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Summer Party Season - what you can expect

08 November 2013

Melbourne based boutique caterer Bright Young Things estimates it will prepare approximately 38,400 canapes in December.

BYT fave canape


The standout canapé for Kate Stewart, founder and owner of the company, is its French Fancies - Parmesan sable with Yarra Valley trout and lime ceviche, sour cream and gold angel tears (pictured above).

BYT clients will drink 26,000 glasses of Champagne!

The favourite Summer Cocktail will be BYT’s Summer Celebration: watermelon, berry and gin fizz… and, based on past form, only 465 glasses will be broken and around 4800 hangovers suffered.


At 14, Kate Stewart, now 29 and owner of her own boutique catering company, Bright Young Things, discovered her calling.

From her first family party, Kate went on to cater and plan for the birthdays, anniversaries and other celebratory events of family and friends until she was doing an event or two a week from a garage at her mum’s and three fridges.

Catering funded Kate through college and a commerce degree, and eventually set her on her path to business ownership and work heaven.

“I finished Uni and got a job in the office of a catering company. I realised I didn’t want to do anything else and then about five years ago I began my own company because I couldn’t see where else I could go unless I changed direction all together.

“There are five fulltime staff, kitchen and office team and about 150 event staff we can call on, especially when we get very busy. We’re doing between 10 and 15 events a week and that pace is consistent through the year,” explains Kate, whose continuing success would indicate she has hit the right note with her catering model.

“I thought there was space in the market for a more flexible boutique catering company, something that could react to what clients wanted. Rather than present prescriptive packages that say this is what we do and it’s up to you to fit we customise to meet needs: budget, location, feel, size and make sure it all makes sense,” explains Kate.

She admits BYT’s model is more labour intensive but believes it’s why she has continued to grow - and her only marketing has been “word of mouth”.

So what can we expect to see bobbing up this year at corporate events, fundraisers, parties and Party Season luaus?

BYT Xmas trends

The buzzwords, according to Kate, are Tropical/Tropicana.

The design motifs: flamingoes, the beach, and colours you’d associate with that. The food, fruits such as pineapple, watermelon, coconut.

The other direction, she says, is sleek styled black and gold or black and metallic. BYT recently did the Murdoch children’s research institute fundraiser along these lines.

Says Kate, “We started with gold egg shells filled with truffle panna cotta, sitting in a black egg shaped glass.”

Tool kit

We’re on the internet the whole time looking for inspiration.

I do sketches, lots of sketches, although not very well. When I’ve been with clients and look at the crazy scribbles afterwards, you could think that doesn’t look like much… but it’s often the whole beginnings of the concept.


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