It's the dream: Andrew McConnell's crack Trader House team cooking for your next wedding, party or anything you like through their new catering business, Handmade.
McConnell says over the years he has been resisting the numerous requests from guests to cater events "because we didn't want to compromise what we do in the restaurants". But having built a new team for the job, and with the increase to 100 people being allowed in private spaces, he felt the time was right to launch Handmade.
"Anything" really is on the table. They are setting no minimum or maximum number of guests (there will be minimum spends), and are willing to consider heading interstate.
Events pro Shaun Latimer will run the show, with head chef Andy Harmer (ex-QT and The Point at Albert Park Lake) designing menus in consultation with McConnell.
According to the group's marketing manager Loren Daniels, the menus will reflect the seasonal, produce-driven style that runs through all of the restaurants in the group (including Cutler and Co, Gimlet and Supernormal), but they will be unique to Handmade rather than referencing any dishes on their restaurant menus.
They'll use the restaurant's suppliers, such as Baker Bleu and their own butchery, Meatsmith, and senior Trader House staff such as sommelier Leanne Altmann will likely be consulting on wine and drinks.
This is just the latest big restaurant player to enter a red-hot catering and events market.
Shane Delia is offering Providoor People - restaurant staff to cater private events through his food delivery business Providoor; Scott Pickett is taking Longrain on the road; and Karen Martini and Michael Gebran's new restaurant, Hero at ACMI, is ready to cater events of up to 3000 people in Federation Square.