Autumn Party Planning

Planning an autumn party? As ever, food is key to a successful party and your guest will want something thats hearty and heart-warming. This month we focus on our must-have party ingredient Pumpkin. So many things can be done with a pumpkin – they aren’t just for carving you know! Below are some of our favourite recipes that will help your autumn party off to a flying start.

Our Top 3 Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Pie


  • 750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 350g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 140g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar


1. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool. More

Pumpkin, chickpea & coconut curry


  • 1 pumpkin, or squash (roughly 900g)
  • 4cm piece of ginger
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tins of coconut milk
  • 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas


1. Chop the pumpkin or squash into 3cm chunks and cut the ginger into matchsticks. Pick the coriander leaves and finely chop the stalks. More.

Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Sweetcorn


  • 1lb 8 oz (700 g) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1 inch (2.5 cm) dice
  • 1lb 4 oz (570 g) sweetcorn (off the cob weight, from 5-6 cobs)
  • 1oz (25 g) butter
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter, for the sweetcorn
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 10 fl oz (275 ml) whole milk
  • 1¼ pints (725 ml) stock made with Marigold Swiss Bouillon vegetable powder
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper


1.Begin by melting the butter in the saucepan, then add the onion and soften it for about 8 minutes. After that add the chopped pumpkin (or butternut squash), along with half the sweetcorn, then give everything a good stir and season with salt and pepper. More.

Let us know how your Pumpkin dishes turn out. Tag us in your creations @Cooks_Partners.

Annual Summer Party – #partyintheyard

Light Motif and Cooks & Partners Annual Summer Party

Last night creative event production company Light Motif and London event caterers Cooks & Partners hosted their annual summer party. Event industry professionals were invited to #partyintheyard at their offices in Fulham. Guests included an array of top London venues, agencies and corporate clients such as Royal Hospital Chelsea, Historic Royal Palaces, Collection 26, Creventive, Great Ormond Street, BAFTA & BNP Paribas.

Guests arrived to what was once a car park in the yard that had been transformed by Wow Grass into an almost life size rugby pitch, taking inspiration from the impending Rugby World Cup.

Arriving via a playeresque style tunnel which event florists Wildabout had dressed, it lead them onto the rugby pitch where they were greeted by staff in Rugby shirts serving delicious cocktails including a seasonal pear and rosemary infused Bellini.

Cooks & Partners treated guests to a huge selection of delicious canapés and bowl food including; Yakitori seared tuna, smoked haddock scotch egg and a mouth watering spiced vegan burger. For those with a sweet tooth there was an abundance of desserts in the pudding room which boasted among others a brilliant stand off between an English clotted cream rice pudding and a Fijian fruit compote – no doubt in anticipation of the first game which kicks off next week!

Light Motif’s beautifully designed production and lighting was topped off with the very apt goal post acting as the perfect frame for the main bar. Festoon lighting adorned the sky, lighting complimented every area and also gave it that party atmosphere when the sun set. Celebrity DJ AJ Odudu got everyone in the spirit with her awesome set from her glitter DJ booth.

The event was captured by photographer Matt Chung as well as Just Pose who provided their Instagram Booth so guests could grab a copy of their social media images before they left.

The evening acted as the perfect excuse for industry professionals to get together for a final summer shindig aka #partyintheyard getting everyone in the mood to support their teams for the Rugby World Cup 2015!

James Bond Themed Menu

Are you a bit of a James Bond fan? Counting down the days until the much awaited film release of Spectre? If you are, then how about hosting your very own James Bond themed party? Here at Cooks & Partners we have put together a 007 themed tribute menu with a twist. Built around the spy thriller film titles, you can munch your way through from the 1962 Dr. No film to the latest release Skyfall! This menu is guaranteed to satisfy any film buffs appetite.



The Bond Classic – Dried green olive twill with Martini jelly
From Russia With Love – Vodka cured salmon and caviar blinis
The Man With The Golden Gun – Golden corn cake with Thai beef salad
Octopussy – Slow cooked octopus salad with sweet peppers and lemon on a white china spoon
Casino Royal – Poached Scottish lobster maki rolls with mirin pickled cucumber and black sesame seeds
Golden Eye – Saffron glazed quail eggs with an assortment of infused dipping salts
Moonraker – Parmesan twill sphere cone with quail Caeser salad, micro cress and toasted seeds
License To Kill – Sweet chill glazed beef skewer and green chilli and lime dip
Dr No – Classic seared scallops with pea puree and crispy bacon presented in their shells
Live And Let Die – Cornish monkfish ceviche with white balsamic vinegar marinated vegetable salad
Skyfall – Warm grilled pigeon with Azuki bean and seaweed salad with wasabi dressing


Strawberry Tuxedos – Chocolate dipped strawberries
Casino Dice – Iced dried raspberry and lemon cake cubes
Casino Chips – Blueberry and strawberry fondant creams with green apple wafers


Savoury Cold

Gold Finger – Bullers of golden beetroot and goats cheese tart with micro cress
Die Another Day – Braised kimchi with bbq pork
You Only Live Twice – Twice cooked crispy duck with soba noodles and hoi sin

Savoury Hot

View To A Kill – Summer pea and broad bean mouse with garden salad and surprise grilled lamb bomb

For Your Eyes Only – A selection of potted risottos:

  • Wild mushroom and truffle
  • Char grilled chicken and rocket pesto
  • Clam and mussel seafood selection

Live and Let Die – Creole jambalaya with spiced sausage


Diamonds Are Forever – Lemon jelly shards with crystalized rose petals
Miss Moneypenny – Orange blossom and saffron cupcake topped with a silver dusted white chocolate coin
Goldfinger – Gold leaf covered bullions with a bitter chocolate and cherry mousse
M – Crisp dark chocolate bomb with a strawberry and cream centre

If you are stuck for venue décor ideas or spy props, check out Theme Traders. They have a whole host of specialist items to add that touch of authenticity to any party.

Rugby World Cup 2015 Menu Inspiration

Rugby blog2015 promises to be a huge year for rugby with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner in September. Are you organising a corporate dinner or reception around this time, or are you hosting office events over the games themselves?  Well, let us help you with a little Rugby themed inspiration for your menus.

For a seated dinner the easy way to enhance the theme is to incorporate the team countries local cuisine into the menu.  For an England vs. Wales game we have selected some local specialities to incorporate.

A Seated Menu for England vs. Wales

Chilled leek soup with laverbread, cream and Caerphilly cheese twill

English tasting plate
Mini braised beef cheek pie with a mini ale shot
Lancashire lamb hot pot with heritage potato crust
Classic beef wellington with port jus

Warm Welsh cake pudding with Glamorgan cream

Freshly brewed coffee and rugby ball truffles

For a less formal event, say an office get together over a game, make it easy grab food so people can still enjoy the game, or serve food prior to the match for best results.

Food stall ideas may include:
Argentinian street food, American sliders, South African boerewors sausage, Japanese yakitori – charcoal grilled chicken skewers, soba noodles and sushi, Australian burgers with the lot! And not forgetting a pudding station with fun themed cake pops, popcorn, rugby ball buns, dessert empanadas with dulce de leche and salted caramel choc pots…

There is lots of fun to be had coming up with inspiring menus, so get in touch and we’ll be happy to create some menu ideas for your coming events.

Contact the events team on 020 77315282

Top Tips for Choosing The Perfect Venue

After many years of working in the events industry it is clear that choosing the right venue and location is key to a successful event.  Appeal of the venue and ease of reaching it can be what gets bums on seats.  With Christmas party bookings taking the forefront, we thought it would be helpful to share with you our top tips on how to get the venue right. Whether you are looking for grandeur, history, minimalistic or with an amazing view, there is something to suit all.


1.  Location Location Location – almost like buying a house!! You want a venue that is easily accessible – close to public transport, ideally a tube stop and within minutes from either your office or the venue front door.
Venue tubelines1

2. Type – The style of venue you choose sets the scene and tone of your event from the start.   Consideration of your audience and type of event is essential when choosing the venue.
Type of Venue                          Suggestions
Modern or traditional?                The View from The Shard vs. Stationers’ Hall
Christmas or summer party?      Bloomsbury Ballroom vs. The Thames Princess
Gothic or Art Deco?                    Two Temple Place vs. Eltham Palace and Gardens
Conference or product launch?  British Museum vs. The Worx
Ornate or minimalistic?               Lancaster House vs. 3 Olaf Street
Classic or themed?                     Kent House vs. Leighton House Museum
Venue exteriors

3. Budget – Budget plays a big part in the venue you choose.  Getting the balance right between venue hire for your dream venue and all the additional costs is imperative to ensure you fulfil your overall event objectives.  A more expensive venue may have more inclusions.  Are there basic packages on offer that you can add to if you wish to keep your event unique? Cooks and Partners have a range of venues to offer from £800 to £20,000.

Venue setup - dinner

4. Venue size – Determine the size of your guest list first and what you would like to do in the space.  It is often tempting to book a venue that is larger and appearing more glitzy when in fact a smaller and more intimate venue may provide a more natural atmosphere.  You may be able to book a smaller space within a large venue attraction such as the Museum of London, while still benefitting from the exhibitions on offer.

Venue interiors

5. Venue Amenities See what else the venues have to offer to enhance your event, whether outside space for a summer event, (The October Gallery, The Orangery at Holland Park) an amazing view (Harrow School, The View from The Shard) or exhibition/attraction which may mean you require less in terms of entertainment as a result (Wellington Arch, Museum of London).  Other considerations:  options for music and dancing, closing times, catering on offer, on-site facilities available and access.

To take some of the stress away why not give us a call and we will happily provide venue ideas, costs and availability to suit your event brief.  See more suggestions on Cooks & Partners venue list.

Call 020 7731 5282 or email