Any foodie worth their salt will tell you, the start of a new year brings a totally fresh perspective on catering and special events! Whether you’re a food-first couple, a purveyor of all things delicious, or a socially awkward eat-first-talk-never foodaholic, you’ll definitely want to be in the know of what epicurean tastes await this coming season. So, in true EventSource fashion, we reached out to a handful of Toronto’s favourite caterers to find out what’s cooking for 2018.

By the way, if the idea of eating and greeting your way through 12 of Toronto’s best caterers throughout the course of an afternoon sounds like your idea of heaven, you’ll absolutely want to check out our coverage of last year’s Toronto Catering Showcase.

Wild Striped Bass Crudo – “Island Flavours”

Ontario peppers and cucumber, avocado mousse, coconut-lime emulsion, jerk fermented habanero, plantain crips and scallion thyme oil

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“We love this dish because it represents local ingredients in a fun, new flavor profile. Having recently traveled to Jamaica, our team was blown away with their beautiful/balanced spices and wild fish. This would make for an incredible first course at a spring or summer wedding and can be transitioned into a station size flight for guests to enjoy at a cocktail/station style affair. Striped bass is a very clean, fresh white fish that takes to deeper flavors really well!”

– Executive Chef Toben, Toben Food by Design 


roasted in mole served with celeriac mousse, sunflower and beet meringue

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“Something that’s gaining a lot more prominence is vegetable-forward dishes. People tend to now want less meat, but to also not be bored with what they are eating. When we make a dish, we want it to be fun and captivating but also engaging. We don’t want people to “miss the meat” – we want to show that a well-cooked vegetable can be delicious and invigorating and also good for you.”

– Chef Matthew Ravenscroft, Drake Catering

You Gotta Thai This

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“Why not kick-off the New Year with a fresh new dish?! We are welcoming 2018 with this new Green Papaya Pad Thai recipe, created by yours truly. The mouth-watering combination of potato noodle, green mango, green papaya, lemongrass, lime, pomelo, Thai basil, tempeh, toasted black and white sesame seeds, infused with our homemade sesame soy vinaigrette will sure be a crowd pleaser. Everyone will be begging for more because this is what 2018 is all about; freshness and eating clean! Definitely a dish to remember!”

– Corporate Executive Chef Richard Andino, Encore Catering

King Oyster Mushroom Scallops

topped with Strawberry Salsa

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“We love the delicate flavours and the unique texture of scallops and wanted to share that experience with our guests this summer, particularly those with dietary restrictions. Using seared King Oyster Mushrooms we created an hors d’oeuvre that not only looks like a scallop but tastes and feels like one. We’ve dressed it with a Strawberry Salsa that brightens the dish while adding a sweet yet slightly acidic flavour. Why will it be a hit at your event? It’s Delicious, Sustainable, Vegan and Gluten Free. ”

– Executive Chef Karen O’Connor, Daniel et Daniel Catering & Events

Elevated Classics

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“Our Cheese Gougères are served with wildflower honey, hazelnuts, and sprinkled with smoked sea salt. Trends come and go, but classics stay with us forever. In 2018, we will continue to make elevated comfort food that is tasty no matter the year!”

– Chef Kevin Castonguay, ProvisionsTO

Plant-Based Eats

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“Flavourful, innovative and wholesome plant-based menu items have become an unstoppable trend! This season we look forward to creating more vegan dishes like our Beet Chip Taco with preserved lemon tofu mousse, avocado and cashew relish. As a strong advocate for mindful eating, we always strive to produce quality food for any palate without sacrificing on taste.”

– Executive Chef Jay Suppiah, Presidential Gourmet

Sausage Meatballs

2018 Catering

“These sublime sausage meatballs are a recent addition to our catering menu. Not only do they look Instagram-worthy, they are also an absolute hit when served as canapés or passed appetizers, although that should not stop you from serving them on their own as a main dish. We have three meatball varieties to choose from: Chorizo Sausage Meatballs served with our Alabama White BBQ Sauce, Smoked Turkey Dinner Sausage Meatballs served with a cranberry orange chutney, and Caraway Stout Sausage Meatballs served with our Pommery BBQ Sauce! Looking forward to serving this throughout 2018!”

– Chef David Neinstein, Barque Events

Ontario Whitefish Ceviche on a Wonton Taco

2018 Catering

“For the upcoming wedding season, I foresee simple, elegant, and fresh dishes, like our Ontario Whitefish Ceviche on a Wonton Taco with Nori. Ontario’s seafood industry is getting more sustainable all the time, and with this dish you can feel good about using local, limited-footprint seasonal fish like Pickerel. This taco is also great because while many of our customers may be apprehensive about trying something a bit uncommon like ceviche, the small serving and approach-ability of the taco makes it an easy introduction. This beautifully presented dish is sure to be a 2018 hit!”

– Executive Chef Chris Matthews, Eatertainment Special Events & Catering

Chick Peas Three Ways

2018 Catering

“For 2018 we are seeing more and more requests for unique and flavourful plant based dishes. We’ve answered with this amazing dish, Chick Peas Three Ways; Braised Chick Peas, Roasted Chick Peas & Aquafaba Scallops, Beet Cured Tofu, Oven Roasted Vine Tomato, Olive Oil, Turmeric Cauliflower, Microgreens and Edible Shamrock!”

– Chef René Kramer, en Ville Event Design and Catering

Homemade BBQ Pork, Shrimp

Assorted Julienne Vegetables Sautéed with Onion, Garlic, Ginger and Cilantro, Topped with a Sweet and Sour Sauce and a Crispy Tempura Bits, Wrapped with a Fresh Chive Lumpia Wrapper

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“The food trends of 2018 show Filipino influenced cuisine to be one of the hottest! One of the most common appetizers in the Filipino Cuisine is Lumpia Rolls, which are commonly known to be fried. As everyone is more health conscience nowadays, we decided to use a fresh lumpia wrapper instead to increase the refreshing taste while reducing the unhealthy oil.”

– Executive Chef Roshan Wanasingha, Ma-Ro Catering

Build-Your-Own Buffet Bonanza

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“Our 2018 menus will allow for lots of customization, as the trend towards build-your-own-buffets continues to boom. We’ve created a signature line of buffet options that allow guests to create their own dish, just the way they like it. These awesome menu offerings include our build-your-own-soup stations (Pho Station pictured above). Guests add all of their favorite soup ingredients to the bowl, before topping off everything with piping hot broth from a silver samovar. Our soup stations cover everything from ramen to chowder. This kind of buffet is perfect for accommodating all dietary needs from gluten-free to vegan in one shot! Our wide selection of food stations with a build-your-own spin include tacos, poutine, sliders, salad bars, and ice cream sundae’s to name just a few! ”

– Fia Pagnello, Kiss the Cook Catering

Ahi Tuna “Sushi” Bagel

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“A twist on traditional bagels and lox with wasabi cream cheese, pickled cucumber and tempura shallots. Based on the popularity of sushi and bagels with lox, we believe the fusion will be a hit!”

– Deirdre Anderson, L-eat Catering

Decadent Farm to Table Desserts

2018 Catering

“Chef Holloway is always looking for ways to combine his love of beautiful design and warm familiar flavours, and this year is no exception. His 2018 dessert creations perfectly marry a decadent look with farm to table flair; this includes: Organic Purple Yam & Earl Grey Doughnut, Smoked Prince Edward County Maple Tart, Chilli-Chocolate & Salted Caramel {Made with Sheldon Creek 45% Cream}, and Ontario Peach & Herbs de Provence Vol-au-Vent.”

– Marie Holloway, Urban Acorn