Friday 28 August 2015

Film Set Catering: The Odd Essay

SAM TAN'S KITCHEN HAS MOVED! Please visit the new website/online store at for all catering enquiries. You can also follow Sam on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. Thank you!

Sam Tan's Kitchen caters home-cooked food made from scratch for just about anything, from intimate romantic dinners to low-budget film shoots to canapé-style receptions. To enquire for your next event, drop me a line at :)

These past two weeks, Sam Tan's Kitchen was happy to provide hot lunches and basic craft services for the USC feature-length thesis The Odd Essay. It was my first time catering on a film set for more than a few days, and it proved to be a fun challenge planning, shopping for and cooking completely different menus each day to feed an average of thirty people (including three vegetarians and two vegans with gluten and nut allergies), as well as making night-time deliveries to different locations every night for two weeks.

Below is a rundown of the entire menu, with pictures when I remembered to take them. Thank you to producer Shardul Sharma for trusting me to feed your crew, and I'm thrilled to hear you all liked the food!

The Odd Essay 12-Day Menu
(V) denotes vegetarian, (v/gf) denotes vegan and gluten-free

 The daily provision of basic craft services: an assortment of fruit, granola bars and chips (plus cookies on select days)

Day 1: Roasted peppers and zucchini (V, v/gf), creamy cheesy ziti bake with chicken, creamy cheesy ziti bake with mushroom (V), olio mushroom brown rice penne (v/gf)
Dessert: Belgian chocolate brownies

Day 2: 
Green bean salad with sesame and red onion (V, v/gf)
Chicken fried rice with shredded egg and green onions
Tofu fried rice with shredded egg and green onions (V)
Tofu fried rice with green onions (v/gf)

Day 3:
Garlic toasts (V)
Three cheese vegetable ragu lasagne (V)
Gluten-free brown rice penne with vege ragu and mushroom (v/gf)

Day 4:
Cucumber and tomato salad with green onion and olive oil dressing (V, v/gf)
Roast chicken legs with lemon, honey, mustard and sage
Steamed rice with mixed vegetables (V, v/gf)
Roast root vegetables (V, v/gf)

Day 5:
Oven roasted corn-on-the-cob (V, v/gf)
Creamy potato salad with green onions and egg (V)
Potato salad with apple cider vinaigrette (v/gf)
Chicken penne bake
Mushroom penne bake (V)
Mushroom olio brown rice penne (v/gf)

Day 6:
Red onion, tomato and cucumber salad (V, v/gf)
Penne arrabiata with chicken
Penne arrabiata with green peppers (V)
Brown rice fusili with green peppers (v/gf)
Moist carrot banana cake (V)

Day 7:
Yellow rice with mixed vegetables (V, v/gf)
Homemade chicken meatballs with lime and cilantro
Homemade vegan mushroom potato meatballs (V, v/gf)

Day 8: Asian green pepper and cucumber salad, chicken pad thai, tofu pad thai with eggs(V), tofu pad thai (v/gf)

Day 9: Ranch rolls (V), corn tortilla chips (v/gf), chicken and three-bean chili with cheese, three-bean chili with peppers and mushrooms (V)
Dessert: Crunchy top lemon cake

Day 10: Mixed leaf and tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette (V, v/gf), creamy chicken and potato bake with cheesy breadcrumb topping, creamy leek and potato bake with cheesy breadcrumb topping (V), potatoes, leeks and mixed vegetables (v/gf). 
Dessert: peanut butter chocolate cookies and oat coconut cookies

Day 11Homemade beef and chicken burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers (V), vegan burgers (v/gf), oven baked fries, condiments and toppings for self-assembly (burger buns, tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, pickles, cheese singles mustard and ketchup).
Dessert: Zesty bread and butter pudding

Day 12: Homemade vegetable spring rolls with Sriracha-lime-vinegar dipping sauce (V), Asian-style chicken fried rice with shredded egg, fried and green onions, mixed vegetable fried rice with egg, fried and green onions (V), mixed vegetable fried rice with green onions (v/gf)
Dessert: Moist chocolate cake with Belgian chocolate ganache



  1. I must say the food all look deliciously home cooked. I am a fan of your choc brownies recipe and your other recipes like Wat Tan Hor and Hainanese Chicken rice, they were simple yet really good! Will you share your moist choc cake with Belgian choc ganache recipe in your next post please? Thanks!

  2. Looks delicius and so soft. I like very much the step by step presentation.I love these a lot! chowringhee restaurent in satyaniketan

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