Often when you think of catering at functions it’s hard not to picture dry satay skewers, cold sausage rolls and crusty sliders being trotted out by service folk who’d rather be anywhere else.
Seeking to eradicate any and all of that bland experience is bespoke Perth catering service Mi Scusi, the brainchild of Italian-Australian Chef Marco Bevilacqua and “the software to his hardware” (see also: Operations Manager), Olivia Ledger.
“It was just a big gap in the market to there being extremely good food executed at a higher level for catering,” explains Marco. “I had worked in catering previously for about five years and nothing was really on-point… Like as good as a really good restaurant…
“So I thought why can’t a catering business be as good, if not better than, a restaurant?”
And so Mi Scusi was born, offering tailored food and beverage packages that won’t leave you avoiding the service staff as they bring out the next sad old platter of canapes, rather chasing them down thanks to a sophisticated mix of great local produce, unique international flavours and Marco’s skills in the kitchen.
“It’s just so much fun, imagine being in a restaurant and you have to cook the same thing every day like a robot, but with catering you’re doing a function for the art gallery that’s Japanese-inspired and the next day it’s a wedding that’s Italian for 200 people,” he explains.
“So you’re always on your toes and having to improvise and come up with different menus and it’s much more creative.”
As Ledger explains, the process is simple, with a shared outcome of creating the best catering experience possible for whoever the client may be: “So client’s give us the brief for the event, how long it goes for, themes etc. and we’ll give them menu options from there… And they generally love Marco’s ideas – he comes up with things in his sleep it’s incredible. And we’re just super flexible.”
As important as the product they serve up is the staff they do so with, and it’s a point of pride for the duo that not only do their staff love working there, but they may not necessarily come from a hospitality background.
“A lot of our staff don’t come from catering or hospitality, we’re more interested in great personalities that are keen to learn and we can train them and mold them for Mi Scusi and how we like to deliver services,” says Liv.
If you’re reading this thinking Mi Scusi might just be for me, make sure you come with an attitude that the food at your function is of utmost priority to them, as Marco explains: “I wanna work with people who enjoy making the product as much as I do and I want to execute at such a high level that their expectations are always exceeded…”
Liv agrees: “If food is one of the most important things for you then we can deliver that and you’ll appreciate it as much as we do putting it together for you.”
And so far so good, with Marco and Mi Scusi recently scoring a nomination in the Business News 40under40 Awards: “Yeah I pinch myself with how far it’s come in such a short space of time,” he says.
“The whole hospitality thing… If you just look after people, and care for them properly, that pays off. Money is one thing, but I feel like there’s a currency in trust and how good you feel working at work with the people you work with. And if you can foster an environment that’s actually fun and you’re not getting out of bed just miserable and you want to go to work and do fun shit, it makes a huge difference.”
If you’re serious about seriously good food at your next event, head to the Mi Scusi Website for more information.