Halloween and Bonfire Night - Top Tips - Mark Rigby, Executive Chef, Premier Foods - plate2planet powered by Bidfood

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Halloween and Bonfire Night – Top Tips – Mark Rigby, Executive Chef, Premier Foods

Halloween and Bonfire Night are the perfect occasions for outlets to maximise sales by encouraging families and friends to come together and have some fun celebrating. From decorating the venue to experimenting with the menu, there are many ways to get your customers in the seasonal spirit and we’ve pulled together our very best top tips as well as a citrus cocktail recipe to help get the party started!

Hints and Tips

  • Food on-the-go is the perfect format for Bonfire Night, handheld will prove popular as customers can then eat it either round the bonfire or in front of the fireworks. Halloween also poses a similar opportunity; people will most likely be in costume and will want to mingle so a snacking finger buffet is ideal.
  • Get creative with your drinks offering, experiment with sweet garnishes, different shaped ice and glassware to create something really impressive that fits with the Halloween and Bonfire Night theme well. We’ve provided some inspiration to get you started with our Gin Gimlet Cocktail recipe below.
  • Your menu should reflect the atmosphere of the night, for Bonfire Night, why not try;
    • Some dishes which are warming, the weather on the night is bound to be cold and your customers are likely to be outside watching the fireworks so will be looking for comforting, hot dishes which are seasonal. Try Spicy Parsnip and Apple Soup, made with Bisto Vegetable Bouillon or a hearty gluten-free Paprika Beef Stew, made with Bisto Beef Bouillon.
    • Sweet treats are a must and classics such as Parkin are perfect, made with McDougalls Self-Raising Flour it is best served with a ginger spiced Ambrosia Cream.
    • Our McDougalls Pumpkin Seed and Black Treacle Flapjack, and McDougalls Catherine Wheel Cookies are simple yet effective ideas which need just a few extra ingredients and imagination added to the McDougalls range of mixes for a delicious bake.
  • For Halloween, why not try;
    • McDougalls Pizzas cut into varying themed shapes, how about mini Jack ‘O Lantern bites, shaping the pizza into a mini calzone, cutting out the eyes and mouth and using your choice of pizza filling.
    • Severed fingers in bandages is a great twist on pigs in blankets, use Paxo Stuffing and sausage meat formed into a finger shape and wrapped in either McDougalls Pastry or McDougalls Pizza Base Mix.

Jellied Gin Gimlet

The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) describes Gin Gimlet as one half Gin and one half Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial. For this recipe, we’ve added McDougalls Lime Jelly and a touch of fresh lime.



  • 200g McDougalls Lime Jelly Crystals
  • 500ml Boiling water
  • 50ml Fresh lime juice
  • 200ml Gin


  1. Dissolve the jelly crystals in boiling water and allow to cool.
  2. Add the gin and lime and chill until just set.
  3. Serve in either small shot glasses or from a syringe for a more Halloween themed feel.

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