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Kate Stewart, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So, we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.

Kate Stewart, VIC (b. 1984)

Name: Kate Stewart
Age: 27 (Born: March 1984)
Gender: Female
State: VIC

In this age of Doom and Gloom made possible by the letters G, F, and C, Kate Stewart wants us all to engage in a little decadence.

Call it a bygone notion, even a subversive one, but Melbourne has taken her up on it. Bright Young Things, Stewart’s boutique catering company, has decorated venues and dished up gourmet delights over a thousand times in its two-year history.

BYT’s mantra, “Nothing is a problem,” shapes its commitment to entertaining clients. A BYT event is designed to be an experience in itself. It’s not every Christmas party that features a menu with tiger prawns and haloumi, lamb and quince tagine, and chickpea flatbreads.

That nothing be perceived as problematic also shapes the attitude of its founder: Kate Stewart operates on the fly. She’ll storm up an idea on the way to one event; the next day she’s on a plane for Sydney to expand her client base. “My mind never stops,” acknowledges Stewart.

It’s true that, when a business throws a fancy party, the fanciness tends to draw attention to the lucre of the business, not the catering service that provided it. BYT stands out in that regard: in addition to client hires, Stewart and Company directly publicise their brand by staging their own events. Promos have included Chilli Crab feasts, Christmas in July parties, and local produce dinners at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

These events “have helped gain us significant press and be more involved with the Melbourne foodie scene,” says Stewart, whose company employs the talents of about a hundred staff. “They give us chance to keep training our staff and allow us to come up with new concepts and creative styling.”

The term “Bright Young Things” originated in a newspaper article from the 1920s describing the jazz-and-swing crowd that defined glamour in that era. To be sure, the juxtaposition of decadence with real economic hardship is hardly lost on audiences of the present.

But BYT strives to dispel the myth that glamour has to be reckless and materialist. The creative dishes are made from food that BYT buys locally, choosing organic and free-range products, while constituting a global cuisine that breaks down boundaries and stereotypes.

“We want to be a business with a value system that it believes in and works with,” Stewart says. “We want to be an industry leader, admired by peers and public and with a strong, creative business that inspires.”

Kate Stewart’s recipe for a successful business:

“A spoonful of measured risk, a tonne of energy, passion, problem-solving skills and dreams. Combine with realism & market reality, bake and continue to improve the recipe.”

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

A spoonful of measured risk, a tonne of energy, passion, problem-solving skills and dreams. Combine with realism & market reality, bake and continue to improve the recipe.

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