Tuesday, August 7, 2012

an unconventional affair

on july 28th i catered my first wedding. a surprise wedding at that.

the bride & groom are two of my best customers who come to the market every week, frequent lots of different vendors and truly support small local businesses. when they asked me to cater their wedding - even though i knew it was on a saturday after the market - i was stoked & when i found out it was a surprise, i was super stoked!

now this was no traditional wedding. there weren't hundreds of people; there wasn't a sit down stuffy dinner; it was very relaxed & casual with a focus of good food, good music & good friends. the food was done cocktail style with several stationary platters & a rotation of hot food throughout the night.

this was the beginning of the spread. on the left there's smoked arctic char with pickled red onions, arugula, lemon creme fraiche & crostinis. the char is from peter at the fish shop and it's raised using land based aquaculture, so as far as fish goes, it's in the green zone. i cured it for 24 hours and then slow smoked it with apple & alder wood - nothing too strong. it turned out subtle & delicate.

then there were caprese salad skewers. i marinated baby boccancini in roasted garlic olive oil & fresh oregano and marinated tomatoes in a balsamic reduction. we threaded them on bamboo skewers just before the wedding with tiny leaves of fresh basil from my garden.

then there was a selection of charcuterie and cheeses, grapes, mustards, berries, caramelized onions & marinated olives.

there was a little something to please most palates: a mild goat, saint-honore, old growler, baby brie & gorgonzola. 

there were also fresh thai salad rolls with basil, mint, coriander, vermicelli, carrots, cucumbers, daikon, peppers, greens from my garden & a spicy peanut dipping sauce, but alas they did not make it into any pictures.

then the hot food started to come out. this is grilled vegetable focaccia with parm, goat cheese, zucchini, eggplant, red onions, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil & oregano. not gonna lie, i ate my fair share of this one & am currently trying to figure out the logistics of offering it as a dish at the market...

then it was slider time. these were little pulled getaway farm pork sandwiches with a pineapple bbq sauce and crunchy-creamy coleslaw on little homemade sweet rolls. there were also beef sliders (using getaway farm meat as well) that had bacon, fresh herbs & homemade bbq sauce mixed right in. they were topped with sauteed mushrooms, 'big mac' sauce, smoked cheddar & baby greens. both of these were pretty popular with the young, male wedding guests & looked super cute all ready to go:

there were also little bbq chicken cups. we made crispy little tortilla cups and filled them with a black bean & corn succotash that has punches of lime & cilantro. the chicken was from shani's farm & it hung out in a spice rub overnight before being slow-smoked on the bbq with hickory & alder, then it was shredded and mixed up with a tangy, chipotle bbq sauce and then the whole thing was topped with jalapeno goat cheese & sliced green onions.

and last but not least there were steak & stilton tarts. i marinated beef tenderloin (from getaway farm again) in balsamic, garlic & herbs overnight before grilling it super rare. on site it was warmed up and sliced super thin to top the little tarts. the shells were my regular pastry and they were filled with blue cheese custard, then came the beef, then crumbled pecans, a dot of stilton, riverview herbs arugula & a drizzle of port wine reduction.

and then it was time for the grand finale - wedding cake! chocolate cake filled with raspberry-sour cherry puree, fresh cherries & dark chocolate mousse, covered in rich chocolate buttercream, adorned with fresh berries and served with a dollop of sweetened whip cream.

the bride & groom have always bought saturday morning oatmeal cookies from me, but after eating this cake (& the leftovers all week), they've switched to saturday morning cupcakes :)

all in all i was pretty pleased with how everything turned out, have already gotten lots of new customers out of it, and it was fun to be able to really pretty things up and focus on presentation - so the 21 hour workday wasn't all that bad. now sunday market the following day, that's a whole nother story... 

and i also could not have done it alone. my buddy tim helped with all the cooking, assembling, plating, organizing & cleaning up afterwards. and his lovely girlfriend heather was on site to help with logistics, clearing & tidying up, oh and taste-testing of course!

it was also great to showcase lots of products from the market. getaway farm, shani's farm, the fish shop, roselane, sweet william's, the dutchman, foxhill, riverview herbs, noggins & selwood were all represented. oh & i guess little red kitsch'n was in the mix too.

congrats jen & chris!


  1. I know! Sounds pretty incredible for your first wedding!

  2. The cake you made looks absolutely delicious- and I've heard such great things! Way to promote local :)