Rhubarb caters for some of the most exclusive events in London.
Not many can say they’ve helped plan the Whale Launch at the Natural History Museum, or the British Fashion Awards at the Royal Albert Hall.
But then Rhubarb isn’t your average catering company.
And Gemma Bacon isn’t your average event planner.
Her role involves managing the team of planners right through from the event enquiry through to meetings, site visits, tastings and the event itself.
Plus, the nature of events has changed over the years, Gemma says.
Now, “almost all events require a menu tasting and there has also been an increase in desire for a more relaxed style of dining at events”.
With the changing nature of events comes a change in food preferences too.
“We have seen an increasing level of dietary requirements.
“Clients are very conscious of selecting gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options for events.”
“We have also seen an increasing demand for ingredients to be locally sourced.
“Some examples include our wood-fired pizza ovens serving up pizza with mozzarella sourced from Laverstoke Park,” she says.
Laverstoke is a UK farm leading the way in bio-dynamic and organic farming methods.
As for the next food trend, Gemma says we are seeking “delicious alternatives such as plant-based protein dishes”.
Provenance is of paramount importance.
With a network of suppliers all over the country, Rhubarb is proud of its high quality produce.
“No matter the clients’ brief, we are dedicated to sourcing sustainable, seasonal produce as locally as possible,” Gemma says.
“Sustainability is extremely important, and increasingly so, especially for the venues in which we cater, such as the Natural History Museum and Guildhall.
“A few initiatives we have introduced include paper straws across the business, paper cups instead of plastic for all staff at events and the composting of all food waste,” Gemma says.
Rhubarb’s food is seriously good. That, after all, is how a catering company survives in a notoriously cut-throat industry.
Which dishes stand out?
“Our signature twice-baked cheese soufflé is always a hit, made using the best seasonal cheese and accompanying ingredients.
“My recent favourite is our aged Gruyère soufflé, watercress velouté, morels, chive flowers and Ticklemore foam,” Gemma says.
As well as working on events at the Saatchi Gallery, Gemma says: “We look after a large number of private clients that reside in Chelsea.”
But she is too discreet to say more than that.
Back at the Saatchi Gallery, our Chelsea Awards ceremony is going to be catered by Rhubarb and will be a canapés affair.
Gemma’s favourite of the Rhubarb options are the new savoury doughnuts.
They’re a cut above the average: “Miso shiitake doughnut with fermented chilli and duck doughnut with hoisin emulsion.”
This is part of the magic, you see. Food sets the tone for the night, so with Rhubarb overseeing, expect great things.