How did you get started in the catering industry?
I was studying Hotel Management in Melbourne and Chyka was studying Culinary Art at the exclusive Le Cordon Bleu in France. A love story began, a shared passion for crafting beautiful parties bubbled, and a small company with a big future came to life.
Although the business began as a small independent catering company, as of 2016 it boasts over 400 full-time employees. It is established with many properties and resources, comprising retail outlets in two prominent shopping centres, three splendid venues located in Melbourne's CBD and city fringe, a Styling and Imaginative Hub and elite catering privileges at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
What ignited your passion for weddings and events?
Opportunity. Dare to be different. Dare to stand out. Challenge what is expected.
The results have being astounding as the company has proudly created exquisite parties in the Middle East, South America, Italy, France and Vietnam. The Big Group portfolio of corporate clients includes Fortune 500 companies, The Prime Minister’s office, presidents and dignitaries on a global platform. Our work generously extends from gala events to the private homes of Australian families. The future is bold and The Big Group are at the cusp of a new and exciting frontier of entertaining.
Why do you love working on weddings?
There is an excitement that surrounds a wedding. There will always be a corporate cocktail party, a birthday or a gala dinner, but a wedding is something really special. There is a sense of fabulousness you can’t put your finger on that makes the anticipation and occasion extravagant and magical.
What sets The Big Group’s hospitality apart?
As it has turned out my life passion is entertaining and looking after people. My TBG team and I all feel like the consummate hosts at all our parties, we just don’t stop until we get it right! We support each other with constant communication, we mentor and motivate one another. Together, we have exceptional knowledge of the hospitality industry on corporate, private, local and international levels. We thrive on challenges and are always striving to share our insights.
WHAT SETS THE BIG GROUP'S HOSPITALITY APART IS SIMPLE. NEVER STOP RAISING THE BAR. "Be so good they can’t ignore you” - Steve Martin
What advice do you have for brides-to-be looking for their ideal venues and caterers?
Use your feet. You need to go and see the spaces and talk to the people who are going to create your menu and make your wedding vision a reality. How do you feel when you stand inside? Are the venue managers and caterers listening to you? Are you already having fun and enjoying the journey?
If so, you are heading in the right direction to selecting the best venue
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Travel, Instagram, international design shows, bloggers, influencers, my friends and my TBG team.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Talk with my TBG team, talk with my clients, talk with suppliers. Repeat.
What is the best part of your job? Is there a particular wedding that you remember and why?
I remember every wedding, every centrepiece, every bride. The drama, the laughs, the fun, the foolishness, the madness, and the silliness. I honestly remember them all and cherish the celebrations and the memories. I am incredibly blessed to do what I do.
What is the secret to truly happy guests?
Full bellies, full glasses and cool tunes.
When there’s time, what’s your favourite pasttime?
What destination is next on your to visit’ list?