Tips for Catering an Event

If you have been asked to organise an event you’ll have a lot to think about. Here are some tips for the catering to help make the experience a great one and to make sure the event runs smoothly.

Venue and number of guests

Consider the number of guests you have – does your venue have enough space and does it have the right catering space to suit your event? If you are planning a sit down lunch, there needs to be space for tables and chairs whereas you could make do with less space for a drinks reception.

Serving style

Think about what serving style will work best with the type of event you are organising. A sit-down breakfast or evening drinks and canapés or finger foods work well for networking sessions and cocktail parties.

Buffets are also a good option at socialising-type events, encouraging people to get up and mingle, but best avoided for events with speakers and presentations where the movement would be distracting.

If you are planning a full day’s workshop, providing morning and afternoon tea catering are essential to break the day up and keep everyone’s energy high.

Cater for all tastes

Choose a catering company who can help you create a personalised menu with a range of food and drink options to keep everyone happy. From roasted sirloin to thai noodle salad and lemon cream tartlets, a great caterer will add some flair to your occasion.

Dietary requirements

Make note of any dietary requirements. If you’re sending out invitations to the event, include a question about food preferences. Pass on the details to your event caterers to ensure you provide vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free catering options if your guests require them and make sure everyone’s dietary needs are catered for.

7000 Chocolate Oscars – Catering at the Academy Awards

The team at Tauranga’s Lemongrass Catering Company have delivered outstanding food at some memorable events over the years. But feeding the troops at the Academy Awards is really scaled up. The 2017 menu was developed by Eric Klein, executive chef for Wolfgang Puck and these are some of the numbers involved.

Imagine a party with 30lb of edible gold dust, 7,000 miniature chocolate Oscars, 30 gallons of cocktail sauce, 250lb of parmesan cheese, and 6,000 mini-brioche buns, 350lb of smoked salmon, 200lb of brussels sprouts, 3,600 eggs, and we mustn’t forget – five gallons of hot fudge. Not to mention 1,400 bottles of champagne.

7000 Chocolate Oscars - Catering at the Academy Awards















The catering menu included delicacies such as Moroccan spiced Wagyu short rib with parmesan funnel cake and taro-root shrimp tacos. There will be macarons and lava cakes with crème anglaise. There will be a sushi station and caramel cappuccino Oscar lollipops.

And there will be chef Puck’s version of chicken pot pie and macaroni cheese – Puck says the guests like familiarity. “A lot of them like comfort food. Perhaps they are nervous.”

In addition to all the guests, Puck feeds all the workers too, including the security, the waiters, and musicians – 3,000 people. But they still go to the farmer’s market because just like the team at Lemongrass Catering they get everything fresh. The shopping this year required 50 tractor trailers.

Puck says they are lucky to have access to great products that don’t need much done to them. We feel the same at the Lemongrass Catering Company. Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty is home to fantastic fresh produce which we always use. Let the team at Lemongrass deliver the best catering experience at your event, whether it’s a small boardroom lunch, a large wedding, or even a Hollywood-style awards night.

What Makes a Good Corporate Catering Company?

Many caterers offer corporate catering but not all caterers are equal. If you’re in business, it’s important not to underestimate the value of finding the right caterer for your corporate events. Here are some tips for finding a good corporate catering company that will deliver what you need when you need it.

Great food

It’s so important it’s worth stating the obvious – good food is crucial. If the food is forgettable then no matter how beautifully the venue is decorated, you can’t expect the event to be memorable. You can also trust a good caterer to ensure proper food safety and to adjust recipes as required to handle food allergies, dietary requirements or personal preferences.

What Makes a Good Corporate Catering Company?


Corporate catering experience

Whether it’s for a working business lunch or a major product launch, corporate catering has a specific focus different from standard catering. Choose a company with plenty of corporate catering experience and a good reputation so you can trust them to understand your business priorities and ensure everything runs smoothly and on time.

Collaborative and communicative

Good corporate caterers will be accustomed to working efficiently, not only with their clients but with a variety of other service providers including liaison with florists, venue organisers and event planners among others. Good networks, good communication and good people skills are essential to the consistent delivery of quality corporate catering.

The Lemongrass Catering Company has a long history of satisfied customers around Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty and overall that is the best recommendation a good corporate catering company can have. If you want to make a great impression with your clients choose the experienced team at Lemongrass Catering to take care of your corporate catering.

Quality Catering Key to Wedding Day Success

Your most memorable day deserves quality catering to match. Your wedding is a chance to share a beautiful celebratory meal with friends and family. Keeping all the guests well fed on exceptional food to remember is one of the key elements to wedding day success so choosing the meal and the right wedding caterers is one of the most important things on your wedding To Do list.

Couples today are looking for food at their wedding that reflects their personalities, their tastes and lifestyles. Often the most memorable weddings are the ones where the bride and groom have an idea of something a little out of the ordinary for their wedding meal. However, working out the details of what that is can be tricky and if you’ve got a catering budget to stick to, it might also be impossible.

wedding catering tauranga












That’s where good wedding caterers come in – with a wealth of experience to draw on, they can provide a fantastic, distinctive, cost-effective wedding menu on a budget. They should ask you lots of questions and offer ideas that will complement the style of celebration you’re looking for. The best caterers should also be able to tell you what sort of menus have been successful at recent weddings.

Many brides and grooms are focused on their day being as relaxed as possible but also want to be good hosts. Great wedding caterers will take a lot of stress, hassle and responsibility out of the day for you, helping to ensure it’s a day of smiles for everyone. So if delicious food and great service is important to you, let Lemongrass Catering take care of your wedding catering in Tauranga so you can concentrate on enjoying this special celebration.

There are many professionals whom you’ll need to assist you with your wedding day, including a videographer, wedding dress and car hire, a florist and other essential services. There are also many businesses selling gift boxes and other gifts whom you should consider as wedding gifts.

Canapes, Salads, Desserts

Who knew that catering would be so hard?

You have your main course all sorted but need a little extra help with just the Canapes, Ready to serve Salads or a top up on dessserts?

No problem, we have your back!

Minimum 20 pax

Canapes are designed to be circulated around your guests with a drink in the other hand. Canapes are ready to serve. Presented on our black disposable trays

Smoked salmon, citrus cream on blinis with pink peppercorns
Peppered roast beef, horseradish cream , rocket pesto, on crostini
Smoked Chicken, apple, walnut waldorf  tartlets
Sweet chili king prawns, mango chutney, in cocktail cases
Crostini, cheese, pesto and sun blush tomato

$16.00 per person

Salads packaged in our brown boxes

Thai noodle salad with sesame and coriander dressing
Chickpea and roasted vegetable and bulghar with citrus dressing
Penne pasta , pesto, sun blush tomato and rocket
Tossed green salad summer salad with boiled eggs, creamy dressing on side

  $12.00 per person – All 4 salads


  Bite Size Desserts

Delivered on our black disposable trays

Lemon cream tartlets with blueberries
Mini fresh fruit skewers
Chocolate and walnut brownies
$8.50 per person


Canapes and finger food

Canapes – circulate around guests

Smoked salmon, citrus cream cheese on blinis with pink peppercorns and dill
Sweet chilli king prawns, mango cream in cocktail cases
Smoked chicken, apple, toasted walnut waldorf tartlets

Finger food – place on table for guests to help themselves

Beef, red wine and thyme pies (H)*
Cocktail wraps with a variety of fillings
Fig, fennel pork sausage rolls (H)
$22.00 per person

Finger foods
Menu #1

Baby beef burgers with roasted capsicum and apricot relish (h)*
Mini hot dog with American mustard (h)*
BBQ chicken nibbles (H)*
Bacon, egg and pesto bites (can be served room or hot)
Club sandwiches with a variety of fillings
Baby croissant with ham, brie and cranberry
$21.00 per person

*Some assembly and heating is required

Menu #2

Beef, red wine and thyme pies (H)*
Individual quiche with brie and onion marmalade; Pesto and sunblush tomato
Smoked salmon, citrus cream on blinis
Sage and onion sausage rolls (H)*
Mini crusty rolls with smoked chicken, walnut and apple
$20.00 per person

Menu #3
Club sandwiches with a variety of fillings
Baby croissants with ham, brie and cranberry
Beef, red wine and thyme pies
Sage and onion sausage rolls
$17.00 per person

Polenta Muffins with King Prawns

August 27th 2016

To prepare you for the silly season I thought it might be time for some canape recipes. Practice, embellish, and enjoy this week’s recipe so when the occasion arises ‘were having a party’ you are good to go with a variety of nibbles to impress with a selection of no fail recipes close at hand.

While I have used prawns as the showstopper easily change the topping for something else.  These muffins can work with basically anything you have on hand. Smoked salmon, Brie, Pepper dews. The muffins are best made on the day and literally take only a few minutes to mix together and cook so no need to stress and less time in the kitchen.

If you have a mini ice cream scoop this makes a really easy job of portioning out your mix into the muffin tins.

Have a great weekend and happy making and bakin, and if all else fails you still have us at Lemongrass Catering to bail you out of a sticky situation.  



Mini polenta muffins with King Prawns

¾ c self-raising flour
2 tbsp. cornflour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup polenta
¼ tsp. finely chopped chilli
3 sunblush tomato – finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh chives – finely chopped
1 tbsp. sugar
2/3 c milk
1 egg
30 g butter, melted

½ tub Cream cheese
1 lemon – zest and juice
Fresh herbs- finely chopped

King Prawns, pepperdews, Brie
Finely chopped fresh herbs

Pre heat oven 180’c.  Lightly grease 2 x mini muffin tins. Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder into bowl, stir in chilli, sun blush tomato, sugar, fresh chives.  Make a well in centre and add wet ingredients. Fold gently with metal spoon until just combined.
Fill muffin tins ¾ full. Bake for12- 15 minutes. Place on cooling rack until required.

In a bowl mix cream, zest and juice of lemon, herbs, to a smooth spooning consistency, pile or pipe  on top of cooled muffin, top with king prawns, and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Belinda Lombard, owner Lemongrass Catering Company. . Follow us on catering. Catering for all your Wedding, Corporate and Private events.


Baklava Recipe

July 16th 2016- Bay of Plenty Times /Flaver Magazine

Some weeks blur into a big old mess!  I didn’t win the lottery!  I got a phone call from the editor to make sure I hadn’t fallen off the side of the earth as my recipe hadn’t made it to her desk for cut off time. My daughter, rolled her eyes at me for the first time, and apparently one day my son will refuse to kiss his mummy goodbye at school …………..but we still have baklava!

This Greek sensation is something that we don’t make all the time as it is one of those sweet treats that either has to be hidden away in the kitchen or we double the mix as the staff, me included do enjoy this sweet treat with a strong coffee.

Don’t be alarmed at pouring the hot syrup, which looks a lot, on top of the cooked baklava, with some time it will all soak in and still have a really good crunch.

If you have some ‘rosewater’ lurking in the cupboard adds a couple of drops to the syrup, and while I used almonds and walnuts, you could just about use any nuts you have in the pantry, pistachio looks very pretty.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy baking.


I packet of Filo pastry
150g  almonds- coarsely chopped in food processor
150 g  walnuts – coarsely chopped in food processor
¼ c caster sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. fresh nutmeg
about 250 g – melted butter

1 ½ c sugar
1 c water
¼ c honey
1 lemon rind and juice

Preheat oven to 180°C. 

Combine walnuts, pistachios, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl.

Remove the filo pastry from its packet and lie flat on the work bench. Cover with a dry clean tea towel and then a damp tea towel. (This will keep the filo from drying out while making the baklava.)

Brush a shallow 18 x 28cm cake tin with melted butter.  Take one sheet of filo and brush with butter, place in tin, do this again until you have 6 layers of filo.  Sprinkle half of the nut mix over filo, spread evenly. Add another three sheets of buttered filo, and then other half of the nut mix.   Finish off with 6 more layers of filo pastry. Make sure last piece is buttered.

Using a sharp knife cut through into little squares/diamonds. Bake for 40/45 minutes, or until golden brown.

While cooking make the honey syrup combine honey, sugar, water, lemon rind and juice in a saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and maintain over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the syrup has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and allow cooling slightly.

Pour syrup evenly over top of baklava when it comes out of the oven and leave in tin to cool completely. You may need to cut through the baklava with knife to separate pieces.

Belinda Lombard, owner Lemongrass Catering Company. . Follow us on catering. Catering for all your Wedding, Corporate and Private events

Rainbow Easter Cupcakes


Rainbow Easter cupcakes   – the wrappings on the inside!

 185g butter, softened
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs – beaten
2 cups Self raising flour
½ cup milk

Selection of food colouring – Red, blue, yellow, green


Pre heat oven 180’c. Line a 12 whole muffin tin with muffin cases.
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time, alternating with flour and milk. Split mix into as many bowls as you wish to colour.  Add colouring to each mix, and gently stir in. Using a disposable piping bag, layer the coloured cake batter. Pipe each layer into each muffin tin.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool on cake rack.  Decorate with cream cheese lemon butter cream frosting and decorate.

Cream cheese Lemon frosting g

250 g cream cheese
125g butter – softened
3 – 4 cups icing sugar – sifted
1 x zest and juice of lemon

Whip together cream cheese and butter, add zest and juice, and gradually add in icing sugar.   Whip till thick and fluffy.  Pipe on top of cupcakes.

Plum and Cinnamon Slice


Plum and cinnamon Slice

125 g butter
1 cup Caster sugar
2 eggs   – lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 cups Self Raising flour
½ cup coconut
½ can black Doris plums – drained

Crumble topping
50 g butter – cold
¼ c caster sugar
1 c flour
½ tsp. cinnamon


Pre heat oven 170’c. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs in one at a time. Add in sifted flour, then coconut and milk. Mix gently together.

Spread in tin and lightly press down the plums into cake mix. Sprinkle over crumble mix and bake for 25 -30 minutes.  Cool on baking rack.
Crumble: In a bowl add flour caster sugar and cinnamon, grate in butter, and rub together until you have a breadcrumb consistency.