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5 Reasons Big Pan Dishes Make the Best Party Food

Catering for big events and parties is an art form, if we do say so ourselves. While some special occasions call for an exquisitely plated a’ la carte service, at others, people are just having too much fun to settle down for a set series of courses.


Enter the big pan disH


While you might groan at the idea of a ‘buffet’ style service, let’s be clear about one thing – big pan dishes are not the realm of the dinner lady!


No, a big pan dish can be as much of an event as the dance floor itself, offering all of the drama and elegance of a set service without any of the stuffy formality.

From paella to sushi platters, biryani to jambalaya, here are 5 reasons why big pan dishes make the best party food:



ThE spectacle of it all

The spectacle of big pan food being prepared right in front of you is exciting. The sight, sizzle and smell of all those delicious ingredients melding together in a pan of loveliness is enough to get most peoples juices flowing! Think about how much people love to go to open kitchen restaurants where they can watch the team of chefs at work. Or teppanyaki restaurants (like Benihana) with Japanese chefs flipping and cooking all kinds of food right in front of the crowd – people go for the theatre as much as the flavour.

The flavours are out of this world

Nothing is worse than going to a catered event and being served lacklustre, lukewarm food with very little flavour. Big pan dishes are the polar opposite - the level of flavour that can be achieved is unparalleled. Often cooked over a longer period of time, with expensive, exclusive ingredients (such as saffron and spices), these party dishes are imbued with a great depth of interest-piquing flavour. They allow you to give your guests a taste of something that will be totally new for many, and all without busting your budget.

That festival vibe

Have you ever walked through Borough Market in London? One of the most exciting (and crowded) stalls displays heaps of paella in massive cast iron pans. The achingly fresh seafood, expertly prepared rice and colourful vegetables display some of the best food that the market has to offer. Imagine a similar set up at your party, evoking a Spanish food festival with the variety of ingredients freshly prepared in front of the guests. True special occasion foodWhen you witness a special menu item being prepared in a big pan, you know you are in for a treat. After all, this is not something that you get every day, and so big pan dishes clearly mark a party as a special occasion worth taking notice of and remembering.

It’s easy to cater to everyone

The most common food restrictions we get asked to cater for? Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan.


When the food is going to be served in a set of courses, this can mean a lot of special dishes and worries about the wrong person being served the wrong food. Big pan dishes solve the problem! Rice based dishes (such as paella) have all of the flavour, excitement and drama of a food festival, without any of the gluten or other common allergens. A meat/seafood option and a vegan option can be prepared in two cast iron pans, solving pretty much all of the dietary restriction nightmares that can come along with planning a party.


As you can see, big pan dishes bring the flavour, excitement and drama without the headache. Let us make you a convert at your next event.

Contact us on 07793 356131 to find out more.

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