Imagine a dedicated professional team catering impeccable food and wine, served with flair, with a choice of around fifty venues at your disposal. Imagine your wedding styled to the highest standard – bringing together all the elements you’ve ever dreamed about, to your wedding day. This is the ethos of the team behind food&desire caterers who are passionate about all things weddings and events. Sonya is the Event Sales & Marketing Manager of food&desire and tells us the story of this amazing business. Prepare to be inspired!
How long has food&desire been operating?
Food&desire is now in its 15th year of business, has grown from three full time staff to today’s thirty three wonderful team members. Our team is constructed from true hospitality professionals who are dedicated and passionate about professional service and have the experience and knowledge surrounding food. Truly a team of passionate foodies who love creating memorable events and ensuring it’s a fun journey in the process.
What was the catalyst for starting this business?
Directors Leigh Worcester and Asaf Smoli recognised, in 2000, that the Melbourne catering and events scene needed a premium catering and kosher catering service. Their vision was to bring fine dining food and service into the events arena, ‘wedding food’ was an abhorrent idea to them and they could not see why on the most important of occasions food should be standardised. So they upped the anti bringing fine dining to anywhere you please and then also made it accessible for everyone with their established waterfront venues. Food&desire continues to be at the forefront of Melbourne’s wedding scene.
Please describe the 5 venues you are associated with.
– Aerial, South Wharf, Melbourne is food&desire’s newest venue, opened in November 2014, city views based riverside in South Wharf, seating up to 468 guests with dance floor.
– Carousel, Albert Park Lake, iconic waterfront venue, lakeside and remarkable skyline views.
– State Library Victoria, Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD, iconic venue featuring some of the most beautiful architecture, hosts seven event spaces, and the Dome in La Trobe reading room.
– Harbour Room, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, St Kilda beach, rooftop and bayside views.
Other Melbourne venues such as Richmond Rowing Club, Pavilion, warehouses, galleries, park lands, marquees, locations from Portsea to Lorne or just at your private home.
However, if a bridal couple chooses another venue, are you able to provide your services to them?
Depending on the venue, and the venue’s catering policy, food&desire can cater in around fifty other venues and event spaces in Melbourne.
Do you offer a full service to couples from food to flowers and decor, to marquees/venues, function staff (and even a wedding co-ordinator)?
Absolutely. food&desire can arrange your COMPLETE event from beginning to end and all things between. Along with your wedding co ordinator and our friends at Where the Grass is Green, our teams can style, interior design, event manage, and cater at your venue of choice, for the full list please visit www.foodanddesire.com.au/other . Food&desire will assist and support all your wedding details to make your wedding very special and of course…memorable. Food&desire understands bringing people together, creating great hosts, and celebrations!
How can couples tailor a package to suit their budget?
Prices range for wedding from $135-225+ per person.
Do you have any tips for brides to consider when booking a caterer? What are the advantages in having your wedding catered?
Personal service is the key, finding a caterer with great food knowledge and delivering exceptional product that will keep your family and friends talking about your wedding, they remember the food! You will need a caterer like food&desire who can deliver flexible and tailored menu plan, through to wine matching, cocktail creations, visual presentation to food styling, and of course serve your guests in a timely manner. I also believe planning your wedding is a journey of undertaking timeline tasks so be comfortable with the people advising you and knowing you are in the best hands, then you can trust in the process and sit back and enjoy your wedding planning.
Look for caterers leading food trends and taking food experiences to the guest, food is the best entertainment – having open kitchens with chefs on display, theatrical food etc.. Look for true scope on food style they offer, flexible menu choices, variety of product available, very high standard of skilled chefs, and quality food handling and presentation. A truly great caterer has the ability to serve private dinners for 50 people and then to 500 people and quality should not be compromised.
Look for culinary experience and the ability to create multi cultural food styles, fusing together different food cultures while ensuring tradition is upheld. In summary personal service, guidance and expertise in food, and then being able to pull it off and making it look easy!
Do you offer flexibility in your menus to each couples’ requirements?
Creating customised menus is our forte, although we do have brilliant menus to select from, so many of our clients have specific catering briefs, food passions and personal preferences, at food&desire we are always creating, changing, developing menus to suit couples, their friends and family. Designing menus can be half the fun! And the food&desire team help with this too.
Can you provide a tasting to help couples make their decision?
Absolutely, food&desire offers two varieties of menu tastings for our couples. There is an additional charge but clients love them and always tell us they are definitely worth it!
Are you able to accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and food sensitivity requirements?
Our menus are vast and we can accommodate all mentioned dietary requirements. Yvan Meunier (now his tenth year with the business) creates menus for every couple and their guests’ dietary needs. Food&desire specialises in Kosher catering and has their own state of the art commercial and kosher kitchen in Kensington. No matter what the food sensitivity or dietary requirement food&desire will always accommodate each individual request.
When designing a menu, what should the bride and groom consider?
– Food style or cuisine
– Balanced menu
– What do they want to eat on the night, their ‘first meal as husband and wife’
– Guests requirements
– Duration of wedding; supper, extra canapés, dessert either player or food station, even roaming style dessert
– Whether they want food as the feature, to be entertained by food (have a element of theatrics), or sit down and plated.
Do you offer a food and wine matching service to brides and grooms?
Absolutely! Menu tasting is the chance for brides and grooms experience food and wine matching. All our menus have sommelier selected matched wines.
What are your favourite wedding food ideas for the coming year?
– Stand up roaming entrees on balconies and rooftop spaces, taking in the venues or outside spaces much more
– Shared food; tapas style with more food courses of smaller portions or banquet style dishes in the middle of the table, lots more variety with people helping themselves and sharing the food experience like you would at your dinner table (less of the per person plated dish, (or 50/50 option). Couples and family members enjoying more menu flexibility, and guests just loving choice on the night. We see more interaction with food as a coming trend.
– Interactive food stations with chefs on display, chefs demonstrating their abilities, coming out from behind the scenes to being involved in your wedding, this can be a big wow! factor for real foodies.
– A definite modern Asian theme is emerging, as is an extension of tapas style dining with twist.
What are your favourite things to do in Melbourne when you’re not working?
– I just LOVE Melbourne! Love;
– Going to the beach with the kids (Half Moon Bay in Sandringham) with fish ‘n chips on the beach for dinner.
– Eating at Movida on date night with my partner (beef cheek on cauliflower purée is just insane!!)
– Visiting Melbourne’s food & farmers markets, my favourites South Melbourne and Collingwood Farmers Market, produce so fresh and fabulous!
– Sitting in a cafe (my favourite Fordham’s Milk Bar, Camberwell) slipping on a latte, watching my kids play or reading a magazine.
– Going out with the girls for movie night followed by cocktails and tapas in some of Melbourne’s awesome bars, my favourite Bomba ( Spanish tapas bar).
– And of course…shopping!!!!
Thank you Sonya for sharing food&desire’s story with us. To find out more about food&desire visit the website.
Images courtesy of food&desire.