It is standard in the wedding world for engaged couples and sometimes their mom or their wedding planner to do a “tasting” where they choose from a large menu some appetizers and entrees they think they might want to serve on their wedding.
For these tastings we always go in our garden and do trimmings for the salad and the garnishes. We are so lucky to be able to have access to delicate little edible flowers that we take with us on our events. They’re a really pretty surprise to guests.
We built a private tasting room, The Salon, to hold special events in as you see here, but also to host these wedding tastings. It’s a great way for our catering managers and our chefs to explain our philosophy of food and help brides and grooms make catering decisions to best suit their vision.
We start with a series of appetizers and sometimes a crostini station. This really helps couples imagine their cocktail hour.
Next up is a garden salad which we always preface with the explanation that we are a seasonally driven kitchen. Oftentimes couples come in 6-8 months before their wedding date so the apples and persimmons that were so crisp and sweet at their tasting will be replaced by nectarines and plums for their big day. Greens will be different also because we never know what farms will be bringing in. We trust them. We work with small, organic family run farms that have never let us down. They love that we appreciate what they do so they never fail to bring us their best offerings, and that’s what goes in all of our garden salads and vegetable dishes.
Our sides to entrees are seasonal as well. Our menu features “Trust Us” vegetables. It’s lovely that 95% of our clients choose to Trust Us. They understand that by choosing this option they are enabling us to trust our farmers.
We prepare these tastings “family style” so those eating all share from the same dish, serving themselves on their own plate to get a taste of everything. Fish is an entree that most people want to taste. Again, the fish we serve is seasonal and wild, more on that here.
Chicken is a popular dish on weddings and we do our Jidori chicken in many different ways. Since the quality of the chicken we purchase is so high, there is more flavor and juiciness.
We get our lambs (and pigs and cows) in whole from humane and sustainable ranches so it’s great to encourage couples to choose “whole harvest” which is basically a way to incorporate different cuts from the same animal for their menu. This choice enables us to support these small ranches. If a menu choice is lamb rack for 100, then clearly we need to outsource our lamb from a larger purveyor and many different animals. We still take great care in who we purchase our proteins from but it is our goal to primarily support the little ranches like this one and this one. We all make important political decisions with every food purchase so why not support the guys who are working really hard to maintain integrity and humanity in their ranching? You can taste the difference and you’re making a difference.
So there’s a bit on our food philosophy and a glimpse into one of our wedding tastings. If you’re not getting married anytime soon, there are many other opportunities to taste our food. We look forward to feeding you!
photos: Jennifer Emerling