Inside the BizBash Canada 250: Sebastien Centner

Centner is founder and creative director of Toronto-based Eatertainment Events & Catering.

Sebastien Centner George Pimentel
Photo: George Pimentel

In the 2020 BizBash Best Canada issue, we named the top 250 event professionals in Canada. Here's a spotlight on one of them.

You execute more than 1,700 events a year. How do you maintain your quality while dealing with a high volume of customers?
While this becomes more difficult as you grow, it is crucial to build your team with people who share that same passion for quality. From our senior team through to our event managers, chefs, and everyone in between, each person takes great pride (and has tremendous passion) in our products and services.

When working on a large event how do you create food experiences or menus that seem personalized?
Often event planners look at the food as ancillary to the event theme, but to me it’s an integral part of the experience. Personalizing it to the brand, company, or person the event is about is just as important as the decor, entertainment, or any other aspect of the event. We spend a lot of time and energy playing with different ideas until we get the perfect balance for our catering menu for each specific event.

You are known for creating works of art with food. Can you describe one of your most outside-the-box events?
One of my favorite things to do is to constantly evolve our food presentation. Whether it’s designing new food stations or canapé trays, I find that people always eat with their eyes before they get to taste the food, and that the first impression is absolutely critical to the guest’s experience.

When it comes to events that really stand out in my mind as even more over the top than the rest here are a couple: We once hosted a two-year-old’s birthday with a Mad Hatter theme where we carpeted the entire street in front of the home with pink carpet, had the valets in pink tutus, and all the guests received mini top hats when they arrived. We built an entire Mad Hatter tea party for all the kids (everything mini sized) along with massive centerpieces throughout filled with mini carrots and had bunny petting zoos where the kids could play and feed the rabbits.

We took over the rooftop of a parking garage in Miami to launch the BMW M6. This included a seated dinner for 100 and wall of helmet trophies we unveiled at the end of the dinner along with the live arrival of the new M6 roaring into the dinner.

We once hosted a party with less than four days’ notice that included a surprise performance by 50 Cent and eight kilograms of Beluga caviar!

This story appeared in the 2020 BizBash Best Canada issue.

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