Melbourne Cup Carnival Catering Preparations

Guest written by Chef Liam

The Melbourne Cup isn't just a horse race; it's a national celebration that brings people together for a day of excitement, entertainment, and delicious food. It's a day when friends, colleagues, and families come together to revel in the thrill of the race, celebrate the elegance of fashion, and, of course, indulge in culinary delights. 

Traditionally, the Melbourne Cup has been about fashion and racing in no intended order, but in recent years, it has evolved into a celebration of good food and great company. Pubs, clubs, RSL’s, restaurants, hotels and catering venues have recognised this shift and are now focusing on offering a culinary event that matches the excitement of the day and race itself.   

Sliders: The Mini Marvels

The ever popular burger sliders success and longstanding place on menus globally lies in their size – they're the ideal handheld treat for a day of mingling and celebration. No need for cumbersome cutlery; just grab a slider, enjoy the race, and savour every bite. 

Beef sliders can be customised to suit every palate. From classic cheeseburgers to gourmet creations using fresh seasonal and local ingredients you can find my early season Cherries and Beef Slider in this months recipe column – consume this recipe through the entire cherry season as a great way to highlight their versatility and freshness with meat and non-meat recipes alike.  

Whilst the slider is in my opinion the ideal Melbourne Cup Carnival finger food for all venues there are a number of suitable accompaniments that will add a little fanfare to the day. 

Chef Liam's Beef and balsamic cherry sliders recipe

Chef Approved: Spring Catering

  • • Spoil your clients with seafood platters highlighting fresh oysters, poached prawns, and smoked salmon gravlax. Accompany them with fresh citrus based dipping sauces, spiked with a red pepper sauce and artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and a variety of bread and crackers. Encourage guests to assemble their own assortment enabling them to create their own culinary adventure.  
  • • Never underestimate the attraction and recognition of offering a good sandwich A modern twist on a classic such as cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese and dill will go a long way! They're light, refreshing, and perfect for a day of fun. 
  • • Celebrating local flavours should not be isolated to the big events but be available all year round, continuing to support and celebrate your part of the world with dishes that recognise local suppliers and producers to showcase the diversity of Australian cuisine. 
  • • Finish every event with a sweet touch, stick to the rule of thumb with bite-sized petit fours, pastries, tarts, and macarons. A dessert that is not only visually appealing but balanced in flavour (note: sugar!) will be a delightfully satisfying end-event pick me up for all. 

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a celebration of style, sophistication, and sport. But, as we've discovered, it's also an opportunity to indulge in culinary excellence. Whichever catering ideas you choose, be it seafood platters, elegant finger foods, juicy beef sliders, or a combination of all, remember that it's the spirit of celebration, togetherness and hospitality that defines this iconic event. 

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