By Word of Mouth has been voted the Best Caterer in Johannesburg in the 2018 Best of Joburg Readers’ Choice awards for a record 19 years in a row.

Now in its 20thyear, the Best of Joburg awards are a barometer of the city’s “best of the best”, with winners selected by the people who matter most: the public. Leisure Options magazine readers vote for these awards which cover over 100 categories.

By Word of Mouth founder and chairperson Karen Short was thrilled with the accolade. “A huge thank you to all our clients and friends for trusting us with all their special occasions,” she said. “It’s a privilege to do these events and we are so grateful for their loyalty and support.”

It’s one thing to be recognised for excellence, but to do it consistently for almost two decades is what makes this achievement exceptional. Since 1993, By Word of Mouth has perfected the art of putting on the most talked about events in South Africa. 25 years later, the catering and events company has become synonymous with innovation and quality – whether it’s catering a private dinner for the King of Ghana, or providing unique designer menus at large events such as the ABSA Champagne Festival, the Vodacom Durban July or the Nedbank International Polo.

Beyond offering exquisite food, By Word of Mouth also curates entire events, pulling various elements together like layout and floral design, hiring, décor, beverages, front of house managers and waiters. In this way, guests are treated to a cohesive experience that stays with them long after the last champagne cork has been popped.  Some recent examples of these events include the SingularityU South Africa Summit, the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge and the Investec 20 Years Celebration.

With an impressive client list By Word of Mouth has proven once again that it leads the way when it comes to catering in the City of Gold, and fully deserves its most recent accolade.


Drink on arrival

Christmas spritzer with prosecco and peach schnapps garnished with pomegranate seeds and rosemary sprig

We will garnish the plate with Christmas balls, Christmas ribbon, and Christmas tree leaves or alternatively we can do a modern white Christmas – platters to be garnished with white ribbon, fairy lights, Perspex plates and touches of silver

Star shaped pepper shortbread topped with brie and cranberry jelly garnish with caramelized pecan nuts

Mini cheese scones topped with glazed gammon and sweet mustard sauce topped with chopped chives

Chicken liver pate pots with blueberry and balsamic glaze served with twisted bread sticks

Stylish charcoal black prawn cocktail served in a designer glass pot topped with a petit lime wedge, baby sprouts and mini skewer

Mini potato rosti topped with herbed crème fraiche, gravlax and beetroot relish

Mini duck and cherry pot pie topped with a flaky pastry lid and fresh rosemary

Parma ham, mozzarella and figs skewer, garnished with fresh basil and balsamic drizzle

Golden baked artichoke gratin served on a Chinese spoon, topped with slivers of tangy red pepper marmalade and pink peppercorns

Crispy slow cooked pork belly on a mini dish with an apple puree 

 A mille feuille of pear and gorgonzola drizzled with a balsamic reduction served on a mini plate

Something sweet

Xmas chocolate brownie dusted with icing sugar garnish with holly and berries

Mini white chocolate Christmas rocky road with gold dust

Mini fridge cake Christmas pudding dusted with icing sugar

Mini pots of vanilla bean pannacotta topped with mulled wine jelly and finished with fresh summer berries

Apple mince pies, served warm and accompanied by fluffy brandy butter topped with toasted flaked almonds

Tea and coffee served with millionaire shorbread @ R18 per person excluding VAT

Cheeseboard display using different layered stands and slabs incorporating the theme on the display @ R65 per person excluding VAT

Opulent cheese display – trio of gourmet cheeses served with homemade preserves, fresh seasonal fruit, plump grapes, assorted biscuits and sliced fresh breads with vases of crispy phyllo shards, crunchy honeycomb and our famous brownie bites dusted with icing sugar and garnished with plump blushing strawberries




The Achievement in Catering & Events (ACE) awards honor those who have worked tirelessly to keep their clients thrilled and their companies on the cutting edge. Each year, caterers and event planners from around the globe submit their best work from the past year in hopes of being recognized as the best in the industry. Catersource’s annual awards show, also including the ICA CATIE awards, took place in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace on February 19, 2018.

Each company submitted two events for ACE consideration. Here is a look at the two events that elevated By Word of Mouth in the category of finalist, International.

ONE: Wild, Wild West

“JP Morgan is one of the largest and most successful investment companies around the globe, and we’re privileged that they call on our event planning expertise for the VIP tent at their annual Corporate Challenge series, year after year,” said Karen Short, chairlady and founder, By Word of Mouth.

All photos courtesy of the caterer

“Organizing this event pushes us to be extremely creative, as we have to come up with unique elements that will surprise and delight our guests, many of whom have been attending for years. It’s crucial that we create something exceptional in South Africa to stand out from the rest,” she continued.

JP Morgan supplied the theme, “Wild West” and as with previous years, we had free reign to design the entire event. We’re all about details when it comes to curating the entire experience: from the very first moment our guests caught sight of the specially sourced red Bedouin tent that was reminiscent of a saloon, we wanted them to feel as if they had been transported straight into an authentic Western movie.

Costumes and catering go hand-in-hand: the BWOM staff

A stunning ‘chandelier installation’ custom-made out of straw hats hung above a bucking bronco, providing a dramatic talking point

Galvanized buckets were filled with ice cold “cowboy” beers

A variety of designer “cactus” cupcakes were served on wood carnival trays

The team struck gold when, after months of searching, they found a striking red Bedouin tent, which looked exactly like saloons of old. With its installation, guests were transported to a dusty one-horse town, with swinging saloon doors, giant cut-out cacti and the chance to spot a cowboy around every corner.

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The annual By Word of Mouth Festive Market & Workshops will be hosted at The Polo Room at the Inanda Club in Sandton on Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th of October 2018.
The popular, high-end, festive outdoor market will run alongside The Edible Gifting and The Art of Icing Biscuits Workshops.
Workshop times:
9:00am – 11:30am (The art of icing biscuits by The Biscuit Studio, Beginners Christmas Class)
1:30pm – 4:00pm (The art of icing biscuits by The Biscuit Studio, Beginners Christmas Class)
Cost of this workshop is R500 pp. This is a basic class, no previous icing experience is needed. Come learn to decorate gorgeous iced biscuits. You’ll be icing 6-8 Christmas themed biscuits.
10:00am – 11:30am (Edible Gifting Workshop by Karen Short)
12:00pm – 2:30pm (The art of icing biscuits by The Biscuit Studio, Beginners Christmas Class)
2:30 pm – 4:00pm (Edible Gifting Workshop by Karen Short)
The cost of Edible Gifting class is R280pp.
For those visiting the market only, an entrance fee of R70 will be payable at the door.
Market will be open from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday and 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday.
To book your tickets
email Zelda.Nhapi@bywordofmouth.co.za or phone 011 553 7600



R320 per person excluding VAT

All cutlery and crockery to be included until the end of July

Drink on arrival

Gluwein garnished with cinnamon sticks, star anise and an orange slice

Canapes passed around on designer plates incorporating your colour scheme

Butternut soup sip topped with a swirl of crème fraiche topped with twisted cheese straws

Mini falafel served in a mini glass dish with bamboo skewer presented with a beetroot hummus

Warm stilton fritters skewered with a curly bamboo skewer served with a marinara sauce

Smoked salmon roll with red onion and coriander salsa drizzled with a mustard dressing  

Mini black chicken taco with sour cream, mango and chilli salsa

Marinated beef fillet skewer finished with spicy prego dipping sauce

Mini deconstructed beef wellington served in a mini glass pot topped with a phyllo shard

Something more substantial

Homemade pasta topped with our famous oxtail sauce, parmesan shavings and fresh herbs

Ultimate chicken shawarmas wrapped with in greaseproof paper

Mini silver bucket with goujons of fish, shoestring fries and watercress tartare

 Vegetarian – we will cater for 10% of the guest

Spinach and cheese balls topped with a creamy sage sauce, parmesan shavings and fresh rocket 

Dessert passed around for guest to help themselves

Pear with gingerbread and white chocolate mug crumble topped with homemade vanilla crème anglaise

Mini orange and chocolate cake with caramelized orange zest









Assorted hummus including:

Beetroot hummus
Butternut hummus
Kale, spinach and pine nut hummus sweet potato and turmeric hummus


Carrot, orange, ginger and walnut dip

Pomegranate and aubergine salad with harissa and sundried tomatoes

Heirloom tomato and olive salad with z’atar drizzled with a buttermilk dressing

Black eye bean salad with diced peppers, spring onion dill and parsley

Quinoa pattie with pomegranate molasses and yoghurt

Roasted portabella mushroom with pine nuts and halloumi

Zucchini fritters with tzatziki

Served with homemade flat breads




Special winter plated menu @ R400 per person excluding VAT

Cutlery and crockery included in the menu – valid until 31 July.

On arrival included in the menu price

Gluwein garnished with cinnamon sticks, star anise and an orange slice

Served with:

Warm cheese gougers

 Plated Starter – please select 1 option

Panko asparagus with charred orange segments, hollandaise and baby rocket leaves

Trio of slow roasted pork belly served on a mustard mash and drizzled with rich apple sauce

Butternut pancakes with a lentil and chickpea ragout topped with a burnt sage butter sauce, parmesan shavings and fresh rocket

Homemade butternut and mushroom ravioli topped with sage cream sauce, garnished with toasted pine nuts, basil pesto and parmesan shavings

Courgette and mint soup served with a swirl of herbed crème fraiche topped with a large bread shard topped with freeze dried flowers, pearls and micro mint leaves

Creamy cauliflower soup with crumbled blue cheese and poached red wine pears garnished with cracked black pepper topped with a cheese twist

 Plated Main course – please select 1 option – (if you require a choice main course we will charge an additional R75 per person excluding VAT)

Homemade fettucini pasta topped with oxtail sauce, parmesan and fresh herbs served in a fluted white triangular bowl

Deboned lamb shank served on mustard mash potatoes and sautéed wild mushrooms, accompanied by roasted winter vegetables, carrot puree, topped with phyllo pastry shard

Moroccan fish served on a spread off hummus, herbed cous-cous topped with green tahini and matbucha and fresh coriander leaves

Marinated beef fillet served with cauliflower puree, ratatouille vegetables drizzled with a bordelaise jus topped with battered onion rings

Caprese stuffed balsamic chicken breast served on lyonnaise potatoes, drizzled with a balsamic reduction, pan fried asparagus topped with deep-fried basil, sundried tomato oil

Vegetarian – we will cater for 10% of the guest

Pan-fried polenta topped with wild mushroom ragout, slow roasted vine tomatoes drizzled with a basil pesto dressing

Stuffed sweet potato with chickpeas topped with broccoli pesto served on pan fried mushrooms, sautéed asparagus

Plated Dessert – please select 1 option

Individual apple tarte tatin served with honeycomb, cinnamon ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce topped with thinly sliced dried apple disc

Caramelized banana crepe soufflé with mint crème anglaise topped with spun sugar

Red wine poached pears served in a fluted plated with mascarpone cream topped with cinnamon sticks, freshly picked mint and pistachio crumbs






Join By Word of Mouth (voted Johannesburg’s Best Caterer for 18 consecutive years in a row) for their 4th annual Wedding Trend Showcase at the Polo Room on Sunday, the 20th of May.

Not only will the Wedding Trend Showcase exhibit the latest in wedding trends and culinary delights, but also re-create these trends in an elegant, timeless manner with elements that will appeal to every bride. A curation of 13 internationally inspired wedding décor designs; 6 bespoke wedding cakes as well as an exquisite display of tailor-made menu choices. Attendees can indulge in By Word of Mouth’s extraordinary tasting stations and wine bar as they make their choices for their own wedding day.

The Polo Room, 1 Forrest road, Inanda club, Sandton at 10:30am till 3:30pm. Tickets are at R220 per person. To book your tickets email Zelda.nhapi@bywordofmouth.co.za or phone 011 553 7600.




Officially open for business on 1st March 2018.

Delicious homestyle meals, from our kitchen to yours.

Karen Short, industry disrupter and founder of the celebrated catering brand By Word of Mouth, introduces her latest pioneering venture, Frozen for You.


Our generous homestyle meals are made with quality ingredients and the best local produce.


We take the stress out of cooking, saving you time and the cost of preparing meals from scratch.


With just a few clicks we can fill up your freezer for weeks in advance, for just about any occasion. For more information visit our online store at: www.frozenforyou.co.za


For added convenience, we deliver to certain areas in Johannesburg. For more information please visit our website.


Visit our flagship store Dainfern Square, Shop 54, Corner of William Nicol and Broadacres Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg.




Retail Sales Supervisor and Retail Sales Assistant for immediate start:

By Word of Mouth is seeking a passionate and experienced Retail Sales Supervisor and Retail Sales Assistant to join our dynamic team.  The roles will be based in the Fourways, Johannesburg area.

For a full job description and more information, please contact: catherine.fowler@bywordofmouth.co.za