Past 10 to Watch Winner: The Success of Toque Catering

Chef Nicholas Waters leads a successful and delicious catering company that continues to excel in the industry.

A selection of Toque's appetizers at the 2018 10 to Watch Event. Photograph by Belle White.


“Toque” means chef’s hat in French. And Chef Nicholas Waters wears a Candian toque year-round. So when Waters and his team were looking for a name for their catering company it was an easy decision.

In 2016, the company had a unique vision of farm-to-table food and filled a niche market of completely customizable menus in the catering industry. They were awarded a Douglas 10 to Watch award and Waters remembers the pride he felt and the encouragement he received from that moment on.

“We still have clients talking about how they have seen us in Douglas magazine!” he says.


Toque Catering continues to flourish locally and has also been recognized nationally and internationally. Two recent international awards are the Catersource Ace Award and the International Caterer’s Association CATIE Award for Best Catered Event International. Waters says the 10 to Watch award was a big motivator for him and his company.

“I remember feeling really proud of such an accomplishment at that stage in my career. It made me want to work even harder.”

The delicious menus from Toque range from family-style to gourmet picnics and canapes. The menus include dishes like stewed apricots and pine nuts stuffed into a Moroccan Rubbed Lamb Rack and golden beet salad with asparagus. Their fully customizable catering services have expanded to Salt Spring Island and the Mainland.

Asked about the top business lessons learned since his win, Waters says, “One would definitely have to be learning to keep up with the growth of my business by putting systems into place in order to grow. Second would be the importance of building client relationships for long-term success.”

This article is from March 17, 2019.