When I first set up Open Table Catering, I was initially surprised that there were so few other caterers specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine, especially Kosher and vegetarian dishes. The north Coast of NSW (including the Byron Shire) the Tweed region and the Gold Coast have large Middle Eastern and Jewish communities – and finding a need for specialized food, Open Table endeavored to establish itself as a popular provider of Middle Eastern and kosher catering in these regions.
In hindsight, I am not sure why I was surprised. Even though the communities wanting this style of catering are healthy in size, and these locations are favored for weddings, receptions, functions and events…. Kosher catering is challenging.
Our Kosher Catering
My industrial kitchen not only needs to comply with strict food regulations, but has to be set up especially for kosher preparation and storage of food and ingredients. This means separate utensils, bowls, containers and refrigeration for meat, dairy, and vegetables just to start with. Meat must be sourced from special kosher providers, and everything must be checked by a qualified Rabbi. Going mobile with these services is a whole extra challenge. My Van is healthy size but when I cater on site at a Byron Bay or Gold Coast Jewish wedding reception that requires strict adherence to kosher food standards, every cm of my van interior is used.
My Love For Kosher Food
My love of Middle Eastern cuisine was initially nurtured living within a family who celebrated every occasion with an amazing array of dishes. To be able to serve excellent and varied food to your loved ones was seen as the ultimate gift and a way of rejoicing in sharing your lives together. Being Jewish means there are many, many occasions to be celebrated! Growing up in such an environment I never took for granted the hard work and dedication that went into preparing the delicious and complicated meals. I love the richness and diversity of the food styles I specialize in, which reflect the richness and diversity of the lands where these foods where developed.
Upon making Australia my home I embraced the local cooking styles, mixing it up with my own experience and style. Australians tend to have a more laid back approach – loving a barbecue and, I discovered, Thai food – so I developed two menus focused on these themes.
I have focused on the Australian love of simplicity and added the flair of the Middle East and Asia to create two menus that are exquisite in preparation, presentation, and taste.
I feel I can be proud of my catering business with its unique specialties in kosher, Middle Eastern and vegetarian cooking styles, merging styles to also create more traditional Australian style menus which will leave the taste buds of your guests tingling with delight. It is of vital importance to me to cook in a way that connects with the guests. The food must be accessible to their pallets, not so different that they find it confronting, but it’s essential to me they experience a meal of exquisite tastes, a meal of fineness in quality designed to enhance the fineness and enjoyment of your occasion, be it a wedding or special event.