Martin Ternowetsky, head chef at Bridges Catering in Edmonton’s NW, suggests, “making sure anything you do ahead is wrapped well. Most meats and sauces can be cooked the day before, but fragile items like fruits and veggies should be done the day of (the event).”

With over 20 years of experience in the business, and catering anything from a business breakfast to an outdoor wedding, Chef’s advice is to try to plan ahead, so if you are going to be busy on the day you entertain, then choose items that can be made ahead and that you just need to heat up to serve.

Finally, Chef Ternowetsky recommends, “Choose something you will enjoy eating and making. It’s easy to be intimidated, but start simple and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they can produce tasty surprises.”

Try Chef Ternowetsky’s Creole-inspired shrimp with avocado and cucumber on any warm day.


Blackened Shrimp Bites

Yield: Makes 24


2 large ripe avocados

1 tsp (5 mL) lime juice

1 Tbs small diced green onion

24 peeled and deveined prawns (24 – 30 size) thawed or fresh

2 Tbs paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 pinch black pepper

2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil

1 small bunch cilantro

1 English cucumber

To taste salt and pepper


  1. Cut avocados in half, remove the seeds and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Add lime juice, a pinch of salt and pepper and mash with a fork. Mix in the onion then wrap and store in the fridge until needed.
  2. Take your thawed prawns, pat dry with a clean towel and remove the tails. Mix all your dry seasonings and toss prawns in spices to coat well. Heat a non-stick pan until very hot and add olive oil. Add your prawns in evenly, don’t overload your pan, you can always cook two batches.
  3. Cook your prawns for 2 or 3 minutes on each side or until pink and firm. Remove from pan and cool. Wash and slice cucumber into 1 cm thick pieces.
  4. Spread a bit of guacamole onto each cucumber slice and top with a cooled prawn. Add a leaf of cilantro to the top for a nice fresh touch. Garnish your platters with herbs, citrus or whatever colorful foods you enjoy.


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