How To Prepare For A Wedding

It goes without saying that we, at Truffles Fine Foods, has seen our fair share of weddings and events. Having been in the catering industry for 15 years, we have grown accustomed to seeing the best and worst of planning. Yes, planning – the most stressful process of any event you host (especially if it is your own wedding). Planning is what ultimately determines how successful your wedding is. I know “success” is subjective, but you want to put yourself in the eyes of the guest. If I were to attend a wedding, for example, does it look put together or is it missing several elements? Have I had to wait for my dinner because the bride and groom arrived late? Did a golf cart drive through the background of the ceremony as the vows were being said? I’m only using these examples because I have witnessed them firsthand! 

I digress. You get the gist. If you’re planning or know someone who is planning their wedding, you’re in luck because here some some high-level tips to make your event smoother and successful! It will also (hopefully) help you mitigate the stressors that seem to manifest themselves in the days leading up to the big day.

Setting Your Budget

You want to make sure your life happily ever after is not filled with debt, so it is always best to set a budget before you begin making any plans. Ask yourself what is feasible or not? What is necessary? What is or isn’t an absolute must-have at your wedding? Once your budget has been set, you can start identifying venues, caterers, gown costs, and other expenses that you will incur during the planning process.

Identify Your Guest List

Another major headache for engaged couples is finding the proper venue for your big day. I know a lot of you have a dream venue in mind with certain criterias such as view, decor, location, etc., but nothing can be done until you have figured out your guestlist. I’ve encountered several couples who have families so large or a guestlist so long that most hotel or boutique venues were no longer feasible. So, what do you do? Start figuring out who you intend to invite first, and categorize them into people you must-invite followed by the standby list. The latter doesn’t necessarily mean people on this list won’t get an invite, but should folk from the first list cancel or fail to RSVP, there’s the standby list to help fill seats.

With a budget and your guest list in hand, the planning process will slowly start falling into place! In my upcoming blog post, I’ll provide a couple more wedding-related tips to make your planning process all the more easier. Stay tuned!

Our Traditional Christmas Dinner

I wish I can start singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, but one would argue that it is still a wee bit too early (or is it?). Planning and preparing for the holiday season, however, does not always need to be saved for the last minute. As I witness every year, there is a mad rush at the malls in the days leading up to Christmas as folk attempt to swipe that extra gift they forgot to buy or the cards they forgot to write. When it comes to meals, I see it happening, too. Grocery stores and supermarkets lack the necessary ingredients you need to pull off your Christmas dinner, and most restaurants are not open on the big day. If you have ever been in that position of hunting down that holiday ham or turkey without much luck, then you know exactly what I am talking about!

Christmas Dinner To Go

There is an annual tradition here at Truffles Fine Foods where our culinary team prepares a delicious Christmas dinner to go for you, your family, and friends. We understand how busy the season can get, so we decided to prepare a traditional meal to save YOU time. Think about it – more time to entertain family and guests, more time to bake your holiday cookies, and more time to sing some carols! Our dinner to go has been a popular request for the past few years as the four-course meal is not just flavourful and filling, but is also prepared fresh and made with the finest ingredients our team can get their hands on.

What’s included? Have a look at this menu:

Roasted Turkey
Served with turkey gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Roasted Garlic Mashed Yukon Potatoes

Roasted Root Vegetables
Carrots, parsnip, rutabaga, red onion, and yellow turnip

Cinnamon Apple Rhubarb Pie

This dinner serves up to four people for a reasonable price of $180 (plus tax) and can be ordered from now until December 16th (or until we have reached our capacity). If you are interested, please submit your order to us at info@trufflesfinefoods.com 

Orders are available to be picked up at our VanDusen location between December 22nd to 24th. 

A Day Trip To VanDusen

vandusen

With the ever-increasing cost of living and the daily struggle with the notion of “adulting”, one often forgets one thing (two words): “Me time.” That’s right, it actually exists and is still a thing – at least, it can be if you want it to. As I sit here in my office surrounded by a forest of towering glass architectural feats, it made me realize how little time I spend on myself. It’s so easy to get lost in work – especially with how busy and demanding this city can become. Despite Vancouver priding itself on its majestic mountains and its beautiful coastal rainforests, finding some greenery where I can just sit in peace is, more or less, scarce.

With that in mind, however, there are pockets of hidden gems – secret gardens, if you will – that are found in various parts of our city. My recent trip to VanDusen Botanical Gardens allowed me to escape the hustle and bustle of my hectic day-to-day, and gave me that opportunity to focus on me. I was able to stroll through a garden of beauty and just meditate surrounded by nothing but peace and tranquility.

A Marvelous Medley

Despite having VanDusen Botanical Gardens located next to a rather busy street, the trees and bushes do a great job at reducing all the noise pollution. After entering through the lobby, the path you choose is really just up to you! The self-guided tour I took had me meandering through the carefully curated plants and flowers. There were tunnels, bridges, fountains, and even a small pavilion in the heart of it all that allowed me to rest and relax. As much as I wanted to refrain from using my phone, every corner I turned had something worth adding to the ‘gram. On a perfect day when the sun beams down on you, there is no limit to the amount of photos one can take.

vandusen-maze

Truffles Café at VanDusen

To complete my visit to the gardens, I had to indulge myself at the Truffles Café. With a freshly baked pastry on my plate and a hot cup of fairtrade coffee in hand, I was able to relax and take-in the garden from a distance – a terrific way to wrap-up my visit! Given its prime location at VanDusen and the quality of food delivered, this café makes for a remarkable venue for small events, meetings, and even afternoon tea! Recall how I referred to VanDusen as a hidden gem in our busy city? Well, this Truffles Café is like a gem within a gem – a true rarity indeed!

For your chance to explore these lovely gardens or dine at this exquisite café, it’s quite simple! Whether by car or transit, VanDusen and Truffles Café are both located at 5151 Oak Street. I encourage you to visit the gardens’ website to see what events they have in order to help plan your visit. If you need a bit of guidance, look into the walking tours which are carefully curated by volunteers, or you can create your own journey. As for the café, it wouldn’t hurt to call ahead of time to reserve your seat. It gets busy depending on time of day, so keep that in mind!

VanDusen maze photo source: TripSavvy

How To Plan Your Wedding Reception

Celebrity chef and Food Network host, Guy Fieri was once quoted saying: “Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.” I cannot agree more. And, when it comes to a wedding, the meal served at your reception is what all your guests look forward to – after the ceremony, of course.

The reception is the time and place where friends and family gather, chatter amongst themselves, share stories and fond memories of you, and have many laughs over the speeches delivered. What stands out the most, however, with any reception is the meal (barring any embarrassing stories, of course). I have been to several weddings where the food quality ranged from amazing to mediocre – and those impressions are what guests take away from their night. If they leave hungry, or something tasted off, you’ll hear about it for years to come! To prevent this from happening at your reception, allow me to propose Truffles Fine Foods.

wedding-hearts-hands

Planning Your Menu

During your wedding planning process, you have to narrow down your budget. Putting aside the cost of photographers, makeup, the decor, DJ, and venue, you need to establish how much you’re willing to pay for food while taking into consideration the number of guests in attendance.

At Truffles Fine Foods, we marry convenience and luxury by offering the finest in ingredients, gastronomical creations, and options that work with the budget you have established.

Here are three pricing packages to get you started (all with 30 guests minimum):

The Premiere

$40 per plate

2 Entrees
2 Sides & 2 Salads
1 Dessert

Silver Screen

$50 per plate

2 Entrees
3 Sides & 3 Salads
1 Dessert

The Oscar

$60 per plate

1 Platter
2 Entrees
1 Chef Station
3 Sides & 3 Salads
1 Dessert

We also offer additional add-on options where you can pick and choose from 3 hors d’oeuvres, and/or dessert platters. The flexibility of our pricing for the amount of options found on our menu gives you the freedom to better plan your wedding reception meal while working within your budget. Our culinary team can also substitute dishes for individuals who have dietary restrictions.

 

Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

Searching for venues can be stressful at times. Will there be enough seated space? Do they have their own kitchen? Is there parking for your guests? Taking these questions into consideration, I encourage you to visit our venues page. Truffles Fine Foods has partnered with several locations who have worked closely with our culinary team to deliver successful parties, meetings, and wedding receptions. From the picturesque UBC Boathouse to the historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery, we pride ourselves on delivering the finest of foods in all venues to make your wedding reception a memorable one.

So, how about it? Let us worry about the food and venue. Reach out to us, let us know what your preferences are and we’ll take it from there! Our team of experts will work with you to make your special day all the more special.

Springtime is Tea Time

This past week marked the official start to the Spring season! Despite the lingering cold, we did get a chance to see the sun make its appearance for a few days. It was nice while it lasted and we’ll take whatever we can get, right? After weeks of braving the freezing temperatures and having to shovel snow off the sidewalks, we are now able to see glimmers of Spring emerge: our beloved cherry blossoms are finally blooming!

When I think of Spring, I always associate it to the feeling of freshness, renewal filled with opportunities. When it comes to food, I think of a quaint, chic meal served with some tea, sandwiches, and biscuits. Yes, my friends, I am referring to High Tea, or some might call it: Afternoon Tea – a tradition that dates back to the 19th century and, according to British history, introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford.

What Is Afternoon Tea?

According to history, supper was typically eaten later in the day – roughly around 8pm. So, the time between lunch and supper had this huge, depressing void of nothing. As a lover of food, this is completely unacceptable. Imagine not having to snack or indulge between meals because there was nothing available back in the day. Imagine not having snacks or cookies to munch on just to tie you over until dinner.

Thanks to the wonderful idea of Duchess Anna, there is now the long-stemming tradition that we still practice to this day. The meal itself used to consist of a tray of bread, butter, cakes, and tea. As the meal evolved over time, the selection of foods became more elaborate and began featuring dainty sandwiches, scones, and pastries served with jams and clotted cream.

Where To Have Afternoon Tea In Vancouver?

At Truffles Fine Foods, we continue to honour this tradition. We are huge believers that all good times are worth sharing with both family and friends. For this reason, we have the classic time-honoured tradition reimagined with both flair and sophistication – a meal that you would enjoy with every bite, and savour with every sip (holding your pinkies out is optional).

Our high-tea menu features two different offers courtesy of our catering team: Buffet style, or Plated style. Both require a minimum number of 15 guests. The menu features:

Assorted Tea Sandwiches

With cucumber, smoked salmon, egg salad and ham & Swiss

Pastries

Freshly Baked Croissants and Scones

Miniature Desserts

Shortbread cookies, coconut macaroons, petit fours, French macarons with house-made raspberry jam, honey and clotted cream

Tea Selection

English Breakfast. Earl Grey, Green Tea, Chamomile

In the comfort of your own home or a venue that you’ve rented out, you can now relive the tradition of Afternoon Tea surrounded by the ones you love. Is there a right or wrong way to hold your cup or stir your tea? We leave that up to you!

For more information or to reach out to our team, Contact Us and book your tea time today!

Truffles Partners With The Polygon

Gearing up for the wedding season? Or perhaps you are planning an event? We have some news for you! Keeping up with the latest news from Truffles Fine Foods, I am proud to announce that The Polygon Gallery has now confirmed that they are a venue partner with our culinary and catering teams! This announcement excites me as it already adds to a very extensive list of venues we have partnered with across the Lower Mainland.

What has me stoked about this particular announcement is that the Polygon Gallery really speaks to both the art scene in our city as well as the history of North Vancouver and the Lonsdale area. To this day, one can still see dry docks and ships coming to port albeit not as frequent as they used to. However, the Polygon Gallery pays homage to this history making this venue all the more desirable, in my opinion. In addition, the Polygon is an active gallery that does an active and amazing job at “presenting the work of artists who respond to transformations taking place in the world.”

exterior-polygon-gallery-truffles-fine-foods

The Polygon Gallery

If you haven’t heard of this venue or had a chance to explore the Lonsdale area, I encourage you to do so! The venue itself is a sophisticated and contemporary building overlooking the shores of the Burrard Inlet and downtown Vancouver. Located just a short distance away from the Seabus terminal and other major bus routes, getting to this venue is very easy.

I had the opportunity to take a gander at the space and it is absolutely gorgeous. Despite the day being cloudy when I went, the Polygon Gallery still boasted an amazing waterfront view while taking in the hustle and bustle of our lovely city. I would only imagine that, on a summer day, one can expect to see a sunset with a cocktail in hand.

interior-polygon-gallery-truffles-fine-foods

Venue Offerings

From a more logistical standpoint, this venue has all the amenities you need to host a successful party or event of any size. Their on-site services include:

  • Majestic views of downtown Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet from both the ground floor with an even better view from a covered second-floor balcony
  • Natural light emanating through their skylights and thirteen-foot ceilings
  • Built-in Audio/Visual systems and unique breakout rooms
  • Glass walls from floor-to-ceiling in the main floor lobby overlooking the new public plaza and Spirit Trail
  • An abundance of parking on the street and private lots in the area.

In addition, the venue is big enough to fit 540 guests at standing capacity, and 180 for a seated dinner. There is also a kitchen prep area on site allowing for our catering team to set up and serve the culinary creations we deliver.

I would go into further details about the Polygon Gallery, but I think the images speak for themselves. It’s a beautiful venue and, when teamed with Truffles Fine Foods, it definitely adds flare to any event you host.

For more information, you can visit them here.

To learn more about the other venues Truffles Fine Foods has partnered with, click here.

Looking For Gift Ideas?

It is hard to believe how quickly Christmas has come and gone, but no one said the season of giving has to end on Boxing Day! Whether you are celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or some other special occasion, finding the right gift for the right person is always important! (Hint: Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us fast!)

A Gift Fit For A Foodie

With that in mind, here is my proposal should you be on the lookout for a terrific gift idea for your seafood-loving-epicurious-food-loving friend (try saying that 10 times in a row): the magnificent Coquille gift card

coquille-gift-card

No, you are not dreaming! Our lovely friends at Coquille are now actively taking orders on gift cards of up to $300 in value. The best part? You don’t even have to leave your home to do it! All orders are processed online and can be either mailed to the lucky recipient with a special message written, or (should you really want to add the personal touch) have it picked up at the restaurant at your convenience so you can hand deliver it yourself. One thing to note, however, is that the value of these cards start at $50 and increase by increments of 50 up to the stated $300 maximum.

Seafood Platters Galore

Deciding on the “right” amount is something you ought to consider – naturally, right? So if your foodie friend is big on seafood, I would like to divert your attention to the seafood platters available at Coquille. Yes, there are other amazing appetizers and entrées, too, but I deliberately chose to highlight these platters because they provide a perfect sample of all the fresh seafood options from the bar and, given the selectable values on the gift cards, your friend can be treated to these amazing ensembles:

Sailor’s Platter (serves 2-3) $60

6 oysters, 2 jumbo shrimp, crudo, scallops, crab legs, clams & mussels

Captain’s Platter (serves 3-4) $110

8 oysters, 4 jumbo shrimp, crudo, scallops, crab legs, lobster tail, ceviche, clams & mussels

Admiral’s Platter (serves 5-6) $175

12 oysters, 8 jumbo shrimp, crudo, scallops, crab legs, lobster tail, ceviche, clams & mussels

Whoever is the lucky recipient to your gift, I am sure they will have an amazing time while dining. I have eaten at Coquille several times and the food just keeps getting better and better. Without a doubt, they are quickly becoming one of Gastown’s best restaurants, and I am confident that your lucky friend will agree once they have had a chance to use the awesome gift card you send them!

Holiday Memories In The Making

It is almost the holiday season – the time to be jolly, folks! I am not sure about you, but to me, it felt like November just fast-forwarded its way to December and now we are all on the eve of celebrating the holidays. After surviving the madness of Black Friday shopping, I can finally step back and breath a little. Throughout town, I have been noticing that decorations are starting to adorn the interiors of stores and the pretty lights are adding a unique glow to our rain-soaked city – which is a definite sight for sore eyes. Are you feeling festive yet? Getting ready to immerse yourself with the holiday spirit? If you need some convincing, let me extend a lifeline your way!

 

Christmas Dinner To Go

That is right, friends! It is back! Fire and foremost, thank you to all of you for making our Thanksgiving Dinner To Go a hit. We received more orders than I can count and the feedback we have gotten have all been very positive, so thank you!

Shifting gears and calibrating ourselves for the annual Christmas dinner, Truffles Fine Foods is proud to offer another dinner to go. This year, we are featuring a delicious four-course dinner for four, prepared fresh by our culinary team for a very reasonable price.

What is on the menu?

 

Sliced Boneless Turkey

Served with turkey gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce

Butternut Yam Purée

Garnished with toasted nuts & Canadian maple syrup

Steamed Vegetable Medley

Carrots, green beans, cauliflower and broccoli

Chocolate Pecan Pie

 

That is right, folks! If you missed out on our famed turkey dinner, or if you are in need for seconds, we are bringing it back! This dinner also comes with the all the obligatory sides you would expect to experience at a traditional Christmas meal – don’t you just love comfort food? To top it all off, our rich and decadent chocolate pecan pie will round-off your meal leaving you in gastronomic bliss. If you are interested, I encourage you to visit our page to place an order. Like all awesome things in life, our quantities are not infinite. We will be taking orders until the 21st of December, or until we are fully booked.

Book your holiday party with Truffles Fine Foods - Vancouvers catering company

Memories In The Making This Season

On the topic of the holidays, we know that making memories is something we all cherish during the festive season. If you need just a little more convincing on why choosing Truffles Fine Foods to deliver on your Christmas dinner is a good idea, why not see our team at work? Check out this video of our culinary team preparing a tasting menu to lucky patrons at our downtown location, or feel free to visit one of our convenient locations.

We all know how stressful preparing a big, Christmas meal can be – especially with everything else happening (you know – the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the in-laws, etc.), so why not let Truffles Fine Foods help alleviate some of that stress by preparing for you a delicious meal. Let us help you create memories you and your guests will not forget this Christmas!

Reasons To Visit Coquille

If there is one common thing Vancouverites love reading on the internet, it would be lists – lists about the top places to visit for vacation, top places for dates, best activities for the season, or even the best places to eat in town. The food scene in our lovely city, as we know it, is very competitive. To decide on a cuisine, let alone which restaurant to dine at, can often be a painstaking, indecisive process accompanied with FOMO (fear of missing out) if our meals fail to satisfy our cravings. I will admit that I have been in this situation several times and if you are an epicurious foodie with a robust palate, I am sure you can relate.

Few months ago, Truffles Fine Foods welcomed to Vancouver a new seafood restaurant to the historic Gastown community. After learning of the menu and Happy Hour specials they offered, it was a no-brainer that a visit to said restaurant was imminent. Since their official opening, I have had the opportunity to visit Coquille on a few occasions and I think I am hooked (no pun intended). Keeping true to the lists we all enjoy, here are my top reasons of why I think you should visit (or dare I even say, revisit) Coquille:

Dining In Comfort

I get asked by friends what type of attire is best suited for Coquille. Formal? Semi formal? Casual? Honestly, it is what makes you feel comfortable! Since the restaurant itself is situated in the heart of a popular tourist destination, there is bound to be a variety of visitors who dress however which way they want. That being said, I am a huge fan of smart casual, but at the end of the day, wear what makes you feel comfortable!

Amazing Maritime Décor

The décor of Coquille is one of the true hidden gems of Vancouver when it comes to interior design. Everything within the restaurant reflects the nautical theme if you look carefully enough. As I sat there sipping on a cocktail and observing my surroundings, I noticed the fish scales along the walls, the wooden floorboards similar to the decks of old steamships, the occasional portholes, and comfortable booths with brass light fixtures – very much like those from ocean liners at the turn of the century. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming which sets the perfect tone as I prepared myself for my next culinary adventure.

The Best Seafood In Town

Coquille lets me be me and the ambiance has already prepared me for my culinary journey, which leads me to my third reason for why this restaurant is a must-visit: the food. Yes, the food! Coquille prides itself on the fine seafood it serves, the very freshest of fresh, and the latest creations of the culinary industry. Have you had sea urchin with burrata cheese before? Or jellyfish alongside your freshly shucked clams and oysters? Thinking about their menu gets me excited because it is just that good! Need I say more?

 
So, if you are ever looking to treat yourself to something new and arguably the best seafood in town, I firmly believe Coquille is the restaurant that will address any cravings you have – from food to cocktails. Still not convinced? Then check them out! They are located at 181 Carrall St. in Gastown, Vancouver.