It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Everyone knows it’s the catering that makes or breaks any special event. Whether you’re hosting a wedding, cocktail party or corporate gala, the initial tone is set by the small yet mighty hors d’oeuvre. So what makes for a crowd-pleasing, yes-please-to-fourths, pre-meal delicacy? We turned to nine of Toronto’s top catering companies to find out:

Crispy Breaded Chicken Wing Stuffed With Mac & Cheese


The name says it all! Executive Chef Roshan Wanasingha at Encore Catering pairs two of our most delicious comfort foods to create the ultimate party crowd-pleaser.

Mise en Bouche Dixy Chicken


Marigolds & Onions shares this tender, juicy buttermilk-fried chicken breast, classic creamy coleslaw and fire roasted creamed corn.  A take on down-home-style fare offered up in a delicious “large-bite” portion.

 Cucumber Roll With Mango Infusion


Almost too pretty pretty to eat.. almost. Eatertainment Special Events & Catering presents cucumber rolls with mango infusion – a fresh take on sushi.  Black, sticky rice with a julienne yellow and red peppers are wrapped in paper-thin slices of crisp cucumber skin. Each exquisite bite is skewered with a mango champagne vinaigrette for that just-perfect, complimentary infusion of flavour.

 Scallop BLT


A fresh take on an old classic!  en Ville Event Design and Catering gives us crispy pancetta, a ripe cherry tomato, and aioli nestled inside seared scallop. The taste combination just melts in your mouth!

 Lobster Tacos


Served at both North 44 and McEwan Catering, The McEwan Group created these gorgeous lobster tacos.  Infused with fresh lime , scented soy, the lobster morsels are encased in miniature beet taco shells. Fabulous!

Parmesan Cheese Cups


Executive Chef Tony Loschiavo of L-eat Catering offers these miniature parmesan cheese cups with whipped mozzarella di buffala, then topped with a petite tomato salad. So delicious and bite-size, there’s no harm in having more than one, right?

 Bacon Candy


Fia Pagnello of Kiss the Cook Catering gives us thick cut bacon, lightly drizzled with a chili sugar (a mixture of brown sugar and chili powder).  It’s then slow cooked in the oven until everything gets caramelized, crisp and perfect. The ultimate sweet and savoury food combination!

 Buffalo Chicken Crackling


Russell Day and Laura Long of Daniel et Daniel Catering & Events shared with us the Buffalo Chicken Crackling. A decadent morsel of oven crisped chicken skin topped with a micro-dollop of buttermilk blue mousse, then garnished with slivers of carrot and celery sprouts. Intensely flavourful and delicious, Russell tells it’s a sure-fire way to have guests coming back for more!

Smoked Tomato Soup Shooter Topped with a Grilled Cheese Baton

Served warm, the rich, smoky taste is a surprising partner to the natural tomato flavors. Topped with a grilled cheese baton.  Just perfect for Fall and Winter affairs.  From executive Chef Brad Murphy at Treeline Catering.

Two Bite Turkey Dinner

This gem is a classic meal in a small bite. Kathy Woodgate of TASTE Culinary Inc shared with us this delicious bite of turkey dinner complete with stuffing and cranberries! 
We’d love to hear about all the incredible hors d’oeuvres you tasted!  Please share your favourite food experiences in the comments section below.