As they come up to the first anniversary of their new catering business Wollongong chefs Michael and Martin Papac are ecstatic with how quickly the idea has worked.
The two brothers have long wanted to run such an enterprise together at home after gaining international experience cooking at functions in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Some of the events they catered for were for major celebrities such as Elton John and Kate Moss. But event while doing such work they always wanted to start what is now known as m2 kitchen in Wollongong.
They officially launched it with a degustation dinner called Chefs at the Beach at the newly renovated Events at the Esplanade Thirroul Beach in February.
Word quickly spread and hey have been busy with a variety of different functions, corporate events and pop up restaurants ever since.
A recent one being at Enigma Cafe in Wentworth Street, Port Kembla.
They even cater for bithday parties and do morning and afternoon teas as well as supplying sandwiches to corporate clients after something more simple.
“We are trying to promote our creativity and new dishes that we come up with. We are keen to show the community of Wollongong what we are doing and what we can do. The degustations and pop ups are really good like that. We like to bring people in for a nicely priced good quality meal,” Michael said.
There is a good mix of both repeat business and first time bookings as a result of the continual search for new venues in different locations. Wollongong Art Gallery among them.
“We are maybe looking at Kiama for the next one,” Michael said.
“But with summer so busy with functions we may wait until February. We are flat out for the next couple of months. We are picking up weddings including a marquee wedding on a farm near Berry. We just give them what the client really wants. We can take a whole kitchen there. Off site catering is the direction we really want to go. Overseas we saw how that all works and we have the experience to bring it to Wollongong.”
Martin said the business had grown faster in the first year than either of them had ever expected and they are interested in hearing from more venues so they have plenty of options.
They are also adding entertainment at some events such as a Christmas themed dinner at Thirroul on December 9.
“The last degustation dinner we did sold out within days,” Martin said.
The brothers completed their apprenticeships at TAFE a decade ago at City Diggers and The Lagoon.
They then wanted to challenge themselves overseas.
Martin moved to New Zealand to experience the cuisine and local produce that country had to offer. He worked in busy tourism areas while his brother Michael headed to London to look for opportunities in Europe. Martin then joined Michael in London and they both learned many new techniques working for world renowned catering companies such as Rhubarb and Rocket.
They also developed their talent in Michelin Star restaurants such as The Delaunay and The Wolseley in Mayfair and work alongside acclaimed chefs such as Fergus Henderson and Albert Roux.
Among the celebrities they cooked for were Prince William and Kate Middleton, Jay-Z and English Prime Minister David Cameron.
Martin was the first to return to Wollongong as head chef of a large function centre while Michael was offered a sous chef position in Oslo, Norway at Onda by pal & ness.
After two years he moved to Sydney’s ‘one hat’ restaurant Bistrode CBD under the guidance of Jeremy Strode.
Further information about the mobile catering business that can operate in any location can be found at m2kitchen.com.au.
Next m2 Kitchen event
Friday 9th December 2016 starting at 6.30pm at Events at the Esplanade – Thirroul Surf Club.
Includes canapés and a delicious 3 course meal styled by m2 kitchen
canapés on arrival
3 course 2 drop m2 kitchen plated menu
5 hour beverage package
Christmas bon bons and decorations
Lucky Door prizes
ph 0475 010 576