Monday, September 30, 2013

Catering by Chrisetta: The Dawson-Dallas Wedding

A couple of months ago a friend of a friend asked me to cater her wedding. I was honored, but also a little apprehensive. I’ve done a few small catering events for about 30 guests, but this would be for 60 guests and –- a wedding!

I tell you – I NEVER worked this hard in my life. 
- Planning the menu
- Several meetings with the bride’s support team
- Placing orders for meat and seafood
- Grocery shopping at six stores (even a trip to a friend’s garden for fresh rosemary)
- Prepping and preparing the food (16 hours + with the help of two assistants)
- and finally presenting the food
This was by far the most challenging yet rewarding catering event to date.  I learned a lot about myself, the process, and things I can do differently in the future.Working with awesome people, receiving positive feedback and love from the bride and groom, their families, and guests made it all worth it. 
An overwhelming number of the guests came to me and raved over the food. One couple stopped and talked to me at length “We could taste the love in the food.” Bingo! That’s why I make all my sauces, dips, and spreads from scratch, hand chop my fruits and vegetables, and use fresh herbs -- I want you to taste the love.

I never want to lose my joie de vivre for preparing and cooking food. That’s why I’ve been apprehensive about catering on a large scale. I want to keep the events intimate, that way I'll always be able to hand chop the vegetables and make most things from scratch. I want to connect with the people I'm feeding. I want them to ask questions about the food, talk to me about the food, and it's origin. It's that whole Outside of the Box thing.  
Thank you Sue-Mar and Mel for inviting me to be the caterer on your special day. Here’s to a lifetime of love, happiness, and good food!

I was extremely busy on wedding day so I wasn’t able to get many of the finished photos, so I'm giving you what I got!

Poppy Seed Dressing

The  most talked about side dish was the Potato Gratin in a Parmesan cheese sauce. This classic, comfort dish was elevated to another level with the addition of fresh rosemary and shallots. When I write my next cookbook the recipe has earned a spot.

Marinated Vegetables (grill ready): Eggplant, squash, zucchini, and sweet yellow onions with fresh basil, Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Fruit Tray (with hand-cut melon)

Grown-Up Mac & Cheese

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Kebabs

Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken

The wedding scene

The bride, the bride's proud parents, and the groom

The Dawson-Dallas customized menu:

Hors d’oeurve
Assorted Fruit Platter
Crudités Platter with Hummus and Poppy Seed Dressing
Cheese Platter with Fancy Crackers
Hot Spinach artichoke Dip with Blue tortilla Chips
Olive tray
Assorted Nut Bowls

Sides & Vegetables
Wild Rice Sauté
Potato Gratin
Grown-up Macaroni & Cheese
Marinated and Grilled Vegetables

Arugula Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing (warm)
Greek Orzo Salad
Grilled Carrot Salad with Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette

Grilled Lemon rosemary Chicken
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple
Grilled Beef Kebabs

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Kebabs
Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Dill

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