Feasts, the catering team behind one of the most prestigious opera festivals in the country, Garsington Opera at the Wormsley Estate, have partnered with critically acclaimed Michelin Starred chef, Michael North of the Nut Tree, Murcott, for the 2016 season.
Feasts, which was originally known as Chilli Pepper and then Fabulous Feasts, has been resident caterers for Garsington Opera’s discerning patrons for the past eight years, with a consistent team working behind the scenes throughout, previously at the home of the annual event, Garsington Manor, and now at the beautiful Wormsley Estate, home to the Getty family.
Throughout its many years, the food offering has always been very much part of the evening, and has evolved and grown alongside the performances and the auditorium.
From a simple Champagne bar, buffet restaurant, pre-packed picnic hampers and a serviced restaurant in The Great Barn and adjoining marquee, Garsington now offers a myriad of dining options, from a Champagne bar with panoramic views of the Wormsley Estate, to the Island Pavilion, where it serves lavish Pimm’s, Champagne and canapés, prepared to order in front of the guests, as well as picnics which are laid out for the guests on their chosen tables with replenishments served from the attentive waiting staff.
A sumptuous ‘a la Carte’ menu can be indulged in the Long Room Restaurant featuring Michelin Starred signature dishes from Michael North, in addition to further private dining options available on-site.
With all food prepared freshly on site every day – the in-house team take their food seriously. From the Markham asparagus, hand-picked daily by David Markham in Oxfordshire, to artisan sourdough breads, baked every morning and delivered to site from renowned bakery, The Flour Station, all ingredients are sustainably and ethically sourced, local where possible ensuring the best quality is being obtained at all times. The highly skilled chef team tirelessly chop, peel, bake, roast and steam every part of the menu with exacting precision – all ready to feed up to 300 diners per night in the Long Room Restaurant all within the 90 minute interval in-between acts.
The majority of the food is prepared in the kitchens in Banbury where we have a marvellous team and is transported over to Wormsley in the morning where things really start hotting up. At Wormsley we have a field kitchen which of course includes plenty of ovens as there are all the hot dishes that are cooked at the last minute. The timing is everything as we have a pretty short time to ensure everyone has the dinner of their choice. So as the guests arrive, their first course is already out on the tables and everyone is gearing up back stage for the main event. Guests have to order everything in advance – essential in this situation. It has all gone remarkably well this season and people leave looking happy!