Published on March 18th, 2016 | by Gavin0
The Art of the Canapé
The job of editing I’m A Londoner demands attendance at soirees, celebrations, and socialite functions on a weekly business (it’s harder than it sounds, promise!), where attempting to discuss current affairs while gobbling a canapé or three is an occupational hazard. Such events usually consist of copious amounts of champagne (I’m not winning any sympathy here am I?) without time for dinner, so the quality of the canapés offered can be the difference between a good and bad review.
There’s the ‘pretty’ canapé that look like expressions of Picasso, but the appearance is often much more thought out than the taste. In addition there’s the ‘mini-me’ canapé that is basically miniature versions of bigger dishes (think pizzas, spring rolls etc.) that tend to be functional, if not very stylish. And then there’s my personal favourite, the slider; baby burgers of wonder that are not only delicious, but more importantly, filling. However despite knowing more about consuming them than I should care to admit, I never realised the time, care, and attention required to actually create one until I was invited to the Rhubarb HQ in Southfields.
Rhubarb is one of the UK’s premiere catering management companies, specialising in creating culinary masterpieces for everything from intimate weddings right through to the Royal Albert Hall and The Skygarden. When it comes to canapés, their knowledge is second to none, and having sampled some of their creations from their Spring/Summer menu, it’s hard to argue the matter.
Before trying our hand at making our own though, the team inform us that the art of the perfect canapé is about more than just taste, aesthetics play a key role too, so colour and presentation are just as important.
We’re then let loose in the kitchen with an ingredient list fit for a king; caviar, prosciutto, smoked salmon (and many others that I’ve never heard of, but look quite fancy) – so much to choose and only five minutes to design!
The pressure was truly on and in my haste, I played it safe and stuck to what I knew would work- orange and duck atop a crispy savoury cracker. Sounds simple enough, but after three failed attempts to ‘beautify’ and no time on the clock, I panicked and plonked another cracker on top to hide the mess I’d made. In effect, I actually created an orange and duck mini sandwich; needless to say, my effort failed miserably.
My experience at Rhubarb has given me a new found respect for the humble canapé. Packing all those flavours into such a small parcel before reproducing it over and over again to the same quality standard warrants much more praise than the chefs often receive. When I attend the next event in my hectic social calendar (still no sympathy?), I’ll be sure to give close consideration to the skill required to create the canapés on offer… and then devour with my usual aplomb of course.
To try some of Rhubarb’s creations for yourself, visit the Darwin & Fenchurch restaurants in The Skygarden http://skygarden.london/Share This Post