One of the honours of being a chef and caterer is the many compliments our team receives. It may be a thank-you card after a wedding, a photo posted on Twitter or Facebook, or even a hug the next time our paths cross. Those special moments remind us why we work hard to make events and occasions unique.
This thought came to me while working in the store today. A gentleman came in and said, “Wow, it looks different in here again.” To be honest, I never thought of it in such a way, as we really like to keep with the seasons and the trends. But does anyone really notice? Judging by our growth in the store and catering, I guess the answer is yes.
I recently met an artist from Britain now residing in Toronto. His platters, bowls and crostini plates are made of recycled bottles. Reworked in a kiln for us to enjoy, these pieces of art bring me to ask, “hmmm, how can I play with these?!” This isn’t an excuse to shop more – honest – but it led to these modern twists on some classics, giving new life to a dish and comfort to your guests.
Guacamole Shrimp Taster
1 avocado, diced
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 tsp sambal oelek
2 squeezes of lime
3 stems of cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
12 peeled and deveined large, raw shrimp
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 zest of lime
1/2 fresh red chili, chopped
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Combine avocado, peppers, onions, sambal oelek, lime, cilantro, salt and pepper;
Allow shrimp to marinate in ginger, chili, lime, and olive oil for 10 minutes;
Grill shrimp on a barbecue set to medium heat, removing excess oil before placing on grill. Cook until shrimp is pink or coral in colour;
Place avocado in middle of platter, fanning shrimp around it.
Greek Salad and Lemon Parsley Yogurt Dressing
1/2 red and green pepper, cut into triangles
1/3 English cucumber, sliced on an angle
3 sliced tomatoes
1/4 red onion, julienned
15 Kalamata olives
1/2 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 block of feta, crumbled
1 clove of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of honey
Put chopped romaine on platter, place sliced tomato around the platter, then the cucumber on top of tomato;
Toss the peppers and onions and place in the middle;
Drizzle the dressing over the veggies and serve.