Last Updated on
Not quite the red carpet – but nearly at the Taste of BAFTA dinner
We all love the glamour of awards season at London Unattached; the red carpet, the outfits, the celebrity fall-outs and faux pas and of course the awards themselves. But have you ever wondered what the stars get to eat and drink at the event itself? This year courtesy of family-owned Villa Maria Wines and The Grosvenor House Hotel we were excited to be invited to the Taste of BAFTA dinner to be able to give you the lowdown on the whole gastronomic experience for those lucky enough to be invited to the EE British Academy Film Awards.
No awards ceremony should be without a champagne reception and a glass or two of Taittinger Brut Reserve with its yeasty peach notes is just the thing to put you in the mood for a celebration. It certainly put me in the mood!
It was wonderful to meet The Grosvenor House executive chef Paul Bates and Bafta head chef Anton Manganaro who talked us through the menu and service for the whole event. They run 4 kitchens with 35 staff simultaneously to make the BAFTA dinner run smoothly. With sustainability on everyone’s minds at the moment, the chefs have created a seasonal, locally-sourced and plant-based menu, part of BAFTA’s commitment to ‘greening’ the film industry.
Our stunningly decorated table was themed after the Joker movie with recycled cardboard decor and plants that will be rehoused.
We sat down serenaded by the sounds of the bespoke Spotify Bafta playlist to try our Villa Maria wines from New Zealand’s most awarded winery.
The Villa Maria Pinot Grigio East Coast 2019 has notes of lime and honey and was a perfect match with our delicious vegetarian starter, a Japanese influenced caraway infused carrot salad with celeriac moutabel, kelp pickled turnip and mushroom piccalilli with a sweet vinegar reduction.
Moving onto our main course the blackberry and dark chocolate flavours of the Villa Maria 2018 Hawkes Bay Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend was a great choice. The meat-eaters feasted on a thyme-basted Shropshire chicken, chestnut mushroom barley with a ballotine of Potash Farm walnuts, Dorset truﬂle creamed parsnips and roasted beets.
But I tried the vegan main course, a delicious aromatic ‘Hodmedods Farm’ lentil and cauliﬂower tart with champ potatoes, roasted beets, and parsley relish.
Dessert was beautifully presented; early season Yorkshire rhubarb fool came with a pear sphere and preserved raspberry jelly, meringue, toasted sunﬂower and pumpkin seeds. It was a textural symphony and with the meal rounded off with coffee and petits fours we had been treated to a wonderfully sustainable insight into the BAFTA dinner experience.
On the basis of this dinner I am going to resurrect my film career and just want to make it clear that I am now available for starring roles and have a number of BAFTA award winners’ speeches already written – it’s best to be prepared! Thank you to BAFTA, The Grosvenor House, Taittinger and Villa Maria for a great meal and insight into the magic of the BAFTA awards.