we’re not just a pretty plate

you’ll get an expert on-site catering manager to make your next event effortless

get amazing food

As fresh as can be, locally sourced and with inspiring flavour combinations, our mouth-watering menus are ready to delight.

with brilliant staff

Your dedicated event manager will be there to make everything happen, and our attentive, friendly and experienced staff will have the food and drinks flowing.

and happy guests

We know how to keep guests happy — by feeding them delicious food that has them congratulating you for days (or even weeks) afterwards.

what sets us apart

Service

you get a dedicated manager at your event; to oversee the service of your food and beverages, and ensure the right timing of food circulation and drinks — so everything runs perfectly.

Sustainability

we strive to reduce our use of single-use plastics, recycle and reduce food miles by utilising our own kitchen garden at our property in Bayswater North, Melbourne.

Experience

when you choose us, you get a team of expert caterers, with more than 35 years of combined experience catering for Melbourne’s leading corporate events and weddings; you can trust that you’re in safe hands.

areas of Melbourne we service

We love to travel across Melbourne, catering at leading event spaces, function venues, conferences, private parties and wedding venues. This city has some stunning spaces for events, and we’ve worked the best of them all.

what gets us fired up

quality

We tweak your menu to make it absolutely perfect for your event, then deliver our amazing flavours served by attentive staff.

value

Our service includes dedicated pre-event menu planning, attentive staff and all your crockery, glassware and cutlery.

support

We never leave you worried about the catering — our events team arrives early and leaves late to take care of the entire food service at your event.

range

A huge variety of flavours and menus, combined with flexible options to create your unique dining experience.

our events and sales manager, Katrina

If it’s event catering advice you need, Katrina is the superhero to help you. She loves to finesse menu ideas, suggesting unique and interesting menu combinations that will delight and impress your guests. She’s ready to ask insightful questions about your event, venue and guests to help you make the right catering choices, and get the maximum value for your investment. She’s more than happy to take the reins on your event, or just tell her what you want and she’ll make it happen, paying attention to every minute detail along the way. With a decade of experience in catering and four years here with us, she’s here to share her knowledge with you, helping you create an extra special event by taking care of the planning, management and delivery of your catering. 

We asked Katrina: 

What’s your favourite Essential menu dish?
The share platter with slow-braised beef short rib and gluten-free chimichurri sauce.

What do you like about working for Essential?
I love working with clients and helping them organise their events. And the wonderful, supportive team. 

What’s your favourite Melbourne venue to work with?
Bulong Estate Winery & Glasshaus. 

our head chef, Huw

With over thirty years of experience in food, catering and events, including stints in America, Israel and the UK, Huw has plenty of brilliant recipes in his repertoire. He loves the challenge of preparing his favourite dishes in various Melbourne venues. With the increasing trend of rustic weddings, we often have to bring our kitchen with us, and Huw is always up for the challenge of establishing a temporary kitchen in a paddock, field or riverbank. A career highlight for Huw was catering for the hungry athletes at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India in 2016. Now, he loves nothing more than tinkering with flavours to create new additions to our ever-changing catering menus. 

We asked Huw: 

What’s your favourite Essential menu dish?
Essential fried chicken, because who doesn’t like fried chicken? 

What do you like about working for Essential?
I enjoy the challenge of working in different locations — no two days are ever the same.

What’s your favourite Melbourne venue to work with?
The Hawthorn Art Centre has the best-equipped kitchen, but for scenic views of the Yarra Valley, I love the stunning backdrops at Bulong Estate, Wandin Park Estate and Chateau Yering. 

our founder, Sean Robertson

A good caterer needs a good garden, and Sean has his own private oasis, growing fresh produce for Essential and our catering clients. When not devising new recipes for clients, Sean can be found wandering the rows of his garden, working on his hundreds of plants (yes, more than 150), fruit trees, herbs and veggies. Sean has over 35 years of experience as a caterer, working on leading Melbourne conferences, large-scale function venues, and private exclusive events. Sean has been to more weddings than most people in Melbourne, and loves to deliver a mouthwatering array of dishes to keep guests happy and satisfied with every mouthful. 

“When you choose us, you get the peace of mind of knowing that your food is mostly locally grown, always fresh and extremely flavoursome.” 

We asked Sean: 

What’s your favourite Essential menu dish?
Slow braised beef short rib with chimichurri sauce (also Katrina’s favourite). What do you like about working for Essential? There is nothing more satisfying than finishing a big event, stepping back, appreciating what has been achieved, and seeing the smiles on people’s faces. 

What’s your favourite Melbourne venue to work with?
I am spoilt for choice, there are too many good venues in Melbourne and Yarra Valley, Glasshaus, Hawthorn Arts Centre, Alowyn Gardens, Paynes Rise to name a few, but there are so many great venues out there. The Melbourne food scene is always evolving and I enjoy seeing new venues launch and grow.

to end, a little story from Sean

Being involved in events is like being the conductor of a choir. It’s all of your little decisions and tweaks here and there that have a tangible effect on the event. A few years ago we catered and ran an event for a beautiful couple’s 60th wedding anniversary; it was on the side of a steep hill in the Dandenongs. There were ice carvings, bus transports, tea light candles throughout the gardens, face painters, magicians, street food carts, finger food and drinks — they went all out. At the end of the event, I received a standing ovation from all of the guests still present, and it was extremely humbling. These are the beautiful occurrences in life and business that are amazing!’