Peter Rowland is known for creating memorable occasions and is an intrinsic part of Melbourne’s food culture. For over five decades, they’ve been helping bridal couples design incredible wedding food and hospitality experiences, ensuring they have the perfect wedding day. Today we’re chatting to Emma Yee, CEO of Peter Rowland about how the business has evolved, the bespoke menus and experiences they offer, and what kinds of foods work best for the season your wedding is in.

Where is Peter Rowland based?
We have teams in Melbourne and Sydney. Depending on your budget, we can create a wedding anywhere in Australia, or indeed anywhere in the world.

How long has Peter Rowland been in business?
For more than 50 years Peter Rowland has been creating memorable occasions, ranging from intimate gatherings, weddings and cocktail parties to catering for major events such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival and World’s Longest Lunch.

Was Peter Rowland always intended to cater for weddings or did this evolve?
Naturally. We evolved from home catering and parties to weddings. It has been a privilege to collaborate with thousands of bridal couples to create their dream weddings for over 50 years.

What services do you offer bridal couples?
We collaborate with couples to create their perfect day down to the very last detail. A wedding day needs to reflect the couple and we help with every aspect of that including the setting, menu, flowers, styling and the entertainment.

What types of venues do you work at?
It’s impossible to imagine a more personal and individual event than a wedding. We understand that. We help couples find the perfect place, whether that’s a gallery, a country estate, an industrial warehouse, by the beach or somewhere you’ve never even dreamed of.

What are some of your favourite venues?
The historic Rippon Lea Estate in Elsternwick, Victoria has 14 acres of picturesque heritage listed gardens, ideal for on-site ceremonies and photos and the magnificent ballroom features an ornate chandelier, stunning architectural details and original parquetry dance floor.

At the other end of the spectrum, Butler Lane in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond is a modern renovated warehouse space with an open plan interior leading to a secret walled garden. It’s a favourite with couples looking for a creative blank space to bring to life a magical wedding.

Do you work closely with any local vendors?
We work with a number of local vendors, including florists, videographers, wedding cake suppliers and equipment hire. Our relationships with suppliers can streamline event planning for the couple to ensure a smooth and seamless delivery on the day.

How would you describe the food you serve at weddings?
In a word bespoke. A wedding is one of the most personal occasions in a couple’s life. The menu and style of service is a reflection of the couple’s personality and the types of food they love and want to share with their friends and families.

Highlights from our current menus are:

  • Dinner – Smoked lamb loin rolled in hempseed served with tomato and fennel sofrito, white bean gnocchi, fresh tomato and mozzarella
  • Cocktail – Scarlett prawn with caramelised miso, crisp wonton, cucumber and finger lime

Our international menus are tailored to suit the individual tastes and cultural influences of each couple

Which menu is the most popular?
Each menu is bespoke to the tastes of the couple. This is their signature event and the food should reflect their tastes and personality.

What kinds of foods work best for a winter wedding?
Winter vegetables and darker meats such as beef and game. Duck is a popular choice. We love to offer Great Ocean Road ducks where each duck is truly raised with love. The farm is 100% sustainable growing all its own produce such as Jerusalem artichokes and rhubarb which is fed to the ducks. The farm also produces its own apple cider vinegar which is sprayed onto the duck’s food. As you can imagine the taste is incredibly delicious and perfect for a special occasion

What types of foods work best for a summer wedding?
Seafood and lighter meats such as lamb are popular for summer weddings. A lot of couples like to make a statement by serving caviar during the canapé course. It’s the perfect celebration food and of course pairs with champagne beautifully

What catering trends are you seeing this year?
Platters of food shared family style continues to be a big trend.
Most memorable wedding Peter Rowland has been a part of?
There are too many to name, however I can’t help but get emotional when our staff choose to get married in a Peter Rowland venue. Quite recently our Production Kitchen Head Chef Liam Van Grondelle married his long term girlfriend Mel at Butler Lane.

What is your dream menu?
I love a shared menu, it reminds me of family dinners around the table growing up and everyone laughing and sharing what happened during their day. BUT, my favourite all time MUST-SERVE dessert is the Peter Rowland Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding!

What do you love about weddings?
It’s a privilege for us to collaborate with each couple to create their vision for the perfect day. For me, Its seeing the dress the bride choose It never gets old.

Thank you Emma for sharing the Peter Rowland story and philosophy with us today! What amazing food and experiences you’ve been creating for couples for over 50 years. To find out more about Peter Rowland’s services, head to the Peter Rowland website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.