What our clients are saying…
We’re known for our fresh and imaginative take on corporate catering; exciting and innovative eats that look and taste amazing. Our corporate events don’t just focus on food, we will transform a grey office space into a truly sensational event, taking client receptions, product launches and HQ openings to the next level. Here are a few corporate events where we created a real sense of occasion, fantastic food and left both guests and clients very happy.
Breaking new ground with Virgin Hotels
An exciting brief involving Richard Branson himself: a press launch and evening cocktail reception to mark the ground-breaking (in construction terms) stage of the first Virgin Hotel Edinburgh. The historic India Buildings were little more than a building site which provided our designers and event planners a challenging but inspirational backdrop – we wanted to use the magnificent period features to create a lavish setting while heeding the practicalities of delivering an event in what was essentially a work in progress.
The first part of the day involved a press launch followed by a glamorous cocktail reception with Sir Richard himself in attendance as the star guest. The evening began with an intimate acoustic performance by Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt which set a relaxed but stylish vibe while luxurious eats and imaginative cocktails were served. This was an event where sophistication – to match the client’s iconic brand – was key, so everything we created needed to be truly unforgettable, right down to the canapés which included cumin and sesame sables with goat’s cheese parfait, handpicked gorse flowers and honeycomb; savoury cones of creamed Shetland smoked salmon and Avruga caviar; Hickory’s trademark parmesan and Mull cheddar lollipops with a dusting of black sesame; mini crispy tacos with little gems, smoked paprika dusted chicken and yoghurt with lime (a BIG hit); seared watermelon with east coast crab and cucumber ribbon pickled in North Berwick gin syrup; Glen Isla Estate carpaccio of venison, and finally exquisite tiny honeycomb crunch choc ices with coconut sprinkles.
Thank you so much, Corinne, and your team for all the help with this event. Everything looked great, we couldn’t have done it without your professionalism and hard work.Ana Lanzas – Director of Communication & Social Media, Virgin Hotels
Feeding the five thousand at Future X/DataFest
Well, a slight exaggeration perhaps, but the numbers involved with the annual Future X/DataFest conference at the Assembly Rooms were not small: 500 guests to be kept happy with just the right amount of food and drink over two full days. We needed to provide conference catering at a high volume but with a Hickory edge (we just don’t do typical conference catering). So we devised a scrumptious array of hot and cold buffet options to be served to big numbers with a quick turnaround between the main events, presenting perfectly executed dishes from around the world, including a Thai green chicken curry; Moroccan spiced lamb kofta meatballs and a gorgeous aubergine and zucchini lasagne.
We also provided a selection of healthy treats during refreshment breaks, making sure that every single one of those 500 delegates and staff had a stress-free recess with nutritious (and delicious) food to set them up for the rest of the conference.
Oh and there was also a drinks and canapés reception on the first night. No problem – we are past masters at coping with massive numbers, so nothing fazes our ace chefs and serving team.
As ever, it was a pleasure working with you guys. A total dream. Over the last few years, Hickory have become by far our favourite caterers for the events that we manage. Whether it’s a high profile event for a client (eg DataFest) or one of our own events (eg Startup Summit) we wouldn’t want to work with anyone else.
The quality of the food is a cut above any of the other caterers we have used in the past and also offers great value for money, both of which are hugely important when serving as many 600 hungry attendees per day at our events.
Both in the lead up to the event and on event day itself we have found their level of service, professionalism and attention to detail to be far beyond any of the caterers we have used in the past. With a million things on your mind on event day, it’s great not to worry about the catering!
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hickory to clients and other events companies. In fact, I have! And they’ve never let me down.Paul McMillan – Head of Events and Marketing
The Enchanted Forest
Our client, a financial services company, wanted to throw a staff party to launch their new office space in Edinburgh and celebrate their 12th anniversary. The theme was The Enchanted Forest – a fabulous opportunity for Hickory to get creative, alongside Carnival Chaos, with a design that involved floral arches, summery flowers and leaves galore. It was a lush backdrop to some gorgeously seasonal cocktails served from a specially constructed log cabin style bar (two favourites being the Hickory Garden featuring cranberry and elderflower syrup, gin, egg white, apple and soda water and a delectable Strawberry and Basil Daiquiri which involved light rum, lime, strawberry and basil syrup with fresh basil).
180 guests enjoyed typical Hickory bowl and finger food – big on flavour and taste and divine to look at, including treacle-basted Belhaven hot smoked salmon with piquant potato salad; couscous bowl with tandoori glazed sweet potatoes, chick peas and caramelised red onion andcoconut sauce, along with a zingy Korean beef stir fry with lettuce in a sweet soy and sesame dressing.
We laid out a fabulous cheese table with beautifully arranged Scottish cheeses while the dessert station was a sight to behold with a kaleidoscope of jars each containing a mini-cheesecake (one of our signature desserts) which looked super-impressive and frankly, irresistible. Other desserts included tiny apple crumble dishes, silky lemon meringue tarts and the ‘never fails’ chocolate brownie pot.
Last night really was a great success and there were lots of great comments about the wonderful food, all the staff were fantastic. Thanks so much for everything, I’m delighted that we eventually managed to throw a party with you!Jayne Scott – Head of Events
Well there’s been a fair few sore heads in the office this morning. When I arrived the place was like a ghost town then they all started arriving in dribs and drabs like the walking dead! All the sign of a good party though and that’s a lot down to Hickory… everyone seems happy today and the event was a great success. Huge thanks to you and your team for your hard work beforehand and on the night.Gayle Bowes – Events Manager
Subsea 7 Celebrity Chef Extravaganza
Our client hosts an annual dinner for senior executives and their partners at Fyvie Castle, one of the venues at which Hickory is an established catering partner. This is one of our very favourite events of the year: an extraordinary celebration of outstanding cooking and grand surroundings.
In two exciting collaborations, Hickory worked last year alongside celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and previously with Tony Singh in 2017, both devising superb 7 course menus to be executed with trademark flair and ingenuity by our very own Development Chef, Robbie Gleave and his team.
Each course was paired with a wine to match and enhance each dish, and the celebrity chefs were present throughout the evening, working their way round each table to talk about the food with the guests, making it an immersive and hugely entertaining evening.
The 2017 menu devised by Tony Singh featured fantastic Scottish ingredients with an Indian-influence including Blood Bay scallops ceviche with tamarind; East Lothian asparagus with almond, rose petals and cardamom; roast Shetland langoustine and a dal broth scented with spices and frankincense; fillet of Grampian beef with herbed stovies and pickled radishes; Blacketyside strawberries perfumed with black pepper and cinnamon and Tain-made Blue Murder cheese with chilli-spiced celery chutney.
The following year the spotlight was on Simon Rimmer – together he and the five-strong Hickory chef team concocted an exquisite menu which included a Japanese-inspired seared soy and ginger yellowfin tuna with wasabi and a sesame crust; a great new take on the mozzarella and tomato salad with an Heirloom tomato tartar with minted lime labneh, mozzarella pearls and roasted brioche crumbs; Orkney scallop with smoked roe butter and seashore leaves; Scotch lamb two ways featuring oregano and mustard and sprouting young vegetables, and a sumptuous baked passion fruit cream with mango puree, coconut mojito granita shot, little fruits and foraged gorse flowers – a total showstopper.
Hickory are very good at listening, taking our brief, interpreting our brief and delivering a service that goes way beyond our expectations. The team, the systems and the quality – it goes without saying, that their professional approach and ‘can do’ attitude instils us with confidence and makes it easy to recommend their services. Always a pleasure to do business with Hickory.Gillian Glennie, Corporate Events, Subsea 7