The science behind Merchant Taylors’ menus
The food and drink at any event serves a dual purpose. As well as needing to impress even the most discerning of palates, it also has to be able to enhance your delegates’ energy levels and boost their concentration and brain power. Our Head Chef, Richard Trant, takes us through the reasoning behind some of the menu options on offer at Merchant Taylors’ Hall.
“Recent studies show breakfast meetings are on the rise because it’s thought people concentrate better first thing in the morning. This may well be the case, but as an organiser it’s essential you know how to make sure all of your attendees are roused from their morning fog so they can get the most out of, and contribute the most towards, your meeting.
“If you’re hosting a standalone breakfast meeting, high energy foods like pastries and fruit will give your delegates a good initial boost of enthusiasm. Our continental breakfast is a great choice in this instance. It’s also important to make your guests feel as though they have the option to indulge in the food choices at off-site meetings, this will do wonders for morale!
“It’s also essential to have strong tea and coffee on hand at all times to give your attendees a good, old-fashioned caffeine kick if they feel the need for a quick boost of energy – albeit a short-lived one. Our coffee is from Green Bean Coffee Roasters and is a 50/50 mix of Savannah Velvet and Mocha Rich. The former blend is a real connoisseurs’ choice and the latter a smooth, rich taste, the combination is crowd-pleasing energy boost.
“It goes without saying that any food served at a working meal needs to take minimal dexterity to consume and shouldn’t surprise a guest with any hidden (shirt-splattering) filling. It’s also common sense to avoid heavily spiced, bloat-inducing, dishes as well as any strongly flavoured foods which may have embarrassing side effects (like garlic breath) in a close-knit, networking situation.
“To keep your guests thinking clearly avoid milk-based dishes as these are particularly high in tryptophan which can make people sleepy. Carbohydrate or protein heavy dishes will also create a post-meal slump, so keep dishes balanced and light.
“Foods that are known to increase delegates’ ability to focus include oily fish which contains Omega-3, like our Poached Salmon, Mint, Crayfish and Avocado Wrap. Walnuts and flax seed are also well known to boost brain power, which is why we offer delicious Palmiers of Forme D’ambert Cheese with Walnuts on our Wraps and Rolls menu.
“Foods high in vitamins B6 and B12 will also help your guests maintain optimum concentration levels as they help the body release energy from the foods we eat. Lots of ingredients including fish, poultry, vegetables and potatoes contain these essential vitamins. Our conference menu has lots of different options including Fish Pie, Vegetarian Lasagne and Braised Beef in Beer with Mushrooms which as well as catering for a range of tastes and dietary restrictions, also gives a well-balanced B vitamin offering to make sure you get the most out of your delegates.
“Above all, the food at Merchant Taylors’ is indulgent and will make your guests feel thoroughly spoilt. We can keep the secrets about its hidden science just between us.”
To get your taste buds working over time please see our facebook page where we have a dedicated album to all things food.