24 November 2023

Five minutes with Jess and Samuel Martin, Marbull Catering

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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caterers Jess Martin and Samuel Martin

Jess Martin and Samuel Martin of Marbull Catering won the Best Australian Wedding Caterer Award. Photo: B G Photography – Brie George.

Who are Jess Martin and Samuel Martin:

Jess: Born and raised in Tumut, I always wanted to be a chef. I moved to Wagga, worked at the Union and finished my apprenticeship before I moved to the UK with Sam for two years. We lived in London and worked for one of the top catering businesses, Create. Plenty of bespoke and huge events for people like Richard Branson, the Royal Houses, the Tower of London and the 2012 Olympics.

For the Olympics, we were in charge of Russia House at Kensington Gardens. It was a nightmare and the hours were awful – 18-hour days. It was hectic, 21 days straight. But it was also good because we were part of the Olympics and it was a great experience.

We came back home and took over as the head chef at the Thirsty Crow for five years before we started our catering. With our experience of catering in London it was something we always wanted to do … our big dream. Marbull comes from our last names – Martin and Turnbull. The highland bull is my Scottish heritage.

Sam: I’m from Junee and moved to Wagga during the third year of my apprenticeship and finished my apprenticeship with the Garden Court and worked as a chef at the Union [with Jess]. After we came back from London, I worked at the International, went back to the Union as a head chef then helped Jess out at the Thirsty Crow for a couple of years.

[Before starting Marbull Catering] We couldn’t find a caterer to cater for the food we wanted for our wedding. We ended up catering our own wedding. We were doing master classes with Tumut High School and the teacher ended up offering to help us cook the wedding. A few of our friends came from London and we did a big masterclass with international chefs and prepped our whole wedding. On the day, they cooked and served it all for us.

READ ALSO Five minutes with Stacey Maynard, ToMorrows Cafe

Best recent dining experience: We recently went to Hide Steak & Bar near the Marketplace.

Favourite cuisine:

Jess: I love a good steak. My favourite thing about any dinner is dessert. I’m all for dessert and anything caramel is a winner for me.

Sam: Brazilian with the barbeque meats.

One ingredient you can’t live without: We can’t live without garlic and onion.

Most embarrassing pantry/fridge item: Curry paste or the two-minute noodles for the chefs. It’s what we eat when we get home.

small bowls of food

Marbull Catering is something that was born out of dream for Jess and Sam. Photo: Marbull Catering.

Best coffee spot in Wagga: Mock Orange Cafe. It’s a good spot.

Next big thing in the Wagga food scene: Smoking barbecue. It’s getting bigger around Wagga.

Favourite place to lunch in Wagga: The Brew.

A must-try on your menu: Haloumi bites and chicken spring rolls.

Most used ingredient at Marbull Catering: Garlic and salt.

Marbull Catering offers an array of dessert options. Photo: Marbull Catering.

The top pick from your desserts:

Jess: Dulce de leche mousse.
Sam: White chocolate pannacotta.

Biggest culinary influence:

Jess: Our time in London. It was multicultural, and the chefs we worked with were amazing. We still follow them. When writing a menu, I always look at what’s on trend in London, then Melbourne and Sydney.

Sam: The UK opened our eyes.

Jess and Sam pride themselves on providing the best food for their clients. Photo: Marbull Catering.

Favourite cookbook:

Jess: The South Coast Cookbook from Eden.
Sam: My nan’s. Before she passed away, I got her to write me a cook with all her favourite recipes. She left me a beautiful little cookbook and left the last half of each section so I could fill in my own.

Who I admire in the Wagga food and wine scene:

Jess: Thirsty Crow and Bar Olivette.
Sam: Jamie Shepley. He’s a good bloke and a good chef. He has trained a lot of chefs around Wagga.

Death row meal:

Jess: A big bowl of pasta, garlic bread and a beer. For dessert, I’ll have ice cream and anything caramel.
Sam: Just the biggest piece of steak, beer and wine.

Marbull Catering has been nominated again as one of the top wedding caterers in the country. Photo: Marbull Catering.

Where you’re travelling to next: Hopefully down to Eden at the end of the year. No big trips on the horizon this time around. Not until the little ones get a bit older.

Dream destination:

Jess: I would love to go to an island and be at a resort. I would go back to England and Europe any day as well.
Sam: Brazil for me.

My biggest fear: Something happening to our boys or each other.

READ ALSO Five minutes with Farhana Amir, Oliver Brown Belgian Chocolate Cafe

My least favourite food:

Jess: Peas.
Sam: I can do a lot of things, but I can’t do tripe.

My top three cooking tips:

Jess: Organisation, go with your gut feeling and be confident.
Sam: Preparation, organisation and seasoning.

Visit Marbull Catering to find out more, or book them for your next big event.

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