Be A Food Snob
I love food. While I enjoy going out to a lot of the casual dining restaurants, nothing makes me more happy than dining like a food snob. Being treated to a meal designed and cooked by an executive chef and his team of sous chefs is an awesome experience.
When choosing your menu for your reception, go for the gusto. This will probably be the only time you will plan a huge, elaborate party with elegant food and table settings. If not, I want to be your BFF. A lot of venues and caterers brag or pride themselves on having the “best” chef or they can “cook anything”. Great food is all about great color, wonderful textures, awesome taste and a mind-blowing presentation. Anything less is uncivilized; especially when you’re paying thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for it.
But you say, “OK, Terrica, I hear you. But I’m not a foodie. What should I do?” Well first, ask to talk to the chef. The catering manager is a good resource, but you want to talk to the person who will put some soul into your food. You can tell the chef about your theme– the type of food you like and don’t like, any taste or smell aversions you might have and the colors of your wedding. Tell him or her about any wonderful food experiences you have had, and what, if anything, from that experience you would like to replicate for your wedding.
If you are not sure of what you want, go to your local library or bookstore and check out some of the books to the left. A good start would be The Food You Want to Eat by Ted Allen. Ted Allen of Queer Eye fame is a food and wind connoisseur who can take very ordinary menu items and jazz them up with the right amount of style and spice. Ted’s book will also teach you (briefly) how food works together and the importance of choosing the right food for the right courses.
Chef Eric Ripert is known as “God” in the culinary world and has a palate that inspires some of the most delicious creations that have ever been put on a plate. Co-author of a cookbook named for the restaurant where he is the executive chef, Le Bernardin, Ripert is known for creating some of the most astounding seafood dishes. You can even view some of his recipes on the restaurant’s website.
Who can forget about Rocco DiSpirito? Before Rocco became a heartthrob on NBC’s show, The Restaurant, he was steaming up kitchens in New York at his ultra chic restaurant, Union Pacific. Rocco’s book, Flavor, delves into the world of succulent food that arouses all of the sense and each part of your palate. Known for his Mediterranean tastes, Rocco even shares some of his favorite recipes on his website.
You can also pick up a copy of Food and Wine magazine for ideas. Besides the recipes, this “food porn”, for lack of a better term :), will inspire several ideas in regard to presentation. How your meal is presented will determine if the guest will want to eat it.
Some last few pointers:
- Food should complement, not compete.
- It’s very important to pick seasonal items– both for your budget as well as for the consistency of the menu. Try not to mix seasons– don’t have a hot soup in the summer time.
- “The eye buys”. Presentation is key– if it looks great, your guests won’t be able to wait to dig in.
Again, this will be a very expensive meal for you. Make sure it is worth it! You want to treat your guests to a dynamic experience, and that should include your food. Defy the norm and create a couture menu for your wedding!
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