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Gino Spano

 Tags: Catering Trends

Have you finalized the menu for your holiday party yet? If not, don’t worry. You still have a few weeks to continue crafting and refining an amazing menu with your caterer. Work closely with them to develop something that will please every palate.

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Whether you’re hosting an afternoon get-together or a big soirée for your co-workers, you’re probably thinking about serving some appetizers. If so, look no further for inspiration. These holiday party appetizers offer something for everyone, and they’re guaranteed to please.

Jazz up Holiday Party Appetizers with Cranberries

You can take almost any classic appetizer and add cranberries to give it a dash of holiday cheer. Some favourites include cranberry crostini, which features cranberries and whipped ricotta cheese on top of a crunchy crostini bite.

Cranberries can be added to bite-sized desserts and cocktails as well, but you might consider adding them to meatballs, sauces and dips, baked brie, or a smoky potato-bacon soup for a delicious holiday twist.

Malakoffs and Gougeres Are Perfect Alpine Fare

Is the theme of your holiday party an après-ski gathering or an Alpine-inspired soirée? If so, make sure your menu matches by including these two favourite holiday party appetizers.

Gougeres are stuffed choux pastries bites. Generally, they’re filled with a savoury custard, often cheese-based. Malakoffs are similar, in the sense that they’re also stuffed with cheese, but they’re a type of deep-fried fritter.

For a true Swiss Alps taste, use Gruyere or Swiss cheese.

Turkey Isn’t the Only Opportunity for Stuffing

Chances are you associate stuffing with the classic holiday meal, but don’t forget there’s a world of versatile fruits and vegetables out there. You can try stuffing the tried-and-trues like mushrooms and peppers, or try Caprese salad bites by stuffing tomatoes.

For a truly inspired holiday twist, why not stuff some figs? Pick a favourite soft cheese, fill the figs, and top them with pomegranate for a sweet holiday treat.

Spring for International Flavour

Your holiday party appetizers this year might take inspiration from around the world. Think about serving up samosas and pakoras, along with other inspired Indian flavours. For a more Asian twist, why not deep-fry tofu and create tofu fritters?

Seafood is another holiday party staple, so head to Scandinavia for inspiration. Gravlax, or cured salmon, is a popular holiday dish. Serve it up on Russian-inspired blini for a top-notch appetizer.

Go Crazy for Root Vegetables

Beets, carrots, and parsnips are all in season over the winter, so think about incorporating their rich, earthy flavours into some of your holiday party appetizers. You might consider using beets to give hummus a new flavour and a seasonal colour.

Another excellent option is to serve up beets, persimmons, and feta cheese on endive leaves. Or you can try a root vegetable galette if you’re looking for something both substantial and visually impressive.<

If none of those options suit your current menu, you can always consider some hearty root vegetable soups, such as a classic borscht or a carrot and ginger soup.

Try a Twist on a Classic

Some dishes are classic holiday party appetizers. One of the most versatile has to be the humble meatball. Meatballs are easy to dress up or down, and they make great individual appetizers. Try adding a new sauce, switching up the spices, or even swapping in turkey for ground beef. If you have vegetarian or vegan coworkers, meatless meatballs are a possibility.

Another twist on a classic holiday party appetizer would be to create mini turkey sliders with cranberry on ciabatta, or to offer up bite-sized turkey sandwiches.

Talk to your caterer today. When it comes to inspired holiday party appetizers, there’s no shortage of ideas out there.


Gino Spano

Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009.
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