21st October 2017
So, thats it..Summer is officially over! What a summer it has been. Hott Mess just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that has supported our quirky catering company over this wonderful sunshine period. This is starting to sound like a swan song but we can assure you, this is far from that….
Hott Mess has had unexpected, yet deserved, success and recognition of late. We have been lucky enough to cater for some fabulous weddings ranging from rustic weddings in stunning yurts to formal sit down weddings spreading throughout Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey. No two menus have been the same for any event we have catered for. Party planners, newly engaged couples, office managers and festival organisers have used Hott Mess Street food and continue to do so because we are versatile caterers with a passion for what we do, extensive food knowledge with a creative flare.
The winter period is upon us and that means us tinkering with our menu and bringing in different flavours and cooking methods. Our clients are favouring hearty food that warms them up and I dare say puts them in the festive spirit..too soon?
Its firework night before we start talking about Christmas… What you can expect from us as an accompaniment to your bonfire and sparklers is locally sourced hog roasts, wild boar sausages cooked over smouldering coals and everything in between. For the big event you can find Hott Mess in Silchester giving voyeurs of everything bright, loud and sparkly the best street food Hampshire has to offer.
That brings us nicely on to December where we all eat and drink to our hearts content… perfect! We have been invited to take part in the Henley-on-Thames festivities which promises to be a wonderful occasion with boutique craft stalls, Santa’s grotto and amazing Street Food..Naturally. We will be there serving our hugely popular gourmet burgers with some familiar recipes and a few new festive dishes.
Hott Mess has also been invited to cater for some brilliant Christmas parties at some very interesting, creative and unique venues. Some clients opting for the popular traditional menu - turkey with all the trimmings and other clients who want to go the other end of the spectrum and opt for some quite outlandish and bold menus which is always great fun.
So, that brings us nicely on to 2018….. Wedding dates are quickly getting snapped up leaving a handful of free dates for next year. We would urge anyone putting off organising and booking their wedding catering to get it finalised as soon as possible as we hate turning clients away.
Finally…. “The BAR by Hott Mess” Watch this space!
Wrap up warm
Morgan & Ben
21st August 2017
Goodness me hasn’t the summer flown by? However, a little birdie tells me that we may be in for some extra sunshine before September so hopefully we can squeeze a few more sun soaked BBQs! A common subject of conversation for us Brits is the weather. We are completely obsessed with what meteorologists have to report. We are pleased to say that the occasional rainy day hasn’t dampened our events. We catered a beautiful barn wedding in Oxfordshire a few weeks back and the weather wasn’t too kind to our lovely Bride and Groom. Despite the downpour the large wedding party were treated to some sunshine in the way beautiful canapés, a Mediterranean barbeque, summer pavlova desserts and a big pan paella for the evening guest catering.
We also have some exciting news of the fizzy variety. Hott Mess are now offering prosecco, cava and champagne on arrival to go with our canapés. We have just arrived home from catering a business lunch in Winchester, Hampshire and that was certainly not a business lunch to be missed. The very kind management team of a corporate client of ours surprised their staff with a fizzy lunch. Champagne reception followed by slow roasted lamb spiced with Harissa- what a lovely Monday!
Hott Mess were also thrilled to be invited to the inaugural Lymington Seafood Festival which took place over the 12th-13th August. Thankfully the sun had his hat on that weekend and a marvellous time was had by all. We must say that the festival has been one of the best food festivals we have cooked at. There were food demos, tasting kitchens, live music, amazing cocktails and some of the best street food in the south of England. We kept our street food menu relatively simple offering tasty steak, lamb, halloumi or our surf and turf burgers- with some exciting twists obviously. After the madness of lunch time rushes we were all able to have a quick run around the food arena which didn’t disappoint.
We are catering a beautiful rustic wedding coming up soon on the Hampshire/Berkshire boarder in the scenic grounds of a stunning house. We are so excited after visiting the site and looking through the plans. The creative couple are hosting their wedding in stunning teepees. These wedding teepees are quite something to behold. The wedding menu we have created together is based around social eating, tear and share and old fashioned feasting with long banquet tables being the focal point of the wedding breakfast.
The big hog roast season is looming with our customers wanting some good old fashioned comfort food being served at their events. Hott Mess have been invited to an American style cook off with fire pits and spit roasts galore. We are fascinated with how the Americans select and cook their meat. It makes such a difference to the flavour of the meat when marinades and rubs are made from scratch and is slow cooked with care. More details of the Hog cook off to follow.
To finish up we have also been invited to a very prestigious food festival in Salisbury in Wiltshire where the food line up looks delicious. Hopefully we can spare half an hour or so to do our traditional tour of the food arena which is definitely one of the perks of being a food caterer.
Have a great bank holiday weekend
With love Morgan & Ben
3rd July 2017
Hello fellow foodies! Hott Mess has been wonderfully busy over the past few weeks with 6 separate events running back to back with military style planning, precision and delivery. When we started Hott Mess we were told that no two events are the same and we can absolutely second that.
It is such a nice feeling to cater for such a wide variety of events to such enthusiastic and happy customers. We recently attended a wonderful local school fete which was busier than expected but we were able to serve up a fabulous summer menu. Our regular spot at the Feastival, based in Forbury Gardens Reading definitely didn’t disappoint. Music, cocktails, sunshine, amazing street food...what’s not to love? We have been keeping our ever changing street food menus relatively simple as its definitely better to do a smaller number of dishes perfectly as there is such a thing as too much choice. Hott Mess were also invited by Basingstoke borough council to cater for their annual festival of sports 20th anniversary. This saw over 500 children and their families from Basingstoke and Germany come together to compete in various sporting events and we had the honour of feeding them all.
Coming up over the next few months our diary is looking rather full with events on every weekend from now until the end of autumn. We are receiving and accepting a lot of corporate catering events and business lunches around Hampshire and Berkshire which is great as they usually take place mid week meaning we can say yes to more events. Hott Mess has a really fun corporate catering event in Newbury this week where they have requested spit roast lamb which is always a huge hit. We have put a Mediterranean food twist on this menu and we are really excited to meet everyone. As experienced professional caterers we are really lucky that we can be flexible with our food as we think our customers like to try something a little different. With each event we cater for we try and change the menu every time keeping those menus simple yet exciting. We have a summer fete this weekend and we are serving marinated sticky jerk chicken thigh Caribbean style as well as our amazing hog roast and Moroccan lamb wraps. Our big pan has been a real hit and we are so happy it arrived in time as we have a college catering event in Hampshire where we are due to serve 300+ customers freshly made chilli con carne with cheesy nachos topped with homemade guacamole in under one hour....piece of cake!
We are speaking to a lot of couples planning their winter weddings and their spring/summer weddings in 2018. Wedding catering is such an important part of what we do. Wedding catering carries with it a great deal of responsibility and extra care is always needed. Hott Mess caters for lots of different types of weddings from rustic wedding catering with a festival theme to the formal sit down wedding catering. We can provide everything from a fully stocked bar, canapés, three course meals and luxury marquees.
We are also taking bookings for firework displays and bonfire nights. Fireworks aren’t complete without a creamy hot chocolate and a hog roast. We know winter is a long way off but we are also planning festive catering with Christmas lunches and Christmas party menus being finalised and booked.
Happy summer eating!
Morgan & Ben
12th June 2017
Hello culinary enthusiasts! It’s been a while since our last Hott Mess food blog, we have been a tad busy feeding hungry customers. Recently we have seen our customers contacting us from much further afield which means that good news or good food travels fast. So far in June we have had a birthday BBQ in Wiltshire, catered a full wedding in Oxford and are preparing to cater for a school who are having a banquet on their field for their Viking day in Surrey. All very exciting events, with even more coming up.
Our new giant barbecue has proved a huge hit and our new wasabi steak street food meals are proving very popular indeed. As Hott Mess’ cuisine repertoire increases so must our equipment. Not that we are blowing our own trumpet but we cook fantastic one-pot meals such as traditional paella, curries and chillies. So, next month we will be eagerly awaiting our delivery of the show stopping big pan which is 130cm wide and can feed up to 300 guests. Big pan meals are hugely popular for bigger events such as weddings, food festivals and large corporate events. All meals will be homemade using the finest locally sourced and seasonal produce as are all our dishes.
Hott Mess are also seeing a flurry of interest from businesses around the south of England. It’s great to see businesses thinking outside of the box when it comes to corporate catering. We hear lots of murmurs from office workers about wanting a healthier, interesting and cost effective business lunch. There is a real correlation between what we eat and our mood, productivity and concentration. If people eat sugary processed food there will be a short lived spike in energy followed by an afternoon lull. When providing corporate catering we are well aware that supermarket sarnies and pizza deliveries just aren’t cutting it. So we have been creating some exciting buffets, business BBQs and everything in between. When people think of burgers the immediate thought is “but burgers are really bad for you” Hott Mess burgers only use 100% grass fed British beef which is grilled or barbecued, fresh salad and brioche buns.... We may be as bold to say they are rather healthy. Not bad for a lunch break?
We are also very excited to be sponsoring our local rugby team. Being the sporty types that we are we practically leapt at the opportunity to support one of our local sports teams here in Basingstoke. It seemed like the right thing to do as we have been invited to cater a Hog Roast at the end of season party and provide a BBQ for the summer 7’s tournament with many more Basingstoke events planned.
18th May 2017
Happy Friday happy eaters! Two bank holidays in May which is always a bonus as it means a few extra days eating, drinking and spending some quality time with friends and family and most importantly it officially marks the start of summer. Hott Mess has some amazing private events, parties, weddings and corporate events coming up over the summer with only a few free days left so please do get in call or email us as we would love to help. Speaking of getting in touch to get quotes for your food, writing bespoke menus and generally planning your event we are now taking Christmas party bookings as well as wedding bookings for 2018/2019 (talk about planning ahead!) Hott Mess seems to be spreading further across the south and with new members of the Hott Mess team we are now taking more events on in Oxfordshire, Dorset, and Surrey as well as remaining a regular feature in Hampshire and Berkshire.
As mentioned in our previous post we had a couple of exciting news which we can now elaborate further on. Hott Mess has recently invested in lots of amazing, brand new, shiny catering equipment which means we are now in the process of revamping some of our menus. Menu tweaking and testing is great fun with a few winners so far. Our version of halloumi and sweet potato fries will now be a regular on the menu as well as some amazing new steaks, tempura sea food and some frankly scrumptious burger combinations.
On our EXTRA tab we now have some more details on the POP-up bar and we think you will agree it looks pretty amazing. It comes with two highly talented mixologists, fully stocked with a drinks menu of your choice. Held in Reading but can be easily transported to any venue in Hampshire, Berkshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire and Surrey. We also have some amazing contacts who are involved in marquee and tee-pee hire, venue dressing and styling, sound/ and lighting...basically if you need any help in planning your event, party or wedding Hott Mess can help with pretty much anything.
Hog roasts are always a popular choice at a community event as well as a private party and the same goes with lamb roasts and beef roasts. We have a few public events in Basingstoke where we will be serving slow roasted and spit roasted meats within the next month or so. However, we have decided that for public events the slow roast machine will be having a much needed break. Hott Mess has so many amazing recipes we plan to unveil over the summer months paired with our new equipment and stand. That being said you cannot beat some amazing spit roasted meats and we have lots of spit roasts this year with plenty more to come but these will be reserved for private functions only.
As you may gather we have a new sea food supplier. Can you spot the prawn?
Morgan & Ben
27th April 2017
As some of you may know we have been on our travels to somewhere lovely, hot with very exotic cuisine which has really given us some fantastic inspiration for street food which we will be putting our own Hott Mess spin on, so keep your eyes peeled..... think Caribbean/Spanish cuisine
We have attended some fabulous catering events recently and have been experimenting with a few new flavour combinations which have gone down famously. We catered a charity BBQ in Basingstoke recently and we served up some new 8oz steak burgers which we kindly received from a wonderful farm shop in Wiltshire. Needless to say the burgers were a hit and they our creating some signature Hott Mess burgers for some barbecues coming up in the next coming weeks.
With warmer weather on the way you can guarantee that whilst walking the streets of the South of England wafts of that delicious BBQ smell will be wafting in the air. Since the launch of the gas BBQ there had been on ongoing debate as to what tastes better. Charcoal BBQ or gas? Granted the gas BBQ is quicker to set up, heat and cook on. However we always use Charcoal as you cannot beat the taste and the meat cooked on the BBQ is so much moister. Ask any South African (who are famous for their BBQs or “Braai” as its commonly known) and they will always tell you charcoal is definitely the way forward. Hott Mess has a few children’s parties coming up around Hampshire and Berkshire who have all requested a barbecue which is always very exciting for the children to safely see their food cooked on real fire.
The food festival in Reading was such a giggle and a huge hit as I am sure you can see from the wonderful video which was made for us. Going to our local farm shop each morning was so exciting as we cooked what was fresh on the morning for our street food specials boards. As some you may have seen “salt bae” on social media we decided that “Ben bae” was much better so we purchased the newly popular Tomahawk steaks which we marinated and slow cooked. We sold out of the steaks within 20 minutes so we must make sure we stock up for the next Feastival! Hott Mess will also be bringing some Argentinean steak to the Forbury to make our very own Gaucho steak traditionally cooked with a punchy, fresh chimichurri dressing.
Hott Mess has a few other exciting new projects coming up we can’t reveal all details as yet but I can reveal they involve a pop-up bar, a new corporate catering client and our very own beautiful rural venue where we can host parties, hog/lamb roast, team building days and everything in the middle. We cannot wait to tell you more about it!
Enjoy your bank holiday
Morgan & Ben
30th March 2017
Yay! Spring has finally sprung....Blogging here from the wonderful Feastival in Reading and it is absolutely perfect. The sun is shining, customers are smiling and so much amazing food is being served and eaten and the craft beer is going down rather well. We have a busy week ahead with four full days at Forbury gardens at the Feastival and one day attending a fundraising event in Basingstoke. Our beautiful bespoke barbeques are now in full use with a very exciting baptism of fire over the weekend, excuse the pun....
We have now started introducing daily specials to our street food menu. This is so exciting for us as we have now taken on such a great seafood supplier. We could call it “catch of the day” but that may be a little too obvious. Hott Mess spent the weekend perfecting our new special and we are so happy with the results. We will be serving juicy 28 day matured Aberdeen steak with giant tiger prawns drizzled with melted garlic and parsley butter on a bed a sweet and crunchy baby gem lettuce with our secret recipe punchy sauce. Surf and turf is simple but absolutely amazing, especially when served with a lovely beer! Keep your eyes peeled for our daily specials as we love to mix up our street food menus.
The summer seems to be running away with us which may sound slightly odd as we are still in March. However the Hott Mess hotline has been ringing none stop with eager customers looking to book us for their weddings, parties, corporate events and festivals. We will always try our best to cater for any event and recommend suitable caterers if we are unavailable but our diary is starting to look rather full so we would always recommend booking caterers well in advance so you get the rights food for your do...We do have a few dates which are currently available so it may be worth giving us a call to chat about your event.
As full time caterers we are available 7 days a week which is great news as more and more events are taking place mid week. Weddings used to take place on a weekend but there is a lot to be said for holding a wedding mid week, namely the cost! It always shocks me how as soon as suppliers hear the term “Wedding” zeros immediately appear on your bill which is a little upsetting to say the least. Hott Mess are thrilled with a few thrifty couples have asked us cater for the wedding over the summer in Alresford in Hampshire and Winchester in Hampshire both on a weekday and both with festival themed weddings.
We must dash as we have hungry customers to feed.
Morgan & Ben
10th March 2017
Here at Hott Mess we are all about supporting local businesses, and that includes our local charities. We do apologise if this segment sounds rather preachy but there are so many reasons why we should all try and look a bit closer to home when it comes to sourcing our food, drink, up-cycled furniture (anything you can pretty much think of.) Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centres, linking neighbours in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes. Take the good quality street food we provide in Berkshire and Hampshire as an example. Hott Mess are one of many local businesses providing food diversity. As part of Blue Collar street food, which works with a multitude of fresh food vendors, we each select food products and ingredients, not based on a national sales plan, but our own interests and the needs of our local customers. This guarantees a much broader range of food choices with each local business bring their own unique spin on good quality local street food. With all of this talk of local food and local business it is with big smiles that we have two big announcements.....
The first is that Reading borough council has now confirmed that Hott Mess will be permanently based at The Old Market Place in the town centre every Wednesday. After a trial period there was an overwhelming roar from the people of Reading that amazing street food had a real place on their high street and it should be a lasting fixture. With the superb news that the Wednesday slot is now in for the long haul we can also announce that we will be a part of a “Feastival” in the stunning Forbury Gardens for three consecutive days at the end of each Spring and Summer month. This spring sunshine Feastival promises at least 20+ food traders, craft beer, tasty cocktails, live music, hay bale sofas, fire pits...you get the idea J Hott Mess will be there in force serving up succulent slow roasted hogs, lamb spit roast and a few other tasty treats sourced locally from Hampshire.
Secondly we have also been invited to attend and cater for some really amazing charities around the south of England. These fund raising events are loads of fun, we meet some really inspirational people and it’s great to give something back to the community. We are really looking forward to creating some delicious food for the public and feeding lots of hungry volunteers.
Oh and lastly..... We have a few new custom catering items coming our way which will make the experience of eating at Hott Mess that little bit more exciting. We work with a local charity that employs people who are currently homeless giving them the opportunity to get back into work. This charity creates custom built catering stalls using reclaimed wood. We are having a beautiful stall built as we speak and it will be unveiled at the first street food market in Reading. The second new toy has now been powder coated matte black and is ready for collection here in Basingstoke. Hott Mess now has two new giant BBQs made from reclaimed oil drums by a very talented individual in our home town.
Happy eating guys
Morgan & Ben
1st March 2017
Goodness me what a busy couple of weeks it has been here at Hott Mess. We have been planning an awful lot of really exciting events some of which we can share with you and some, that for the moment, must remain top secret.
Firstly, Valentine’s Day usually means the start of wedding season and we have been working on some truly fabulous wedding catering ideas with some very creative brides and grooms. Long gone are the days when a wedding breakfast consisted of “chicken in cream sauce.” Soon to be newlyweds are becoming so creative when planning their weddings with us and it’s been amazing to create some exciting menus together. Hog roasts locally sourced from Hampshire still remains to be the most popular choice for couples and we can understand why as it creates some real theatre at weddings as well as being cost effective. However Hott Mess have recently been asked to cater for a wedding in Berkshire during the summer and the couple have asked for a seafood theme which is great for us as we really like to do something completely unique and the wedding breakfast tasting morning went down a treat especially with the mother of the bride. We also have a wedding fayre local to us in Basingstoke at Viables Community Centre on Saturday 4th March and it would be great to see you all there. We will be there in force giving advice to couples, running through some menu ideas and also providing some delicious canapés which are always a popular choice.
Hott Mess has been working with an amazing street food events company called Blue Collar Street Food who are based in Reading. It’s been a real adventure working with such a passionate and innovative group of professional caterers from around the south of England. Blue Collar and Hott Mess have been working closely together bringing a little bit of joy to food markets locally, focusing on supporting local businesses and we are working on some exciting projects to take quality street food around Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey. Street food is gaining some real traction with the British public and we think it has a real place on the high streets of good ol’ Blighty. People purchase street food for so many reasons, so as to get flavourful and good quality food for a reasonable price in a sociable setting which is exactly what Hott Mess is all about!
Happy eating Hott Mess lovers!
Morgan & Ben
Hello Hott Mess enthusiasts and thank you for visiting!
It’s been a while since our last food update and needless to say lots has changed and we have buckets of new menus.
Shortly we will be publishing some brand spanking new menus for you to feast your eyes on.. Having relocated from Basingstoke to the beautiful Georgian town of Alresford in Hampshire we have been scouting around for some new and exciting local produce. Needless to say we have been thrilled with the fresh and locally sourced ingredients on our doorstep. Our local butcher has created a brand new organic steak burger for us which we have paired with the famous local produce of watercress which adds a wonderful peppery undertone to our new burger. Hott Mess will be publishing the new gourmet burger menu very soon.
We recently attended the ‘Cheese Festival’ which was set in the beautiful grounds of the Forbury gardens in central Reading, Berkshire. We were trialing the very trendy and rather famous Halloumi Fries. Now, to set ourselves apart we offered three different varieties each with individual topping to suit every taste ;The Mediterranean, the Eastern and the West Indian. We were completely bowled over by the positive response to our new cheese street food menu with over 800 portions served across three days! These halloumi fries are now available at our street food and festival events as well as our private events, weddings and parties.
There are lots of exciting private functions coming up with a surprise 40th birthday this week which has a bespoke fusion inspired menu consisting of harrissa spiced spit roasted lamb, giant garlic tiger prawns and some fabulous Indian street food inspired treats.
We have been lucky enough to cater at some beautiful wedding venues and we are seeing the most wonderful barns for the celebrations. With the weather set to be glorious we are catering a wedding in Sonning on the Berkshire/ Oxfordshire border in rustic wedding venue set in stunning open grounds. A traditional British BBQ was chosen by the couple using our freshest locally sourced ingredients. We cannot wait!
Well Hott Mess fans. Have a great bank holiday and happy eating
Morgan & Ben