Food to Serve at a Titanic Party

Early on in the organising of Archie’s 21st birthday party, I knew I wanted to be involved in the catering, but that I didn’t want the entire responsibility.  I knew I would be sculpting and decorating the cake the day before the event and with the mammoth job that would be, there would be little time leftover for anything else.  If I didn’t want the guests to starve, I would have to hire a caterer.

I didn’t know any caterers.

San Pellegrino soft drinks

San Pellegrino soft drinks

But, at Alfie’s school, someone told me about a mother who had recently catered for another school’s event which was for over 300 people and it was a huge success.  I figured that if this mum could pull off a cocktail party for over 300, she would probably find our guest numbers of 110, a breeze.  The theme for that event was The Great Gatsby and Mel, the mother, had designed a menu to suit that theme.  It occurred to me that the cuisine on the Titanic and the cuisine eaten during The Great Gatsby era would have been fairly similar.

I was introduced to Mel and by a bizarre coincidence, we found out we had recently started following each other on Instagram.

Calm under pressure

Calm under pressure

Mel, from Food Envy and her partner, Donna, loved the theme and said they would be more than happy to be the caterers for Archie’s party.  We decided that as it was a five-hour party, we would need 10 items.  Food Envy would make eight of them, four hot and four cold.  I would make one cold and one hot appetiser and then for something sweet, the cake would be served as dessert.

Pate presented on the main table so guests could help themselves

Pate presented on the main table so guests could help themselves

I told Mel that when Archie was in London he went to the Titanic exhibition and bought me a cookbook that shares all the recipes served on the fateful voyage.  One of the recipes served to first class was a pate.  I thought it would be lovely to start the evening with this pate.  The guests were arriving at 7pm and for the first half-hour the waitresses would be standing at the gangway with trays of drinks.  The guests could take a drink then come across the gangway and head to the table where they could help themselves to the pate that was served with crackers, cornichons and pickled onions.  Food Envy styled the platters for me.  The pate is fairly easy and straightforward to make.  It’s very smooth and creamy with a lovely hint of rosemary.  The original recipe asks for duck livers but these are difficult to source so I made mine with chicken livers.

Pate with pickled onions, cornichons and crackers

Pate with pickled onions, cornichons and crackers

The first appetiser to come out of the kitchen was Egg Toasts with Caviar.  These were beautifully presented on checkerboards Mel had made for the Gatsby party.  Each bite-sized morsel of egg toast was dipped in either orange or black caviar that alternated along the checkerboard.  I thought this appetiser was a fabulous and colourful start to the evening.  These were served as the string quartet played and I think the two things combined really helped the guests travel back to a time long ago.

Egg caviar toasts

Egg caviar toasts

You can’t have an English party without a chicken sandwich and so the next appetiser was the Fabulous Poached Chicken Sandwiches with tarragon, basil and lemon mayo.  One thing Mel and I didn’t work out was who would be responsible for taking photos.  I completely forgot and so alas, I have no image of the chicken sandwiches to show you but I can say, they were amazing and I managed to have two of them.

A happy waitress

A happy waitress

We then had Peking Duck in Black Sesame Pancakes.  Now these aren’t what you would have expected to be eating in the UK one hundred years ago but I saw this listed on Mel’s catering menu and thought it was a dish we couldn’t pass up.  And as good as these were, they weren’t photographed!   I can say they were beautifully presented and looked very striking with the black sesame seeds in the pancakes.

All the cocktail napkins were stamped with 'RMS Titanic'

All the cocktail napkins were stamped with ‘RMS Titanic’

The next appetiser was Shredded Chicken, Brown Rice, Rice paper rolls with homemade Hoisin sauce.  These delicate parcels were wrapped in cucumber that had been sliced as thin as paper using a mandolin, and then rolled in rice paper.  They were very attractive little parcels and I think I’ll ask Mel for her homemade Hoisin sauce recipe – just so I can share it with you!

Shredded chicken, brown rice, rice paper rolls with homemade Hoisin sauce

Shredded chicken, brown rice, rice paper rolls with homemade Hoisin sauce

The first of the hot items were the mini quiches I had made.  I made mushroom and bacon and asparagus and bacon.  I have blogged these before and yes, they are a staple of mine that do tend to turn up whenever I’m entertaining but these quiches just seem to be something everyone will not only eat but also enjoy.  I was flattered when Mel told me she loved them so much she’d like the recipe.

Asparagus and Mushroom mini quiches

Asparagus and Mushroom mini quiches

Next we had Roasted Cauliflower soup with blue cheese and a wafer.  This was one of my most favourite dishes of the night.  I never knew a little blue cheese went so well with cauliflower soup.  I loved the presentation in the little cylinders and it was great the way you could scoop the soup using the edible wafer.

Roasted cauliflower soup with blue cheese and a wafer

Roasted cauliflower soup with blue cheese and a wafer

Then we had smoked cheese and roast pumpkin risotto balls with Napoli sauce and parmesan snow.  I just love risotto balls and these were a very tasty appetiser that looked very pretty with the ‘snow’.

Smoked cheese and roast pumpkin risotto balls with Napoli sauce and parmesan snow

Smoked cheese and roast pumpkin risotto balls with Napoli sauce and parmesan snow

It’s always good to have a couple of ‘substantial’ items on the menu especially with a lot of big young men in the room.  Our first substantial item was the pork and beef brioche sliders and I have to say, I didn’t get to enjoy one.  But – there is at least a photograph and I do know the big boys in the room really loved these – woofed them down.

Pork and Beef Brioche Sliders

Pork and Beef Brioche Sliders

The final appetiser of the night was the coconut fish and chips with garlic aioli.  The fish and chips were served in paper cones with a wedge of lemon and a drizzle of aioli.  Again, this is a dish I didn’t get to sample or even photograph but there was a lot of cooked battered fish leftover and I took it home and reheated it for the boys who’d stayed the night, the next morning.  With no complaints.

For those who still had room, we then had cake that was a dense white chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache and fondant.

Fun times

Fun times

I thought it would also be appropriate to serve after dinner mints as I imagine these must have been very popular back in the day.  As popular as after dinner mints were when I was growing up (you didn’t dare turn up to a dinner party without a box), I suddenly realised they have all but disappeared.  I wanted either the wafers that were made by Red Tulip (now discontinued) or the round mints wrapped in foil (also now obsolete).  I managed to find after dinner mints on a website based in Queensland and had them shipped down to me.  Unfortunately, they’re not wrapped in foil as these days everything has to come in a sealed packet – such a shame!

After dinner mints

After dinner mints

I also thought it would be fun to give the guests a packet of Life Savers as they were leaving.  From the same website, Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse,  I bought bulk quantities of peppermint, musk and five-flavours.

Life Saver sweets for the Titanic passengers

Life Saver sweets for the Titanic passengers

I know I didn’t leave hungry and I don’t think anyone else did either.

Mel from Food Envy is a fantastic caterer who works with your budget and preferences.  She and her partner, Donna, work calmly and professionally under pressure (and let’s face it, we had some kitchen antics given I’d supplied the waitresses and they are all friends of Arabella’s and completely inexperienced and more interested in keeping an eye on the party than an eye on the job!)  I found all the dishes to be of excellent quality and beautifully presented.  If you’re interested in having Food Envy cater your next event or you’d just like to see some of her recipes, you can follow her on Instagram.

 

Here's trouble

Here’s trouble

You can find the pate recipe here.

You can find the mini-quiches recipe here.

You can find the Titanic cake recipe here.

You can find out all about the Titanic Party here.

Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake

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Comments

  1. I’d like one of everything please. :)

    As a chicken liver lover, I’ll start with the pate. The Peking duck with black sesame pancakes also sounds tasty.

  2. This is an outstanding menu, so full of creativity in presentation and taste sensations. I love the checkerboard toasts & the cauliflower soups. You had my mouth watering all the way, even without some of the photos.

  3. What a happy family you are. I loved every second of this party and I wasn’t even there. :) You pulled off something I don’t think I’d ever attempt. Well done. Archie must be so pleased that it went so well.

    The caterer sounds like a real win! The food looks very tasty.

  4. I am starved now.. everything looks amazing!

  5. So much thought put into it. It all looks and sounds fabulous.
    Carolyn

  6. The entire menu of appetisers sounds divine, such a great variety of tastes and textures. Will definitely recommend Food Envy if I hear of anyone in Sydney looking for caterers.
    What a shame about the after dinner mints, that sounds crazy that you can’t get the old type anymore in Aus. They’re readily available in the UK, I have a box of ‘After Eights’ sitting in the cupboard for emergencies I could have shipped over to you ;-)
    P.S. how I haven’t managed to orchestrate a ‘personal’ emergency is beyond me!

  7. fantastic catering – the vegetarian options look so delicious – and even where there were no photos your descriptions were very visual – I think I would love to be at this party just to sample the food :-)

  8. Every post I’ve read about this party just blows me away. What an awesome event and you should pat yourself on the back for the next 21 years, Charlie! The food looks and sounds truly amazing.

  9. This is one party (probably of many other) that Archie will remember fondly! You did awesome setting everything in place – that cake was fabulous and the eats: wow! The Egg Toasts with Caviar presented as checkerboards are just too cute and the cauliflower soup – love the presentation! Nice touch with the lifesavers at the end!

  10. MMmmm, lots of good eats! Those quiche look divine! Little burgers, too?!?! Yum! I should hope no one went home hungry, not with all that food and then that fabulous cake you made! :) xo

  11. Lots of foods here I’ve never tried, but I would have. I’m curious about the cauliflower and blue cheese soup recipe. Any chance that can be shared. We have a fabulous blue cheese made and ages in sandstone caves in my community.

    What a party. I can’t imagine why you missed a few photos of food. :)

  12. Such wonderful looking food Charlie. Isn’t it sad that you can’t get after dinner mints anymore? They are one of my favourite things along with mint sticks!
    The shop you got them from is about 5 minutes from my house. It’s amazing!

  13. It looks like you and Donna totally rocked the food Charlie, I’m sure everyone was happily stuffed! The hors d’œuvres sound beautiful and like you, I’m particularly intrigued by the cauliflower and blue cheese soup…I will definitely give that a try before we have such hot weather. I love the life saver candies you handed out, great idea. Looks like Archie’s 21st was a resounding success!

  14. One of each one please!
    Looks like an amazing party, great theme, wonderful catering and the cake just culminates it all.

  15. making 100+ quiches, wow u super woman! id probably keel over and cry!

  16. Hahaha, the life safers… what a genius idea!

  17. What a feast! The two of you did a marvelous job with the food…and all the special touches made for a truly magnificent party! One down, two to go :)

  18. The food sounds like a great mix of style and substance. The boys would certainly need some feeding, but it all still looks so attractive and pretty too. Wonderful job all! Xox

  19. Haha I love the life savers-so clever and appropriate given the them! And I miss those after dinner mints in the glassine paper. I wish they still made them!

  20. What a feast!!! I’m with Lorraine – the lifesavers were very clever. :)

  21. It looks like a fabulous party with wonderful food. I’m amazed you had time to make any of the dishes between baking and decorating that fab cake and organising this amazing event. What a lovely Mum you are. GG x

  22. So many details and it all came together perfectly. The last party I hosted for 20, I told my husband, I’m never preparing all the food by myself again! Either the dessert or main dish! So great to have found a caterer to help out. Such a nice family photo. You’re all so photogenic! Love those lifesaver treats!!

  23. What a gorgeous and unique party theme! Love that everyone was dressed to the nines and those lifesavers, lol. Happy 21st Archie!

  24. Fantastic, Charlie! The smile on Archie’s face says it all. Everything on the menu sounds really good, though I’d especially love to try the cauliflower soup and a slider — or two. Handing out Lifesavers at party’s end was a very clever touch. I’d hate to be the next young man in Archie’s circle to turn 21. You’ve set the bar pretty high. :)

  25. I feel like I was there with you as the food was passed around, What great finger food and that soup looked really interesting. That is a fabulous family photo at the end and Archie looks like he is about to burst with pleasure.

  26. The food looked delicious! And chicken liver pate is one of my favorites. Hmmm… now what do you have planned for Arabella’s 21st? ;)

  27. What a great selection of well themed food! I love the lifesaver rolls too – such a fun idea. I’m surprised to hear you struggled to find after dinner mints, but can believe that they are hard to source. Last time we were in the UK we bought an enormous box of After Eights chocolate mints for something like 4 pounds, whereas buying them imported here costs $20 or so. Australia is lacking in the chocolate mint department!

  28. A very classy menu, though the mini toasts with caviar get to me most! Love the classy lay out :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  29. Black sesame. Blue cheese. Pate. So many of the best flavours.

    Charlie-love, when I’m back in Australia, can I gatecrash one of your parties one day? Just once?

  30. Wow Charlie, such a fun party, everything looks so pretty and perfect with the theme…
    I love the pictures of the food…amazing!
    Thanks for this post dear…have a wonderful week :D

  31. I can’t get over how well this party was organized. Such incredibly talented woman you are, and the food looks delicious and creative and yet simple.

  32. What a fantastic menu, too bad there is no photos. The life saver candy at the end was a really cool touch.
    You have a gorgeous family and the ear to ear smile on Archie’s face says: “Mum you did an outstanding job”. What a night to remember!!!!!

  33. You’re such a cool Mom.

  34. So much fun! What a great night it must have been for you all. That cake looks absolutely amazing.
    (Is Miss A now planing hers ;-)

  35. What a great menu. thing is when you are the host there is so much going on photos can be overlooked. Same happened at our party too. Not one shot of the food! Just one of the cake! I bet Food Envy will be in your address book for a long time. Fabulous family shot at the end too.

  36. Wow you are making me hungry just talking about all of the food. It really is a small world sometimes isn’t it? How fun that your caterer and you were instagram buddies. Take Care, BAM

  37. Finger food is always so much hard work but well worth the effort. Everything looks scrumptious apart from the blue cheese for me. No matter, I could enjoy double of everything else.
    Have a wonderful day Charlie.
    :-) Mandy xo

  38. That food looks incredible! Getting caterers also gets rid of much of the stress and lets you enjoy the night.

  39. Now this is a fabulous menu! The type of hor d’ourves that don’t weigh you down but still keep you full!

  40. How the heck does one get an invite to one of your events. I want one of everything, what a spread, seriously hungry after reading this post, hoping if I wish really hard, some duck pancakes will appear in my fridge. What a wonderful event you created, it’s all so perfect!

  41. What an amazing spread of food you put out for this party! Great idea to get help. Love the life saver idea, too — much fun.

  42. What a memorable night! I love your family picture at the end! Archie will never ever forget his 21st birthday. And the food looks amazing! Your guests must have enjoyed this party so much!

  43. Wonderful food Charlie and I love the serving platters – the checkerboards. What a great event you had. It must have been so much fun. I hope Archie appreciated your amazing work

  44. Well done you all! What a festive menu of tasty alternative appetizers! You were very lucky to have these 2 ladies caterers! Ooh yeahh! All of the tasty cool appetizers look amazing, Charlie!

    What a great fun party this must have been! x

  45. I was really hoping you’d share more of the menu, Charlie. You went all out! I’m glad you had some help with the catering so that you could enjoy the night, but you did all that wonderful research so that the meal options were simply perfect. I think the wow factor in the menu must have brought gasps from the guests. i still think the cake was absolute scene stealer! The family photo really shows one very thrilled Archie and his loving, proud family. ox

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