The Best Catering Companies in Toronto
The best catering companies in Toronto can totally make an event. Beyond those few moments of gawking at the bride, or paying tribute to a new charity, or sitting patiently through a formal address, event attendees are focused on the food. It should be fresh (in quality and innovation), perfectly plated, and of course, boast exceptional taste and flavour. But a catering company's work isn't limited just to the kitchen.
No, there's timing between courses, presentation, and serving etiquette to be considered, whether undertaken by the company's own staff or by hired servers from The Butler Did It or other staffing firms. The catering companies on this list have the aforementioned elements down to a science. Here is the list of the best catering companies in Toronto, as recommended by the readers of this site.
Daniel et Daniel
These kings of Toronto catering have served such esteemed visitors as the Queen of England, the Price of Wales, and your rum-happy Uncle Bob at your second cousin's wedding. The duo behind it all started the company over 30 years ago, and they now boast a catering company of more than 85 employees, as well as a Cabbagetown food shop. Daniel et Daniel catering is French-based with Asian, North American, and European influences.
The Food Dudes
While Daniel et Daniel claims a slow and steady ascent, The Food Dudes burst onto the scene a few years ago and somehow landed among the elite of Toronto caterers. Of course, that "somehow" should be an "obviously" if you've tried some of their corn soup shooters or local lamb sliders. The Food Dudes' menu tries to include as much local ingredients as possible with an emphasis on sustainability, which surely makes its cheesecake lollypops that much sweeter.
Marigolds and Onions
Marigolds and Onions is known to take on some huge Toronto parties, from the Rogers Cup Tournament to ROM galas, the Hockey Hall of Fame to the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. Marigolds and Onions is also on the eco-friendly train, not just in supporting local farmers but also taking (and promoting) their own measures to cut down on waste, which include reusing binders and planning deliveries with minimum gas emissions in mind. And yes, all that even for a simple corporate breakfast.
Star power is a weighty force it seems, because just a mention of Jamie Kennedy Kitchens can kick those Pavlovian responses into gear. Uh, even if the JK Kitchens team uses such unappetizing descriptors as "gastronomic experience." Operating out of The Gardiner and other prominent Toronto venues, prospective hosts can get a casual taste of the menu at the Gilead Cafe.
The Salt & Pepper Catering Co.
With a section of its menu simply devoted to cupcakes, The Salt & Pepper Catering Co. excels at neat and sweet. Stefanie Tortorella is the brain behind the business, known especially for its perfectly presented hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, which can include mini turkey burgers with fruit chutney, tuna tartare, and cocktail sandwiches on mini milk buns.
You would think Yorkshire Pudding to be the caterer to serve the Queen, but private functions and smaller events are more of this company's essence. Its menu is classic with an elegant twist, and includes dishes such as red-wine poached AAA tenderloin and pan-fried spinach gnocchi. Yorkshire Pudding will do weddings, corporate events, and even small at-home dinner parties.
10tation Event Catering
10tation Event Catering doesn't just cook the meal, but also has its own team of event planners to organize the time before and after the espresso bean creme brulee. In addition, whereas many other Toronto caterers will limit set dinner options to just a few, 10tation offers 10 (a nod to its name?) plus several buffet and barbeque choices.
Presidential Gourmet seems to be on the preferred catering list for most everyone around, which explains its venerable city-wide reputation. In the biz since 1986, Presidential Gourmet's "Green Manifesto" now weighs heavily on its menu of fresh takes on familiar foods, such as its mint and rosemary rubbed lamb chop and its spicy chocolate cake with maple bacon jam.
The Moveable Feast
While The Moveable Feast won't be serving thousands at the AGO's next gala, this relatively small catering company knows intimate dinner parties, as well as gatherings for up to 500 people. Reviewing The Moveable Feast's menu of lobster bisque shooters, foie gras mousseline, and wild mushroom risotto with either have you salivating, or else give you an inexplicable urge to pick up a Hemmingway book and dive in.
Photos from The Food Dudes on Flickr.