I work with so many brides who are, as I like to say, Afraid to leave the station. They get so caught up in pleasing the masses that they forget about injecting their own personality into the food. They are afraid to be original and do anything other than the traditional. So often personality is only reflected in the decor and the food is unoriginal. Remember, this is your wedding and a great opportunity to introduce your guests to some great, innovative food. Your personality can be expressed in the food itself, the presentation of the food and/or the serving style. I am just going to talk about the actual food today, and if ya'll are interested we can talk about the other ways later.
I am not saying you should only serve Foie Gras and Caviar (now if this is your taste and budget, The Chef's Garden most certainly can helpJ), but I am saying don't be afraid to offer something other than the basics. For instance, instead of offering a wild rice pilaf offer an exotic rice pilaf with a blend of different types of rice, such as: Bhutanese Red, Brown Basmati and an Indonesian Black. Not only is the presentation impressive, but you have, also, offered something many of your guests have never had. While salmon is delicious, it is a wedding staple. If possible, especially when planning a destination wedding, offer a fish harvested locally. If your budget dictates salmon, then maybe you could suggest the preparation incorporates products of the region. This introduces your guests to some indigenous ingredients and, is at the same time, nice on your pocket book.
A great idea is to sit down with the chef. Allow him/her to get a sense of you, your fiance and your families and, in turn, inspire him/her to create a menu fitting for your wedding. I advise you to go in with an open mind. You can do yourself a disservice by being too dead set on what you want. It is great to have ideas and parameters, but you should always be open to the input of the chef. If you aren't comfortable or trusting of the chef's ideas, that is a good indication the company is a poor fit.
Sometimes we copy family recipes (especially in memory of a loved one), revisit family classics or create something wholly new. Below is a picture of Seared Ribeye with Poached Asparagus, Roasted Peppers and Camenzola Cheese Wrapped in a Root Beer Leaf. It is garnished with amethyst berries (we are the first company in the country to receive this product.) The item was created after a client told us that they love sushi, but think it is overdone. She said she wanted something innovative, but not intimidating. What do you think?
As you probably realize, the key to any great wedding is making it personal and, therefore, the key to a great wedding vendor is finding a company that sees you as the expert on your wedding! Weddings are so intently personal that everything starts and ends with you. We vendors are merely dream catchers who have the experience (and/or fortitude) to turn your vision into a reality.
(photos from The Chef's Garden)