As the Toronto Catering Showcase is slowly approaching on October 16th, we have teamed up with a couple of the top catering companies in Toronto to provide you with the best tips and tricks on how to host an epic party for your friends and family to enjoy. As seasoned catering companies, both Elle Cuisine and Parts and Labour Catering have both been in the catering industry for many, many years. They will both be serving up delicious food to hungry guests among ten other catering companies at this year's Toronto Catering Showcase held at The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon (Toronto Reference Library).
If you want inspiration on how to plan your next big party or event, this is the place to be! For $65 you will receive an all-access pass to the showcase of caterers giving you complete accessibility to the food, craft beers, music, and wines for an afternoon of pure epicurean indulgence. This is an exceptional catered experience like no other, a party held for you, planned and prepared by the best in the business.
However, not everyone is a professional caterer or party planner like these well established companies, so with the help from Elle Cuisine and Parts and Labour Catering, we have put together some helpful tips to hopefully let you be the host/hostess with the mostess.
Here are a few key tips for stress-free hosting.
Have a Welcome Drink Ready
When a guest comes to your door it's a nice treat right off the bat for them to have a drink in hand allowing your guests to let loose right away. No one will be complaining when you are starting the alcohol off early!
Prep in Advance
Make sure to get as much food prep done in advance as possible. In the professional food world, this is what is called "mise en place." All your chopping, measuring of ingredients, etc. can be done hours if not days in advance. You can pre-cook most of your menu items so that finishing/re-heating them won't require as much of your time and attention when guests are over. This will help reduce your sense of urgency the night of, and will make you look like you're a superman/woman in the kitchen.
Choose Your Menu Wisely
It's important to plan the menu according to your kitchen set up (appliance availability, counter space, number of burners), your skill set, and your schedule for the evening. For example, if you only have one oven and need to cook a roast at 425, you should be sure that the sides for the same dish can go in at the same temperature, or that there is an alternative way of heating them simultaneously. The more organized you are, the less stressed you will become throughout the night.
Don't Forget to Account for Allergies/Food Restrictions
Make sure you know your guests dietary restrictions. The worst thing is for a guest to arrive and to not be able to eat! It makes for an awkward and uncomfortable time for the guest and for yourself.
Make Use of Rentals
Rentals will keep your night and clean up stress-free! Being a great host means you enjoy the evening along with your guests. If you're worrying about clean up as you go, you'll never be fully relaxed. Most people wont have enough glassware for their guests to keep drinking all night long. Rent glassware and china/cutlery so that you don't have to worry about the constant clean up or a huge pile of dishes at the end of the night.
Interactive Food Stations
The hottest trend in catering and parties right now is interactive food stations! This is where guests are engaged with the creation of their own food. Gone are the days where only chefs prepare food in a hidden kitchen. The whole aspect of seeing and knowing what is going on is more fun, so where you allow your guests to interact with you in the process of making their own food, another level of enjoyment and excitement is unlocked. S'mores station anyone?
If you want to see these 6 catering/hosting tips put in action, the Toronto Catering Showcase is where you will want to be next month. As stated previously, top catering companies like Elle Cuisine and Parts and Labour Catering will be there. The other 10 catering companies putting together this exceptional culinary experience include 10tation Event Catering, Food Dudes, Presidential Gourmet, Encore Catering, Eatertainment, en Ville, L-eat Catering, Toben, Kiss the Cook Catering, and Daniel et Daniel.
To purchase your tickets, please visit HERE. Limited quantities are available so make sure you get them before they sell out!