I received an invitation last month to Tulips & Maple‘s Spring “Catertaining” Event – a showcase of the Ottawa catering company’s latest and greatest and an opportunity for them to get feedback from those of us in the industry. None of this was invitation though, so I really had no idea what to expect but I was very excited for the invitation as Tulips & Maple is widely regarded as the best catering company in Ottawa. With my man in tow, we made our way to their facilities on Merivale Road, which is actually a very chic reception venue, and had our fingers crossed!
As we walked into Tulips & Maple, we were greeted at the door by the owner and were introduced to the “Be Your Own Bartender” wall. This was probably my favorite part of the entire event. To the left were glass jar drink dispensers with either iced tea or vodka lemonade. Pick your drink and head to the Garnish Station!
The Garnish Station was a chalk board with everything you need to garnish your cocktail with. Fresh blueberries and rasberries, jellies, candied lemon slices, and the syrups were to die for: Rosemary, Basil or Mint. Delicious!
Above was my lovely beverage: Vodka Lemonade with fresh fruit, candied lemon slices and mint syrup. So fresh and delicious, I was tempted to go back for more but there were more surprises inside. Before we entered the main hall, we were asked to “Choose Your Identity” from a pin board. There were some great ones: “Shoes Over Food”, “Bacon Fanatic”, “Cupcake Princess”, “Grill Master”, and more. My man chose “Liquid Lunch”, and I think I found my perfect pin…
This is the main hall: checkered floors with a long table in the centre with oversized white balloons and a professional juggler that spent the night juggling rings, balls, bats, and one more thing… wait for it!
On the table in the middle of the room was a strip of grass with these strange orbs in them… turns out they were ultra-modern salad bowls (choose between albacore tuna salad or a caesar salad)! The professional juggler used the orb salad bowls as a prop and literally “tossed the salad” by juggling them! What an amazing idea! I was so excited to see this just days after I posted about an Old World Circus Themed Wedding where jugglers were used as part of the entertainment at the reception. Awesome!
And then came the servers. All night, the servers were coming around with the most delectable hors d’oeuvres! The first one we tried was the lamb burger. We also had little shooters which tasted like a nice spicy Caesar with feta and cucumber spears, and (I hope I’m remembering the ingredients correctly because it may have been my favorite) a warm cheddar and potato scone with garlic chicken patte and a sweet warm sauce on top. Mmmm….One of the many unique aspects of this Tulips & Maple event was the drink and food pairing. This “Bacon Caesar” has a shot of Caesar topped with bacon garnish.
This was incredible: the mixed tastes of the pineapple and the beef made my mouth water, and what a wonderful concept for your wedding’s cocktail hour before the reception begins. Serving one or two signature cocktails is a great way to save money instead of offering an open bar during cocktail hour, and providing food during the cocktail hour is wise. Try pairing your food with your cocktails, literally!This is something I’ve never seen, and it’s a great way to incorporate your colour palette – a wall of hors d’oevres. You can remove the spoons from the large styrofoam background ($15 at your local arts and crafts store). They three types of appetizers featuring tofu and polenta, and looked incredible on this display. They also had some great decor items everywhere. These were my favorites.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture everything that I wanted to, like the “smoking station” where the chef used a wood-burning smoke gun and injected wine glasses with a bouquet of smoke and place it over a little plate of salmon, so that it is actually smoked in front of you. They had a wonderful fresh seafood platter that they called “The Great White” and an Italian platter called “The Italian Job”, push-pop deserts, fresh Maple and Candied Bacon mini-donuts, and more. I ended my night with a fresh, hot chocolate ganache that I literally injected an orange brandy cream into with a little plastic tube… superb.
I was so impressed with Tulips & Maple. Everyone I met were professional and so passionate about their work. The food – both the tastes and designs – was divine, and I found that they really created an experience for us. It wasn’t just a catered event. The catering WAS the event. Extremely creative and unique… I would highly recommend them for your next event and especially for your wedding.
Thank you for the invitation Tulips & Maple!