Category Archives: catering

Congratulations, Renee and Josh!

The weekend after Sarah and Patrick’s wedding we were back on the road for Renee and Josh’s wedding reception at the Huntsville Fairgrounds.

On the menu:

  • Pulled Pork & Sliced Pork
  • Smoked Chicken Thighs
  • Beef Brisket & Burnt Ends
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Veggie Kabobs
  • Kitchen Sink Salad
  • Smoked Portobello Mushrooms

+
Fresh salsa & Tortilla chips for every table, pickle plates for every table, buns and taco shells.

One of the groomsmen referred to our Carolina sauce as the best he’s ever had.

We didn’t get any photos ourselves but if/when we get some taken by others we’ll add them here.

It was a beautiful wedding reception. The wedding itself was on a nearby beach so we didn’t see it. The father-daughter dance was especially touching, and Renee and Josh’s friends sure know how to dance, and eat! Their friends ate the second highest amount of meat of any wedding guests we’ve ever served. 1.5lbs of meat per person. It was impressive. Beat that.

We look forward to feeding the family again.

Congratulations, Sarah and Pat!

The Pork Ninjas cater in various configurations, with various amenities. At the most basic, we bring our own cookers, cooking utensils and ice, and need access to electricity and potable water. The blog post I wrote about Spencer & Suzanne’s wedding, for example, said

Top Chef challenge style, we didn’t have access to running water.  No problem for The Pork Ninjas! We came with bottled water.

We enjoy those weddings just as much, but Sarah and Patrick’s wedding was the opposite of that.

Sarah and Patrick got married at Camp Manitou near Parry Sound, a kids camp that, during the camp season, serves over 700 meals a day. They have a proper kitchen. Knowing that, we left most of our utensils at home out of fear of mixing ours up with theirs. We brought food and we brought cookers. Little else.

On the menu:

Chicken Lollipops (Jerk and Honey Garlic)

  • Chicken Lollipops (Jerk and Honey Garlic)
  • Mini Greek Salad Skewers
  • Moinks (bacon wrapped meatballs)
  • Ribs -Baby Back Memphis Style (225 pieces)
  • Pulled Pork
  • Smoked Chicken Thighs
  • Mac N Cheese -Gluten Free
  • Mac N Cheese -Gluten Free with bacon
  • Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Caps
  • Corn (cut in half, with butter lime sauce)
  • Kitchen Sink Salad

+ Onion Jam, kimchi,  coleslaw,  ciabatta buns,  soft taco shells,  Carolina BBQ sauce,  sriracha and Squealer sauce.

moinks
Some of the apps. It’s hard to take photos and serve at the same time.

The wedding was held by the lake, the apps were served in the dance studio, and dinner in the mess hall.

The evening before friends acted as greeters in the mess hall, checking in guests and directing them to their cabins.

We got a cabin to sleep in too, the first time this summer we didn’t do a sleepover on the bus. With the full kitchen and a cabin, it was luxury, one we don’t take for granted or expect. We go with the flow.

Additionally, the bride and groom ordered the good weather and got summer weather the first weekend of fall. We even found a brief (too brief) window of time to take a swim on Saturday. Slow food involves some “hurry up and wait”.

Camp Manitou lake in the fall
VIew of the water with the fall colours

Our dog was thrilled with all the space.

I call this one "Bourbon: Lost & Found"
I call this one “Bourbon: Lost & Found”

We recommend Manitou as a wedding venue (facility rental info here). Thanks to long time staffer Dave for being so awesome.

Another great scenery shot:

fall leaves
fall leaves

Happy Birthday Jamie & Jenn!

Earlier this month we got a request to cater a backyard birthday party for about 40 people. Luckily, with 11 days notice, we were free.

The menu:

  • Moinks
  • Greek Salad Skewers
  • Chicken Lollipops
  • Pulled Pork
  • Brisket with Burnt Ends
  • Pit Beans
  • Mac and Cheese – both with bacon and without
  • Grilled, smoked portabello mushrooms
  • Soft taco shells + buns
  • Condiments: Kimchi, onion jam, tequilla lime sauce,  hot sauce, Carolina-style BBQ sauce + other sauces, cole slaw. Though not on the menu, we brought a jar of the chili sauce that Jason made a few days prior after we bought bushels of tomatoes and peppers at St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market.

We always “order good weather when we cater”.  We like to say that it’s a service we provide, It seems that it only rains when we cater (free) for friends and family.  As these were paying customers, the sky was clear throughout the day and the forecast didn’t call for rain until Sunday.

When we arrived around 7pm – after sunset – to set up  the clouds had started rolling in. But, rain wasn’t in the forecast, and so we set up our tables, laid out the tablecloths, filled the water pans, lit the fire under the chafing dishes, and so on. A backyard BBQ under the stars! (We all thought.)

Then the clouds began to spit.

We were still in denial. It wasn’t supposed to rain.

And then it rained.

However, rain is no challenge for us! The Pork Ninjas always come prepared. Instead of moving the food inside or scrambling for umbrellas or serving in the rain, we grabbed the big pop-up tent that lives on the bus along with some battery-operated LED lights. And so, in the rain, with mud and darkness, we set up and fed the party guests. You can see the set up in the photo below with the wet tent.

backyardcater

This is the email the host sent us 2 days later:

Hi Jason, I just wanted to say thank you again for the great spread you put on at our place on Saturday. Not only did you pull this together last minute but served a delicious meal, in the rain and in the dark with the mud and my dog at your feet. 🙂

I will not hesitate to recommend you guys.

Thank you so much,

Kerry

We’re used to having a dog at our feet.

Happy birthday, Jamie and Jenn! It was a pleasure feeding you all.

 

Congratulations, Spencer and Suzanne!

We recently catered a wedding for 75 at the bride’s family cottage near Sauble Beach.

On the menu:

  • Pesto chicken lollipops
  • Mini Greek salad skewers
  • Pulled pork & sliced pork
  • Sliced beef brisket & Burt Ends
  • Mac ‘n’ Cheese – both regular and gluten free
  • Grilled portobello mushroom caps
  • Veggie kabobs
  • Baked beans (no pork)
  • Apple crisp

+  Cole slaw, pickles, fresh salsa and the usual condiments.

Top Chef challenge style, we didn’t have access to running water.  No problem for The Pork Ninjas! We came with bottled water.

There was an interesting set up for overnight guests: Some guests chose to bring tents to sleep in, set up on the property and property next door . One part of the family brought their motor home. Others stayed at a motel about a 5 minute drive down the road.

We drove there on Friday for a Saturday night wedding and stayed over until Sunday morning.  With our set up bus next to the cottage, we were in position to chat with interested people about what we do and how we do it. Sharing knowledge and food are both beautiful things.

A great time was had by all. Our dog, who always joins us at out-of-town catering jobs, was welcomed and shown lots of affection. We enjoyed the beautiful Lake Huron sunsets and the good company.

We wish Spencer and Suzanne a lifetime of happiness together.

Want us to cater your wedding? Get in touch.

Sign up for The Pork Ninjas newsletter. > > > 

Get your High Holiday brisket from us!

Brisket! Get your High Holiday brisket!

brisket

 

Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on Wednesday September 24. Yom Kippur is on October 4. Sukkot runs from October 9-15.

This year, order your kosher-style whole brisket from us for the high holidays.

Get enough for Rosh Hashana dinner + leftovers. Get a brisket to break the fast on October 4. Get a brisket for your sukkot meal.

Orders are already coming in.

You’ll get a 10-14 lb beef brisket lovingly smoked for 16 hours over hardwood and charcoal, then vacuum sealed and delivered to your door (or sukkah) ready to be re-heated in the oven. You can tell your friends that you made it yourself. Your friends and family will be talking about it at shul the next day.

Horseradish – the jarred stuff that makes your nose run and your eyes water – available upon request.

Southern-style brisket BETTER than your bubbie would make.

Interested? Get in touch.

Event wrap up: A corporate BBQ

We recently catered an annual after-work team BBQ for some folks from an investment management firm. It was held in a backyard in the west end of Toronto.

HumberRiver

One of the home owners was vegan and so the menu ordered had vegan options. Although we’re called “The Pork Ninjas”, our repertoire extends way beyond pork. For a previous party we grilled polenta on the spot for the vegans. For this one we made grilled Veggie Kabobs and Chilli Lime Tofu Skewers, bringing a separate grill to grill both on site in case she didn’t want meat touching her food, and marinated portabello mushrooms, which is  one of our more popular items. We kept our mac ‘n’ cheese meat free (bacon is always an option).

vegetarian menu items

vegetable skewers

 

Other menu items:

  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Pulled pork
  • Brisket
  • Pulled chicken
  • potato salad
  • Slaw. We always provide slaw with pulled pork. It’s a condiment for the sandwich.

macpulledchicken

pulled chicken, brisket

ribs
We also brought a variety of tarts for dessert, though most people were too full.

Jason declared the ribs perfect, some of the best he’s ever made. The customers were happy and glad that a Google search had lead them to us. We were happy to feed them.

Sign up for The Pork Ninjas newsletter. > > > 

Jerk chicken drumsticks for the Jays Care Foundation

Thanks to Alexa Clark for all the photos.

Earlier this week we donated jerk chicken drumsticks to a fundaising event hosted by our friends Chef Matt Kantor and his girlfriend Alana, a member of the Jays Care Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee.

About Jay’s Care Foundation

Jays Care Foundation is the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club. As a registered charity, Jays Care is governed by an independent, volunteer Board of Directors, with a vision to use the sport of baseball, the reach of the Toronto Blue Jays and the resources committed to the foundation to serve children and youth in need across Canada.

The Young Professionals Committee is a volunteer opportunity for Toronto’s young professionals to utilize their leadership and management skills, creativity, passion, talent and social networks to engage in the Toronto Blue Jays community investment efforts to benefit Canada’s children and youth.

The goal of the event was to raise funds for the ChangeUp campaign to fund the building of a Blue Jays Youth Zone in the Bridletowne Circle YMCA located in a high priority neighbourhood where more than 50% of residents are physically inactive and access to safe community space is crucial. Since the launch of the campaign in mid June the committee has raised nearly $80,000 towards their $150,000 goal.

Let's go blue jays!
Let’s go blue jays!

The event we contributed to was a Popup Snack Party, with food inspired by a night out at the park. We got there early, helped with some set up, and stayed to celebrate and eat some food.

“We’ve got popcorn! Peanuts! Beer! Get your beer here!”

Matt Kantor's popcorn
Sweet with a bit of heat

…Nachos, corndogs, lobster rolls, sausages with mustard too. Okay, maybe lobster rolls aren’t traditional ballpark food, but Matt made the potato rolls that they were served on and, unlike many lobster rolls that I’ve eaten in the past, it wasn’t drenched in mayo.

Matt Kantor's nachos
No fake yellow nacho cheese on these.

Matt Kantor's lobster rolls
sausage with mustard in a bun

The mini bacon explosions were donated by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro’s/Lisa Marie and the TV Show Rebel Without a Kitchen.

bacon explosion bites

…and our drumsticks!

jerk chicken drumsticks

The beer and wine selection was WAY better than the selection at the Roger’s Centre, aka Skydome. 🙂 I was totally digging the Local 7 Session Saison, which I’d tried the previous weekend. I can’t recall which red wine I drank, but I liked it a lot. If I hadn’t had to leave early – and get up early the next morning to walk the dog – I’d have drank way too much of it.

Jay and I had to leave to prep some ribs for a subsequent cater so we missed the ice cream sandwiches.  The photos of them make me envious.

Matt Kantor's ice cream sandwiches
Matt Kantor’s ice cream sandwiches

Support Jay’s Care.

Congratulations, Amy & James

Last Saturday we catered a backyard wedding party. The couple, Amy and James, had already gotten married on the east coast but were now celebrating with their local friends. They chose us for their event because we’d catered a birthday party for one of Amy’s friends.

Nearly the entire buffet. Missing from photo: Cornbread, apple crisp, slaw & condiments.
Nearly the entire buffet.
Missing from photo: Cornbread, apple crisp, slaw & condiments.  Click image for full size.

On the menu:

  • Jerk chicken lollipops
  • Pulled pork – smoked for many hours, pulled on site shortly before serving.
  • Bacon explosion
  • Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  • Pit baked/smoked Beans
  • Fennel Quarters & grilled portabello Mushrooms (vegetarian option)
  • Cornbread cooked in a cast iron skillet (plan, but sometimes we add jalapeños or cheese).
  • Creamy slaw, which serves as a condiment for pulled pork sandwiches
  • Assorted sauces including Carolina sauce, “squealer” sauce (so hot it will make you squeal) and sriracha, which we put on everything.
  • Apple Crisp with ice cream

The next door neighbours amazingly shared their backyard, so the appetizer table and bar were in Amy & James’ backyard and the dinner buffer was in the next door neighbour’s. Thanks, Caroline and Sean! Among the drinks and Amy & James provided were wine, sangria, and a keg of Steam Whistle pilsner. If asked, we could provide a keg/cask.

Speeches were short and sweet, and enjoyable.

Last year we’d catered a similar event for Mitch & Kate, who held the wedding in the garage behind the house and the buffet behind the garage. Those are just some of the sorts of weddings we cater. We cater much larger venues too. We also know people who are wedding photographers, make-up artists, DJs, hairdressers and more. Eventually we might put a service directory on this site but if you’re looking for recommendations for services or venues, ask us.