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Magical seasonal menus: choose catering for every season!

Your Private Chef - Thursday, September 21, 2017

We’ve never been the kind to skip an event just because of the time of year – we’re up for catering, celebrating, eating and drinking no matter what day of the week, week of the month, or month of the year!

Your Private Chef goes the extra mile, creating menus that cater to trends and seasonal produce throughout the year.

What menus should you consider from a summer social or winter wedding? Read on to find out!

 Summer catering

Sweat it out with summer menu ideas

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of summer food?

We think of barbeques, delicious chilled drinks, fresh salads, seafood, late sunsets… and lots of mozzie bites!

For us here in Australia, summer also means Christmastime. And Christmas means lots and lots of parties, events, celebrations, and catch-ups! This time of year, generally from about October through to the New Year (basically mid-spring right through until Australia Day in late January) is often the busiest time for us caterers.

In the summer, we love to prepare:

Backyard burgers

Perfect for a casual celebration at home, burgers are delicious and can be served gourmet-style.

Beef or chicken, burgers are a much-loved food for the summertime. Don’t forget the sides – the ideas are endless! Consider salads, chips, spring rolls, pies, coleslaw, and corn. Yum!

Spanish tapas

A definite favourite, tapas remove the need for individual meal servings: tapas are designed for sharing, and fulfil a wide palette.

Seafood like scallops, crab and prawns combined with paella creates a fresh, filling, and delicious summer menu.

Add a dash of sangria and you’ll be celebrating long into those mild evenings!

Summer salads

These go way beyond a basic leafy salad.

Think dynamic flavour combinations like avocado and prawn that will transform a side meal into a vibrant main. Grilled chicken strips, muscles, scallops, or lobster are the key components that add volume to a salad.

Omit the meat if you’re going vegetarian, and substitute it for grilled eggplant strips, asparagus, couscous, mushrooms, peas, or beans.

And who can go past the classics: Greek, potato, and pasta salads.


Versatile autumn menu ideas

Everything gets a bit more atmospheric during autumn. Summer is winding down and we’re settling in for some cooler temperatures and mistier mornings.

Autumn is a versatile season in that you’re still able to hold outdoor events, or you can head inside.

Autumn catering favourites include:

Picnics

Those who are OK with a bit of morning fog and dewy grass will spend the sunny autumn days outdoors. 

Alfresco options for an event or celebration include:

  • Fancy baguettes (way better than a paltry sandwich on thin white bread!)
  • Cheese platters
  • Homemade pizzas
  • Salads (bean, roasted vegetables, quinoa, couscous or the classic Caesar)

Don’t forget about dessert, including delicious donuts.

Cheese platters

You can’t go wrong with a delectable cheese platter. Creamy cheeses differ from those with a bit of bite and tang, so get the perfect blend of both, combined with crackers, dried fruit, and quince.

Antipasto

Another autumn-winter favourite, antipasto platters are great for sharing. Ease your way into the cooler months with cuts of cold meat and seasonal fruits like figs, grapes, pears, and strawberries.

 Spring catering

Bundle up for these winter menu ideas

Whether it’s a fancy dinner for a corporate crew of 100 or an intimate dining experience for two, winter menus are delicious, nourishing, and plentiful.

A private caterer, in-home chef, or whole catering team can bring an event to life with creative winter menus.

Warm up with some winter favourites:

Soup, noodles, pasta, and rice

These can be served in so many different ways and with so many different flavours. Think hot and sour soup, Chinese noodles, pasta bake, and chicken risotto. The combinations are limitless.

Keep meat-eaters happy with chicken, chorizo, or pork belly fusions, while vegetarians will love roast pumpkin, wild mushrooms, and potatoes.

Hot drinks

Don’t forget about the beverages! Let your caterer serve these to guests after your dinner party for 12, or choose some kid-friendly ones for a child’s birthday party. Cosy up with:

  • Tea and coffee
  • Hot apple cider
  • Or how about some mulled wine?

View more hot drinks here.

 

Bloom with these spring menu ideas

Spring is in the air and we’re shedding those extra layers of clothing and starting to feel the warm sunshine on our faces. Ah, we’ve made it out of the winter chill!

In Melbourne, we have the Spring Racing Carnival to look forward to, and this period is when caterers are working flat-out to tend to all your spring parties, events, and weddings!

What’s on your spring menu?

Fruit salads

Yummy yummy. There really are no rules when it comes to a fruit salad. Pick your favourites (including seasonal stars cherries, berries, grapes, plums, peaches, apples, oranges, pineapple and watermelon – the list really does go on) and you’ve got yourself a dish!

Canapés

Savoury or sweet, you can’t go wrong with these hand-held snacks.

Savoury favourites during spring include:

  • Chicken finger sandwiches
  • Tartlets
  • Arancini
  • Crostini
  • Italian meatballs

Explore our canapé selection here.

Arancini

Lamb (and more!)

The terms spring and lamb go hand-in-hand, but don’t neglect other meats as well as beautiful seafood like prawns, too.

Tenderloins, chops, breast, loin, and skewers are just some of the ways you can serve meats like chicken, lamb, pork, and beef. Salmon is also a versatile choice for spring (and summer) events.

 

Find a caterer in Melbourne who can create magical menus no matter the month

So there you have it – season-to-season coverage of some great ideas for your next event – no matter what month it falls in. Choose a caterer that can create magical seasonal menus – without the mess and stress of doing it yourself! Call Ana at Your Private Chef and let’s start planning your Unforgettable Food Experience!

 

Planning school catering? Important information for schools

Your Private Chef - Thursday, September 14, 2017

We’re just going to put it out there: kids are picky eaters! They’ll fuss and fight, and throw and kick, just to avoid eating that one piece of broccoli, or even worse, Brussels sprouts.

So wouldn't it be a literal miracle if there was someone who could create school lunches for special events that are both delicious and healthy?

As you’re probably aware, many schools all over the world have drastically changed the kinds of foods and snacks available in school canteens and cafeterias. That means the occasional treat we enjoyed back when we were in school has been replaced, reduced or altogether eradicated!

Why? Growing obesity rates in children all over the world due to these sometimes snacks sneaking their way into the always category.

School catering Melbourne

USA

In the US, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act was introduced in 2010, and planned bid to roll out significant changes to the kinds of lunch foods being served to 32 million American children at school every day. The Act was championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let’s Move! initiative, targeted at combatting childhood obesity.

Australia

Australia’s National Healthy School Canteen (ANHC) guidelines provide guidance for Australian canteen managers to make smarter and healthier food and drink decisions.

Europe

Europe’s a little trickier to summarise, as there is quite a lot of variation: school meals are fully funded by the government in Sweden and Finland, and therefore follow national dietary guidelines; but Norway, Denmark, and Belgium are exempt from this policy, and school children are allowed to bring their own lunches.

So what on earth do you do when you have a school luncheon or event that needs to be catered for?

Call the experts, of course!

There are a couple of things you can do to ensure your event runs smoothly, and luckily, we’ve covered them all below.


Allergies

Let’s begin with some stats:

  • Food allergies affect 1 in 13 children in the US (Source)
  • 6-8 per cent of UK children have a proven food allergy (Source)
  • Australian research has shown that up to 10 per cent of infants have food allergies (Source)
  • About 300,000 Canadian children aged under 18 have food allergies (Source)

Pretty shocking stuff, right? And it’s only natural that you’ll take into consideration this gigantic factor.

But how do you go about actually ensuring you’re addressing all sorts of allergies and intolerances?

Help parents help you

If you need to RSVP numbers for catering purposes, create a form that children and parents can fill out, detailing any specific food allergies. Your caterer can then create a menu that takes into account all these specific requirements and segmented meal preferences.

Make it easy for parents to get in touch to further discuss any allergy concerns. The school is probably familiar with a child’s allergies, anyway, but a phone call can bridge any concern and reassure a parent.


Your caterers know what to do

Caterers realise the increased impact allergies and intolerances have on menus and are as a result entirely flexible when it comes to creating a perfect custom menu.

They can also provide you with helpful guidance around how much food to order, what types of food matches your planned event, and what kind of food you might consider ordering.

School catering is suitable for a number of events throughout the year, so why not plan something special for one of the following dates?

  • Mother’s and Father’s Day breakfasts
  • Grandparents Day
  • Open days
  • School fairs
  • End of year parties (for teachers, too!)

School catering

Make catering easier for all involved

Give your caterers as much notice as possible so they have the best opportunity to create a truly unique menu that satisfies all diverse needs.

And that means getting information from parents about their kids as soon as possible.

Additionally, make sure your caterer knows whether they have access to an on-site kitchen to prepare the food, or whether it should instead be prepared off-site and then transported.


Planning catering for a special school event? Call Your Private Chef!

Your Private Chef caters for all primary and secondary schools and colleges across Melbourne, so why not get in touch with us today?

Whether it’s an elaborate dinner for a fundraising event or a simple luncheon for a class of 40 kids, ensure you’re giving your caterers the best information possible to ensure their job – and your event – runs smoothly! Call Ana for a chat today!

 

How to choose the right caterer

Your Private Chef - Thursday, August 31, 2017

Whether it’s a decadent dinner party at home for your closest friends, a last-minute corporate event, or a lavish wedding for hundreds, one of the first elements you start thinking about is food.

Catering is a core part of any event, and choosing a caterer will reduce stress, save you time, and allow you to enjoy your event just as any other guest would!

When it comes to choosing a caterer, there are a few important considerations you must make. We’ve picked out some of the most important!

How to choose the right caterer

Think about… your budget

Your budget is probably one of the most important factors when it comes to planning a special event, and it seems to be the one thing that brings us back to reality.

Sometimes, though, it’s easy to get carried away and slip up when it comes to keeping it in check. You need to make sure you’re working with a catering company who can in turn work within your budget, offering you fabulous – yet practical and reasonable – options.

A good catering company will ask questions around your budget and work within those parameters to choose the appropriate package and menu to suit. And if your budget isn’t going to match your vision, they should be honest and upfront at the very early stages so you can reassess either dining style or the funds you have allocated.

Here too is when you should ensure all payment rules are clear. Some of the questions that you need to ask are:

  • What kind of deposit do you need in advance?

  • When does the balance need to be paid?

  • What happens if I need to change my date?

  • What happens if I cancel my event?

  • What happens if my numbers change?

Think about… a tasting session

It sounds obvious, but a chance to sample your chef’s best work is often something that isn't considered.

Get together with a friend or family member to learn more about what a caterer can produce, and whether their specialties and skills can mesh well with all the ideas in your mind.

A tasting session is the perfect chance to give your taste buds a say!

Keep in mind that a tasting session is the time to judge quality and presentation, it isn’t necessarily a time to try the exact menu you will receive for your event.

Think about… menus

Are you content with set menus, or do you want the ability to change some aspects of your meals?

This is when your personal preference plays an important role. A good caterer will create a sample menu and you’ll be able to work together to create the perfect one for your special event.

Make sure that your venue has the space to accommodate your menu. Is your plan a three-course dinner for 70 guests? Or is it a cocktail evening (think canapés and finger food) for 200?  The space required would be the same.

Think about… wait staff

Here we can relate back to our first point.

Wait staff are a fantastic addition to a fully catered event, as they take the stress away from you having to worry about all facets of your event, from serving your guests food and drinks, to assisting with set up, back down and clean up.

A good catering company provides their own qualified wait staff and will help you understand the number of staff you will need based on the size of your event.

Think about… allergies and dietary requirements

Hospital admissions for severe allergy reactions have doubled over the last ten years in Australia, the USA, and the UK, and people are becoming more conscious about their eating habits.

Do you have guests that require special dietary needs? How can you and your caterer work together to best accommodate all guests?

This is particularly imminent for larger groups where you mightn't be as familiar with dietary needs. If you’re a big company organising a work party, you better get a clear idea of people’s needs, or, at the very least, incorporate vegetarian options into the catering.

Think about… raising a glass

Those seasoned folks who love wining and dining know how important it is to find a perfect match between food and drink.

A good catering company provide a professional bartending service, whether that is working with your supplied drinks or with our expert selection of boutique wines and beers.

They should also talk to your about the bar equipment you will need and give you handy tips like ice requirements and making sure all your drinks are pre-chilled.

Think about… how involved you want to be

Do you want to sit back and be a guest at your own dinner party, rather than worrying about all the trivial details?

Then make it clear that you want your caterer – in the form of its wait staff, bar staff and chef – to run the entire evening.

Think about… these extras

  • Have you found a caterer who will supply tableware, linen, glassware and cutlery for the event?

  • Have you found a responsive caterer who quickly responds to emails or phone calls?

  • Have you found a caterer who is appropriately licensed to serve alcohol?

  • Have you found a caterer who provide a clear quote, payment method, contract and cancellation policy?

At the end of the day, you’re employing the services of a wonderful catering company who will ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. Don't forget to put your trust in them, and step back to enjoy your event just as any of your guests would!

Searching for the right caterer in Melbourne for your next special event? The search stops here! Browse our menus and if you’d like a chat, call Ana today!

 

Winter party catering ideas from Your Private Chef

Your Private Chef - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Winter catering

August is party time in our home, with four birthdays to celebrate.

It’s a tough time of year for many of us, with the grind of work and short daylight wearing us down, coupled with feeling run down by the long winter.

So how do we get in entertaining mode while feeling low energy? Outsource, we say!

Winter catering and events often take on a lovely nurturing quality about them. With our new season hearty hot platters and our hot buffets and spit roasts a real winner for both deliveries and events, catering has never been easier and more cost effective.

Our hosts are looking for that ‘homemade comfort’ feel to their catering menus, as opposed to cold platters, salads, BBQs and canapés that are very much a feature of summer.

In winter, we also see a strong leaning towards 3-course fine dining menus for both private parties as well as our corporate winter party catering.

 

Winter party food ideas

Winter is the perfect season for our hot food stations to shine. Here are a few winter party food ideas, complete with gorgeous set up:

Soup station

Winter meal delivery

Perfect for large groups, this menu is economic, warming and delicious

Jacket potato station

A great light lunch or addition to your event

Souvlaki station

Melbourne’s favourite wrap is a real crowd winner

Spit Roast Bar

Hearty and very filling complete with many salad options.

Burger Bar

Allow guests to build their own with all our delicious fillings

Mexican Burrito Bar

Nothing warms quite like a Mexican menu!

Spit roast

Perfect for a delivery only, or talk to us adding staff to your event.

Featuring Grass-fed yearling beef porterhouse (gf, df) Rosemary studded boneless leg of lamb (gf, df) Crispy skin rolled loin of pork (gf, df) a range of sauces and fresh salads for your guests to enjoy.

Hot canapes

We have just launched our new season hot cocktail platters and our canapé packages, which offer wonderful hot, bite-sized items for your winter party, presented beautifully in our new boxes, ready to serve.

Or choose a fully staffed event and work with our event consultants to create your winter party menu. We will help guide you to achieve the perfect menu for your budget, space and theme.

Buffet packages

We are so excited to launch our new hot buffet packages, with 3 delicious menus to choose from.

And we also now have a wonderful flexible hot hearty platter and hot hearty sides option too, allowing you to mix and match to create your ideal menu. Cost effective and super easy for a delivery option, these platters are perfect for winter party catering.

Home-style dishes

 

Winter dining menus

Stuck on which menu to choose for your 3-course fine dining winter dinner party? Here are the season’s top sellers… 

Entrée

  • Pork belly served with silver beet, caramelised pear purée & pomegranate jus (nf, gf)
  • Scallops, pan seared cauliflower purée, chorizo crumb, truffle oil (nf, gf)
  • Roasted vegetable terrine with cashew pesto and basil oil (vegan)

Main

  • Slow-cooked beef cheeks, bordelaise sauce, button mushrooms, smoked gammon, caramelised red onion, pomme purée, croute & truffle oil.
  • Rack of lamb, sweet pea gnocchi, sage, broad beans, carrot quenelle, sauce romesco and jus (nf)
  • Sous vide duck breast, chestnut purée; Dutch carrots, caramelised plum, jus (gf)

Dessert

  • Dark chocolate panna cotta, white chocolate mousse, vodka syrup, gold flakes, walnut praline, freeze dried raspberries, black sesame seeded wafer (v)
  • Baileys cream brûlée with biscotti and macerate strawberries (v)
  • Mi qui - melting centre Italian soufflé, chocolate soil, raspberries, vanilla mascarpone, tuile (v)
 

Warm up this winter with our vegetarian meal delivery

Your Private Chef - Saturday, August 26, 2017

Weekly gourmet meal deliveries are a wonderful way to start off the week on a healthy high note, ensuring you maximise your days with more leisure and less shopping, prepping and cooking. Read up on why this service is fast becoming one of the most popular food trends here blog post

Sold on the convenience factor but unsure how many vegetarian options there are? Well, rest assured our delicious range of soups, curries, pastas and mains have a wide range of delicious and filling vegetarian options, including gluten free and even vegan.

Warm up with a delicious soup

We love love love the hearty lentil & vegetable soup ourselves, which we have even been known to use as a great sauce on pizza bases for our kids (a good way to hide the veggies). Or even the quinoa minestrone, a great calorie friendly choice that is still very filling and nutritious.

Another winner is the delicious homemade gnocchi with Napoli sauce & baby spinach or our pumpkin ravioli with tomato, basil sauce & baby spinach, which is also dairy free! Yum!

Whether you are a dedicated vegetarian all week long, or just prefer to eat some vegetarian meals through the week there is no denying the health benefits:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Less fat
  • More fibre
  • Greater energy levels

Cutting down the amount of meat in your diet definitely doesn’t leave you with bland and lacklustre food, especially not with our weekly vegetarian gourmet meal delivery.

Want the thinking done for you, choose our 11 meal Vegetarian Pack for only $95. Or mix and match as you like to create your own vegetarian gourmet meal delivery menu.

Be sure to give our Moroccan Vegetable Tagine a try and our Red Lentil & tandoori spiced veggie patties with steamed vegetables and brown rice.

Check out the full menu on this page

Feed the family with a whole tray of vegetable lasagne

Or go a single serve if you prefer. The perfect choice for fussy kids or a family lunch. Just heat in the oven for 20 minutes at 200 degrees c. Easy!

Italian button mushroom risotto w peas & fresh herbs

A delicious gluten free choice and a good source of protein on its own. Perfect served with some grilled tempeh from your local health food store and a nice glass of local Cabernet Merlot.

Vegetarian eating just got easier thanks to gourmet meal delivery!

Order your vegetarian gourmet meal delivery via our online shopping cart for the ultimate convenience.

Order weekly, fortnightly or monthly as you like and let us help you with sticking to a plant based diet. Vegetarian definitely doesn’t need to be tricky (or boring!) and with pre-prepared gourmet meal delivery, brought straight to your door, maintaining a healthy and flavoursome vegetarian diet can be easy with the help of Your Private Chef

 

Awaiting baby’s debut: baby shower food ideas

Your Private Chef - Friday, August 18, 2017

A new baby is such an exciting time in one’s life. While nerve-wracking for the parents (especially if it is baby number one!), it is also a time where friends and family will spoil parents-to-be and help them get prepared for impending parenthood.

One exciting event leading up to the birth is the baby shower. But where do you begin when it comes to planning? You need to think about the location, guests, and of course, baby shower food and decorations!


Here’s what you need to know when planning a baby shower for your daughter, sister or friend.

First thing’s first

You need a location, a date and a host.

Normally, the hosting duty falls to the mother, sister or best friend, so as to leave the mother-to-be with as little to worry about (besides, you know, the imminent birth of her baby!)

The host’s home can also be the location, but, if the mother-to-be is happy to have it at her house, ensure she won’t have to lift a finger.

Baby shower theme ideas

If the mother-to-be has announced the gender of the baby, the two traditional directions might blue or pink themes. These themes are today sometimes seen as outdated; there’s nothing forcing you to stick to these themes! Don’t be afraid to choose any colour palette, irrespective of gender!

Decorations

You might like to aim for bright colours, highlighted with wall decorations, beautiful flowers, fun table centrepieces and yummy cakes (think a circus theme), or a more organic, rustic twist, with lovely textures, wood, paper, tablecloths, blankets and green foliage in vases and mason jars (think a jungle theme).

Additionally, you might like the following themes:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme

Great for an evening event, with gentle fairy lights and candles illuminating an indoor or outdoor space.

Gender Reveal baby shower

This is a really cute way for a mum-to-be to reveal some exciting news to her dearest friends. You can have fun guessing the gender and reveal it in an exciting way, like in the cake!

Noah’s Ark

Double of everything! Perfect if mum is expecting twins (or wants to thrill friends when she reveals it!)

Storybook

Traditional favourites like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Cinderella will always be classics.

Nautical

This doesn’t need to be boy-specific; it can be gender neutral! Red, white and blue will dominate. Think of all the decorating possibilities!

The birds and the bees

A little tongue-in-cheek, while the dominance of the colour yellow can keep it gender-neutral.

Think about your guest of honour’s personality, and when it doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for her preferences!

Baby shower catering



Rather leave baby shower catering to the pros?

Let an expert catering team devise a beautiful and tasteful baby shower menu for your special event. Host the perfect baby shower, without doing any of the catering work yourself! We can also help you out with theming and decorations as well as linen and silverware hire.

Creative, informal and delicious are the three words that spring to mind when we think of baby shower catering.

Traditional menus

Generally, baby showers are an afternoon affair (so not a proper, full lunch), so you can spoil guests with delightful treats like sandwiches, tea, various sweets, and a cake.

Contemporary food

In recent years, traditional baby shower catering has been challenged by more contemporary and gourmet menus. You might even like to consider an early evening event, or a fun brunch.

Whatever mum-to-be fancies, baby shower catering is made easy thanks to Your Private Chef.

The best thing about choosing a caterer for a baby shower is that they will do all the preparing, serving, and cleaning up!

Baby shower planning: tips and tricks

Extra guests

Before you send out the invites, think about whether you want your guests’ kids to attend, too. If so, you’ll need to allocate extra snacks as well as kid-friendly activities, games, and colouring books to keep them occupied.

How long should a baby shower go for?

Baby showers are typically relatively short events. Mum-to-be is exhausted, after all!

It’s recommended to allocate two hours in your formal invitation, but keep in mind that it’s likely there will be a couple of close friends who might hang around afterwards.

Don’t forget the guestbook!

Ensure guests leave a message for the new bub (as well as mum and dad) in a guest book. It’s a highly valued tradition where messages are cherished for life.

Baby shower gift ideas

This list is essentially endless, as there are never too many things parents-to-be can receive! Some will set up a registry (which takes the stress out of choosing a gift), while others might be willing to provide a wish list.

Moreover, others may not provide any guidance, so here are some ideas…

Usual baby shower gifts

Typical gifts include:

  • Booties
  • Clothing and sleep gear
  • Towels and bibs

All of these are practical and useful for the immediate arrival, while traditional norms of pink for a girl and blue for a boy have long been challenged. There are so many options available for newborns, regardless of whether you know the baby’s gender.

Additionally, feeding tools, travel bags, journals, furniture, bedding, blankets and cameras are all great gifts to help with baby’s care and growth.

Save gifts that baby cannot use immediately (like books and toys) for future birthday parties.

Why not choose a unique gift for new parents?

Perhaps the indulgence of a personal chef for a special 3 course dinner for two in the future, or help mum take care of herself with our New Mum’s Pantry gourmet meal pack.

Specifically designed for new mums, she’ll enjoy 12 nutritious and delicious meals PLUS 12 lactation cookies which will help boost milk supply. The perfect gift for a new mum! Order online here (also available in a vegetarian pack!)

Are you planning a baby shower?

Awaiting baby is an exciting time for all, and a baby shower is all about getting together with your closest friends and family, and spoiling a mum-to-be with love and well-wishes for upcoming birth.

Planning a baby shower needn’t be a testing task, especially with a little help from Your Private Chef! View a selection of canapes and platters here, or call Ana now for a chat!

 

Give the gift of food! Gourmet meal delivery vouchers

Your Private Chef - Monday, July 17, 2017
Gourmet meal delivery voucher

Looking for something different to give as a gift to your loved ones? Surprise and delight them with a gourmet meal delivery voucher from Your Private Chef.

Our flexible weekly menus cater to a wide variety of dietary needs and requirements, and are perfect for everyone!

The convenience these meal vouchers bring alleviates stress brought on by periods of increased activity or new responsibilities.

Think outside the box for your next housewarming or baby gift – think food, and give the gift of a YPC meal delivery voucher!

Giving the gift of food is easy – simply buy online and let your loved one choose the meals they want delivered direct to their door! 

Questions? Contact us today!



New parents

As much as it is an exciting time full of new experiences and memories, becoming a new parent can also be a quite stressful time with a sharp learning curve. New responsibilities, extra expenses and many sleepless nights, sometimes meals are forgotten altogether.

One of our meal vouchers would be the perfect gift to give the new parents a night off and one less thing to worry about. And in those first few months of parenthood, every extra relief counts.

New Mum’s Pantry

Created by YPC co-founder Ana, our New Mum’s Pantry package has been specifically designed for new mothers. Enjoy 12 nutrient-dense meals PLUS 12 lactation cookies, designed to boost milk supply.

Know a new or expectant mother? This is the perfect gift for them! View the full menu and order online here.

P.S – This package is also available in a vegetarian option!


Meal delivery voucher


New home owners

Searching for a home can be a lengthy process, and in many cases, can be tiresome. Organising movers and juggling paperwork can be chaotic, so when you finally reach the first-night milestone, greasy take-out might be the only thing on your mind.

A gift of our gourmet meal voucher is a thoughtful way to allow friends or family to enjoy the first few nights in their new home.


Young people fresh out of home

Whether it’s for uni, a new interstate job, or simply to get out of the family home, the desire to live independently (or with friends or a partner) is a driving force for kids to fly the coop.

Empty nesters may be missing their brood, so why not remind them that you’re still the person who cares the most with a gourmet meal delivery voucher?

Ideal for young adults who are still finding their feet, a meal voucher can help alleviate the stress that comes with moving out of home (while parents can rest assured that their kids are still eating well!)


The elderly

Along with aging comes the slow loss of independence.

While some older people try to maintain their independent lifestyle (e.g. living alone), some tasks may simply become too difficult. If you know an older person who might need a hand when it comes to meal time, why not surprise them with a gourmet meal voucher?

Choose your amount and allow them to enjoy nutritious and perfectly portioned meals. Order a pack or a voucher online today and get it delivered direct to their door.

Meal delivery voucher

Patients recovering from surgery

Whether it’s a broken bone that limits mobility or something that affects energy levels or co-ordination, you can support a friend or family member who has recently undergone surgery by ensuring they continue to enjoy healthy meals!

During a patient’s first few days back at home, they will be concentrating on getting adequate rest or participating in low-impact rehabilitation sessions. Cooking will be the last thing on their mind!

Save them from boring meals with a meal delivery voucher that will put the flavour and nutrition back into their diet! Hospital food at its best can be bland, so welcome them home with a meal voucher that will deliver them delicious and nutritious meals as they begin their recovery.


Buy a gourmet meal delivery voucher today!

Giving the gift of food is easy – simply buy online and let your loved one choose the meals they want delivered direct to their door! Order here and if you have any questions, please call us!

 

Buffet vs. three-course dining: which should you choose?

Your Private Chef - Friday, June 30, 2017

When it comes to catered events, one of the earliest choices you have to make is whether you want an event that provides sit-down, course dining or the more casual buffet-style dining.

We dissect both below, helping you to decide which is the most suitable for your next event!

Questions? Call us!

What is three-course catering?

This is the perfect choice for a traditional fine dining format. Our seasonal menus give many choices for entrée, main and dessert to suit your preference.

For larger groups we also include complimentary split course (where you choose two dishes). View our current three-course menu.

3 course catering from Your Private Chef

What is shared, or buffet, catering?

A beautiful shared meal experience, these opulent food stations are all about choice, choice, and, you guessed it, more choice!

Shared platters are all about connecting with your guests over these beautifully presented platters and trialling a bit of everything on offer.

This is an economical, intimate and engaging way to dine and you can most definitely still enjoy multiple courses in this style. View our shared dining menu.

 

Buffet catering

In any group, there are usually multiple dietary requirements, varying tastes and even different appetite levels.

That’s why Your Private Chef’s opulent food stations can make for the perfect dining style. With so much choice and variety on offer this dining style can also become the perfect playground for food styling.

With flowers and props and beautiful platers, buffet styling is a serious wow with Your Private Chef.

Office catering – the buffet lunch

Tick all the right boxes for the whole team with a beautiful buffet lunch spread.

Choose from our corporate buffet catering lunch menu or our special event buffet packages. If it’s just a light meal you need, then go for our specialised grazing stations to impress your office.

Buffet catering

The deliciously casual wedding

Reinvent wedding catering with this interactive dining style.

Buffet-style catering allows your guests to eat with their eyes and enjoy the table styling just as much as they will enjoy the opulent spread before them.

Buffet catering for weddings can be as formal or as casual as your style is.

 Buffet catering from Your Private Chef

Three-course menu: sit-down catering

Nothing says fine dining quite like the traditional plated meal of entrée, main and dessert.

Our chefs work hard to create seasonally adjusted and on-trend menus, which play with colour, texture and flavour to create the ultimate statement dish; and in a dining style that is all about attention to detail table service.

Weddings and engagements

Keep presentation classic with a modern palette and flavour base.

Three-course plated fine dining is a wonderful wedding choice to celebrate traditional style to allow your formal table setting to shine. 

Boardroom lunches & corporate meetings

Sit-down catering for your boardroom lunch or dinner is a fabulous choice when formality and a finite level of service is required to impress.

Ample choice awaits in the three-course menu and we can also cater to your group’s dietary needs.

 

Buffet and sit-down catering from Your Private Chef

Unsure of which menu will suit your room, your guests and your budget?

Call a Your Private Chef Event Consultant to discuss the best menu and event configuration for you! We look forward to helping you determine the right menu and food experience.

 

The heartiest winter dishes from our gourmet meal delivery menu

Your Private Chef - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Winter certainly brings out the inner bear in us, as we want to stay home more to warm up the body and soul with comfort foods and warming meals like soups and casseroles.

We crave nutrient dense and heavier meals to give us energy and yet with the daily grind of work and the drudge of the shorter daylight hours we lack the time to cook these time consuming classics each night.

Often, the last thing you feel like doing when you finally arrive home after a long day is to start preparing dinner!

Combine that with forcing yourself to attend a post-work gym sesh, shuttling the kids to their after-school activities, and the general running of the household, and you mightn’t be eating dinner until after 8 or 9 in the evening!

That’s where gourmet meal delivery comes into its own! The convenience of freshly prepared meals delivered to your door – and best of all, prepared within minutes – is saving families, couples, and individuals hundreds of hours a year!

Some of our gourmet meal delivery comfort food classics, perfect for winter, include:

Gnocchi with Napoli sauce and baby spinach

Deliciously cooked potato gnocchi with our famous Napoli sauce is a serious crowd favourite.

Chef David has spent most of his career in Italian fine dining establishments, both in Melbourne and abroad, and he has seriously nailed this dish! The kids will love it too. Order now!

Gnocchi gourmet meal delivery

Italian Button mushroom risotto with peas and fresh herbs

The perfect meal for one! 

Alternatively, share with the family as a side dish to compliment your YPC lamb shanks dish. (Mmm… lamb!)

Buy this classic in our I Love Carbs Pack, or on its own with your mix and match variation. 

Mushroom risotto gourmet meal delivery

Croatian beef goulash with potato dumplings

Our head chef’s family recipe will leave you feeling warmed and nourished!

Order beef goulash, just like baba used to make, as part of our Casserole and Curry Pack or in our European Pack.

Alternatively, order on its own with your own mix and match.

Paleo butter chicken with cauliflower rice

This healthier Paleo inspired variation on the traditional heavy classic is both gluten and dairy free… but you would never know it!

Chef David really has created a beautifully balanced dish here. Are you drooling? Find it in the Taste of Asia Pack or on its own with your mix and match variation.

 Paleo butter chicken

Enjoy the best winter meals and comfort foods as part of your gourmet meal delivery order

Place your order by Monday 12pm for a Tuesday afternoon delivery.

Our Gourmet Meal Delivery service occurs every Tuesday between 2pm and 7pm.

Warm up during the chilly months with our favourite winter meals. Place your order online here for fast service Weekly Gourmet Meals!

 

How to host the perfect high tea

Your Private Chef - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

High tea and all things dainty are still very much in vogue for a feminine inspired afternoon tea, special occasion, or wedding cocktail hour. The best place to start your planning is with the right menu!

We always recommend the right combination of sweet and savoury and advise that guests' invitations are worded to prepare them for a light meal that is more about an eclectic spread of petite delights rather than a lavish feast.

As such we would recommend high tea to be posted after lunch; perfect for many post-wedding ceremonies!

High tea catering

Allow guests to eat with their eyes

Crockery

Choose fine china, tea cups, saucers, fine silverware, pretty fabric napkins and several interesting vessels to be able to show case your high tea on multiple levels. 

Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and styles. Allow each plate to tell its own story.

Vintage-style cost affordable options can still be found at your local op shop, or buy at auction or even online. And while Royal Dolton is divine, your guests will appreciate the thought that goes into combining your own touch regardless of the designer label under the plate.

Flowers

Ensure roses and native blooms adorn your table. We love using teacups and teapots as our flower vessels, likewise, lots of lace on the tables. Take a trip to your local fabric store and see what off-cuts you can find. Different lace styles and textures can be teamed together to create interesting eclectic effects.

High tea doesn’t have to be all white and bright either. Black lace and aged rose golds can add a touch of dark charm.

Menu

And lastly, ensure your menu is either printed or hand written for your guests to enjoy and eagerly await. A very 2017 trend is to hire a calligraphy expert to hand write for you. We’ve seen these services on gumtree as well as via freelance sites.

 High tea catering Melbourne

Savoury high tea foods

Here is what is featuring on our high tea table this season:

  • Smoked salmon, cucumber & horseradish crème fraiche ribbons on dark rye (nf) (1pp)
  • Free range chicken, chives and lemon thyme fingers (nf) (1pp)
  • Cucumber sandwiches with philly cream cheese, dill and chives (v, nf) (1pp)
  • Smoked salmon, dill crème cheese & baby capers tarts 


Sweet high tea foods

Here are the sweet delights we are featuring now:

  • White chocolate dipped strawberries (v)
  • Assorted cupcakes (v)
  • Date and buttermilk scones, strawberries preserve and clotted cream (v, nf)
  • Lemon meringue tarts (v)
  • Red velvet raspberry macarons (v, gf)
  • Chocolate caramel tarts (v)

 

High tea drinks

What high tea would be complete without, well tea!

And while Early Grey and English Breakfast plus your favourite oolong will no doubt be on the menu, why not add in some quirky alternatives.

For a warmer weather event, ice things up with our exotic flavours such as Lime & Mint Mojito Iced Tea, Hibiscus Heart Iced Tea w honey (no added sugar) and Lemon & Ginger Iced Te,

And for the colder months, we love a hot apple cider and even a delicious aromatic mulled wine.

How to plan a high tea

Pick a theme for your high tea

Manhattan chic

Black and white chic inspired by Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Rustic

French or English countryside, linen napkins, and the right soothing soundtrack. 

Vintage

Vintage teacups, cake stands, pastels, ribbon sandwiches, lots of lace. Celebrate a special birthday or anniversary (e.g. mum’s 50th) 

Beach style

Slip away to the Hamptons with fresh white and blue décor perfect for a summer’s afternoon. Great for a bridal tea or baby shower.

High tea menu ideas

High tea catering

High tea catering from Your Private Chef is fun, versatile and ready to go now! Order online!

 

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