Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of year wrap up !

well folks it's the 30th of December and the end of another year here at The Crest Catering Company. We had an eventful year and good in some ways and bad in others. We began with the very disappointing 7UP Christmas on ice , we rented a food stall for the duration of the event and unfortunately with ,weather , budget , X factor and the general non interest of the public it turned out to be a Snow Show !! if you'll pardon the pun , we nearly lost the business over it and reflecting on the accounts we are still paying for it. January also sadly saw the Death of one of our Customers here at the B&B, Willie Doherty a native of Donegal, and living in Dublin ,he and his family have stayed with us twice a year since we opened in 2001 , sadly missed. February saw us catering for the Gartan winter school and a great weekend was had by all , moving into what was to be the busy season we kept the catering company going with events, festivals and private functions , the B&B lay empty as hotels which are supported by banks slowly squeezed us out of the market and passed on cheap prices and just as cheap service to the customers that were willing to accept it !! not easy competing with €25.00 per person for sure. Joan & Peter another of our loyal clients paid us a visit this year with a 10 day stay and we are glad to welcome them again next year , we spoil them to no end and always a pleasure. The Cookery school held it's own again with renewed competition in the market but they say that is good for business , just remember folks there is only one Chef Martin Anderson ! No matter how cheap the class is it's the knowledge that you are learning from one of the most experienced chefs in the country that counts ! The summer saw us catering for the Blue Stack Shoes Festival in the Frosses , what a weekend that turned out to be over €150,000 raised for charity in total and i can safely say it was a long time since we worked as hard , the rally came and went and onto the Ramelton festival another great weekend was had by all , Churchill fair was also one of our regular events and i even judged a cake making display , was great to see the locals support the event and such a high standard. In the late summer we teamed up with Hillsborough farm shop ramelton!/pages/Hillsborough-Farm-Shop/107100602661860and with their help i have secured a weekly slot on , a wee 15 minute slot on the breakfast show with John Breslin which has turned out to be very popular and now running for nearly an hour every Wednesday morning, it is very relaxed with me giving out cookery tips and john hosting the questions and keeping me on my toes , mostly making sure i don't curse !!
We also started producing our own products for retail sale starting with scones, crumbles and moving into the lasagna, shepherds pies, soup , taco mince and hot pot market , with a few loyal customers we intend to expand to a large market in the new year, to be fair with out their support i could have seen the Catering Company close this year but we have struggled through once again. The winter seen saw the B&B still stay quiet with one local hotel offering rooms at €22.00 per person if you stayed 2 night , get a grip folks it is impossible to offer those rates and service , people want to come to Donegal to be treated right not shite !! how can you offer a cup of coffee and toast to someone and tell them that they are having a good time !!
We once again displayed our wares at the Taste Of Donegal Food Festival , this year how ever the event was larger and with a lot more stalls , disappointing too as there was more of a commercial air about it than a show case of local artisans !
Cookery classes in September saw a slowing of the market and with my weight loss programme i expected the classes to be busy with the introduction of a cook yourself thin class but at this stage the Banks, Fat cats and Pratts and scared everyone into staying at home and if you had any money they took it off you in tax's , fuel bills and inflated charges in the banks. T.D.'s came in for some abuse and they started to jump ship , getting their payoffs for being disappointed !! We worked out that if we received a T.D.'s salary for 1 year and their expenses that we could clear all our debt's, that includes redeem the mortgage for the B&B, Mobile Kitchen and tidy up the rest of the loose ends too !!
Winter again brought it's challenges with the adverse weather conditions and the general cancellation of bookings and classes.
 We saw a member of staff Karinka leave us to return home to Poland and we welcomed Sabine to the team here , a great photographer as well as worker and keeps me sane at times as does my mother who turned 70 this year and is always keeping me on the right track ! someone has to !!
So that's it all over for another year , i would like to thank all who supported us in good and bad times and we look forward to a good year next year , Happy new Year to you all. i kept the weight off too and look forward to losing more in the new year .

Monday, November 8, 2010

New products & What's Happening.

Well folks i have half on hour to wait for a customer before i start wrapping some of my new products so i thought i'd fill you in on what is happening next. Firstly we have two new cookery classes starting in the next few weeks , check out the link and get booking here we have posted the details of our Christmas cookery and Come dine With Chef Anderson classes. Bookings can be made by contacting me directly on 074 9122300 or Check out the youtube clip too , just a collection of photo's with the ad, that i made, a bit naughty to use it but we'll see how it goes.
Myself and John Breslin hosted a cook in last week for Highland Motors , the main renault dealer here in the north-west. I cooked Fillet of Beef diane, a bit retro was the phrase used but it is hard to beat the old classic dish's when cooking for a demo , cheese and garlic potatoes and bananas flamed in irish whiskey with local honey, we served 150 covers after the demonstration and everyone was well fed and well impressed !!
I have started to make my own lasagna, shepherd's pie, taco (spicy ) mince, apple crumbles, scones and chilli potatoes for retail sale and we are also supplying Cafe Calise and Mikes Diner with wholesale food products, Hillsborough Farm shop Ramelton and McGee's Butchers of the Letterkenny Shopping Centre have the ready made dish's and The Fruit& Vegetable stop at Kilross Junction stock my scones and crumbles ,there were a few teething problems at the start but the products are selling well now.I put a lot of work into these and every dish is made by myself , wrapped and packed here in the kitchen of the Careting Company.We have designed our own labels and as far as i can see i am the only person in the north-west using local produce to prepare these dish's so well done me for supporting the local suppliers! Ok my guest is here, keep an eye out for the facebook updates and more from me next week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Five years already

well it seems i have neglected the blog for a bit so here is another wee update, i still have the weight off and keeping control of it so far, not easy when you are on the go all the time.
the cookery school is open 5 years now , hard to believe and one of the students for the last class was one of the students for the first so that was nice, i don't even think she realised that, must tell her and give a wee gift, on the cookery school train of thought i see that there are 2 more place in letterkenny getting geared up to start teaching classes, there was a time when it was hard to find one , now all you have to do is roll down the window of the car stick your hand out and you will hit one passing. It is difficult out there to keep ahead of everyone but we are one of the better schools here in the northwest , I have 26 years of catering experience behind me and i've seen and done a lot. One of the classes is actually going to be taught by someone that came to me , so remember you are getting the recipes 3rd hand !! I stole them first !!
We have started to produce some of our own foods for retail and catering sale, the meat comes from Hillsborough Farm Shop, Ramelton, a family run business and after a shakey start we are now working well together, they are the sponsers of the radio show that i'm on every wednesday morning on highland radio , we will be hosting an evening too soon at the shop to show of thier christmas products and show case some of mine. ok that's all for tonight , will try to keep blogging through the week.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

scones quality weight loss

hi folk's just anther wee blog to keep you all informed on what is happening with the catering company and the weight loss programme , firstly the positive , i have lost now 2st ,or if you like, 28lb or just over 12kg so far since april 2010. all this is down to hard work and healthy eating and support from sandra at Slimming World , letterkenny. As i said before we will be starting cook yourself thin cookery classes in mid september , not so much about the dish's but the method of cookery , low fat with loads of taste , we will try to get you off all those ready prepered meals and back into the kitchen , starter, main courses , baking and of course desserts. i intend to have at least anothe 1st , 5kg off before that !! here's hoping !
The other issue i have is regards my homemade scones. i Make the scones here everyday for the next day  or as the market requires , if you don't sell them then i won't keep on making more and flood the market , we are very dissapointed that one of our stores has decided to go back to selling the frozen , mass produced , inferior , downsized and budget priced scones, can the public really have that bad a taste that they went for these instead of mine ?? when in the same breath and the same week a new outlet that we began supplying sold 160 fresh scones !! we do not use additives , preservitaves and each scone is made by my good hand , using quality ingrediants under health board approved conditions !! as they say however onwards and upwards, to those of you who enjoy them , we thank you very much and those of you haven't had any yet , well seek them out and give them a try , you will discover the difference, thank you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Cookery Classes Announced - Cook Yourself Thin with Chef Martin Anderson

Cook Yourself Thin Cookery Course
Over the last 6 months i have gone on a stictly "cook yourself thin " regime with the aid of slimming world, it's a slow on going process and so far i have lost 21lb (10kg). Every week slowly losing a little , the basis of this diet is cutting completly down on your fat and sugar intake but at the same time eating plenty of good , fresh and local food . At first i lost nothing and it was only when i started to write down what i ate  that i discovered i was eating so much of my own good home cooking and scones , when i adjusted this the weight started to fall off. As a result of this sucess we are announcing the introduction of a cook yourself thin cookery class , 2.5 hours of intense cooking and recipes , we will point out the correct methods of cooking low fat but tasty food, give advice on where , when and how to prepare meals for yourself and your family , giving helpful hints on getting the best flavours from what usually people consider bland foods, keep an eye out for my face book updates.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Crest Catering Company News, Recipes and Ready-to-go Products

Once again it is a glorious day here in Donegal, we are very excited here
at the moment , we are in the final stages of setting up our retail products. As you know our scones are available in several retail outlets here in the Letterkenny area, following on from that we are moving into the prepared food's market.We will start off with prepared lasagne,chicken tikka ,rice ,stuffing and of course the breads and scones.Our labels are designed , packaging is approved and the customers are waiting ! keep an eye out for your updates on face book and twitter for how we are progressing. Any of you have any special requests for recipes or cookery tips, simply ask and you shall receive.
Have a great weekend one and all.

Sneaky Peek at Our New Food Packaging Labels

Here is a wee sneaky peek at our new labels, those of you with a keen eye will see that Lurgybrack is spelled wrong , that has been amended . The photo was taken by a friend of mine , Sabina , the rest of the photos are available on my Facebook  , we had a great evening taking the photo's a lot of work but the results are fantastic , keep an eye out for the updates, take care, Chef Anderson

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pecan Pie Like You Never Tasted Before, From The Kitchen Of Chef Martin Anderson.

The Best Pecan Pie You Ever Tasted

Pecan Pie is one of my favourite desserts, the recipe below is for the pastry firstly and then the pie also, you will get 2 x10 inch pies from the pastry recipe. You can also use the pastry recipe for any sweet tart or pie you wish to make. When i worked in paris many moons ago this recipe was given to me by the head pastry chef , that was in 1988 and i have used it since, if you roll it out thicker you can use it for biscuits and top with cream and fresh cut strawberries. any problems and let me know.
Sugar pastry.
250g of softened butter/margarine.
180g of castor sugar
4 drops of vanilla essence.
2 large eggs.
500g of plain flour, sieved
½ tsp of fine salt.
Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla and mix in the eggs one at a time.
Sieve the flour and salt and add to the mix, blend with your hand until you make dough.
Turn out onto a floured table and knead lightly
Refrigerate and use as required.
Before using knead lightly, this will stop the pastry cracking.

Pecan pie.
You will need half your sugar pastry recipe.
it is best to make this pie a day in advance to allow it to cool and set before you cut it !
For the filling.
3 medium eggs, beaten.
110g of brown sugar.
4 table spoons of golden syrup.
50g of melted butter.
200g of pecan nuts. Whole or chopped.
1 tsp of Vanilla essence.
Pre-heat your oven to 170c
Roll your pastry to ½ inch thickness and line your pie tin. Pricking the base of the pastry. (This stops the pastry from rising)don't prick the whole way through or the liquid will run out of the pastry and you will make it soggy.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, golden syrup, vanilla essence and melted butter, add your nuts and pour into your pastry.
Bake until the pastry begins to colour and turn down and cook until set, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Serve hot or cold with ice-cream or why not try some crème fraiche for a tangy taste!
you will have to lock this pie in the store just to keep yourself from eating all of it in the one go !

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Donegal Chef Cooks with Chef Richard Corrigan of Bentlys, London

Last friday i had the chance to cook with richard corrigan the chef/owner of bentlys oyster bar london, we had already selected some ingrediants from local suppliers but on arrival he did what any chef would have done ! take me to a farm shop ,fish monger ! after a wee trip to ramelton he came back with a selection of ingrediants and i went about doing his mise-en place , after a bit of organizing and a few opening speach's we went to cooking, well he cooked and i bowed to the role of commis chef, a long time since i'd done that i might add. for starter richard did a simple rissotto of local mussels , cumin and roasted cauliflower, it was light , tasty and very pleasing on the eye, the leaves from the cauliflower were lightly steamed and folded into the rissotto at the last moment.
the follow was a piece of rump steak cooked medium rare with pieces of roasted bone marrow which was tossed in chopped garlic, parsley and cracked black pepper. the steak was cooked in a good hot pan with a little of rape seed oil produced here in raphoe county donegal. the marrow was  sliced and just finished in the pan , the steak was sliced and topped with the marrow, all this came from the farm shop in ramelton.juicy,tender and full of flavour.
john boyle of killybegs supplied a couple of fillets of smoked haddock which where cold smoked and not the usual dyed orange crap that you get, butter poached and just done ,richard sauted off a couple of slices of dry cured bacon and sliced them, i had already diced and cooked some parsnips from the farm shop and these were lightly warmed with the bacon, the fish was layered with the parsnip and finished with a little of the cooking liquor, the delicate flavour of the fish took a good hit with the bacon and the sweetness of the parsnip just finished the dish off.
there was already a beef wellington cooking in the main oven of the tassie, this was supplied by willie houston of edenmore farm meats from lifford, 28 day aged irish beef, hand reared and slaughtered here in donegal , it never got to leave the county in fact it was reared and slaughtered within a 30 mile radius of where it was cooked.
we cooked the wellington medium and when sliced you could see the quality of the meat , when tasted it just melted in the mouth, fantastic ! all in it was a great night and we look forward to the food coast programme from donegal enterprise.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Launch of the Brunch

over the years i have had many request to start serving my own food in my own dining room , up until now i only cooked for residents and for catering clients, we have decided to open the crest dining room to the public for a trial basis and serve a sunday brunch, 11-2pm starting from this sunday the 14th of march.
booking is by phone reservation only and the numbers are on my site.
looking forward to cooking for you all.
we will start posting recipes as well from next week here on my blog. take care.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Crest Catering Company

We pride ourselves on quality of food, service and cleanliness.
With a selection of menu’s to suit every event and budget, We only source local suppliers and produce.
We cater for various events including: Wedding Receptions Birthday & Anniversaries Family Functions Corporate Event