Bridget Ditte loves making people’s dreams come true. And as the founder of Butchers Daughter, a catering and floristry business she launched in July 2016 after running catering companies for close to 10 years, she is perfectly placed to do just that. “I’ve created hundreds of weddings over the years, yet still relish in the process and planning when a couple decides they would like me to do their food and flowers,” she says. “It gives me an overwhelming sense of happiness.” The engine room of Butchers Daughter is in Sydney’s Crows Nest, and is where menus are devised, food is cooked, flowers arranged and meetings held. It’s also a deliciously wonderful insight into Bridget’s rich personal style.
“I love being part of those emotional days on either side of the event itself. I love seeing it all come together”
Growing up near Dubbo, NSW, to parents who were both butchers – hence the name of her business – one of Bridget’s pastimes was scouring the countryside with her father in search of old wares, something she still does to this day. The passion is clearly hereditary as her father now has his own vintage shop in Wauchope, NSW, and Bridget has fitted out her workspace with exquisite pieces gathered over a lifetime of collecting. This respect for tradition, heritage and occasion fuels the vision for every event she creates.
“I know exactly where I found every single thing, or who’s given it to me – I’m quite sentimental”
While Bridget is the creative lead, she has a head chef, florist and builder who turn her clients’ desires into reality. Her workshop, which also encompasses the office and kitchen, is open by appointment and, from the very first step inside, there’s a sense of an Aladdin’s cave-style wonderment. Most of the walls are either painted dark or panelled with rustic timber, and smooth concrete flooring leads to the commercial kitchen at the back. Dotted throughout are Bridget’s collections, which range from vintage ball gowns and typewriters to clusters of beautifully aged crystal vases, and its these vignettes that bring the space alive and give potential customers a glimpse of how inspired their own function could be.
Even the food is influenced by history and family, as Bridget’s husband, Michael (who is also the Butchers Daughter builder), comes from a long line of dedicated home cooks. “Michael and his parents are fabulous cooks and they’ve actually created a lot of the recipes we use,” explains Bridget. “His father is Hungarian and his mother is English, and they pickle and cure things that they’ve grown and even make gin and vodka! They’re incredible.” It’s this personal attention to detail that sets Butchers Daughter apart. “I’m big on menu tastings,” says Bridget. “I like to be flexible rather than just offer set packages because, to me, catering is all about catering to what people want! Each menu we put together is different every time.”
When it comes to preparing for an event at her own home, such as Christmas, Bridget approaches the occasion with great flair and enthusiasm. “I decorate a Christmas tree every year that sits proudly right next to our dinner table. This year I’ve made it out of vintage books that have been given to me as gifts.
“Christmas food for me is always a seafood feast with a beautifully dressed glazed ham and a load of delectable sides, bottles of good local wine, plus a gin and tonic to start!”
“My flowers for our Christmas table are hand-picked Australian natives straight from my garden, then randomly placed in different vessels down a long communal table.”
“Food and flowers go hand in hand. To create them for people’s events is a show-stopper privilege”