Food and Wine

Provide a scarily original foodservice this Halloween

Halloween isn’t just for trick or treating. All Hallows Eve offers endless opportunities to the creative caterer, especially if their food wholesalers can supply fresh or locally grown produce, such as pumpkins.

For those in the hospitality trade, Autumn is a busy time, with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night arriving (quite literally) hot on each others’ heels. Pubs, clubs and hotels can drum up custom for the Christmas season by laying on a memorable spread, themed for the occasion. If the premises are haunted, so much the better! Here are a few tips for creating a spirited event:

1. Halloween offers countless opportunities for a themed buffet, so get creative with spooky dishes. Bat and ghost cookie cutters work just as well for sandwiches, and there are tons of recipes online for things like Eyeball Canapés and Spider’s Web Cupcakes. By the way, don’t assume “silly food” is just for kids – adults like Graveyard Ribs with Blood-Red Barbeque Sauce too!

2. Pubs can get creative with their regular dishes without even changing the menu. How about Snake and Wail Pie or Snake and Pigmy Pudding? Specials like Pumpkin Pie and Spiced Pumpkin Soup make good use of seasonal ingredients.

3. If you’re stuck for ideas, turn to the TV and film world for inspiration. Themes based on Twilight, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Harry Potter and so on can be used for both hot and cold menus.

4. Create the right atmosphere from the start with mood lighting, cobwebs and spooky music. Staff should naturally be in fancy dress – and ready to hand out prizes to the customers.

5. Whether or not alcohol is served, add a Halloween theme to the drinks menu. A “Witches Cauldron” punch can be either alcoholic or teetotal, and many food wholesalers sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.