How-Tos Travel, Food & Drink

How to Host a Party Using the Best Caterers in the Business

Whether you’re in New York or London, Toronto or Hong Kong, make sure your next gathering is the talk of the town with our pick of the world’s best gourmet caterers

Behind the bespoke catering industry are companies that do far more than just make and serve canapés. The best in the business are illusionists who have mastered the art of the showstopper, and pull all the strings from out of sight. From selecting themes and personalizing menus to setting the scene and even capturing the event with flawless photography, an experienced caterer does it all. For clients this means unforgettable affairs that their guests will remember for years. We meet the maestros of event organizing for whom the wow factor comes as standard.

Peardrop, London, UK

Rose Lloyd Owen of Peardrop London caterers
Rose Lloyd Owen brings uncompromising commitment to her food, often foraging for new ingredients on her travels. Banner image: Peardrop London’s canapés include pulled pork donuts with sour cream, crab eggs benedict, and mushroom ceviche on seaweed crackers. Photographs: John Short

Only five years ago, recipe-obsessed Rose Lloyd Owen turned her back on a career in film and theater (she was an assistant to a talent agent), and started Peardrop so she could deliver salads to offices around London. Not formally trained, Lloyd Owen had cooked since childhood and was always interested in healthy eating. Since then, Peardrop has blossomed into a full-scale event planning and catering company for titans in fashion, film, and media, including Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood, as well as Vogue and Apple. Recently Lloyd Owen catered a music industry party, during which a “very famous pop star” (she’s too discreet to name names) came into the kitchen to wax lyrical about the food, then booked Peardrop on the spot for an upcoming party. “Lots of people eating our food is the best marketing, and it makes me incredibly proud when clients repeat book with us,” she says.

Tastings NYC, New York, USA

Table set for outdoor event organised by Tastings NYC
“Aura is key—the lighting, candles, flowers, music, the right mix of guests,” says Alexandra Morris of Tastings NYC, which caters for a wide variety of events including outdoor luncheons, cocktail soirées, and dessert installations.

Alexandra Morris has been catering to the Big Apple’s most discerning hosts for almost two decades, launching Tastings NYC in 2001. Working with chef Cédric Durand and sous chef Jeremy Enriquez, Tastings NYC’s clients include Upper East Side families, political officials, and fashion brands looking to make a splash with a stylish product launch. When Margherita Missoni and fashion brand Splendid partnered for a private shopping experience, Morris and her team created a flower crown-making station, and served traditional Italian Aperol spritz, along with savory bites and candy stations piled with colorful Italian sweets. “It was an event that left everyone smiling,” says Morris, who studied marketing and advertising before deciding to focus on her true love: food. “It was exactly what the client wanted and we were delighted to be a part of such a memorable affair.” Tastings has planned and catered events for Dior and Jimmy Choo, the French Consulate, and countless private clients.

It was exactly what the client wanted and we were delighted to be a part of such a memorable affair.

Invisible Kitchen, Hong Kong, China

Macaron canapés by Invisible Kitchen Hong Kong
Tom Burney’s diverse dishes for Invisible Kitchen cover everything from vibrantly colored macaron canapés to Angus beef Wellington with black truffle, dauphinoise potatoes, and red wine jus.

A professional chef who’s trained in Michelin-starred kitchens, among them England’s legendary Fat Duck, Tom Burney counts a five-week stint as the private chef for Keanu Reeves and Chris Hemsworth, and a media lunch for Bentley Motors among his top-tier gigs as a private chef. When his clients began requesting his culinary prowess for high-profile events and special occasions, he launched Invisible Kitchen in 2014. Burney and his team recently catered for the VIP spectators of the Volvo Ocean Race during its Hong Kong stop, which meant feeding 1,000 people spread over 50 boats with free-flowing food and drink. He recently catered a family birthday party where the dad was a keen cook, and had been dining in top restaurants for more than 30 years. He was apparently reluctant to hand over his kitchen to Burney, who focuses on modern European cuisine, though eventually happy he did. “In the end he said it was the best meal they had ever eaten and the family was blown away,” says Burney.

Daniel et Daniel, Toronto, Canada

Wedding banquet by Daniel et Daniel of Canada
A wedding banquet catered by Toronto’s Daniel et Daniel—all of its menus are inspired by, and unique to, Ontario’s agricultural calendar. Photograph: Christine Lim

With decades of experience under their toques, the team at Daniel et Daniel are known for creating innovative and memorable events. “Our event planners and chefs know what it takes to create something really unique,” says managing partner Dave Stratton. While menus lean toward French-Mediterranean, a nod to Parisian founders Daniel Megly and Daniel Clairet, any wish can be fulfilled at this full-service catering company. From vegetarian canapés such as watermelon poke, to sit-down dinners of braised short ribs and pan-seared halibut, one need only look at a sample menu to relish the mouthwatering choice and creativity. At one outdoor event for more than 3,000 people, Daniel et Daniel had waiters riding mini trains to various parts of the venue, stepping off with trays laden with hors d’oeuvres and beverages that showcased various regions of Canada. “We are constantly challenged to create authentic and unique experiences and cuisine for our guests, and there is joy on a daily basis when they see the result. It is an amazing feeling,” says Stratton.

On the Market

English Manor-style Estate in Minnetrista, Minnesota, USA

Exterior of Hawk's Nest Castle in Minnesota
With cobblestones sourced from the grounds of the White House, this truly majestic property was once visited by a vice president of the United States and 400 guests. The eight-bedroom home has a ballroom, four kitchens including a professional catering kitchen, plus two caretaker residences and parking for 90 cars. There is also 190 ft (58 m) of private beach.

High-spec Waterfront Home in Nassau Harbor, Paradise Island, Bahamas

The great room at Sea Level in the Bahamas
Perfect for entertaining, Sea Level is a six-bedroom, 10-bath compound is set within the gated community of Ocean Club and has 17,000 sq ft (1,579 sq m) of living space. Only the finest quality materials have been used—the great room boasts a mahogany and onyx bar and marble fireplace, while French doors open to expansive balconies and views of the bay, harbor, and ocean.