Ed Dixon Food Design – Melbourne Culinary Gurus

Words by Amy Richardson
August 17, 2017

This Melbourne culinary team has been serving up Instagram-worthy dishes long before Instagram was even a thing. Ed Dixon Food Design is one talented bunch of creatives with oodles of passion for good food.

With over 16 years experience on the Victorian food scene, EDFD is renowned for design-led aesthetics and exciting menus. Crafting dining experiences that go beyond simple catering, the team’s expertise extend to sourcing unique venues, as well as full event management with on-trend styling.

EDFD work closely with couples to create wedding day feasts that match their style and vibe, with a focus on making the planning experience fun and stress-free. Menus feature seasonal, locally produced and ethically sourced ingredients transformed into vibrant and inventive dishes.

We caught up with the team to chat about a subject close to our hearts, glorious food!

Rustic cheese table

Rustic cheese table by Ed Dixon Food Design. Image by Urban Safari.

Tell us a little about your background and the path that led to Ed Dixon Food Design.

Whilst working as an Interior Designer, Ed identified a gap in the market for a catering company that had a strong design and style focus as well as a passion for food. And so EDFD was created – a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate food enthusiasts and have a genuine love for delivering quality events.

How has the company evolved since its launch in 2001?

In the beginning it was a one-woman show, but 16 years later we have a huge team of incredible chefs, passionate Event Managers and talented creatives. As well as our extended family of supporters and collaborators – our amazing suppliers and beautiful clients who continue to inspire us.

The food ethos of fresh, beautifully delicious food and local produce has never changed. We still value really gorgeously presented food – we are basically food stylists working in a kitchen!

Industry joke: You don’t see any tweezers round here!

What is the EDFD ethos or philosophy when it comes to food?

Our brand statement of “we live and love food” could not be more true.

From the minute we wake up we honestly think about food and what we’re eating for the whole day. Everyone who works here is constantly talking about food – “What did you cook last night?” “What restaurant did you try on the weekend?” We all need a strict exercise program working in this office!

Cured cobia canapes by Ed Dixon Food Design. Image by Ben Christensen.

Crispy Soft Shell Crab

Crispy soft shell crab by Ed Dixon Food Design. Image by Urban Safari.

Rose Pannacotta

Rose pannacotta dessert by Ed Dixon Food Design. Image by Ben Christensen.

Do you offer a range of dining styles? Which do you find tend to be most popular with your couples?

Yes, because no two couples are the same we offer a range of dining menus and styles which can also be tailored to suit the bride and groom’s individual tastes. We have the Chef’s menu (our most premium), the Bistro menu (more relaxed) as well as three options for shared dining.

Shared dining is easily our most popular menu for weddings – we find this style lends itself so well to a social atmosphere, encouraging guests to share and chat, as well as providing lots of different tastes, not just your standard chicken or fish.

We also have a very extensive cocktail party menu, complete with substantial canapés and supper bowls. This has allowed us to build a great reputation for cocktail party weddings – guests always have enough food!

Cornfed Chicken & Kale

Corn-fed chicken and kale by Ed Dixon Food Design. Image by Ben Christensen.

modern rustic share platters

Modern platters by Ed Dixon Food Design for shared dining. Image by Ben Christensen.

Pork Belly Bao Bun canapes

Pork belly bao bun canapes by Ed Dixon Food Design for cocktail-style dining. Image by Ben Christensen.

What level of involvement do you offer couples when designing a menu for their wedding?

As little or as much as they want. We have clients who completely trust our expertise and allow us to take the reigns. Other couples have a more of a vision of what their dream wedding looks and tastes like – and we are here to deliver it!

What are some culinary techniques, styles or ingredients that currently excite you?

Home style cooking – There is a big movement towards more old-fashioned style of cooking – real comfort food. These are dishes that are much simpler and are often slow cooked and really tasty. Think slow-cooked lamb shoulder.

Health & Wellbeing – we absolutely believe that ‘food is medicine’! Everyone needs to know that healthy food can also be absolutely delicious! There is a big movement at the moment towards super clean eating – no sugar, vegetarian, gluten free, paleo – these options do not need to be boring. We use the the freshest and most beautiful produce in our recipes, as well as adding beautiful sauces and dressings to really create a healthy dish that still has depth of flavour. One example would include the phenomenal chimichurri sauce that our Columbian chef, Christian, prepares – it makes anything taste heavenly!

Middle Eastern going further east  – Middle Eastern food has been popular for a few years now but we’re excited to see recipes and trends from even further afield – Syrian, Persian, Arabic and Armenian cuisines are working their way into our repertoire.

Favourite dish on the menu?

The katsu sandwich is currently my favourite – Chicken katsu sandwich, kewpi slaw, bulldog sauce and chive sprouts. Essentially it’s a schnitzel sandwich, but it’s unbelievably yummy – who does not want that!

Confit tomato and charcoal cracker canapes

Confit tomato and charcoal cracker canapes by Ed Dixon Food Design for shared dining. Image by Ben Christensen.

rustic dessert table

Dessert table by Ed Dixon Food Design for shared dining. Image by Ben Christensen.

We know food is king at EDFD, but can you tell us a little about your event management services? Who are some key vendors – stylists, florists, photographers etc – that you align with?

We’ve been doing this for 16 years and we know the industry back to front. Trusting us and our suppliers is key. We feel the whole planning experience should be exciting, collaborative and fun! We work with our clients throughout the process to determine their priorities and tailor the night to be all about the couple.

We have long standing relationships with the following:
Event Producers – En Pointe Events
Stylists – Georgeous and The Style Co.
Florists – Flower Jar and Cecilia Fox
Hire – Dann Event Hire, Place Settings and Table Art

EDFD works with a range of unique venues across Melbourne and Victoria, do you have any stand-out favourites?

Fortyfive Downstairs – the ultimate professionals and one of Melbourne’s best spaces
Top paddock – a flexible space in a great location
Higher ground – Brand new exciting space
Tanglewood – amazing regional venue
Converted Church – a beautiful intimate space for smaller weddings

Do you offer catering and event management at other venues and at private properties?

Yes, we have over 40 venue partners in Melbourne and Victoria and we also do a lot of weddings on private properties in regional Victoria – marquee weddings on family farms or coastal properties are always amazing!

Coastal Marquee Wedding

Coastal Marquee Wedding by Ed Dixon Food Design. Image by Raspberry Robot Photography.

EDFD tablescape with linen by Table Art. Image by Urban Safari.

Cocktail party at Fortyfive Downstairs

Cocktail party at Fortyfive Downstairs. Image by Ed Dixon Food Design.

After 16 years in the industry, you must have a few pearls of wisdom to share with couples tying the knot? Do share!

One thing we often mention to clients is that it’s not always the best idea to go for the cheapest option, in our experience this can often end badly – pay a little extra money for the experts to avoid any issues, this is the last thing you would want to deal with on your wedding day! Also, always feel that you can speak to your suppliers about making alterations to meet your budget.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Pop

Salted caramel ice cream pops. Image by Urban Safari.


Header image Ben Christensen | Other images as captioned |

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