2017/2018 racing season

We have your food and beverages covered at the picturesque Yarra Valley Healesville picnic races.

The Essential Caterer understands that every function is unique, whether you are hosting an event for your clients or a social picnic catching up with friends, you can be assured of our attention to detail, exceptional food and exemplary service will be provided.

Our mouth-watering menu choices will delight the heartiest of appetites, ensuring your race day is one that you and your guests will long remember. With our unmatched flexibility we can tailor a personalised menu just for you!

Our packages are all inclusive of the following:

Chefs, waiters and event managers

  • Mobile kitchens & equipment
  • Crockery, cutlery, buffet ware
  • Glassware & barware for booked beverage packages
  • Travel fee

Please note our drop off picnic hampers do not include any of the above services

Please feel free to contact our sales team to discuss your upcoming day at the Healesville picnic races.

Beverage Package

 Your Essentials 4 hour $29.40pp

  • Semillon SauvignonBlanc–The Habitat
  • Shiraz– Waterstone Bridge, King Valley
  • CarltonDraught, CascadeLight
  • Soft drink and water

*Add sparkling wine to the package @ $5 per head Wild River Sparkling NV Vic

Raise The Bar 4 hour $38.80pp

Light beer, soft drink, orange juice, sparkling water and water are all included

Beer & Cider – Select 2

Corona,Stella Artois, Carlton draught, AsahiSuperDry, CoopersPaleAle, PremiumAppleorPear Cider-Napoleone

Sparkling & White varieties– Select 2

  • Paul Louis Blanc de Blancs Sparkling, Loire, France
  • Pizzini Prosecco, King Valley
  • Coldstone Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay
  • Yering Station Village Chardonnay, Yarra Valley
  • Pizzini Pinot Grigio, King Valley
  • Mount Vernon Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, NZ

Red varieties-Select 2

  • Yering Station Village Shiraz Viognier Yarra Valley
  • Xanadu DJL Rose, Margaret River WA
  • Pizzini Sangiovese, King Valley Vic
  • Paynes Rise Redlands Shiraz, YarraValley
  • Bulong Estate Cabernet Merlot, Yarra Valley
  • Dominique Portet Cabernet Sauvignon Yarra Valley

Finger Food Menu

The Finger Food Menu offers flexible options perfect for any occasion ranging from a formal affair or casual get together.

Pricing Structure & Options

Option 1: Selection of 8 items – per person (2 hour service period) $36.00
Option 2: Selection of 10 items – per person (2 hour service period) $42.00
Option 3: Selection of 10 items – per person plus one substantial item (3 hour service period) $54.00

Cold selection

  • Herb pikelets, blue cheese and pear (V)
  • Caramelised onion and Yarra Valley Persian fetta tartlets with thyme (V)
  • Buckwheat and nori pancake with smoked salmon, apple, radish, mirin and soy dressing (G)
  • Petit naan breads with mango, cashew and coriander salsa (V)
  • Chicken Caesar tartlets
  • Bruschetta: tomato, basil, bocconcini, olive crumb (V)
  • Rich tomato tartlet, capsicum & olives (V)
  • Prosciutto wrapped melon, balsamic glaze (G)

Hot Selection

  • Basil pesto arancini balls with aioli (V)
  • Sumac and pinenut lamb koftas with pomegranate and mint yoghurt (G)
  • House made pork fennel and caramelised onion sausage rolls
  • Gourmet local beef pies with tomato relish Japanese vegetable pancakes with Yakiniku and kewpie (V)
  • Yarra Valley venison sausage delice with olive tapenade (G)
  • The Essential Caterer fried chicken with chipotle mayonnaise
  • House made pizza;
  • Pork belly with local cider spiked BBQ sauce
  • Spiced pumpkin, goat cheese, sweet capsicum sauce (V)
  • Tomato, basil puree, bocconcini, caramelised onion (V)

Substantial items Add a Substantial dish to your menu. $14.00 per person

  • Dishes are served in bowls or cones
  • Fish and chips: Flathead tails with chips, lemon wedge and aioli
  • Black sesame & wasabi crusted chicken with Asian coleslaw, coriander & soy (G)
  • Beef braise: Slow braised coconut, ginger, sweet potato mash (G)
  • Slow cooked barbequed pork sliders & apple slaw in brioche buns
  • Basil crusted salmon fillet, kipfler & avocado salad, crème fraiche dressing
  • Crumbed mushroom; charred vegetable salad with roasted capsicum mayonnaise (V)


  • Petite baked cheesecake, caramelized strawberries, mint syrup
  • Chocolate royale tartlets- choc shell, raspberry marshmallow, jam and chocolate ganache
  • Date and ginger petit pudding, salted caramel, oat crumb
  • Mini chocolate lamingtons, Turkish delight cream, rose petals
  • Citrus tarts, meringue brulee shards
  • Dark chocolate mousse cups (G)
  • Flourless orange and marmalade torte (G)

G = Gluten Free, V = Vegetarian

Carvery Buffet Menu

Succulent roast meats, abundant artisan salads, finished with a decadent dessert buffet.

Pricing Structure & Options

Option 1: Main | Dessert – per person (2.5 hour service period) $43.00

Option 2: Add Canapes 1/2 an hour service $13.50


½ hour chef’s selection of canapés on arrival, 4 pieces


  • Meat selection-Marinated golden roasted meats
  • Marinated roast beef with horseradish crème (G)
  • Roast pork & crackling with Yarra Valley apple sauce (G)

Salads and Sides

  • Classic garden salad (G, V)
  • Asian style coleslaw with wasabi soy mayonnaise (G,V)
  • Slow roasted pumpkin, sweet potato & Turkish bread salad, mint pomegranate yoghurt (V)
  • Garlic & rosemary roasted chat potatoes (G,V)
  • Grant’s local organic sourdough rolls, served with butter


  • Baked cheesecake, strawberry & rhubarb compote
  • Dark rich flourless chocolate cake, citrus ganache (G)

G = Gluten Free, V = Vegetarian

Buffet Menu

Modern buffet menu offering a variety of cuisines, abundant artisan salads, finished with a decadent dessert buffet.

Pricing Structure & Options

Option 1: Main | Dessert – per person (2.5 hour service period) $53.00

Option 2: Add Canapes 1/2 an hour service $13.50


½ hour chef’s selection of canapés on arrival, 4 pieces


Main Buffet – Select two hot dishes to serve

  • Crispy skinned salmon, green herb crust, sage and lemon butter sauce
  • Yarra Glen Gourmet sausages (G)
  • Herb and lemon crumbed chicken pieces with chipotle mayonnaise
  • Chargrilled beef, Asado style, parsley chimchurri sauce (G)

Salad, vegetable and Sides

  • Classic garden salad (G, V)
  • Asian style coleslaw with wasabi soy mayonnaise (G,V)
  • Garlic & rosemary roasted chat potatoes (G,V)
  • Grant’s local organic sourdough rolls, served with butter


  • Rich flourless chocolate cake with ganache (G)
  • Salted caramel cheesecake

G = Gluten Free, V = Vegetarian

Street Food Hawker Menu

Guests mingle around themed hawker stands, serving authentic street food inspired by iconic international dishes from around the globe!

Pricing Structure & Options

(There is a minimum number of 80 people for this menu)

Option 1: 3 hawkers stands and roaming finger food (3 hour service period) $56.00

Option 2: 4 hawkers stands and roaming finger food (3 hour service period) $65.00

Roaming assorted finger food Chef’s selection of 3 items

Wasabi & Soy Themed hawker cart, bamboo steamer baskets & Asian lanterns
Assorted steamed and fried dumplings & gyoza
House made prawn toast & assorted sushi

South of the border Themed with patterned cloths, piñatas & Mexican sombreros, & ponchos
Enchiladas; Beef tomato & Spanish onion with chipotle mayonnaise; Crab, avocado & lime salsa; Roasted corn, tomato with coriander; slow braised beans, sour cream & chilli sauce

Born in the USA Themed with USA stars & stripes pop up stand
Pulled pork or beef sliders served in a Grants organic corn roll;
Mushroom slider served in a Grants organic corn roll (V)

Saffron Themed with red, green & gold cloths
Sticky braised pork samosas; Tandoori chicken skewers (GF); Vegetable pakora served with yogurt riata (V)

Toss’d Themed with retro salad bar sign, synthetic grass & planters
A choice of beef noodle salad (GF); Moroccan style chicken salad; Tofu & shitake mushroom with tatsoi (V)

Old Buoy Themed with heavy sailor’s ropes and cray pots
Flat head tails and chips served with lemon wedge in cones with choice of tartar sauce, garlic aioli or tomato relish; Polenta chips available for vegetarian option

Sweet Surrender Themed with pretty pink gingham cloths, high tea stands
Cupcakes, slices, tarts… yum

Plus Paleta handmade icy poles assorted fruit flavours $3.50 upgrade per person

G = Gluten Free & V = Vegetarian

Gourmet Platter Selection

This is a self catering option and platters will be delivered too you at 1145am. Served in disposable boxes with napkins

  • Bakery Selection
  • Sandwich Platters selection 30 points(7.5sandwiches)  $65.00
  • Gourmet wraps,varietyof fillings (V)(18 halves per platter) $65.00
  • Gourmet baguettes,variety of fillings (V)(8 baguettes)    $65.00
  • Bagels Smoked salmon, caperberries & cream cheesebagels (8 bagels)  $70.00
  • Sliders Mini chicken schnitzel sliders with chili mayo & Asian Slaw (8 Sliders)   $76.00

Savoury Platters

  • v  Caramelised onion & Yarra Valley Persian fetta tarts (V) (30 pieces)    $94.00
  • v  Basil pesto & sundried tomato quiches (30 pieces)  $94.00
  • v  Chicken Caesar tartlets (30 pieces)     $94.00
  • v  AntiPasto platter to include Olives, curedmeats, Mediterranean frittata,  $96.00
  • marinated vegetables,dipsandgrilledTurkishbread,serves10-15people
  • v  Australian Cheese Platter:Tarago river brie, Maffra cloth vintage cheddar,  $96.00
  • Gippsland Blue, driedfruits, water crackers and fruit loaf, serves 10-15
  • v  Trio of housemade dips withTurkish bread platter (Serves 10)  $45.00
  • v  Seasonal fruitplatter(Serves 10) $56.00

Dessert Platters

  • v  Assorted fruit & chocolate muffins (30 pieces)  $94.00
  • v  Freshly baked lemon scones with cream & jam (30 pieces) $94.00
  • v  Citrus Tartlets (30 pieces)  $94.00
  • v  Rich chocolate & date brownie (30 pieces)  $94.00


Pricing based on minimum numbers of 40 people, surcharges apply for smaller groups. Waiting staff, additional equipment fees & surcharges may apply, but vary depending upon locations & circumstances. Pricing effective to 30th April 2017 and subject to change without notice. All pricing will be confirmed upon confirmation of your event.