"Do you want to make food for the tequila tasting night?"
Urm. Yes, yes I do. That's how cooking a Mexican feast for 25 at a Village Underground staff mixer came in to being. It was one garlic and agave-heavy night with some sweet AF leftovers.
My client and bff, Amelie, wanted to hold a mixer with the residents we share the roof of Village Underground with. From the street you can't really tell, but there are four tube train carriages and two shipping containers up there, and although we all work (literally) on top of each other, there's never much chance to kick back. This night was SO MUCH FUN to cook for I am still drooling over these photos. Obvs Mexican food is one of my faves, so I had a zillion and one ideas of things to try. The food needed to be served at room temperature, look bright and colourful, and not be too much of a vegan culture shock for the eager beaver meat eaters I work with.
After a lot of deliberation I landed on this line up: ♥ smoked chilli and bourbon shredded mushroom tacos ♥ homemade pickled pink onions ♥ sweet potato and tempeh empanadas ♥ cauliflower, pomegranate and butternut squash tacos ♥ fresher than fresh guacamole ♥ my best friend's a mango salsa ♥ courgette, sweetcorn, pea and mint no-quesa-dillas ♥ chimichurri daydream salsa ♥ . If that sounds like there were some all-nighters pulled around here then that's about right.
(Also, as a BTW, of the dishes that don't have recipes up already, I'll be working through them and putting them up on the blog this summer).
On my left, herbs for 25. After three days of near-solid cooking, I boxed up the lot and caught a cab down to work. It was such a fun time of tequila vs mezcal tasting (eurhghh), a lot of "oh, you'd hardly miss the meat would you" (winner). We finished the night with tropical bangerz from Batida and too many shots. Because work mixers, amirite?
Cooking when it's going to be under scrutiny at room temperature by people that don't know a thing about you is pretty scary- I'd say like doing an open mic night if you were a musician or stand-up comedy to a cold room. But it's also such a buzz when it goes off okay- even more when people come and tell you how much they're enjoying it. Especially when your Dad makes a semi-surprise appearance.
This was only my second time around cooking for other people, but I think I'm really beginning to enjoy the ride. Hit me up if you've got a crowd in need of something vegan and tasty, and thanks for having me Village Underground, you da bomb!