Updated: Jan 6, 2020
One of the great pleasures of being a part of the wedding industry is meeting and working alongside some truly first class vendors, many of who we now not only value as colleagues, but also as close friends and cherished members of the Linga Longa family. The woman I am about to introduce to you is one such vendor!
The year is 2017. Linga Longa Estate is hosting their very first wedding and they are on the hunt for a caterer. Someone experienced, yet local, with the patience and flexibility to take in their stride the many unexpected curveballs that come with the use of a brand new venue. They needed to be creative and approachable, and of course their food had to be second to none. So, the owners of Linga Longa searched high and low, and eventually they found the perfect team: a fun-loving, family run business with a passion for their community and for food made with a difference.
So without any further ado, allow me to introduce you to Shannon; mother of two and owner of the ever - popular Tasty Edibles Cafe, Greenbushes. With 25 years of experience under her apron in the competitive game of wedding and event catering, Shannon believes in tailored menus bursting with wholesome food made with a healthy dose of love. From creative appetisers to addictive desserts (just wait until you try her aptly named ‘Guilty Little Pleasures’) she and her husband, Luke, will have you coming back for seconds with their delicious homemade feasts!
How it all began:
Shannon’s journey with food began with an old school, four year apprenticeship starting at the Memories of the Bonds Store in Bunbury and finishing at Matilda Bay, Perth. She then packed her bags and headed to Europe and the UK to travel and work. It was there she met her husband Luke, who having completed his training in some of Melbourne’s top restaurants was also taking in the sights and sounds of Europe. Upon returning to Australia they fell in love with quaint town of Greenbushes and decided it was the perfect place to settle down and start a family.
After working for some of the local business, and seeing a growth in tourism and local industry bringing people to the historic town, Shannon and Luke made a bold move and opened a business of their own. Greenbushes was, at the time, in rather short supply of cafes so when Tasty Edibles opened its doors it was to a welcoming and eager crowd.
Over the years their family run business has gone from strength to strength in the close knit community, with many different fingers in many different pies; and let me tell you, Shannon’s pies are a huge hit here at Linga Longa!
Food Made With A Difference:
All it takes is one bite of a Tasty Edibles creation and you know you are tasting something different, something special. A little something extra. It is something Shannon endeavours to pour into everything she cooks, from the cakes she bakes at her cafe to the massive homestyle feasts she prepares for wedding receptions.
"But what," I hear you asking, "is her secret ingredient? What makes her cooking so exceptional?" Well, to put it quite simply the answer is honour. Honour for the Earth that supplies the ingredients she uses, honour for the farmer who labours and tends to the earth in order to supply her with its produce, and honour for the customer to whom Shannon can pass along a beautiful showcasing of the ingredients. The end result is food infused with her love and respect for the process of production, from earth to plate. It is her heartfelt gift to those she shares her cooking with.
For Shannon food is all about connections. She explains there is a connection between myself, my love of food, and the people who produce the raw ingredients that go into the food I create. They themselves, have a connection with the land they work and the natural beauty within it. And at the other end of all of this is the connection between a bride and groom, and their friends and family as they share a first meal in celebration, building magical momeries together."
Clearly, her goal is to be the binding agent that somehow brings all of these unique relationships together through the medium of her lovingly prepared food. As someone who has tasted my fair share of Shannon's cooking let me tell you, she succeeds!
Thoughts on the industry:
The wedding industry, just like any other, comes with plenty of ups and downs but for Shannon the greatest thing about working in the wedding industry is seeing how her food can bring people together in the celebration of a couples love for one another.
“I love making my wedding food about sharing moments with the people around you, some of who you may not have met before. Perhaps you can make small talk with fellow guests about the food and before you know it you are filled with happiness and warmth and new friendships have been made.”
This is why it is of upmost importance to Shannon that she puts together a memorable menu that perfectly reflects the happy couple and leaves the guests entirely satisfied. Her worst nightmare would be for people to leave a wedding she has catered only to hunt down the nearest fast food outlet for a quick fix. Because of this she focuses on hearty, filling meals and ensuring even those with specific dietary requirements are well and truly catered for.
Shannon will also create a relationship with the managers of the venue to makes sure that her menu goes hand in hand with the facilities available. For example, in the event of a reception held in Linga Longa’s marquee she would suggest various sharing platters suited to passing and sharing food around the large, conversation-friendly tables. Alternatively, if you were after a more relaxed, outdoors atmosphere she would provide grazing tables or finger food for the guests as they mingle, followed by gourmet pizzas served hot and fresh from her pizza oven, “Black Betty”.
When it comes to the food supplied by Tasty Edibles quality never takes the back seat and because all of their dishes are made in small batches your wedding feast can be uniquely tailored to your theme, vision and personality.
Of course, working in the wedding industry comes with its own difficulties; couples who get caught up in trends or continuously change their minds close to the date. She and Luke are very hands on when it comes to their family and the running of their cafe and prefer not to spend hours on end on a computer re-planning a menu because of some fleeting fashion. In fact, Shannon says she would rather scrub an entire bathroom, top to bottom! Instead, she advises couples to remain true to themselves and focus on providing a wholesome, meaningful meal for their friends and family, resisting the urge to recreate the latest fad filling up every future bride’s pinterest board. By doing this you will guarantee your guests remember the food for all the right reasons!
While hospitality is a notoriously hard industry, often taking a heavy toll on both body and mind, Shannon relies on regular yoga sessions in order to remain centred and focused, whilst also making plenty of time for family life and schooling events. For Shannon and Luke, life is all about 'making memories for the memory bank, not money for the money bank.': a motto they endeavour to live by.
Creating your unique menu:
From flowers to stationary the entirety of your day has been meticulously handpicked and curated specifically to you and your partner's vision, and Shannon believes the food served at your wedding should be no exception. Rather, it should be a combined effort of the caterers imagination, the couple's individuality and the venue’s facilities. In the preliminary stages of planning your menu, Shannon loves to sit down with the couple and get to know them and get a handle on the vibe and atmosphere of the wedding. She focuses on the little details that might otherwise go overlooked, a prime example being the presence of an open bar!
When it comes to ensuring that all of your guests ages eight to eighty can enjoy your day Shannon warns, “couples rarely think that a menu needs to be tailored to the level of alcohol consumption taking place throughout the day. One of my pet hates is seeing people becoming overly drunk, simply because they haven’t had enough to eat. It can put a real damper on the night, when it really should be an occasion of celebration for everyone in attendance."
So, should you be planning on serving up the giggle juice, heed Shannon's advice and consider the amount and type of food you may want to provide in order to keep things happily balanced.
Of course, the couple’s budget and any potential dietary requirements are also taken into consideration, with the belief that there is an ideal, yet affordable menu for everyone.
Not only will no two menus ever be the same but it is equally safe to say no Tasty Edibles event ever goes under-catered, no matter the size of the guest list!
At last, when the big day arrives, you can count on Shannon, Luke and their team of local workers to deliver a seamless service of their lovingly created food. Their unflappable approach perfected over decades of experience, means that no amount of drama or unforeseen issues can upset their rhythm.
The simple truth is, should you hire Tasty Edibles to cater your big day you can rest easy knowing that Shannon has everything taken care of down to the smallest of details. Every dish will be served with a healthy dose of love, making it a feast your family and friends will remember fondly for years to come.
Be sure to watch out for those Guilty Little Pleasures, though! You'll have one, then two, and before you know it you'll be mentally justifying a fourth whilst surreptitiously tucking another into your napkin (it's happened to the best of us)
Don't say I didn't warn you!
To see some of Tasty Edibles' tantalising sample menus click here!
To get in contact with Shannon for your own dream menu, please visit the Tasty Edibles Facebook page