Wedding Guide: the best catering companies in Toronto
À la Carte Kitchen
2 Thorncliffe Park Dr. (at Overlea Blvd.), Unit 43, 416-971-4068
Founders Simon Kattar (a chef) and Brian King (a sales and events professional) count royalty and other VIPs among their clients; they move effortlessly from large-scale events (at Roy Thomson Hall, the ROM and the Ontario Science Centre) to more intimate settings. The kitchen’s roster of chefs might start a meal with a chilled foie gras–fig jam appetizer with sauternes gelées and frisée-almond salad. Kattar strives to include local, organic ingredients, and has been pursuing his Lebanese roots with Middle Eastern–French cuisine, as in speckled trout with bulgur and green onion salad. Cocktail menu from $17.50 per person. Sit-down and buffet dinner $30–$60 per person (with a maximum of 2,000), plus wait staff and chef’s charges. No charge for tasting if event is booked. By appointment.
All the Best Fine Foods
1101 Yonge St. (at Marlborough Ave.), 416-467-0580
When the Heather-and-Gerry crowd throws a shindig, this Rosedale mainstay is the go-to spot. The menus change weekly, but expect to find such gourmet comfort foods as beef tenderloin with cracked pepper and Dijon crust, vegetarian chili and mushroom agnolotti with chive cream, as well as savoury sides like couscous-stuffed tomatoes. Wedding banquets (they’ll accommodate up to 400 people) deliver customized menus emphasizing seasonal freshness, natural flavours and local produce. An impressive collection of Canadian artisanal cheeses provides plenty of selection for after dessert. Buffet dinner $40–$95 per person. Sit-down dinner $50–$150, plus wait staff, chef’s charges and buffet rentals. Book two months ahead. By appointment.
As the resident caterer at the Evergreen Brick Works, Belong is surely the city’s most virtuous catering outfit. Chef Brad Long sources foods from the best sustainable producers, including Vicki’s Veggies and 100km Foods. He serves composed plates and elegant sharing options like a spit-roasted heritage-breed pig and a bucolic crudité table with just-pulled baby vegetables and an array of dips and pumpernickel soil for dipping. Even the drinking water will leave you with a clear conscience: it’s filtered at his facility using a Vivreau water system. Cocktail menu from $60 per person. Sit-down dinner from $180 per person. By appointment.
Couture Cuisine and Event Artistry
185 Graydon Hall Dr. (at Graydon Hall Pl.), 416-449-5432
Chef Arpi Magyar (formerly of Splendido and Auberge du Pommier) joins forces with a formidable team of event specialists—a sommelier, a stylist, an interior designer and planners—to create extravagant dos. Couture is the in-house caterer for Graydon Hall Manor, but also handles off-site functions. At one winter feast, they served cauliflower soup with veal meatballs followed by squash ravioli, then a main course of rack of venison with potato croquettes and steamed chestnuts and finally a dessert of caramelized quince with vanilla ice cream. Cocktail menu from $40 per person. Buffet and sit-down dinner (for up to 1,000) $50–$70 per person, plus wait staff, chef’s charges and rentals. By appointment.
Daniel et Daniel Event Creation and Catering
248 Carlton St. (at Parliament St.), 416-968-9275, ext. 10
Often hailed as the city’s top caterer, this company specializes in classical French cuisine with international influences. Daniel Clairet works the kitchens and develops customized menus for clients, while Daniel Megly oversees all other aspects. They accommodate casual sit-down dinners as happily as formal events for 2,000 guests. Pork belly bánh mì on mini baguettes and shrimp boudin with pickled onion make great hors d’oeuvres. Salad options include smoked beets with sour apple, braised leeks and white balsamic vinaigrette. The current doughnut craze has inspired the Daniels to offer up beignets in flavours both savoury (short ribs, bacon and pimento) and sweet (dulce de leche). Cocktail menu $20–$40 per person. Buffet dinner $30–$50. Sit-down dinner $35–$70, plus wait staff, chef’s charges and rentals. Book at least six months ahead. No charge for tasting if event is booked.
Eatertainment Special Events and Catering
55 Bloor St. W. (at Bay St.), Ste. 216, 416-964-1162
The company’s catering package showcases 80 pages of options, but the chefs will happily tailor menus to suit any client, whether they’re serving 20 or 2,000 guests. Event planning services, including valet parking, invitations, decor, audiovisual elements and transportation, are also available. Buffet dinner $25–$50 per person. Sit-down dinner $35–$150, plus wait staff and chef’s charges. Free tasting. Book three months ahead.
En Ville Event Design and Catering
165 Geary Ave. (at Bartlett Ave.), 416-533-8800
Chef René Kramer’s excellent team comes from all over the world, inflecting wedding menus with eclectic international influences. They smoke fish and pork in-house, and the chocolate fountain is a favourite among sweet tooths. En Ville can also coordinate music, entertainment, security, transportation, rentals, flowers, videography and photography, wine pairings and customized table design for wedding clients. Buffet and sit-down dinner $20–$55 per person, plus rentals, wait staff and chef’s charges. Over 1,000 people can be served. No charge for tasting if event is booked. By appointment.
The Food Dudes
Adrian Niman started catering out of his parents’ house in 2005. Along with business partner Brent McClenahan, he now handles over 700 events annually, and usually at least one wedding per week. Niman challenges catering’s stodgy reputation with modernist touches and an equal emphasis on big flavours and balanced textures. He saves butternut squash soup from its cliché status by first smoking the vegetable, then garnishing it with a crispy pakora and icy liquid nitrogen–blasted sour cream. A mozzarella bar featuring cheese flown in from Campania, Italy, is currently the it item at weddings. Cocktail menu from $30 per person. Sit-down dinner from $55 per person, plus wait staff and chef’s charges. By appointment.
1255 Sheppard Ave. E. (at Old Leslie St.), 416-410-2928
Evelyne Gharibian is the go-to caterer for vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists and people with
gluten intolerance, sourcing her ingredients from organic, Local Food Plus–certified producers and making everything from scratch. The Cornucopia, a signature cocktail hour display of fresh crudités, dips, veggie pâtés and crusty breads, is so stunning that it’s been known to upstage the wedding cake. She ensures carnivores leave just as satisfied as veggie heads; they get their proteins from free-range and sustainable sources (smoked fish from Manitoulin Island, Mennonite-raised chicken). Cocktail menu from $21 per person. Buffet dinner from $45 per person. Sit-down dinner from $49 per person, plus wait staff and chef’s charges. By appointment.
Jamie Kennedy Event Catering
111 Queen’s Park (at Bloor St. W.), 416-362-1957, ext. 201
Since selling the Wine Bar in 2009, Jamie Kennedy has been focusing more on the catering side of his business. He’s the exclusive caterer at the Gardiner Museum (150 for a sit-down meal; 250 for a cocktail reception), a magnificent, glassed-in event space used by stylist Jessica de Ruiter and artist Jed Lind to exchange vows (the event was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings). An in-house team attends to every detail. Trademark locavore dishes include rosemary-crusted lamb chops with caramelized sunchokes, sautéed greens with wild mushroom ragù and a late-night snack of mini poutine in ramekins. Cocktail menu $24–$45 per person. Sit-down dinner from $75, plus wait staff. No charge for tasting if event is booked. Book at least two weeks in advance. By appointment.
Marigolds and Onions
2700 Dufferin St. (at Briar Hill Ave.), Unit 18, 416-256-4882
This elegant caterer can accommodate sit-down dinners for 2,000 as easily as it can handle smaller, more intimate affairs. For one wedding at the Miller Lash House, they set up food stations for 130 guests in a tent with cruiser tables, bar stools, table seating and lounge couches. The choices included a summer barbecue grill on the patio, hand-rolled sushi to order, pad Thai with flaming woks and a “sweet endings” station with house-baked treats. Later in the evening came homemade gourmet pizzas and sweet bites (cheesecake lollipops and house-made chocolate maki). Wedding packages $126–$175 per person, including rentals, wait staff and chef’s charges. Free tasting. Bookings are taken on as little as 24 hours’ notice. Appointments recommended.
North 44° Caterers
2537 Yonge St. (at Sherwood Ave.), 416-487-4897, ext. 3
In addition to four restaurants and a gourmet grocery store, Mark McEwan owns one of the top catering outfits in the city. No wedding is too big (or too small), and his planners will arrange every detail, right down to custom invitations. Seasonal restaurant-quality food and service can be delivered to any venue. Halibut wrapped in a banana leaf has crispy skin and a flaky middle, and comes with a side of lemon-scented basmati rice. An herb-crusted bison tenderloin comes with ricotta gnocchi, braised onions and a spiced plum chutney. Cocktail menu from $50 per person. Buffet from $80. Sit-down dinner from $90, plus wait staff and chef’s charges. No charge for tasting for two if event is booked. Order two to six months in advance for peak season events. By appointment.
538 Manning Ave. (at Harbord St.), 416-821-0763
On little more than word of mouth, this four-year-old caterer has developed a loyal clientele of discerning foodies. It’s run by Lyon-born chef Jean-Pierre Challet, best known for the excellent Harbord Street restaurant Ici Bistro and the new pâtisserie Le Matin in Leslieville. At a wedding held in the Thompson Landry Gallery, he received a standing ovation for the five-course extravaganza, which included salmon tournedos with maple pecans and a clementine beurre blanc. Shrimp pommes frites—crispy potato-wrapped tiger prawns—are a crowd favourite at stand-and-mingle affairs. Cocktail menu from $25 per person, buffet dinner from $45. Sit-down dinner from $55, plus wait staff and chef’s charges. No charge for tasting if event is booked. Book two months in advance. By appointment.
Sequent Event Catering
105 Vanderhoof Ave. (at Laird Dr.), Unit 8, 416-480-0996
Co-owners Eric te Boekhorst and Lisa Rutland can plan every party detail, including venue, valets, entertainment and food. The team has served hors d’oeuvre and sit-down dinners for 1,200, but can also design intimate affairs, with chefs cooking à la minute in your home. Locally sourced, seasonal ingredients make for a bevy of catering delights. Cocktail menu from $30 per person. Buffet and sit-down dinners from $40 per person, plus wait staff and chef charges. No charge for tasting if event is booked. By appointment.
1583 Dupont St. (at Franklin Ave.), 416-537-7867
Few people know that The Stop, the community food centre that runs a drop-in lunch program, food bank and community garden project out of the Wychwood Barns, also has one of the city’s best high-end catering companies (not surprisingly, it’s certified by Local Food Plus). Chef Chris Brown’s canapés soar: butter-poached lobster with pickled fennel; artichoke fritters with tarragon aïoli; oxtail poutine. Cocktail menus from $20 per person. Sit-downs $50 per person. Wait staff and alcohol are extra. By appointment.
963 Dovercourt Rd. (at Hallam St.), 416-535-2412
Co-owners Marilyn Simms and chef Pedro Dos Santos have impeccable green credentials: they’re affiliated with certification body Local Food Plus, they compost on-site, their delivery vehicle runs on bio-diesel fuel and David Suzuki is a fan of the food. Menu staples include smoked salmon bannock blini with blackberry crème fraîche and maple-glazed pork belly doughnuts. Vert will cater cocktail receptions for up to 300 guests and serve dinner for up to 100. Cocktail menu $24–$40 per person. Buffet dinner $35–$75. Sit-down dinner $55–$100, plus wait staff and chef’s charges. Book up to a month in advance.