What Would They Know? Amanda Thomson of Fred & Ginger Catering

by | Food & Catering Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

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We adore a caterer that wants to make the foodie dreams of brides and grooms comes true. And that’s exactly what Fred & Ginger aim to do. Whether you want a shared table feast, classic sit-down dinner or an elegant cocktail wedding, they’ve got your back! Besides exceptional menus, Fred & Ginger also provide additional services, such as venue sourcing, event styling and design, wine lists and creative cocktails and event management. Their talented team will take your ideas and craft a day that reflects you as a couple. Today we’re chatting to Amanda Thomson, Fred & Ginger’s Sales and Event Manager, about the process of putting together a wedding menu, the company’s philosophy when it comes to events, plus what a bridal couple can expect from the Fred & Ginger team on their big day.

How long has Fred and Ginger been in the catering game?
Thirteen years.

Where are you based?
A quaint little North Melbourne bubble.

Can you describe the Fred & Ginger catering philosophy?
Anything, anywhere possible. Nothing is too hard, in fact we are your power supply, your traffic management, your gate keeper. We aren’t just catering anymore.

Images: Marc Chew

How many weddings has Fred & Ginger been involved in?
Over the five year period of my time, roughly 30.

How much input do your bridal couples have in menu planning?
A lot of our couples are led by us, given we see food every day. They have their menu tasting and get a really good indication of the style of our food and presentation. If they have something in mind that may not be on our menu, our chefs are more than happy to make some modifications where possible.

What are the steps involved in menu planning?
Don’t worry about your friend who is a vegan (or any other dietary requirement). I suggest to our couples to select food THEY like, then send their dietaries to us and we can modify bits and pieces as required. This is their wedding day and they should be eating exactly what they want. A lot of our couples have a bit of an indication of what they want. E.g. They DON’T want alternate drop / chicken or steak with mash potato. They want variety, modern flavours with twists, and that’s exactly how our menus are created.

Images: Marc Chew

Are you able to accommodate dietary requirements?
Of course, we live in a diverse world, we wouldn’t have a business if we couldn’t cater to dietaries. Even those who request only French Champagne and brown M&Ms. 🙂

You also put together wine lists and creative cocktails. Do these complement the menu you put together with the couples?
Of course, something that we are very passionate about. From our arrival canapés and cocktails to shared style pork belly with a stunning dry climate Sangiovese – truly melt in your mouth type stuff.

What are your favourite Fred & Ginger dishes?
Braised Beef Cheek Gnocchi, celeriac purée and smashed peas.

Images: Courtesy of Fred & Ginger, Shevan J PhotographyTobogan FilmsMarc Chew

What about cocktail?
Whiskey Sour.

What trends have you noticed in catering this year?
The DIY weddings, although there is small misconception that these are easier and cheaper.

You also provide venue sourcing. How does that work?
You tell us the details and we do the rest, whether it be a blank canvas, a historic shopping mall or a country paddock – we can do it.

Images: Georgia Verrells

What are some of your favourite venues to work with?
Canvas House in South Melbourne – amazing commercial kitchen and comes with dining furniture.

What kind of event management do you offer for weddings?
Anything, start to finish event management, venue sourcing, run sheets, production and AV, entertainment, floral and styling.

What can a couple expect from you and your team on the wedding day?
On your wedding day you will see me, from start to after the food service is complete. I am your point of contact from first phone call, first catering proposal, menu tasting, site visits. This means that all discussions are not forgotten. I brief the service team on everything so they have the best ability to service you and your guests. Every last detail is covered.

Images: Kate Ballis

What’s been the most memorable wedding you’ve been a part of?
In December 2016, the Northern Victoria/NSW border experienced the hottest day recorded at the time, at 45 degrees. We had a wedding in a backyard. Touching knives and forks would burn our hands, putting make up on just before service dripped away with sweat, ice was melting, and fridges were not overly effective. The temperature at 12.30am was still 32 degrees. However, it was possibly the most stunning wedding I have worked on.

The location was right on the mighty Murray River, the grass where the tables were placed was a lush green, the bride wore the most stunning Alex Perry wedding dress and an A-list wedding guest list to boot! It is one wedding I will never forget it.

Best thing about your job?
No two events are the same. Corporate, private home or wedding – each person always has a different request. I see variety every hour, some challenging and some not so. The range of daily activities changes from sitting at a computer desk all day, to packing and unpacking six tonne semi-trucks to site visits in the pouring rain. Diversity all the way.

Thank you Amanda for sharing the Fred & Ginger philosophy with us today! Bridal couples would be so lucky to have you and your team of professionals look after them on their big day. To find out more about Fred & Ginger’s services, head on over to the Fred & Ginger website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.

Headshot by Mark Chew

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