If you are having a Christmas Function or New Year Drinks hiring a Lane Cove Caterer is the way to go!
You may want to take the stress out of it by having the party catered by an experienced caterer. Bern the Chef is a well known local caterer. Next year, in addition to her catering clients, her team will be in charge of the kitchen at the Lane Cove Country Club.
It’s hard to imagine what happens when a caterer comes to your house to cook, some folks get very nervous, Bern the Chef tells us what usually happens at a cocktail function.
We like to arrive about an hour before your guests arrive, if it’s only a few guests like 25 or less, 30 minutes will do it. I follow my nose straight to the kitchen, with my boxes & crates of carefully packed boxes. Unpack and set up our mini kitchen. I usually ask what size oven we are working with beforehand so we bring the right sized trays. Bench space is not crucial, but it’s nice to have more than less. If we need to, we’ll put the toaster, kettle and appliances out of the way so we can work more efficiently for you.
If we have a bar to set up, the Bar Staff will set up glassware, jugs, ice down drinks, hand a glass of champagne to the hosts, and be ready as soon as the star attraction arrives. We’ll set up the bar area to keep the area flow for guests to create great party spaces.
We know most of you will have a glass of champagne on arrival, and the blokes will happily grab a beer, the first hour is important for drinks, once you’ve all arrived and have a glass in your hand, we can circulate and top you up with wine, beer & bubbles, and also watch your consumption, check on the guests drinking non-alcoholic drinks, and if you are getting tipsy early, we will offer you water, and delay serving you. Its part of our responsible service of alcohol, even though we don’t supply it, it’s part of our responsibility to make sure you enjoy yourself responsibly. It’s not our favourite part, but it does help us label those events ‘the one with the drunk hippie/the one with the accidental pool party, and the wedding with cordial’ – don’t laugh, it’s happened.
I’m still in the kitchen, setting up my condiments, sauces & garnish, making up tartlets & crostini which need last minute preparation. Fanning napkins so they are easy for you to grab.
The most important part of my job, is to make you feel sexy, gorgeous and confident. The sauces are non-drippy, wont drip on your hosts white carpet, your new silk dress or leave a slip hazard for anyone. Canapés need to be easy to pick up, easy to eat, not too chewy, and won’t leave parsley in your teeth, flaky pastry on your chin, and funnily enough, taste great as well. There has to be enough so your guests are well fed. Take extra napkins, I want you to keep your gorgeous outfit schmick, and also leave no fingerprints on the suede sofa. The waiters need to get to everyone in the rooms, especially the deep & meaningful conversationalists in the corner, and they have to be polite and say “excuse me please” at least 50 times a night while they balance trays of canapés, watch out for your dramatic arms ‘talking’ and squeeze through non-moving guests, appearing invisible, polite and discreet the whole time. So your guests are fed & watered, and finally shaking their heads saying “we’re full!’
By three hours in, we are setting out the last of the food, maybe setting up sweet treats for guests to munch on as they depart, wrapping leftovers into your fridge, and packing up our boxes. The bar staff will change the bar set up to self-service, removing the empties to the bins, and packing up the hire glasses. We still serve drinks, but it’s slower now, and making sure we water guests that need watering.
It’s a four hour minimum booking for staff, so with set up, guest arrival and party time, we are leaving sometimes the same time as your guests, if it’s a ripper of a party, we check with you beforehand to stay if necessary, sometimes it’s 6 hours or longer, means we clean up everything, and the next morning you are high fiving yourself, because there’s no cleaning up, and there’s leftover ham for fry up for breakfast.
What we want you to keep in mind for the next couple of months.
Drink that water, you are sexier sober than you think. Please be kind to the Barman & the Waiter. They love their job, love it even more when you let them get through the crowd without stepping on their feet, taking seven minutes to choose the Semillon Sav Blanc, and insisting on a fresh glass every time, and asking if the sausage rolls are gluten free and organic. Use a driver, Uber or Taxi’s and pre book if you can.
What your host wants you to remember.
Be courteous and respond with definite yes or no to RSVP’s. Be punctual. The hostess gifts that work are great wine or bubbles, gourmet goodies, soaps & flowers already vased/florist boxed. Let them know if you have dietary issues. Only be the last to leave if you are family or besties. Pop a thank you card in the letterbox or on the welcome console as you enter. Enjoy yourself, hug, relax and smile with those you love, work with and celebrate life.
We live in a world where these days, we realise life is precious. Make the most of this important time of the year. You, your friends & your family are worth it.
Love, Bern the Chef
PS. Please come visit us next year at the Lane Cove Country Club, following on from Kit & the Team from Fairway9, we hope to continue the tradition of many Rites of Passage as well as contributing to the Local Community, Sporting, Rotary, Council & Members of LCCC.
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