Catering for film sets is one of the perks of my job, when work really doesn’t feel like work. And that’s not because it’s all glitz and glamour (believe me, things aren’t always so glossy on the other side of the camera).
No, what I really love about providing food for shoots is getting back to basics and really thinking about the way we eat and enjoy food.
From riggers and sound technicians to actors and assistants – you can always guarantee you’re going to have a myriad of appetites and tastes to cater for.
Just as importantly, the food we serve has to sustain a crew through physically and mentally demanding days on set. It’s got to be nutritious and healthy, yet substantial and filling.
But if that all sounds a bit basic, let’s not forget that this is still food to be shared, enjoyed and savoured.
Meal times can be one of the few breaks in a long, gruelling day of filming and great food is what makes groups of people come together, de-stress and re-connect. Like any dining experience, eating together on set should be a social, pleasurable occasion.
One of my favourite dishes for on-set catering is crab cakes, and they always go down a storm with cast and crew alike.
Paired with energy-releasing potato and encased within the satisfying crunch of a panko breadcrumb crust, these hearty little crab cakes are incredibly simple to make and put the delicious crabmeat exactly where it should be: in the limelight.
Cornish Crab Cakes
|Maris Piper potatoes, sliced or cubed||200g|
|chopped fresh leaf parsley||1 tbsp|
|English mustard||2 tsp|
|freshly prepared Cornish white crabmeat||200g|
|vegetable oil for frying||0.5cm|
|plain flour for dusting||Small plate|
|medium free-range egg, beaten||1|
|Panko breadcrumbs, to coat||Small plate|
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, drain well before mashing. Beat in a knob of butter, then leave to cool completely.
- Stir in the parsley, English mustard and the crabmeat. Season the mixture then shape into 12-15 bite-size cakes. Chill for at least half an hour.
- Heat 0.5cm vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan until shimmering. Dust each crabcake in plain flour, then dip into beaten egg and coat in panko breadcrumbs. Shallow-fry in batches for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp. Serve warm with wedges of lemon.