Showing posts with label Caterers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caterers. Show all posts
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending the TOBEN x DX Save or Splurge Event and had an unforgettable experience! Put on by the team at Toben Food By Design, and held at Design Exchange, the historic space that was once the former Toronto Stock Exchange, the event brought together those who work in, or closely with, the event and food industry. Attendees were invited to Relax, Recharge and Rediscover and learn and exchange ideas, all while enjoying an afternoon of cocktails, industry discussion, and food. The result? An unforgettably wonderful experience, along with planning tips for every budget.

Blog by me, and edited by Read my blog and more pics here.

Before the sit-down lunch, guests were treated to a variety of concoctions courtesy of Sipbar, and delicious treats from the in-house team at Toben Food By Design.

Passed hors d’oeuvre of Pea and Truffle Risotto Cakes, along with east coast Lobster Rolls and four spice Seared Tuna were passed around.

The team at Toben Food By Design prepared a three-course meal for lunch that was heavily inspired by global cuisine. I was lucky enough to attend one of their previous pop-up dinners, where I learned that Chef Toben has traveled all over various parts of Asia and Europe, and has incorporated what he has learned abroad into his cooking. The catering company specializes in providing fresh, local artisan cuisine at any budget, whether one wants to save or splurge.

The first course was the Heirloom Tomato and Ontario Raspberry Salad, which set the tone for what was to come! These tomatoes originated from South America and were brought over to Europe in the late 1500s, talk about wow! Taste-wise, this dish reminded me of summer, and the avocado mousse and miso vinaigrette was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy.

The main course featured a culinary clash of west & east coast concepts with the Thai Surf ‘n Turf. The combination of succulent grilled seafood and steak has become a beloved dinner classic and can be found on many caterers’ wedding menu. Toben does it differently, as many key ingredients were substituted with Asian Thai flavors. Instead of a steak, they opted for the ballotine chicken, which is a French specialty that was cooked by braising. Chef Toben dressed it with coconut-water spinach rice and yellow curry emulsion. These are two commonly used ingredients in many Thai dishes. Additionally, it was beautifully decorated with Shiitake mushrooms and pickled eggplant.

Dessert was a Mini Dessert Duo consisting of Strawberry-Raspberry Verrine, Strawberry Mousse, and Vanilla Sable. The mousse was amazing, as it was creamy and rich. Additionally, the blackberry chantilly added the perfect touch to the savory-sweet nature of this dessert.

The event also featured live music from Brent Miller LIVE, bringing that added touch of fun to the event. Guests were also treated to on-site nail painting services from The Nail and Champagne Bar.

Some of the beautifully designed table sets from the Save or Splurge Event. 

Designed by  Rebecca Chan Weddings & Events 

Designed by Megan Wappel Design

Designed by Alana Klein of Swoon Events

Designed by Melissa Baum Events

Designed by Alana Klein of Swoon Events

My takeaway from this event is that you can create a beautiful wedding or event, regardless of whether you want to save or splurge. For event planners, it’s their responsibility to manage the client’s expectations while looking to see where one can save in order to splurge on certain big-ticket items. Overall, the collaboration between Toben Food By Design and Design Exchange was a great success – thanks for having us!

Disclaimer: Collaborated post with The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

On April 7th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Toronto Bridal Brunch. It was every bit as dreamy as I pictured. As I walked through the flower-adorned entrance by Opening Night Flowers, captivation of my attention towards the glamour décor was met hand in hand with the elegant space.

Intended as a semi-intimate gathering for brides-to-be, the seated brunch was held at the luxurious Globe and Mail Centre and was the center wedding inspirations that day for every guest attending. An impressive line-up of elect vendors was present, and the event was chock full of wedding inspirations, from the ornate centerpieces, wedding services, wedding gowns showcase to the decadent sweets display.

We arrived at the registration table on the 16th floor, and the check-in experience went smoothly. Guests were asked to provide a cell phone number, and they would receive a text when their brunch table was ready. The main event was a full-service brunch presented by Presidential Gourmet, which was nothing short of being visually elegant and tasty.

The Globe and Mail Centre was a perfect fit for this event as it’s one of the very few venues in Toronto offering such a splendor panoramic city and lake views from the top floors. Combining elegance with contemporary sophistication, the soft light of the sun, and the beautiful tiled wooden floors was nothing short of spectacular, matched by its floor-to-ceiling windows and dazzling displays. In this case, the subtle touches of the decor and place settings by Detailz Couture Event Rentals have branded the event into a Parisian café sensation with the gram in mind – photo friendly! It was the perfect backdrop for a morning brunch.

There are many elements that come into play when planning the perfect wedding including food, venue, hair and make-up, photography and more. The Toronto Bridal Brunch was pretty much a one-stop-shop for brides-to-be and their bridal parties. This event was a stark contrast to the large bridal shows, as guests here were able to get more of a hands-on and personal experience from vendors and panel guests. It was pretty much a curated vendor marketplace.

 Upon entering the venue, guests were treated to complimentary mimosas. The mimosa bar by Juice Concepts definitely kept guests satisfied until their timed brunch seating.

Now onto the actual brunch at the Marie BrunchCafé. Named after one of history's most notable fashionistas, Marie Antoinette, the full-service brunch cafe by Presidential Gourmet offered plenty of treats for guests. We were promptly seated at 11 am, and on the table was a small selection of mini Parisian breakfast pastries for us to enjoy. My favorite was the buttery croissant!

Although the brunch entree menu only consisted of four options, Presidential Gourmet definitely showcased their culinary talents with a rather diverse menu. The options included Egg Benedict a la Marie, Brûlée Souffle Pancakes, Vegan Sweet Potato Waffle, and Modern Nicoise. My sweet tooth holds no bound, so I opted for the Brûlée Souffle Pancakes. Two pancakes came covered in a caramelized sugar crust, flambé bourbon cherries and topped off with Madagascar Vanilla Chantilly cream. It was light and fluffy, and rather reminiscent of the Japanese pancakes that have been popularized in Toronto.

 My guest opted for the classic Eggs Benedict a la Marie. A plate of soft poached eggs, smoked duck bacon, toasted brioche, blood orange hollandaise, frisee salad, and radishes.

After brunch, guests made their way to the elaborate desserts display from The Lenotre Patisserie Bar, where they can choose up to 2 desserts. It was an incredibly hard decision, as it all looked so decadent and aesthetically pleasing. I got the Strawberry Rose Beignet and Macaron.

After the brunch, we wandered through the venue to take a look at the vendors. There were a variety of wedding vendors stationed throughout the venue to help people with their wedding planning or just get inspirations. There was something for everyone like wedding makeup services by alistbeauty, interior design ideas by Art of Celebrations, and flower bar services by Willow and Stems.

Additionally, ample staffing provided by DGS Staffing Agency helped ensure that food and drinks were always well within arm’s reach. They did a great job of looking after the guests.

There was also a fashion show featuring gorgeous gowns by Valencienne and Sash & Bustle. Throughout the morning, there were a variety of things happening on the Weddingbells Conversation stage where panel discussions with a star lineup of wedding experts took place. Guests got the opportunity to listen and ask industry leaders questions about wedding planning and got insider tips and tricks.

A tremendous amount of work was poured to produce the event, and it clearly showed. The Toronto Bridal Brunch was truly filled with fantastic food, amazing music, and great vendors. I had an amazing time. The team behind the event definitely did an amazing job by providing an immersive guest experience.

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Disclaimer: Collaborated post with The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Toronto Bridal Brunch 2019

by on Sunday, July 07, 2019
On April 7th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Toronto Bridal Brunch . It was every bit as dreamy as I pictured. As I w...
About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending one of Toben Food by Design‘s pop-up dinners at their new partnered venue, Grace. Guests were treated to an amazing family-style dinner in a multi-faceted space. Grace was the perfect backdrop for the evening: a beautifully designed space using a mixture of heritage tones and contemporary touches.

Blog by me, and edited by Read my blog and more pics here.

For those who desire some Asian influence and nostalgia in their meal, I highly recommend checking out Toben Food by Design‘s Lǚkè Pop Up Series: I. “Meaning Traveler in Mandarin, Lǚkè transports each guest to a different location by combining flavour, design, style and service for a full globetrotter experience in your very own city.”

Pop-up dinners are not new in Toronto, but to execute one with such exceptional food is what sets this one apart. The Lǚkè dinner embodies the small community closeness of the Asian culture, without sacrificing the privacy and space to which western dining culture is accustomed. Having traveled all over various parts of Asia, both Chef Toben and Chef Liam brought forth their inspiration from their trips straight to the dinner tables in the most wonderful way.

Upon entering Grace, guests are escorted to their communal tables, and drink orders were taken. The inspiration from their Asia travels is quite evident right from the presentation of the tables to the subtle nuances across the 8 courses we had the pleasure of enjoying. Each course was carefully prepared with consideration of its Asian influence such that the overall experience was an adventure in itself.

The three specialty cocktails (Taramind Sour, Sake Cocktail and Thai Coconut) perfectly complemented all of the Asian-inspired dishes.  I opted for the Thai Coconut, a sweet mixture of white rum, lemongrass syrup, lime bitters and coconut water. Yum!

As a seasoned traveler myself, I’ve had the chance to experience my share of Asian cuisine and can attest to the fact that the best cuisine out there really stimulates all five taste senses: saltiness, sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and umami. The dishes prepared by Toben certainly did just that: it is clear that a lot of attention was placed into ensuring that each one of these flavors was incorporated and balanced across the 8 delectable dishes.

We began dinner with three snacks. First up, deviled eggs which were carefully crafted with miso-crème fraiche yolk – a sensational taste of its Italian origin coupled with an Asian accent thanks to the red shisho, and Liam’s cured salmon roe. These were to die for, and the general consensus of our table was that we wished we had more of them!

The second snack was the Vegetarian Hot and Sour soup, which was the dish we found incorporated the greatest amount of Asian influence. With its exotic mushrooms, and 5 spice lotus root chips, this soup did not shy away from its Asian heritage leaving a very savory experience in one’s palette.

The third snack served as a tasty palette cleanser to the first two dishes, “resetting” our respective palette in preparation for the main meal. I cannot think of a better way to do it than using Hamachi Crudo paired with baby cucumber, and various herbs. This dish’s origin is actually Italian and serves as an answer to the Japanese Sashimi. The idea here was to bring the ocean to your dish without countering the natural flavors. This dish itself was light, gentle and served its purpose in preparing us for the main courses.


The first main course was Jumbo Fried Chicken Wings accompanied by its own set of Bachan – Kimchi, Cucumber Salad, and Picked Daikon. Over the last several years, Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) has popped up everywhere and has earned its staying power for a very good reason. The idea of having bachan Korean sides that are light and breezy, followed by fried chicken really elevated the flavours as opposed to fried food on top of fried food that you typically find at most fried chicken restaurants.

The next main course was the Charred Octopus, another very well-known Italian dish, seasoned with Black Bean Pineapple, and Lime. The two chefs cleverly fused an Asian staple food to this dish that every Asian household is very well aware of: Lap Cheong Sausages. The sausages were cut into tiny pieces to create a visually pleasing presentation, but also added flavor that complemented the octopus.

We ended off the main meal with a rather intricate salad consisting of many ingredients. The Shaved Winter Vegetable Salad composed of Kohlrabi, beets, heirloom carrots, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, radishes, pumpkin seeds, heirloom cherry tomato, and drizzled in a creamy golden miso dressing. I liked that it was filling and packed with flavor.

Wok Fried Water Spinach is an essential dish in Asian home-style cooking and restaurants. Toben’s version mixed oyster sauce, lemongrass, galangal and garlic to re-create a classic vegetable dish.

The night ended off on a sweet note with the Black Tea-Sea Salt Creme Caramel. Simply divine!

Overall, the evening certainly lived up to its goals of delivering guests that true globetrotter experience. Every detail of the dinner from start to finish was meticulously arranged, which culminated into a fantastic dinner and overall guest experience.

We look forward to the next pop up event hosted by these two seasoned traveler chefs! If you’re interested in giving this meal a try, the next event in the Lǚkè Pop Up Series: I will take place  at Grace on April 5th at 7 pm.
Nordstrom Eaton Centre held an impressive gala prior to their grand opening on September 14, 2016. The 213,000 square feet flagship store is Nordstrom‘s first Toronto store, and they celebrated it with 2,000 guests. The gala opening epitomizes what Nordstrom is all about - great customer service and consistency of the brand. Hence why they partnered with Daniel et Daniel to be the official caterer of the Nordstrom Opening Gala, as both companies share the same ideals and business ethics. 

The team at Foodaholic! were graciously invited by Daniel et Daniel to attend the event earlier this month. We were given a behind-the-scenes tour from the event planning team of the kitchen area. This opportunity included a chance to chat with the people behind Daniel et Daniel, including their Executive Chef about the company, and menu development for the evening. 

Photo Credit: Yuri
Mini Pizzas

Daniel et Daniel started planning for the Nordstrom Eaton Centre Opening Gala back in February 2016, as they were tasked to create a customized menu for 2,000 guests. The menu development team has always taken a collaborative approach to catering, so they worked closely with Nordstrom to create a unique and innovative menu. A lot of strategic planning was done ahead of time into curating this large-scale event. Management went through great lengths to make sure that their brand standards were met. They did so by attending other launch parties that Nordstrom held prior to the Eaton’s Centre official gala to get an idea of what to offer guests.

Steak Frites Choc-Orange Truffles 

Mango Carrot Thai Spring Roll - mint, coriander, rice noodle, hoisin dip

Daniel et Daniel was founded over 35 years ago when the owners (Daniel Clairet and Daniel Megly) discovered an opportunity within the catering industry. Unlike today, there was a lack of options available for corporations, and private parties to select from back then. Since their humbled beginnings, they have grown to provide top of the line catering throughout the city, and became one of Toronto’s premier caterers today. 

It’s clear that decades later, Daniel et Daniel have established themselves as one of the leaders in the catering industry with their ever-expanding list of high-profile clients. The company's secret to success is the level of consistency with their food, staff, and branding.

Not only has the catering scene become more saturated, but Toronto has become one of those cities that has defined food to be an art form that demands constant innovation. Daniel et Daniel does not slack from this, as their top chefs are routinely sent to restaurants to seek culinary art that can be brought back into the world of catering. Future prospective clients are presented with a palatable delight of Daniel et Daniel’s ever changing selection. With 100% of the proceeds being donated to six charities, there was a lot at stake to ensure Nordstrom looked the best they possibly could.

Loaded Mini Hasselback Potato (Gluten Free) - bacon, white cheddar, sour cream, chives

Tomato Gazpacho - basil, cucumber, radish, bell pepper, chili pepper, basil sprouts 

Spiced Watermelon & Feta Salad (Gluten Free) - chili lime-spiced watermelon, feta salad, blackberry gelee, mint, basil & lime dressing

Classic Deviled Egg Double - smoked bacon

Baby Carrot & Buttermilk Dip

Brie & Strawberry Tapas

Chinese Chicken Salad Wrap - carrot, cabbage, sesame, coriander, Manderin orange, sweet & spicy vinaigrette 

Melon Prociutto Tapas 

Nordstrom-Branded Sangria

Without a doubt, Daniel et Daniel leverages their competitors by having the edge to bake in-house. This gives them better control over the preparation time, and quality of their baked goods. For the duration of the evening; drinks, foods, and dessert were readily available on all three floors of the party. Nordstrom made it clear that they did not want line ups, and food had to be available with quick service at all times. From what was witnessed at the event, I would say that Daniel et Daniel went above and beyond with Nordstrom's requests. 

Mini Popsicles - Blood Orange Panna Cotta 

Chocolate Coconut Orange Truffles with Candied Orange Peel

Photo Credit: Yuri
Mini Strawberry Eclairs Fresh - strawberries, choux pastry, whipped cream, strawberry glaze

Photo Credit: Yuri
Photo Credit: Yuri
Blueberry Cheesecake

Photo Credit: Yuri
Mini Key Lime Pie

Photo Credit: Yuri

Coconut Panna Cotta topped with Citrus Salad 
Photo Credit: Yuri
Thank you to Daniel et Daniel for the fantastic evening, and allowing us to see the collaboration of two great companies who set their mission to focus on the customer’s needs first. The Opening Gala was definitely not short on the diverse selection of plated dishes and desserts. The meticulous planning and attention to details from Daniel et Daniel was well executed. They definitely delivered on creating a menu of exceptional cuisine that was well fitted for the strong Nordstrom brand. 

 Daniel et Daniel will also be catering the upcoming Nordstrom Yorkdale Opening Gala on October 19th from 7 pm to 10 pm. Tickets for the gala can be purchased here

Join Daniel et Daniel at the upcoming Toronto Catering Showcase 2016 on Sunday, October 16, 2016, as they will be one of several caterers there as well.

Article collaboration between Sandi and J.J of SMD Group.
Note: Upon writing this blog entry, Nordstrom has launched in the Eaton Centre as of Sept 16th, and will launch in Yorkdale on Oct 19, 2016.

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Disclaimer: The event provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.