Solihull catering firm Amadeus a favourite with the Scottish Open golfers
Solihull’s Amadeus Catering is looking to make a foodie splash at some of the country’s biggest sporting events. Tom Scotney sorts out his plus-fours from his petit fours.
Outside, some of the less confident players are trapped in some of the tricky sand traps on the famous Loch Lomond golf course.
Inside, at the dinner table, I’m trapped on the horns of a dilemma. The monkfish? Or the lamb?
Luckily, the solution is much simpler for me than for the pros outside: both please. I won’t have to decide between the sand wedge and the 9-iron – unless perhaps I need something to wedge myself out of the chair at the end of lunch.
Yes, it’s a tale of two dinners.
I visited last week’s Scottish Open at Loch Lomond with Amadeus, who have been running the catering at the event for years.
Amadeus has been feeding the punters and golfers at the Scottish Open for a decade now, and has just signed a deal that will keep the group there until 2012.
About 70,000 golf fans come to Loch Lomond every year, so it’s a tough order for the company keeping everyone fed and watered. They’ve served more hot dinners than Tiger Woods has... well you get the idea.
And the firm, part of the Midlands-based NEC Group, is now looking to take on more high-profile contracts to match up to the golfing tournament.
About a week before any actual golfing starts on the shores of Great Britain’s biggest lake, a tent city springs up with cooking facilities you wouldn’t believe were possible outside. The ovens are larger than my fridge. The fridges are bigger than my kitchen. I hope one day to live in a flat as big as some of the kitchens set up there.
Organisers are proud of being able to source as much of the ingredients as possible, not difficult in a place like Scotland, stuffed to bursting with langoustines, lamb, whisky and Aberdeen angus.
The company is also used to cooking in unusual locations. Last year it set up shop at St Martins in the Bullring, after the church arranged a tie-up with the caterers to let the historic site be used for banquet bookings.
So when the army of workers on site, which includes dozens of Amadeus staff and hundreds of local temps led by senior head chef Darren Proud, bring out the food in the tent set up by the 18th hole, expectations are high.
And it certainly doesn’t disappoint – especially once the decision of which main course to go for is taken away.
Sally Davis, the managing director of Amadeus, says the company is looking to expand and take on more high-profile contracts, particularly in the world of sport. The company is currently tendering for a number of big events.
But of course the Scottish Open isn’t just about food, so after lunch it’s off to watch a piece of the action. Which immediately causes a problem.
Mark Twain might have thought golf was a good walk spoiled. But this walk is already pretty much ruined from the start, from the massive amount of food I’ve shovelled down.
While Italian Edoardo Molinari cruises to victory in the golf, I’m struggling to cruise to the nearest green to see a bit of the game. It’s no wonder that the players’ tent – even more luxuriously appointed than the one for the guests, needless to say – has a few lighter options at the buffet than the fare we’ve been treated to.
But then I suppose that’s one of the benefits of being a spectator instead of a competitor. Just call me two-dinners Scotney.