Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions so here are some common queries we have received

 What is DIY catering?

We prepare and cook all the foods on your selected menu specifically for your event. We then package these onto disposable platters and trays and into insulated boxes, ready to dispatch to your event. Depending on your choice of menu, the foods will keep in excellent condition ready for you to eat for between 30 minutes and 3 hours.

All DIY catering is provided by Kiwi Cuisine ( You can rest assured that you won't have to worry about the amount of food provided or the quality.

All our recipes have been developed specifically for Christchurch people by us, and the quantity of food that we provide has been proven to exceed expectations by thousands of happy customers. All our food for DIY catering is cooked and packaged to the same high standards that Kiwi Cuisine has become legendary for. Please remember that whilst we do provide very generous quantities of food, all the food is designed to be eaten on the day of catering within the time frames specified.

 Why DIY?

It's so easy to cater for almost any number with DIY catering. We provide ALL the food that is required for your event - from perfectly spit-roasted meats through to the tomato sauce that goes with your hot savories. We can even supply plates, knifes, forks and almost anything else that you require to ensure the success of your event.

By not providing the service and equipment we are able to keep the price right down - whilst not compromising the quality or quantity of food that is required. With our large buying power we are often able to provide our catering at a lower price than what most people would pay for the ingredients alone.

 Who DIY's?

We have provided DIY catering for wedding parties, large and small corporate events, family reunions, private dinner parties - in fact, almost any event where you have a few keen helpers can be catered for on a DIY basis.

 How does DIY catering work?

DIY suppers and starters
Suppers and starters are all packaged in disposable platters and boxes. All foods are packed into returnable insulated boxes. Suppers are best served within 2 hours of your pick-up time and consumed within 1 hour of serving. Foods that require heating are chilled and packed into a combination of oven ready foil trays and cardboard trays then into insulated boxes - these boxes can be returned to us the day after your event.

We also include napkins and appropriate sauces/condiments with all our DIY suppers. Please return the insulated boxes to us after your function. If required we can package these straight onto our hire trays and platters for a more professional look (additional charge) - To serve your DIY supper simply heat the hot items in the oven and put the food on the table!

DIY Barbecues
For our DIY barbeques we cook all the large cuts of meat at our premises on our barbeque. We then package these in foil trays and into returnable insulated boxes with the hot potatoes, and any hot vegetables required. All the smaller cuts of meat are packed into plastic bags - seasoned and lightly oiled ready for you to cook on your barbeque. All our homemade salads are packed into clear bags and plastic clamshell containers  and packed into a returnable chilly box with the appropriate condiments and our napkins.

The hot food will stay piping hot for about an hour. Your meal is best served about 45 minutes after your pick-up time. If required for a minimal additional cost we can cook all the meats for your barbeque; however the smaller cuts of meats are much better when cooked on site and eaten immediately. Talk to us to discuss your exact requirements.

All you need to provide is the barbeque, buffet table, serving spoons and tongs, cutlery and crockery, carving knife and chopping board (for the larger cuts), a person to cook the barbeque, a person to carve the meats, and lots of hungry people to feed! To improve the look of the buffet you may like to provide your own salad bowls, tablecloths and breadbasket, or hire them from us.

 How to serve your DIY meal

Guidelines for heating your supper:

Please bear in mind the time it takes to heat the food does depend on the type of oven - commercial or household, and whether it is a fan oven or not. Plus how much food is put in the oven at one time. Do not over-fill the oven, as this will increase the time it takes to heat the food and give a less crispy product. All foods will heat best if trayed up in single layers. All hot foods must be heated till piping hot.

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Put food on 2-3 shelves only.
  • Approx heating times:
  • 5-10 minutes  -  prawn kebabs 
  • 10 minutes  -  vegetarian pastries 
  • 10 minutes  -  mini spring rolls & samosa 
  • 10-15 minutes  -  prawn pastry puffs 
  • 10-15 minutes  -  mushroom pastry puffs 
  • 10-15 minutes  -  mini quiche 
  • 10-15 minutes  -  real fish bites 
  • 15 minutes  -  field mushroom and capsicum vol-au-vents 
  • 20-25 minutes  -  savouries 

Bring your barbeque up to temperature. If you have a barbeque with a hood, keep the hood down whilst heating and whilst cooking each of the meats, ensure that all meats are cooked through, take care that the uncooked meats do not come into contact with the cooked meats or salads. When cooking large quantities of meats it is important to heat the barbeque up to temperature between each batch. All the meat provided is for your dinner so cook all of each type of meat. Cook the meats in the following order. And once they are done place them in the foil trays provided (or use your own serving ware) keep these warm in the oven whilst you are cooking the next batch.

  • 15-20 min on a med grill  -  bbq pork strips : watch out that the marinade doesn't burn
  • 15-20 min on a med grill  -  seriously good lamb sausages
  • 15-20 min on a med grill  -  lamb loin chops with mint and garlic
  • 15 min on a med grill  -  Portobello mushrooms 
  • 8-12 min on a med high grill  -  chicken breast fillets
  • 2-5 min each side on hot grill  -  sirloin steaks
  • 1-2 min each side on a med grill  -  greenshell mussels
  • 1-2 min each side on a hot grill  -  venison marinated in red wine 
  • 2-3 min each side on a hot grill  -  marinated scallops
  • 1-3 min each side on a hot grill  -  prawn kebabs

Place the salads, condiments and hot vegetables on the table, and carve the larger cuts of meats and let your guests help themselves to a delicious dinner.

 When you cater for a serviced BBQ what do you provide other than the great food?

Included in the per-person price is all the crockery, cutlery, food service staff and the buffet tables and tablecloths.

 What time will your team arrive on site?

For catering we arrive on site about one hour prior to your arranged eating time. For BBQ Catering we arrive on site up to two and a half hours prior to your eating time. For suppers or afternoon teas we arrive as close to your eating time as possible. 

 How many staff will you have on site?

The number of staff we have is directly dependant on your menu requirements and the number of guests. 

 Do your staff look after the bar?

If required we can provide bar staff for your event, please contact us to ask for a quote. 

 Do you need power and water?

This is dependant on your menu selection, this will be part of our conversations when looking at the finer details of your event.

 Do you set the guest tables?

For an additional cost again to arrange for a set-up team. For those who want the cutlery on the tables you are more than welcome to pick them up from our base in the morning or even the day before. 

 Do you clear away the plates from the guest tables?

Yes, after each course our staff will clear all the plates from the guest tables.