Ex-restaurateur and Michelin-starred chef Barry Tonks, who has taken over as Executive Chef at The Gherkin, part of the Searcys collection of venues, believes there is significant room for improvement in the world of event catering.
“Great quality food is in my DNA; it is part of my ethos, has been a cornerstone of my career and success to date and I intend to deliver on that in everything I produce at The Gherkin, whether it be a romantic meal for two under the dome, dinner for 140 or canapés for 260,” comments Tonks. “Searcys and The Gherkin have a reputation for the kind of high-quality food and dining experiences that are not often found in the event and large-scale catering world. I intend to take that reputation to the next level and firmly believe it is possible to deliver fantastic flavours and interesting dishes rather than the hum drum food so often served up at corporate functions.”
From the Dorchester, Landmark and Threadneedles Hotels through to Bonds Restaurant and Bar, Les Deux Salons and McClements Restaurant, where he earned a Michelin star and three AA Rosettes, Barry’s career has seen him consistently delight food critics and dinners not just in the UK but around the world.
Tonks believes in the delivery of perfectly executed yet simple, well-timed dishes made from seasonal food. He explains: “The naysayers will say it can’t be done but the secret to delivering such good quality food for the events market is a well-chosen menu that balances both taste and creativity while meeting the expectations of attendees. Through clever buying, a lack of waste and an in-depth knowledge of how to get the best from available food I intend the make events at The Gherkin not just a memorable experience but one that is affordable to groups at a time when event budgets are lean and there is a tendency for organisers to order the cheapest option on the menu.”
Highlights from The Gherkin’s new menus include:
- Chicken breast with potato gnocchi, asparagus and peas served with a mushroom cream
- Beef wellington, potato purée, young vegetable, watercress and a truffle jus
- Miso cod alongside spelt, seaweed butter, sea herb and brown shrimp
Tonks will be supported at the Gherkin by Karim Le Cloarec, whose role as General Manager is complemented by extensive knowledge and experience pairing wines with high quality food.
Exclusively occupying the top three floors of The Gherkin, Searcys provides world-class catering for corporate events and private functions at this unique landmark in the heart of London. It is also home to London’s highest private members’ club, featuring an exclusive lounge, restaurant and bar with private dining rooms offering the finest menus and the best 360° views over the City. The glass dome at the top of The Gherkin is available for exclusive private hire, ideal for prestigious events, as an unusual wedding venue, or for memorable product launches.