We always aim to make the Catey Awards dinner extra special, so we asked double Catey winners Chris and Jeff Galvin to bring their expertise to the table. Caterer caught up with them before the big night...
While the main focus of the Catey Awards is of course the nominees and the winners, the Cateys dinner aims to deliver one of the year’s most gastronomic menus on London’s banqueting circuit.
In the past, Michelin-starred chefs Marcus Wareing and Angela Hartnett have been among those who have consulted on the menu, ensuring that the Cateys dinner has lived on in guests’ memories well beyond the evening itself. This year, the organisers of the Cateys – James Melville, director of event planning at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel, and Cateys events managers Shiva Hobson and Sarah Sutton – wanted a similar lasting impression at the 2011 banquet and asked double Catey winners Chris and Jeff Galvin to bring their culinary prowess to the table.
Recipients of both the Independent Restaurateur of the Year Award (2010) and Newcomer Award (2006), the Galvin brothers joined forces with Nigel Boschetti, executive chef at the Grosvenor House, to deliver a four-course menu for 1,100 guests. They featured dishes from the Galvin restaurant stable, with wines chosen by Matthew Clark account director Nick Zalinski.
Although Jeff Galvin said that the preparation for the event had been a “huge challenge”, he was delighted with the quality executed by the Grosvenor House, allowing him and Chris the opportunity to be in their usual place, front of house, on the night.
“Chris and I are delighted to be creating the menu for the Cateys after 10 years of attending,” commented Jeff. “It’s been great working with Nigel; he gave me the elements that I needed to meet the challenge and we came up with four dishes from our restaurants, which I was extremely pleased about.”
Chris Galvin feels that as a Catey winner, he was particularly proud to be associated with the cooking on the night. “Being asked to cook for our peers at the Grosvenor House for the Cateys is a daunting task for a chef. We’re always ambitious and we want to cook for the best and when you see the judging process – which Jeff and I have been involved in – and you see how hard it is to win a Catey, it truly is an Oscar of the industry.
“Working with Nigel and the guys in the kitchen has been amazing and they’ve made it very easy for us. It’s always a big privilege to be invited in the first place and then a privilege to be invited into the kitchen.”
Seasoned banqueting chef Boschetti, who moved to the Grosvenor House 16 months ago, is used to working with guest chefs from around the globe. However, he says that working with Chris and Jeff Galvin had been a particular pleasure.
“I’ve enjoyed working with them immensely. They’ve been very easy to work with, they’ve been very responsive to our suggestions – how we can adapt the menus – because cooking for 1,000 people is obviously very different to cooking in a restaurant.”
Boschetti, who describes the Cateys as one of the major events of the Grosvenor House’s calendar, concluded: “For me, as a chef, obviously catering for your peers is a great honour but it’s also very daunting. The most important thing is to get the food right and represent the chef who has their name on the menu – that we give their food the best possible service and the best possible delivery.”
Boschetti was supported on the night by Galvin La Chapelle head chef Zac Whittle and sous chef Stuart Murray