TEDxTauranga 2019 Catering | The Honest Platter
Have you ever wondered what a room full of food looks like? Well this is it!
We were lucky enough to be chosen to cater this years TEDxTauranga. Feeding 680 guests across 10 DLX grazing tables bursting with cheeses, meats, salmons, breads and dips!
The team and I met at 6am at Holy Trinity Church in Tauranga. John, the lovely venue manager, was there to let us in before anyone else arrived so we could get stuck in before the sun came up.
Lunch was to be served at 11.25am. That meant we had just under five and a half hours from start to finish to create all 10 tables. Sounds like a lot of time huh? But that is just over half an hour per table … and we usually sit around the two hour mark! So we knew we were in for a challenge.
Luckily, I had the best team by my side. No one was afraid to get their hands dirty and work the hard yards. They cut, washed, cleaned, placed and scooped their way to 11.24am when the tables were ready and in place, just ONE MINUTE before lunch started.
Having an incredible team meant I could concentrate on styling and bringing each table together. I am in love with the finished product and so proud of what we achieved.
A massive thank you needs to go to Valerie, Kayla, Nick, Emily & Sarah.
Kelly from Hand-Picked created 10 beautiful floral arrangements for the tables. These really added that finishing touch for me.
11am hit, TEDx volunteers arrived to help us move five of the tables to the LL Furniture Hire clear marquee outside. This was the bit I was dreading. This is when my nerves really started to kick in. We’d spent hours working on these tables. Days and days of preparation had gone into them, and now I was just going to watch them be moved through narrow corridors, down ramps and over ledges! Luckily Nick was in charge, and he’s been on the job for a good while now so I know I can trust him with my table babies (and Val was there too, she’s a Vet Nurse so I just trust her with everything! haha)
I literally fell in love when I saw the food in the marquee. This has been a dream of mine for a long time and it all came together so beautifully. I almost shed a little tear. But there was no time! The remaining five tables needed to be set up in the hall and we had five minutes to go.
All hands on deck made light work of this job and soon the hall came together too. Before we even had time to take it all in the room was full of people lining up to take a plate and dig in.
One of the highlights of the day for me was just walking around at lunchtime and getting stopped by friends and strangers alike who congratulated the team and I on our efforts. People were fascinated with the styling and design of the graze and a few new friends were made that day. This is when I really knew it had all been worth it.
The cleanup is never fun. But again the team showed me how great they were. They got stuck in with the dishes and table clearing and soon it was like it had never happened and we were on to preparing afternoon tea! (fruit stations and snackaball stations)
We had very little waste, this was our goal, and something we’ve been very mindful of since starting The Honest Platter. We often over-cater and are left with food we can’t pass on (food safety regulations) so I was absolutely chuffed with the outcome on this event. What we did have left, some fruit, salads, dips etc, went to Under the Stars, to help feed the homeless population of Tauranga.
Would I do it all again? YES I WOULD!
The sleepless nights and the stress were worth it to hear that people loved it and got to experience a new way of eating! I feel like the business and I have reached a new level and we want to keep pushing the boundaries.
Want to see the menu? Click here!
A massive thank you also needs to go out to Brooke and Josh of The Artisan Bread Bakers who not only made our delicious bread, but also helped me SO MUCH with my ordering and storage of all of my food! Their big chiller was full to the brim with cheese and fruit all week and they did it all out of the kindness of their hearts. Also Sharna from The Nourished Eatery who ordered all of the snackaballs for me and got them delivered to her cafe so I didn’t have to stress about that either! Support them, they’re amazing!