Leading wedding blog, Polka Dot Bride, has featured Your Private Chef as its Expert Interview in their Vendor Spotlight:
Expert Interview with David and Ana Kolembus of Your Private Chef Catering & Events
Please tell us a little about David’s background as a chef?
David was born in Melbourne to Croatian parents. He spent much of his childhood cooking with his grandparent, helping them with homemade small goods produced for the family. It was in these early years that a love of food and fine produce emerged.
David began his work as a head chef in some of Melbourne’s greatest Italian restaurants developing a deep passion for Mediterranean cuisine. David then headed to the ski slope resorts as head chef before working on yachts in far north Queensland. Yet his greatest influence came from his 10 years spent as an international private yacht chef.
This decade allowed David to experience many interesting places around the world, try different cuisines and have the opportunity to work with some of the finest produce the world has to offer. As a result his culinary cuisine and cooking knowledge is very diverse.
David has had the opportunity to cook for many famous guests, the likes of Tiger Woods, Kylie Minogue, Keanu Reeves, The President of Kazakhstan, The Royal Family of Monaco, Princess Fergie, Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and many other respected business people from around the world.
His time in London saw David further enhance his Kosher event catering repertoires while working for London’s Number 1 Jewish caterer, Tony Page as well fine hotels such as the Dorchester, Claridges and Mandarin Oriental.
Following 20 years of professional cooking under his belt David returned home to Melbourne, where he combined his high standards to train a team of private chef who now deliver unforgettable food experiences in your dining room.
What is Ana’s role in the business?
Ana is a trained journalist, professional writer, former magazine editor and commercial copywriter. Ana’s career took her to specialise in tactical communications strategies, with a particular passion for working with clients in technical fields.
In 2007 Ana moved into the events arena, managing the marketing of various trade shows, film festivals and networking groups.
Ana set up Write Connection PR in 2008 as a strategic copywriting and marketing consultancy, connecting together the best writers and marketing strategists.
Also of Croatian heritage, food was the focal point of Ana’s childhood in Melbourne where she learnt to cook from a very young age and bargain at the Queen Vic Market.
When Ana met David he literally swept her off her corporate feet and took her yachting – when she worked abroad as his sous chef.
It was here that their working relationship was cemented and their individual strengths combined into one joined vision.
When they returned home to begin a family, they also began the family business – Your Private Chef.
Now Ana manages all client relations, bookings, events and marketing for this growing business which has gone from a team of two to over 30 staff since its inception in 2012.
Why catering as a profession – what led you to this decision?
Food and entertaining is our passion and what we love most is helping our client’s to turn an idea through into a multi-dimensional event: great food, drinks, professional staff, styling & equipment all combine to make the experience flawless and easy. We love being able to make suggestions and troubleshoot potential hiccups they may come across. Catering and events is so diverse, never a dull moment and no two events are ever the same!
How would you describe your food style? (Any cultural influences?)
Mediterranean cuisine is definitely a passion and is at the heart of Your private Chef.
We love it for its simplicity, freshness, wholesome ingredients and natural herbs and spices. It’s just real food enjoyed by real people.
One of the basic tenets of Mediterranean cuisine is the enjoyment and pleasure of food. Food is a social event with full-bodied aromas and of course red wine is a feature!
Our menus have been inspired by the many cultures adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. From Croatia, to Italy, Greece, Spain, North Africa and Turkey. These are regions we have studied for decades, travelled extensively through and spent many years living in.
When you’re in the Mediterranean, your meals are savoured, to be consumed at leisure with family and friends.
We take this devotion to food to the next level with our VIP service.
Creating food is really a labour of love. What are you most passionate about in creating your food for weddings and events?
We would say that our food is real, first and foremost. Our passionate chefs care about creating food that is a joy to eat. But it is very important to us that your staff fit into your scenery, helping you create the perfect ambiance for your function.
Weddings need to have every last detail perfect. There is so much work that goes into creating an unforgettable experience on all ends and we really enjoy working with our brides and grooms to help them achieve a beautiful event.
We are most passionate about fresh flavours and the best ingredients to suit all budgets. That’s really important to us, which is why we have so many different styles and menus to choose from.