running over the next few months!

    If you would like to try your hand at making these fabulous Cookie Monster cakes please see the recipe below for these scrumptious blue creations!


    Serves: 24 


    • 200g butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs
    • 500g plain flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 50ml milk


    To decorate

    • 1 packet marzipan
    • 1/2 packet icing sugar
    • chocolate drops
    • 1 packet desiccated coconut
    • blue food colouring
    • 1 packet mini chocolate chip cookies


    Prep: 45min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
    2. Mix the ingredients for the cake until well combined and spoon into the muffin tin.
    3. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
    4. Mix the marzipan with the icing sugar until it becomes smooth, then form the mixture into little eye balls. Apply some chocolate drops as “pupils”. It does not have to be straight – think of the cookie monster.
    5. Put a drop or two of blue food colouring on the desiccated coconut. For best results use a stainless steel bowl.
    6. In a separate bowl, combine some icing sugar, water and some blue food colouring.
    7. Dip the muffins headlong into the blue icing sugar mix, then dip into the coconut mix and allow to dry. Glue the marzipan eyes with some icing sugar mix onto the muffins. Cut the cookies in half, cut the cookie monster a mouth and carefully slide the cookie into it.


  5. How to reduce catering food waste and save costs.

    How to reduce catering food waste and cut costs

    A new EU-backed programme called ‘Business Food Waste Solutions’ has recently been launched by the London Food Board, to help SME’s reduce food waste and lower costs. The initiative was formed to improve waste reduction over 240 companies within London, and has had £1 million pledged towards the cause. The plan is estimated to cut 600 kilograms of annual food waste, saving around £350,000 in costs to local caterers. On average a UK restaurant wastes up to 21 tons of food each year, which is five times more than the average household, meal per meal. This is an astounding 600,000 tons of waste across 27,000 restaurants each year, which is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is clear that this massive increase in wastage has been fuelled mainly by the huge trend in American super-sized portion expectation from consumers; therefore Caterer’s Club has detailed some tips on how to reduce food waste and improve revenues, while giving customers what they want.

    Food waste



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