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Toronto Caterers’ Top Summer Food Trends 2023

Every summer, Toronto’s top caterers are tasked with putting a fresh spin on delicious dining experiences, innovative and inspiring local food trends along the way. From vibrant plant-based delights to refreshing fusion cuisine, our city’s culinary maestros are proving that summer 2023 is far from ordinary. Through sustainable practices, locally sourced ingredients, and unique global influences, Toronto’s catering industry is transforming the way we think about and enjoy our seasonal meals.

Read on to delve into the top food trends setting the Toronto catering scene ablaze, offering a taste of what’s hot in this flavourful cityscape. Whether you’re a foodie, an event planner, or simply curious about the culinary horizon, it’s time to whet your appetite with Toronto caterers’ top summer food trends for 2023.


Table of Content

Summer Reds (DF/GF)

With beets, strawberries, watermelon radish, and creamy lemon poppy seed dressing.

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When designing new dishes for the upcoming season, we are always looking to consider how to create a plate that incorporates current trends, colour, and local and seasonal ingredients. When creating “Summer Reds”, we wanted to construct a plate that was not only colourful and delicious, but also plant-forward; as plant-based meals continue to grow in popularity among our clients. Incorporating fresh Ontario strawberries, one of the first harvested fruits of the season, and pairing it with watermelon radishes, roast beets and red vein sorrel, this monochromatic colouring is both appealing to the palate, as well as the eye. This dish is the perfect balance of beauty and flavour. The sweetness of the beets and berries are offset by the tang of the crème fraiche lemon-poppyseed dressing to create a flavour experience that can only be described as delightful.

Photo of Karen O’Connor

Karen O’ConnorExecutive Chef

Niçoise Salad

With albacore tuna, seared with chermoula, beets, haricots verts, corn, and heirloom tomatoes.

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Nothing inspires the arrival of warm weather more than thoughts of summers by the sea (or lake!). We love this salad as it is bright and fresh, using hyper-seasonal ingredients. We use sustainable seafood like albacore tuna, seared with chermoula to throw a bit of a middle eastern twist on this classic. Local products such as beets, haricots verts, corn, and heirloom tomatoes form the foundation of the salad. Whether for a fully plated affair or a cocktail party, one taste of this classic dish will immediately transport you to thoughts of European travel to the South of France or to exotic locations in the middle east.

Photo of Toben Kochman

Goat Cheese Crème Brûlée

With caramelized sugar crust, grilled peaches, crispy prosciutto, and micro basil. Paired with sourdough or baguette.

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Elevate your charcuterie boards with the ultimate indulgence: Goat Cheese Crème Brûlée. The creamy goat cheese custard combines with the caramelized sugar crust to create a harmonious blend of sweet and savory. Grilled peaches add a delicate sweetness, crispy prosciutto brings a satisfying crunch, and micro basil creates fresh aromatics. Paired with sourdough or baguette, each bite unveils velvety textures and captivating flavours, bringing your ‘cottage potluck’ game to a whole new level.

Photo of Jamie Naka

Eggplant & Local Ontario Vegetable Caponata (DF)

With crushed tomato, caper leaves, and small herbs.

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Plant-based menus are blowing up! This is an eggplant & local Ontario vegetable caponata, with crushed tomato, caper leaves, and small herbs. It’s finished with a tapioca crisp. Something like this is the best way, we think, to highlight the best of Ontario’s summer produce.

Photo of René Kramer

René KramerExecutive Chef

The Tequila Watermelon Pick (GF/DF)

With tequila-infused watermelon, mint, agave, and smoked salt.

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One of our newest menu items, the Tequila Watermelon Pick is the ultimate summer refresher in a bite! Infused with high-quality tequila, these coral cubes boast a vibrant flavour profile bursting with notes of mint, agave, and watermelon, complemented by a delicate sprinkle of smoked salt. Clients love that these morsels are so much more than meets the eye, and have fittingly dubbed them ‘margarita bites’. Sure to be a staple on our menus throughout the warmer months ahead!

Photo of Chris Matthews

Chris MatthewsExecutive Chef

Mini Comfort Foods

With homemade jalapeno cornbread topped with tender slow braised short rib.

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We’re well known for our comfort food classics and this season is no exception! A new favourite has arrived on the summer cocktail menu scene with this soulful Southern classic of homemade jalapeno cornbread topped with tender slow braised short rib. It’s what I consider a perfect bite of comfort food.

Photo of Fia Pagnello

Compressed Grilled Pineapple and Coconut Sorbet

With passion fruit pearls and strawberry coulis.

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Indulge in Tropical Delights! Tantalize your taste buds with our irresistible Compressed Grilled Pineapple and Coconut Sorbet, topped with luscious Passion Fruit Pearls and drizzled with a delightful Strawberry Coulis. Experience the flavours of paradise as the smoky sweetness of grilled pineapple blends harmoniously with the creamy richness of coconut sorbet. It’s a match made in heaven! But wait, there’s more! The burst of tangy passion fruit pearls adds a burst of tropical freshness, creating a symphony of flavours that will transport you to a beachside getaway. To add the finishing touch, we’ve delicately poured a vibrant strawberry coulis over this heavenly creation, adding a sweet and tart balance that will leave you craving for more.

Photo of Muralitharan Thamba

Muralitharan ThambaFounder & Executive Chef

Grilled Beef Striploin

With broken down gazpacho, chimichurri, and goat cheese emulsion.

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Why do I adore this Grilled Beef Striploin in the summer? Well, it’s much like me: a little bit zesty, knows how to handle heat, and always ready to party! With chimichurri and a splash of goat cheese emulsion, this dish is perfection on a plate!

Photo of Ann Stolte-Butler

Ann Stolte-ButlerDirector of Catering

The New Grazing Table

With crispy caprese skewers, compressed cucumber with seared tuna, Nashville chicken sliders, and apple and lobster rolls.

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The summer trend of 2023 is not a single product but an evolution of the beloved grazing table. Grazing tables of the past were a cornucopia of food; a blurred line between food and decoration where charcuterie, cheeses, crackers, crisps, fruits, and nuts were centre stage. This year, grazing tables are more elevated in product and streamlined in presentation for a more contemporary experience. Food as decoration is replaced by precise platter arrangements and bite-sized elegant hors d‘oeuvres emerge in this setting. Crispy Caprese Skewers, Compressed Cucumber with seared Tuna, Nashville Chicken Sliders, Apple and Lobster Rolls.

Photo of Marlon Mabanta

“Fish and Chips” Deep Fried Pomme Soufflé (DG/GF)

With fresh sea bream crudo garnished with wasabi emulsion, nori dust, and lime caviar.

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In this passed snack we put a fun twist on the traditional fish and chips! Instead of fries and battered fish, we created a deep fried pomme soufflé topped with a fresh sea bream crudo garnished with wasabi emulsion, nori dust, and lime caviar. This passed snack is our summer favourite because of its light and flavourful profile. The richness of the seabream combined with the essence of the lime gives it a refreshing flavour to make the perfect bite for the summer!

Photo of Kevin Castonguay

Kevin CastonguayExecutive Chef and Founder

In-House Smoked Salmon Fritters (DF)

With citrus slaw, romesco Sauce, and miso halibut consommé.

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In-House Smoked Salmon Fritters, Citrus Slaw, Romesco Sauce, Miso Halibut Consommé. Pushing culinary boundaries, our Chef presents this intricate, refreshing, deliciously flavourful and skilfully plated dish that honours his heritage and experience.

Photo of Christopher Thompson

Christopher ThompsonFounder and Culinary Director

Blackened Salmon Buddha Bowl

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Summertime screams fresh ingredients, well-paired flavours and something from the grill. Our Blackened Salmon Buddha Bowl delivers just that. We chose this dish because we love the combination it brings being cool, fresh and crisp just like a summer night!

Photo of Tim Pentz

Sashimi Cucumber Salad

With diced Ahi tuna, wasabi cream, togarashi, and sesame mango salad.

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Our Sashimi Cucumber salad is a fresh summer staple. Diced Ahi tuna, wasabi cream, and togarashi bring out a tangy taste. With sesame mango salad filled in a cucumber cup, this bite-sized appetizer is a satisfying burst of flavour.

Photo of Rick Rowe

Trend of Vibrant Colours and Tastes

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Keeping with the trend of vibrant colours and tastes, we’ve used some of Ontario’s best produce to create these popular summer choices. Sweet pea and parmesan Crostini, dusted with confetti floral. Smoked duck breast phyllo with Ontario green and purple asparagus, a fresh cherry and port reduction, and duck skin crackling. Passion fruit and Tequila Grilled Shrimp.

Photo of Roni Prizant

Roni PrizantOwner & Executive Chef

Refreshing Canapé With Bold Flavours

With beetroot hummus, candied lemon, cucumber, and fried quinoa.

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A refreshing canapé with bold flavours from the beetroot hummus and a slight tangy sensation from the candied lemon slice

Photo of Natalie Stanbra-Ho

Natalie Stanbra-HoDirector of Sales

Salad Station

With different types of salads in the station, from greens-based salads to platter salads and starch salads like our quinoa tabbouleh.

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As summer arrives it’s time for the bright colours to shine. We combine fresh seasonal ingredients to enhance our customizable salad bars. We love them because they are both beautiful and bursting with flavour. We always incorporate different types of salads in the station, from greens-based salads to platter salads and starch salads like our quinoa tabbouleh. This gives the station a great variety that’s perfect for all guests.

Photo of Jonathan Preskow

Jonathan PreskowCEO & Executive Chef

Mini Gruyere and Champagne Mushroom Melts

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A delicious and indulgent feast of creativity, our Mini Gruyere and Champagne Mushroom Melts create extraordinary flavours and textures. These epicurean masterpieces are ready to dominate Summer 2023 menus!

Photo of Kathy Woodgate

Kathy WoodgateOwner & President

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