When Only The Best Will Do

We’re raising a glass to the wonderful people at Toast Wedding Magazine for publishing Carrie Crerar’s great Q&A with 360Q proprietor Barry Iddles. 


EVERY wedding caterer will have their favourite stories about an event where they needed to go above and beyond the client’s wishes. Making those events run seamlessly and truly spectacular comes from not only years of experience but the right team, incredible food and an absolutely “yes we can” approach.  One of the Mornington Peninsula’s finest catering businesses is truly renowned for hosting all of those qualities and still offers so much …

It’s hard to arrange an interview with someone so incredibly busy running venues that cover some of Victoria’s most popular destinations including Elk at Falls Creek, 333 Collins St. Melbourne, Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, The Tarnuk Room at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens and the newly refurbished (and spectacular!) 360Q Queenscliff.

Barry Iddles who founded and runs the iconic Sorrento Catering Company knows how to host a party like no other and with over 35 years of experience in the Catering business, it’s no wonder his services are in such high demand with brides and grooms, looking for an experience like no other. The man is a veritable supernova, travelling not only the state but also the globe in his pursuit of providing the ultimate dining experiences.  His drive, ambition and never-ending supply of good humour make him a TOAST Weddings vendor favourite with clients and other wedding professionals alike.

We gave Barry the TOAST Q&A to slow him down for a few minutes and take the time to reflect on his brilliant career so far…

Tell me a little about your background – what path led you to founding the Sorrento Catering Company?
I grew up on a farm; mother was an amazing farmhouse cook. I believe it was her influence that gave me such a passion for food and the finer things in life. Arriving in Melbourne to work for O’Brien’s catering I went on to take out the apprentice of the year in 1975 which led on to the chef of the year for Australian Wine and Food Society in 1985.

What sets Sorrento Catering Company apart from other catering and events companies?
Impact and individuality when it comes to our clients. We tailor menus and wines to suit the specific needs of each client and we totally event manage each event.

What have been one or two favorite recent jobs and why?
Catherine and Ash’s wedding with a $30,000 budget for flowers – it was one of the most spectacular weddings we have done. It was set on their private property in a beautifully styled marquee with an amazing backdrop of well-manicured gardens.

Which other local foodie people, events people or generally creative people do you look up to?
We love Red Hill cheeses to compliment the event; there are also many amazing florists we choose to use to create perfection.

What is the best thing about your job?
Creating events with wow factor, ensuring each event is 150% perfect, looking after every clients needs.

And the worst?
Perhaps the hours, which can be taxing, doing up to 22 hours straight!

How would you describe your current catering menu?
Our catering menu changes continually to keep up to the current trends. We prefer to tailor menus for each client.

What advice would you give to couples that are trying to decide between hosting a cocktail function or a sit-down dinner on their wedding day?
I would suggest to have a 2 hour stand up grazing canapé with a couple of substantial items to equate to an entrée.
Then sit for a main course, and have a selection of 5 outstanding mini desserts.

What advice would you give to couples that are looking to book a caterer for their wedding?
Meet the caterer, run through what you are after, set your budget and check out some testimonials,

Tell us about your charity ‘Skinny Duck’ – how did you come to found it?
Chef Heston Blumenthal was opening the Fat Duck restaurant in Melbourne, the ballot opened for tickets to the restaurant; seats were $525 per person. I applied for 4 seats in the ballot. then thought about it. I was teaching kids that could not afford to go to school in Luang Prabang in Laos. This money could educate 12 kids in university for one year or create 4200 meals for homeless and underprivileged so Skinny Duck was created. We raised $21,4000 enough to create 428,000 meals.

What would be your dream creative project?
To get every restaurant to raise $1 from every customer, this could end hunger in our state.

What are you looking forward to?
Travelling around the world again to research food in different countries so we can keep enhancing our guest’s experiences.