We LOVE talking about catering. Catering is such an integral part of any event, and with so many caterers oozing passion for good food, good service and creating good experiences, we get very excited when we have an opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the best!
We recently caught up with the Tim Brennan, owner of Gallivant Event Catering, to hear about his passion for catering and events and to pick up some tips for hosting fabulous soirées for family and friends!Joining us on the day was the lovely Lucy Leonardi, who captured some gorgeous images of Tim prepping for a dinner party at his home. Lucy is not only an amazing wedding photographer, but also runs what we think is a pretty sweet food blog called Who Does The Dishes. After you’ve finished here, be sure to check it out!
EB: Why do you LOVE catering for events?
Tim: I have always loved good food and entertaining friends and family. I started Gallivant Event Catering to share that passion with others and make a living from what I love doing most.
With events, I am able to be really creative, designing menus and various event elements – no two events are ever the same. We enjoy being a part of our clients’ most important and memorable celebrations – everyone is always so passionate with their ideas and plans and we love making that a reality for them.
EB: What is your favourite event you have ever worked on and why?
Tim: A real highlight was when we catered a long lunch between the grape rows on a private vineyard. We served a shared style menu, featuring platters of locally grown produce. There were only 15 guests and it really was the most beautiful day.
There are lots of moments in each event where we think, “this is what it’s all about”. The best events are when we are able to do more than just a simple lunch or dinner service. It’s when we have the opportunity to create moments and memories that our clients and guests will keep forever.
EB: What is Gallivant Event Catering known for?
Tim: Beautiful events – be it an intimate dinner or a grand celebration.
Tailored menus influenced by the season and presented in a vibrant, but simple way.
Attention to detail throughout the planning process.
We believe that the service is as important as the food for every event.
EB: Where is your favourite place to work on events in Sydney?
Tim: There are some great venues in Sydney, especially anywhere with a great water view. But hands down the best places to work are clients’ homes.
EB: Which do you prefer- catering for weddings or corporate events?
Tim: Both! We love weddings because people are always very passionate about them. It’s their big day and it’s an opportunity for us to realise what they imagine for their reception. We can create their dream day and it is great to be able to share in that.
We also love working with corporate clients as every job is different, whether it is a product launch or gala dinner. We often have a bit more creative freedom and can introduce new dishes, which is great!
EB: What is your catering style when entertaining at home?
Tim: I like to keep things simple, fresh, fun and interesting. I like to offer a few different share plates served in progression starting from light to more hearty options. Having shared plates of food on the table means people can help themselves – it creates a more communal and relaxed vibe.
We take great ingredients and combine them to create sensational flavours. It’s pretty easy really, it’s just about having the know-how and skills to pull it all together.
EB: Do you have a favourite dish to serve guests?
Tim: Our salmon tarator dish, for example, is really easy to prepare before guests arrive and then we just simply finish it off with the delicious yoghurt dressing and garnish before serving. It is delicious and looks a treat – guests are always impressed!
[EB: Check out the recipe below!]
EB: What special touches do you add to the table setting when entertaining?
Tim: I have a great collection of amazing crockery, cutlery and good quality glassware – I recommend everyone invest in a collection of their own!
Otherwise, I like to keep things simple and not over clutter the space, but in saying that, florals and greenery always look good, just don’t overdo it.
EB: Share with us your top three tips for hosting a dinner party?
- Get a drink in your guests’ hands within 30 seconds of them arriving.
- Whatever you do, present the food in a nice way. From a simple barbecue to an elaborate dinner banquet spread, guests notice when a little effort has been made.
- Don’t get too serious and overdo things. Keep it simple and make sure you enjoy yourself.
Give it a go yourself…
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
200 grams natural yoghurt
50 ml tahini
Lemon juice to taste
90 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 pine nuts
50 grams pistachio
Juice 1-2 lemons (to taste)
1 small red onion
1-2 long chillies (as you like it)
1 bunch coriander leaves
1 bunch mint leaves
10 grams sumac
4 x 200gm portions
extra virgin olive oil
Green and purple micro herb
To make the dressing, place the garlic and salt in a mortar and crush well.
Stir the garlic, yoghurt and tahini together until it becomes a thick paste. Mix slightly with lemon juice (consistency of pure cream). Taste for salt and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 50°C Place the salmon fillets on a large sheet of baking paper. Season all over with salt and pepper and liberally drizzle olive oil.
Cook until salmon is cooked through and flakes or internal temperature reaches 480C. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.
Turn the oven up to 200°C and roast nuts till coloured. Remove from the oven.
Chop finely and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the remaining oil with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the onion and chilli and whisk lightly. Add the chopped walnuts, herbs and sumac.
Spread or pipe yoghurt dressing over the top of the salmon.
Spoon the salad over the salmon, covering it as neatly as possible.
Sprinkle with micro herbs and pomegranate.
Now, we would love to hear from you! What are your top three tips for hosting a dinner party? Let us know in the comments below.