Spring is just the first course: 2018 Spring menu inspiration

Even though the year rolls over on January 1st, spring feels like it marks the New Year to me. Finally, the darkness and frigid Toronto winter starts to fade away as the daylight glows longer and the blossoms start blooming!

For caterers, spring marks the beginning of wedding and BBQ season, inspiring us to dream up recipes chalk full of colourful, fresh produce and bright seasonal flavors. Every new season is a blank canvas for us to stretch our culinary imagination, practice and perfect what we hope to be the next show-stopping dish.

April is like a kick-start to the greatness that lays ahead in the exciting, bountiful summer months. Spring is a chef awakening!

Here at Kiss the Cook Catering, we haven’t exactly been hibernating this winter. It’s been the busiest year yet for us–word is that our winter repertoire was on point in 2018. But it feels like it’s finally time to hang up our much-loved, cold-weather favourites such as our braised beef short ribs and cheese laced polenta recipe to make way for a new menu. As hard as it is to say goodbye to those winter dishes that I can never get enough of, I feel really proud of how the Spring / Summer menus are evolving and how hard our chefs have been working to top their past culinary creations.

With that in mind, let’s dive right into the Kiss the Cook Spring/Summer Menu 2018:

Spring menu

Scallop Carpaccio with espellete pepper, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, serrano chiles, pickled mustards seeds

Well, hello there, bright and cheery Spring Scallop Carpaccio! You’re a welcome addition to our Spring 2018 collection. Sometimes I sit over my plate of carpaccio pondering what the magic is that makes it so gosh-darn awesome. Is it the rawness? Or maybe the finely-sliced texture that simply melts in your mouth? It must be how our  chef brings everything together with that finishing hit of EVOO or that burst of lemon. Let’s explore that further as we unveil our newest creation, one that can best be described as a ravishing first course.


Spring menu

Sweet pea, spinach and Parmesan risotto

I think we need more peas – said no one ever. That is until they tasted our latest pea and parmesan risotto. Little green pops of sweet flavor that balance so well with that umami dose of sharp parm. The creamy richness will seriously blow your mind. Made with our homemade vegetable stock (hence, made with love) – we wanted something special for our vegetarians and the chefs delivered in spades. Inspiration for this dish came from a green risotto we custom-created for a special client this past St. Patrick’s Day, and the dish was so raved about that we decided it earned a permanent spot on the 2018 Spring menu. Tasting size versions are available in case you’re planning to host a standing party.


Spring menu

Beef filet topped with pea ravioli and micro herbs, served with sauteed asparagus, mushrooms and bell peppers

Filet mignon is my mouth-watering muse. This spring-inspired version can be best described as “boujie”. Just look at how it wears that sweet pea ravioli and greens like feathers in its cap. It excites me when there’s only a single, succulent bite on the plate that just screams to be savoured. It’s so special and refined, and that’s why you only get one. Handmade ravioli takes that role in this succulent dish, supported by seasonal vegetables aplenty. Smile. Bite. Food dance.

Spring menu

Homemade blueberry lavender cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream.

They say the trend this year is floral flavors. I’m very happy about this one, since you can infuse floral notes into savory or sweet dishes and easily into cocktails, as well. There are a ton of possibilities, so we had to bring in the focus on working with an ingredient that we felt would truly shine. Lavender was one of my grandmother’s favourite scents, so I felt super-connected to her memory during the experimentation process, not to mention a little emotional and nostalgic–that’s the magical power of all your senses connecting to food. Alas, lavender’s calming properties worked their magic as the scent has an ability to soothe. Since we love to deliver what’s all the rage, we created a couple of special desserts to highlight this star ingredient. Our Lavender Blueberry Cobbler will have you writing poetry (it’s just that good). I adore when old-fashioned recipes get a modern-day makeover, and this dessert is no exception. Lavender notes in the ice cream make it next-level delicious and give the dish a rustic feel that’s a Kiss the Cook signature.


Spring menu

Chocolate lavender mousse cake

We aren’t done on the dessert front just yet. We could never leave our chocolate lovers wanting, so we created an individual chocolate lavender mousse cake. You’re welcome. The French term Mousse translates to “foam” in English, a fitting term for this light and fluffy concoction. I could skip dinner altogether and just eat this cake with a glass of champagne… make that two.

When it comes to food, we’re always exploring new options. The fun part is getting to know clients like you and learning about your favourite family recipes and deepest dining desires. We make a personal connection with our clients because we care so much about the event that led them to contact us in the first place. It’s truly an honour to craft a dish that will be a lasting memory for you and your guests, and we want every plate to be perfect. Ask us about how we can custom create the menu of your dreams and we’ll get busy making it happen (even if it means gaining a few extra pounds in the process). Never trust a skinny chef.

Fia Pagnello, founder

Spring into action–let’s get your event catering booked today! Contact us now!