When creating extraordinary experiences we are privileged to work alongside industry leaders. From caterers to entertainment suppliers, and venue teams to our clients, we live for the moment when all the key elements come together to create a truly memorable and engaging event. As part of an ongoing series we will meet some our event partners and find out a bit more about what makes them tick.
Next in the series is family-run catering company Rocket Food. Specialising in niche catering contracts and, like ourselves, high quality events they have been delighting taste-buds since 2000. We have worked alongside Rocket in some of the world's most prestigious venues on events ranging from private views, lavish celebrations and gala dinners. We sat down with Director Charlie Grant Peterkin to find out more.
Charlie Grant Peterkin
What’s the most spectacular event you’ve been involved with?
There have been many, from Peter and Jordan’s wedding to an Elizabethan meets Studio 54 birthday party. However, the one that stands out is a dinner at the Saatchi Gallery on the opening night of Chelsea Flower Show. I worked alongside Veevers Carter and were given the challenging task of creating a dining space out of a gallery that had an art installation of coal bags affixed to all the walls. One could argue that it wasn’t the most suitable art installations for an elegant dinner, creating a sombre space. However, we turned it to our advantage and from the centre of the double heighted gallery we suspended a large globe of sunflower heads, hanging in suspension above a parterre of tables adorned with more sunflower arrangements and flicking candles. Only the florals were lit and from within the gloomy backdrop, the vibrant sunflowers popped, and the large globe glowed like the setting sun. It was truly spectacular.
What’s the key to creating the perfect atmosphere to enjoy your culinary delights?
Charming, smiling, well-turned out, attentive Rocket staff… making everyone feel spoilt and special
Summer Exhibition Reception
Desert Island Meal – what food and drink would you have?
I find food incredibly nostalgic - growing up in the 80’s, as a young boy, my dream supper was prawn cocktail, steak with béarnaise and homemade pavlova with kiwi and crumbled chocolate flake - this was a time before food went crazy. I’d eat contently humming my way through 3 courses. In those days I’d enjoy a coke-float but I think today, I’d wash it down with a bottle of good Burgundy.
Who are your foodie heroes?
When I was 14 I fell in love with Italian food over one hot summer in Tuscany. My friend’s father, Carlo, inspired by my curiosity cooked some of the most delicious and impressionable food of my life. Right now, I’m going through a phase of watching Rick Stein’s back catalogue of cooking programs – his Seafood Odyssey is fantastic, the way he talks about produce in his early days of broadcasting I find quite compelling
Harpercollins Summer Party
How has event catering as an industry evolved in your experience? What trends can you see in the future?
It has boomed. Anything is now possible. I think we will continue to see an interest in global cuisine and local suppliers, “think global, source local”. I think there will be increased attention in creating the ‘Instagram moment’, through food styling, canape trays, food stalls or a showcase interactive splurge.
Hockney Private View
What is the one piece of advice you’d offer someone looking to enter the events industry?
Start by holding a tray. You’ll meet a lot of people and see many events. You’ll either love it or hate it.
Watch our event film featuring Rocket Food for the Harpercollins Summer Party in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A.