The BRIT Awards 2019 with Mastercard – Catering That’s Top Of The Pops
Event Type: Awards Dinner
No. of Guests: 3,400
Venue: The O2, London
Catering Style: Three-course table service dinner
The BRIT Awards: A Landmark British Event
The BRIT Awards are a feature of the British event calendar, recognising the best the music industry has to offer, both from the UK and around the world – from Calvin Harris to Pink, The 1975 to Little Mix.
With such an eclectic group of A-list guests, the catering has to be as outstanding as the award winners.
And with host Jack Whitehall bringing plenty of attention to the attendees and their tables by walking the floor of the venue to give interviews, standards have to be high so that the global audience of over 10 million people watching live see plenty of happy faces at the O2.
Dining With The Stars: First Class Catering
The BRIT Awards 2019 with Mastercard was the 14th consecutive year Payne & Gunter has catered the event.
With a total of 3,400 guests in the O2, the catering experience has to be first class whilst being delivered at speed and scale.
With 350 waiters serving, no guest was ever left wanting, with table service that kept everyone happy and well looked after all evening. A total of 3,894 bottles of beer were drunk and 978 bottles of fizz served…though we can’t guarantee there wasn’t the odd occasional celebratory spraying of champers to commemorate a well-deserved award win!
The food preparation was carried out by 50 chefs crafting a delicious and elegant menu of seasonal British produce, using our knowledge of menu design to deliver a BRIT Awards dinner that was as mindful to the environment as it was our guests.
A Carefully Considered Menu: Looking After Everyone
We took a creative approach to sourcing the menu to reduce our food miles, working with exciting suppliers like Hodmedod’s for British organic quinoa grown in Suffolk, and Growing Underground who cultivate herbs 33 metres underground in unused train tunnels beneath Clapham using sustainable growing practices and 70% less water than traditional farming methods.
The starter on the evening was Confit Lancashire leek with smoked aubergine tartare, date ketchup and caramelised figs, a vegan dish that got tongues wagging early in the evening.
This was followed by a choice of main with a Ghanaian influence to reflect the heritage of the 2019 BRITS trophy designer, Sir David Adjaye.
The meat option available to our star guests was poached buttermilk free range chicken breast, Ghanaian spiced chicken dumplings, carrot, cabbage and onion slaw, British quinoa porridge, chicken jus and crumb; with a vegetarian option of Ghanaian spiced cauliflower steak, veggie dumplings, carrot, cabbage and onion slaw, and quinoa porridge, a dish that was also vegan.
Sustainable Catering: No One Hit Wonders
With food waste being cited as the third largest cause of global warming, we made use of every element of an ingredient, whether that was the carrot peelings being used to make our delicious jus, frying our cauliflower leaves to create a tasty garnish, and our free range British chicken being used comprehensively with the skin in the crumb and shavings, the thighs in our dumplings, with the drumsticks and wings being part of the food offers within The O2 concourses.
Responsible menu architecture can bring some incredibly tasty results – and our stars certainly enjoyed the creative menu on the night.
The considerate approach extended beyond the menu, with the Lead Chefs wearing recycled chef jackets, each made from 22 plastic bottles using sustainable production methods.
Re-usable souvenir Stack Cups were also used within the O2 where possible to reduce plastic waste by giving guests an easy stacking system that eliminates the need for plastic carriers, whilst being 100% recyclable. Any Stack Cups that were left behind were then donated to BRITs charities.
A Trophy Dessert: A Nod to The Awards
The finishing dish of the night had a nod to the BRITs trophy design, with a twist on a British classic: rhubarb and custard.
Guests enjoyed a dessert of poached Yorkshire rhubarb grown by a 5th generation forced rhubarb grower and harvested by candlelight, along with custard tart, mint soil, blackcurrant meringue and rhubarb bubbles.
The bubbles were used as the dessert garnish to reflect the 2019 trophy design that many guests on the night would be getting their hands on.
A Night In The Spotlight: An Unforgettable Evening
With this being the 14th consecutive year Payne & Gunter has catered for The BRITs, we’ve seen music trends change from rock to rap and dubstep to grime; but we always thoroughly enjoy catering an awards event that’s a staple in the global music scene – creating and delivering a menu that hits all the high notes.
“It’s always a pleasure working with Payne and Gunter as they not only take great care to meet our often complex brief, providing a delicious and balanced menu for our broad range of guests, but they support the teamwork that’s an essential ingredient of the BRITs success each year.”
Maggie Crowe OBE, Director of Events & Charities