Stefan Freuding’s passion for cuisine has taken him to kitchens around the globe. The 32-year-old chef has worked in Europe, Australia and the Middle East – but it’s a little kitchen in Christchurch that has captured his heart. He’s landed the perfect job that combines his flair for food and his love for helping others.
Stefan is the head chef at the Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury’s initiative, Can Do Catering. It’s a social enterprise business with a clear goal – to provide ordinary life opportunities for people with traumatic brain injuries and other physical disabilities.
The catering business was set up in 2015 by the Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury with the aim to give its clients “ordinary life opportunities” and gain meaningful, paid employment. The organisation plays a leading role in providing traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in the South Island, and is dedicated to changing how we see and value people with brain injury and other disabilities.
Stefan, who is from Blaidhach, Germany, jumped at the chance to be part of the catering enterprise where he helps the employees create quality cuisine. “The residents are really inspiring, and it’s amazing to see them thrive and feel pride in their work,” Stefan says.
Seven disabled employees work alongside Stefan to prepare and deliver food for a variety of functions, morning teas and board meetings, for clients including the Christchurch City Council.
Stefan joined Can Do Catering in April 2018 as the Head Chef, bringing 16 years of global cuisine knowledge with him. He started his career in a small, traditional German restaurant, but it was the lure of travel that led him to jump continents, cooking in kitchens in Australia, Dubai and Bermuda.
“When you come from a small town in Germany, it is eye-opening to work in different parts of the world and such a great opportunity to work with top chefs,” he says.
Stefan, who also cooks for the less fortunate through Christchurch City Mission in his spare time, says he was ready for his day job to become more meaningful. He left the hotel industry after working for five years in New Zealand – and he knows he has found the perfect fit.
“At Can Do Catering I help residents to get back into the workforce and see them succeed. It’s inspiring to work with them every day,” Stefan explains.
“I had one resident who started off very shy, but after showing him a few recipes in the kitchen and getting him to help with chopping and peeling, he can’t wait to come back to work.
“It’s an amazing feeling to come to work every day knowing you’re making a difference in someone’s life.”
For more information, visit www.candocatering.co.nz or www.instagram.com/candocanterbury.
Rarely does a café tick every single box. The food, coffee, location, service and parking – all in a fantastic funky atmosphere. Dose Café does it so well.
The memorable breakfast menu is available seven days a week, until 2:30pm, with the French Toast being voted in the media as the top in town! The house-made brioche could be reason enough, but this paradise on a plate includes streaky bacon, sherbet mascarpone, vanilla ice cream, vanilla bean custard and Cointreau berry compote; decadently different, delicious – and very Dose Café. With sharing menus to cabinet food, it’s exciting, varied gastronomy.
The regulars are welcoming soup season. “The soup of the day is house-made fresh,” says owner Andy Shiau. “Last year our seafood chowder was so popular.”
Position-perfect on Blenheim Road, this neighbourhood café is the last refuel stop heading into or out of town – an escape haven, and just seven minutes from bustling Westfield Riccarton. Off-street parking makes popping in for takeaway coffee easy – for a double shot of Lyttelton Coffee Company’s finest that Dose Café does so well.
Popular as a function venue, the spacious interior’s large tables can be reconfigured or removed to cater for every sort of soiree from after-work parties to 21sts. “There’s no booking fee with a minimal spend,” Andy says.
“Our chefs are flexible, designing menus for each function’s requirements, for up to 120 guests.” There are craft beers, great wines, creative cocktails, and about 50 available carparks for evening events.
Dose Café, 295 Blenheim Road, Riccarton opens weekdays 7.30am-4pm and weekends 8.30am-4.30pm. Visit www.dosediner.co.nz.
Fiona’s Food is personality on a plate – a delicious affordable catering option for any wedding.
For 11 years, Fiona van der Pol has run a boutique catering business. Her only qualification: bringing up four children! Cooking from the heart, she’s super-efficient, enlisting daughter Flossie when needed. Freshly made, nothing’s from the freezer.
“Long live rustic,” Fiona says. French-rustic style springs to mind with her flavoursome plates. Slivers of lemon slice have a crunchy base melding into a velvety zest. Ginger crunch is equally sublime, as are bacon-wrapped sausages glazed in honey, mustard and rosemary. There’s crowd-pleasers aplenty in her repertoire.
Lunches, morning and afternoon teas for the likes of PGG Wrightson and the Chamber of Commerce are her bread and butter. However, the sassy home cook has catered many weddings with delectable sharing platters.
She also hosts group cooking lessons, ending in laughter-filled banquets – ideal for hen nights of the culinary kind.
The Vineyard at Rossendale is an exquisitely romantic wedding venue, created especially for the occasion. The ambience and space, flexibility and flow, are unsurpassed for a perfect day.
Floor to ceiling windows form a vista through 10 acres of pinot noir grapes. With room for up to 200, the functional floorplan allows the bridal table to be seen from all angles. There’s a vineyard-themed bar, and a dance floor wing draped in fairy lighting. This leads to an intimate lounge retreat and bridal room with spacious ensuite and separate entrance. The neutral interior, exuding warmth, can take on any theme. Two foyers provide grand entrances – further enhancing the stunning approach through the grapevines.
With more than 18 years’ experience here, Graham and Liz Jones are the attentive, adaptable hosts on both the day itself and the important lead up. Catering by on-site chefs is top class – with Rossendale’s wines a luxurious complement.
‘Have kit, will travel’ is Twentyfour Catering’s mantra. The team specialises in weddings throughout the South Island, and owner and Chef Chantelle Quinn says the flexibility to travel means the team can conjure up delicious feasts anywhere, often with just two ovens and a barbeque. “We are very versatile and have said yes to every location so far, from the Canterbury high country to Wanaka.”
By working with the bride and groom to ensure the logistics work, the menu is tailored to each wedding. One groom asked for his grandmother’s adored apricot and almond cheesecake, so Chantelle created it in minis.
Twentyfour’s style might be best described as classic French with Kiwi flavours. The food is rustic and often features a lot of protein: six different meats could be served over three courses. Chantelle gets a kick out of seeing wedding guests in their exquisite outfits and fascinators, heartily tucking into a lamb cutlet and going back for more!
One of the most important considerations to make when planning a wedding is the food you are going to serve your guests. With so many possibilities, and so many other things to arrange, it is definitely an advantage to use a catering company that is dedicated to “making your wedding day, as well as the planning process, as relaxed and simple as possible”.
That is Continental Event Catering’s commitment to brides and grooms. With more than 50 years’ experience catering all manner of events in Canterbury, the South Island and beyond, the team prides itself on the knowledge and understanding the company brings to every event.
Working with wedding planners, or directly with brides and grooms, “the only limit is your imagination,” says Event Manager Kate McLauchlan.
Keeping abreast of modern trends, and setting a few of their own, Continental’s team of enthusiastic staff provides efficient, professional, and friendly service at every stage. There is a wide variety of menu options, using the freshest local produce and catering to all dietary requirements. Bespoke menus can also be designed specifically to complement your desires and the character of your special day.
Between now and 31 August this year, Continental has an amazing offer for couples getting married. Book the catering for your wedding with Continental and you will go into a draw to win a Continental food and beverage package to the value of $10,000! Details, terms and conditions of this fantastic opportunity are available at www.continental.co.nz/weddings.
An intimate affair for 50 or an extravaganza for 2000 (or more!), Continental is your #trustedcaterer.