27/02/2007 - 22:00

The right corporate flavour

27/02/2007 - 22:00

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Western Australia’s corporate sector is splashing out on entertaining at a level not seen since the heydays of the 1980s, according to several top-tier catering companies.

The right corporate flavour

Western Australia’s corporate sector is splashing out on entertaining at a level not seen since the heydays of the 1980s, according to several top-tier catering companies.

But the corporate dollar is being spent on much more sophisticated menu options this time around.

Several of Perth’s more exclusive caterers told Gusto this week that upmarket food was becoming a more common selection, amid a more worldly knowledge of cuisine and swelling catering budgets off the back of surging company profits.

Among the items listed on Beaumonde Catering’s cocktail menu are quail eggs and bacon served warm on a silver spoon, white rocks veal capriccio on a dill pikelet, and Nannup wild mushroom mix with fresh herbs and creme fraiche in a saffron and garlic choux puff.

Meanwhile, Heyder & Shears serves a duck a l’orange, roasted beetroot cubes, orange segments and crispy leek in a flared tumbler.

Other items making their way onto serving platters include foie gras pancakes with sweet and sour apple, and seared whiting with black truffle and asparagus froth in a puff pastry tart.

Truffle sells for about $2,000 a kilo.

Comestibles director Faith Nichols says more businesses are choosing upmarket food and spending more on it.

“We did the Gucci opening last August and I put a cocktail item on the menu that was $5 a head,” she says.

“My chef said they would never accept that, but they did.”

Ms Nichols says corporate hospitality is becoming more refined thanks largely to a greater appreciation of food from those controlling the purse strings.

“If you look at the chief executives today compared to the 30 years ago, they have a much better understanding of food,” she says.

Ms Nichols says she expects the caterer will post record revenue this financial year.

Heyder & Shears managing partner Andrew Gaby says last year was the best year in the business’s 20-year history.

“It’s a bit like the ’80s, but clients are doing it in better style,” Mr Nichols says.

“What is really taking off is the stand-up cabaret function, with people having things like hazelnut scallop ceviche and salmon roe served on spoons. Instead of having little meat pies it’s now quail and pheasant mousse pasties with black truffle, and instead of $45 to $50 per head it’s now more like $90 to $100 a head.

“People are paying more but they are demanding more. They want more flair and originality. It’s definitely more refined than the 1980s. The 1980s was the dress rehearsal and now we’re doing it properly.”

Beaumonde Catering director Mark Dimmitt says the business has come off its best year since its inception 17 years ago and expects increasing corporate demand for high-quality food and service to continue to drive revenue for the company this year.

Mr Dimmitt says his business had a busy Christmas break.

“We don’t tend to do a lot of office Christmas parties because we tend to be too expensive for that market, but it was a different story last year,” he says.

“Businesses are definitely spending more. Their demands are also getting higher. They want good food and good service.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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