Zafferano’s creative director, Jo Moody, gives a behind-the-scenes account of a dinner for some very special guests:
Occasionally an event comes along which gets our Event Producers’ hearts all-a-flutter, so when self-confessed sports addict Ed Holdcroft was asked to pitch for this year’s ATP World Tour Finals Gala Dinner, aboard the iconic Cutty Sark … he didn’t need asking twice! Ed wasn’t disappointed. The event was attended by the top 8 singles and doubles players of 2016, including Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic, alongside all of the tournament sponsors and the world’s press, with Sky Sports broadcasting live from the event throughout the evening.
Having just had their first practice session at the O2, the players arrived looking fresh as daisies via Thames clipper, briefly pausing for a photo shoot with the trophy in front of the Cutty Sark and then proceeding into dinner. The Gala Dinner was staged beneath the awe-inspiring golden hull of the ship, and our menu was designed to be warm and comforting for a chilly November evening beginning with a nod to the heritage of the current world number 1 – “Scottish salmon rillettes, truffled potato salad, and nasturtium and cucumber salad.”
This was followed by meltingly tender “Braised Beef Cheek Bourguignon” and a “Pressed poached rhubarb and pistachio crumble” – comfort food at its finest. Of course there was no such rib-sticking-carb-laden comfort for the elite singles players who were all served a special high-octane performance menu designed by their consultant nutritionist. We may be mistaken, but we’re sure we saw a few wistful side-ways glances towards ‘beef and parsley potatoes’.
The high octane vibe continued with a live performance by beat-box legend “THePETEBOX” who enlisted the help of all 8 singles players to offer their voices for a bespoke track, which was used as they walked onto the court at the O2.
It was a night that made history, not least when Andy Murray was presented with a trophy to commemorate his rise to world No. 1 – we, and especially Ed, were thrilled to be part of it.