Fairlee Good; Chef Kevin Fairlee and His Students Will Be Serving Sizzling Savouries and Scrumptious Sweets at Top Venues This Summer. Jenny Longhurst Reports
Byline: Jenny Longhurst
KEVIN Fairlee takes a trip to Buckingham Palace all in his stride.
If he and his catering students at Barry College are not cutting 7,000 rounds of sandwiches for Her Majesty's garden parties, one of their main tasks this summer, they may be found dishing it up at Ascot, Henley, Lord's and many other top-notch venues.
Kevin and his team join an upmarket catering company to give students a taste of working life at the sharp end.
'It is great experience for them,' he said.
'Everything must be perfect so they have to be on their toes.'
This year, there were four kinds of sandwiches at the Queen's garden parties, tuna and tomato; ham and mustard: egg and cress and poached salmon and cucumber.
'They still serve Battenburg and Swiss roll and one year the Queen told us she was thinking of having two pieces of chocolate cake,' said Kevin.
Kevin and the students can turn a hand to anything from outdoor buffets and sit-down meals to an indoor carvery style spread like the one they once did for the staff Christmas party at Windsor Castle.
They have served racing enthusiasts who flock to Silverstone where, said Kevin, 'the helicopters were dropping in like flies' and once assisted at a pounds 1.5m bash which a private company threw for staff at Stow Hill School near Silverstone, complete with Brazilian dancers and a fairground.
Tradition plays a part at many of the special occasions.
At Ascot for example, the scones are served with strawberries and cream while at Henley they are accompanied by clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Kevin's recipes below are perfect for serving at outdoor functions.
'Parcel food is not only a trend at the moment,' he said.
'It lends itself to these events because you can serve it hot in individual parcels or let it get cold and serve it still in the wrapping.'
Easy-to-eat tips for outdoor feasts
i Cut sandwiches into manageable squares or fingers
i Do not over-fill sandwiches
i Choose fillings that will not squirt out, for example, crushed egg which will hold like a paste, rather than sliced egg
i A scoop of mascarpone cheese will hold up better on a plate than cream
i Cut cakes into sizes which can be easily picked up
i Remove one wedge of cake before bringing it out to allow the first person to take a piece easily
i Serve cold soups, for example, the pea and mint popular at Henley this year, in coffee cups.
Pour it into flasks then decant into cups or allow guests to help themselves as required
i Be clever with containers. Make starters and sweets in individual portions where possible.
Papillote of chicken with ginger, chilli and coriander
four skinless, boneless breasts of chicken
500ml (three quarters of a pint) white wine
bunch of fresh coriander
four red chilli peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
100g (4oz) root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
two sticks lemon grass, thinly sliced at an angle to give an oval shape
salt and pepper to taste
four sheets silicon or parchment paper
four sheets tin foil
Slice each chicken breast into four pieces and season. …