So, Sunday came and went.
After weeks of organising and planning, food and wine bloggers converged on the Hawksmoor to help put on the Blaggers Banquet. As a member of the advance party, we arrived to find the restaurant packed to the brim with produce and prizes, the fruits of labour after weeks of blagging by many of the blogging community. We were soon organised, assigned roles and the work could begin in earnest. Once the goodie bags had been stuffed and put to one side, the real focus of the day could begin, the food.
As part of the canape crew, we stared at the fruit and veg from Riverford Organic, a beautiful soft goats cheese from Brockhall farm and a variety of salts from Halen Mon, wondering what the the best course of action was. After a few tastings and matchings, @ginandcrumpets and I decided on our offering, a canape of soft Brockhall Farm goats cheese on Peter's Yard crispbreads, studded with pomegranate and sprinkled with vanilla salt and chives. A combination of sweet and salty with contrasting textures, I really thought this worked well and sat well alongside the gougeres and mozzarella & tomato skewers that were served alongside the rest of the banquet.
Whilst we were crafting the little buggers, the small kitchen was a hive of activity. Even with a few supplier hiccups, the kitchen continued forward in the prep for dinner. The bar staff diligently learned how to knock up a cracking martini as the sommeliers tasted the wines and matched them to each of the individual courses of the banquet. It was all slowly piecing itself together.
As the guests arrived, sparkling wine was distributed and the front of house went into overdrive. The front of house were decked in black and worked their proverbial socks off, weaving in and out of the tables carrying tray after tray of carefully prepared comestibles. Such was the passion and efficiency, I doubt you would find better service in many of the more well versed restaurants in London. Starters of monkfish ceviche came and returned empty, as did the plates of lamb hot pot, Winter stew and buffalo steaks (yes, three mains. You really got your moneys worth!).
The meal was punctuated with a raffle of blagged prizes and was rounded off with a stunning chocolate fondant cake and some jelly boobs from Bompas and Parr. And as the guests sat there full and hopefully happy, we moved onto the final section of the evening, the auction of the rest of the blagged items.
It had been a triumphant evening. We had raised a shedload of cash for Action against Hunger with more to come with the daily auctions. Keep an eye on this page for some great items and bid liberally!
So that was my truncated view of the day. There are so many people to praise and thank. The blaggers, the organisers, the suppliers, the Hawksmoor, the list really is endless but without you all, we really could not have achieved this. Special thanks go to @eatlikeagirl who crafted the day, with weeks of planning and all under very difficult circumstances, and @scandilicious who worked so hard to get the food prepped, planned and cooked with constant curveballs being thrown from every angle.
I for one was very proud to be part of this and even though I was dead on my feet by the end of it, would be happy to do it all over again.
Please keep and eye on the the Blaggers banquet twitter feed. There you will find all the latest items for auction and all the write ups from guests and bloggers.