6 reasons to hire The Social Food Project to cater your next event

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You may have heard of our famous Farmer to Table dinners, perhaps you’ve been to one of our preserving and pickling workshops, but did you know The Social Food Project also offers catering? Yes we cater all events, from fabulous festivals and grand galas to cocktail parties or an intimate dinner - in fact catering is our bread and butter. 

We don’t like to toot our own horn but we really are a catering company like no other. Our point of difference, is about making a difference! Here are six important reasons to choose The Social Food Project to cater your next event: 

1. Environmentally friendly.

Lots of people throw around the word ‘sustainable’ these days. But when we use the word here at The Social Food Project, we really mean it. Our SFP team believe that an event, lunch meeting, or celebration that lasts one day, shouldn’t impact the planet for a lifetime. 

That’s why we focus on dishing up innovative sustainable food. Our qualified chefs also have backgrounds in sustainability, farming, health and environmental studies. Therefore, our ethos is not just about sharing amazing food but also about being environmentally conscious. 

From the ingredients we source, the way we cook and serve the food, right down to the paper our business cards are printed on, we really care about our planet. And since up to 60% of an individual's eco-footprint is made up of the food we eat, we know that serving food that’s ethical, seasonal and local, really makes a difference. 

So, rather than navigating your way through the minefield that can be ‘sustainability’, leave the hard work to us. Rest assured that by hiring us, you’ll be creating an event that’s eco-friendly.

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2. We’re a social enterprise

Ok here is the best bit (or at least we think so); revenue from our catering jobs fund our community projects. 

SFP was started as a way to build communities and connect people through food. Our community projects are really the cornerstone of who we are. Without our catering gigs these wouldn’t be possible.

We have a number of projects, all aimed at bringing people together, building resilient communities and contributing to a fair and sustainable food future. 

Our Farmer to Table dinners are seasonal events held at CERES Environment Park and are all about connecting local producers to people in the city, by inviting both farmers and diners to eat together. These 3-course dinners highlight local sustainable farms and give people an opportunity to meet, ask questions, and connect with where their food came from.

Preserve My Harvest is a workshop series that helps people turn their excess produce into delicious shelf stable products. We also rescue produce from local farms that would otherwise go to waste and turn them into delicious preserves and pickles.  

Our Utopian Foods project asks the question: how can we use food to bring about a utopian future? Through this concept we explore what we should be eating today to benefit tomorrow.

The only way we manage to continue to grow these community projects, is by reinvesting the profit we make from our catering jobs. So, by engaging our catering services, you are also supporting these projects and helping to ensure a more sustainable food system. 

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3. Support our local farmers

Our chefs go to great lengths to source seasonal, local produce and ingredients from our favourite farmers and producers. Not only that, but we choose to support ethical farmers who use sustainable practices. Whether it be organic heirloom veggies, pasture raised chickens or happy heritage pigs, you can feel good about what you’re eating. You’ll also taste the difference. 

For us, sustainable eating is more about where and how our food is grown and raised, rather than what we eat. So we’re passionate about supporting local farms who are dedicated to regenerating the land, building soil health, are chemical free and raising animals in a humane and environmentally friendly way.

Our menus are designed to highlight and celebrate these amazing local producers. So when you ask us where the cheese on the grazing table is from, we won’t just say Victoria, we’ll also be able to tell you the exact location, name of the farmer and the producer who lovingly made it. By booking your catering through the Social Food Project you will be supporting the farmers who are building a fair food future.



4. Custom made packages

We're a small business that delivers tailor made menus. When you hire us, one of our qualified chefs will work closely with you to design the menu of your dreams. No two events we do are the same, we really enjoy coming up with something unique just for you.

We also understand that people are busy, so we do offer a range of catering packages to make organising your event easy. Common options include canapés, shared plates, grazing tables and set menus.

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5. Seasonal menus

Because we’re sustainable, we only select seasonal ingredients meaning our menus are always changing. Even our repeat customers enjoy new flavours each time they book us. 

Why do we love seasonal food? It’s beautifully fresh, locally grown, and therefore keeps the food miles to a minimum. Locally grown food is left to ripen longer before being picked, because it spends less time in transit and storage. This means the produce is allowed to develop more flavour and nutrients. Put simply, it’s damn delicious and better for the planet and you. 

6. Innovative food

If it suits the situation, we can offer a range of innovative and future forward experiences. Think brewers grain sourdough and insect dukkah, or wild boar terrine with foraged fennel. Our chefs love getting creative.

We are passionate about pushing the envelope at SFP and using food to communicate new and exciting ideas about the future.

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We hope that this has given you some food for thought. We think these reasons will make you feel good about engaging our services. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to request our catering pack, or if you have something specific in mind, contact us to chat to one of our chefs about a custom package.


Behind the Farmer to Table Dinners

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It’s no secret that at the Social Food Project we put a lot of importance on sourcing ingredients from local farmers and producers. But there’s a little more to it than simply sourcing local, fresh ingredients. And that’s why we started our pop up events - Farmer to Table Dinners.

The Farmer to Table dinner series is based on a very simple theory; by bringing together producers and diners to share a meal, we can build relationships, understand each other’s needs, and solve problems together.

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As my skills as a chef have developed over the years, it has become clear to me that in order to serve the most delicious food, it also needed to be produced well. One of my roles as a chef is to deliver great tasting food, and that means sourcing fresh ingredients that are being produced for flavour.

I find that food produced organically, in complex biodiverse systems, generally tastes better. Once I started reaching out to local farmers who cared for their soils, animals, and lands, I also discovered food I was proud to serve to my diners.  

Getting to know one local Victorian producer, Paul from Day’s Walk Farm, (literally a day’s walk from Melbourne), has really developed my understanding of what it means to be a farmer. One early example that piqued my interest was that Day’s Walk often makes delivery at around 12pm, as opposed to 7-8am like many other fruit and veg suppliers.

As a chef that can present some challenges in the kitchen, as we need to be able to prep food for lunch service that day. It wasn’t until I spoke to Paul on the phone one day about this that he gave me the reason: they were harvesting the produce that very morning! Once I knew the reason, I was more than happy to adjust my behavior so it worked well for everyone.

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But how many of us have actually met someone like Paul, someone who grows our food and strives to make a living from it. How many of us think about where and how an apple was grown before we buy it?

We have seen a deterioration of relationships between people who produce food and people who eat it. This connection between producers and consumers is essentially broken and has resulted in poor communication, misunderstandings of seasonalities and a net loss of people farming the land.

It is through actually meeting farmers, asking them questions and building empathy together, that we will be able to tackle some of the complex challenges we face in the food system, such as biodiversity loss, soil degradation and farmer isolation to name a few.

Our Farmer to Table Dinners are simply an elaborate introduction.

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If you haven’t been to one of our pop up dinners, they are a great opportunity to share delicious food and connect with where it came from, how it was raised/grown and put a face to the people who produced it.

Written by: Ben McMenamin