Event food is big business, especially in the party season when half our diet seems to be made up of canapés. We asked the chefs of five leading caterers to showcase their favourite dishes for the summertime. Expect to be toting these with a champagne flute in hand at your coming summer soirees.


bay tinh restaurant

Little rice cakes

“This is a Northern Vietnamese dish inspired by some of the street food I saw. My mother helped me perfect the technique. It’s almost quiche-like in texture, but with a distinctive Vietnamese flavour made using rice flour, shrimp and coconut. It makes a wonderful, light canapé and goes well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.” – Chef Harry Hoang

Available in function packages starting at $29 per person.


ocean room sydney

Ochazuke modern; Cold drip dashi, premium Gyokuro green tea and dashi, Koshihikari rice crust, flame-seared sand whiting, umeboshi sorbet, wasabi dust.

“This cold canapé is a modern interpretation of the traditional Japanese ‘soul food’ Ochazuke. I have combined two quintessentially Japanese ingredients, rice and green tea broth. The rice has been deep fried to give it crunch and texture, with hints of okra creating plenty of natural umami flavour. It is a colourful and pretty dish which makes it a pleasure to look at and to eat.” – Chef Raita Noda

Tasting menus of 12 dishes start at $120 per person.


laissez-faire catering

Seared blackened Atlantic salmon cube

“Focusing on conversation starters using pipettes and push-pops, we invest in enhancing the event experience as a whole. Our menus are inspired by our foodified philosophy – a commitment to providing fresh, local and seasonal produce. We’re driven by our customers’ demand for quality, innovation and inspiration in design and presentation. We’re extremely proud of the Summer Menu Collection 2012/2013.” – Chef Clinton Brown

Packages start at $30 per person for 6 canapes, minimum 10 people.


melbourne arts centre

Duck prosciutto, orangelo melon, nori and wasabi aioli

“This canapé is the perfect summer match of crunchy and refreshingly sweet watermelon with the smooth texture of salted duck prosciutto.” – Chef Sean Keating

$6 per item



Ivory chocolate bar, salmon pearls and thyme olive oil powder

“An artistic and sensual culmination of sweet chocolate decadence and the earth’s natural salt pearls.” – Chef Sean Keating

$6 per item


ARIA catering

Sesame-crusted king prawns with lemon mayonnaise

“This is a great canapé for a summer event because it’s quick, simple and guaranteed to please.” – Chef Matt Moran

Packages start at $50 per person + fees for compulsory waiters and chefs.


peter rowland catering

Chardonnay pickled beetroot tartlets with white bean and thyme cream

“When it comes to canapés, the chardonnay pickled beetroot tartlets are really popular. They both have a great combination of earthy flavours, look good, appeal to a wide range of guests, and they’re suitable for vegetarians. There’s never any leftovers which is a good sign!” – Chef Neil Rocke

Packages start at $60 per person, all inclusive