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Wedding Of The Year

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I have posted before and gotten excellent help. I have a dilema and need your excellent advise once more. I have a huge wedding June 30, 07. The client is very well off and can afford most anything. The mother is doing the reception and the daughter is not interested in it one bit. It also has a bit of competition thrown in...this has to be the best wedding of the year in this small town. These are not fancy people ..this is a fishing village in florida so we have oysters, shrimp and fish available. So...

350-400 guests
5 hr reception 7pm...til?

Fingerfoods/tapas like
28-40 yrs old
simple palates

I will have access to a convection oven only and a stove top.
But I would love to do some things like Tigerwoman did for Hillary...that was beautiful and creative!! I have a cold soup being done by one of the chefs in town that I though I would serve in the small shot glasses..but I really want to try and stay away from the usual fare and I will have stations...beef tenderloins and maybe pork. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated...Thank you all....Renee

** The ceremony takes place about 10 miles away from reception..it is at 5:30pm...the guests will then be shuttled back to their cars...and the reception will not start till the bride arrives around 7pm...
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

by the way

Would anyone like a free trip to the Panhandle of Florida for a few days? I really need help!! I think I will need about 20 servers...we will have some passed h/d's and then the stations...3 bars...beer, wine and then specialty drinks for tequila, gin, rum and vodka...thanks again

post #3 of 29
Oooooh Capers! I would love to! But wait! Is this wedding during the warm months? I'd be useless. I wilt and then whine in hot weather.:blush:
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
LOL....at this point Lentil, whining IS allowed!!
post #5 of 29
Yean but it's the wilting that's not so pretty!

Tell us about the wedding. I'd love to hear all about it.
post #6 of 29
that is a whole lotta guests to make little fruffy food for........

seviche station
Sushi station if you have the man power
Fried oysters with remoulade
I served spicy shrimp on mango salsa in a chinese soup spoon last week....
Kabob with macerated pineapple
Asian Station is cool, and can be easy......potstickers or steamed dumplings,
Springrolls with shrimp, sates, ricestick salad
gotta go....
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
The wedding is taking place on the river property owned by the father of the bride...guests will be shuttled by golfcarts to tent and chairs...the reception is taking place in the Armory..one HUGE large 60x80 room that has been half tented ,,,dance floor in front of tent.so tent is in back of room....tent will house food stations and tables for about 280...another area is set up outside with a bar for smokers...another small room is being set up as a barroom..cocktail tables and cushioned bench like seating along wall..it is already there.... another bar will be set up in main room, japanese lanterns hanging from ceiling and inside tent...it's going to look fab, but I want the food to be the star! I can get a deep fryer so I can do fried shrimp and such...springrolls..etc..since no one will have had dinner I thought:

beef tenderloins and pork station w/carver

steamed/fried shrimp station

cold soup station

something else meaty from another chef but not sure what it is yet

fruit and cheese display
maybe a raw bar with oysters
I'm going crazy and to make matters worse, I am having a hard time pinning the client down on the food...deco is more important to her right now..
post #8 of 29
capers12@hotmai wrote:

beef tenderloins and pork station w/carver
You might want to consider adding loins of sashimi grade tuna

steamed/fried shrimp station
It's likely to be 90 degrees and humid, you may want to consider a mountain of iced prawns with a variety of dipping sauces

cold soup station
I'd keep it very light. Even a lovely vichyssoise may seem too heavy in the heat.

something else meaty from another chef but not sure what it is yet.Well, so far there's no poultry. Perhaps, you'd like to bone turkey breasts and stuff them with thigh before rolling, tying, and roasting them.

A lovely salad of mixed greens will be most appreciated by those who are eating light.

fruit and cheese display
maybe a raw bar with oysters

I'm going crazy and to make matters worse, I am having a hard time pinning the client down on the food...deco is more important to her right now..

There's certainly no reason to go crazy. Propose two or three menus that have items you have had great success with, previously.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you rsteve...there is air conditioning being piped into the bldg. , but I see what you mean...the shrimp will be served cold and I'm trying to stay away from the fried stuff, but may be impossible...the salad idea is perfect..thanks
post #10 of 29
You ougghta do a cold seafood bar too. If you can get good oysters in june have a shucker there. Then do a mountain of boiled shrimp and stone crab claws or blue crab claws (again if you can get em!) but I think being in Florida the stone crab would be fun. Also if you have a source for conch it would be fun to do conch fritters, crab or shrimp balls and hush puppies with a fantastic dipping sauce. You could also do deep fried little macaroni and cheese balls or risotto balls.

Why I say deep fried stuff? Is because it is easy to fry em a la minute and keep things piping hot and fresh with servers. Also, since you are challenged for hot burner availability it would be easier.

You can also do a pasta station pretty easily with a single or double burner gas unit. In the pasta section you could have wonderful mushrooms and even lump blue crab sections or shrimp or lobster or king crab sections.

Don't know if this is too hoity toity but a caviar bar is also VERY fun! We used to do iced vodka bottles and would pour shots of vodka and fix whipped potatoes in martini glasses with garnish per order (chopped purple onion, chives, boiled egg, capers, cornichon) and then have a variety of caviars: sturgeon, lumpfish even, salmon, wasabi, fly fish roe. It's very festive and fun.

Sounds like a fun time!
post #11 of 29
And again with the martini glasses- how about shrimp cocktail in individual glasses? Layer shredded lettuce, avocado, more lettuce, cocktail sauce and topped with a couple of shrimp.

Crocks filled with agua frescas. Maybe watermelon, strawberry, and/or honeydew or other melon with chunks/slices of fresh fruit and lime.
post #12 of 29
I'd leave the lettuce out. With any amount of time or heat it will wilt and make it soupy/watery. You could do a campechana (sp?) or if you wanted to add a green to it, then I'd take it out of the martini glass and do an awesome shrimp coleslaw!!! Man I love that stuff! :D
post #13 of 29
What is a shrimp coleslaw? It sounds reallllly good!
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Bluezebra...would that be a basic coleslaw recipe ? and add shrimp? or would you be willing to share the recipe? I think the seafood bar is a great idea..we can get oysters, shrimp and crab this time of year..stones are out of season..also the pasta bar is nice...writing menus now...but accepting all ideas...thank ya'll

post #15 of 29
I think I speak for all when I say that we'd love to see your menus if you have time. Menu planning is my absolute worst chore.
post #16 of 29
MMMM....a martini bar as above, but with an ultra light potato salad in the glasses with the garnishes described. Potato cubes in four colors....blue, yellow, white, orange in a light vinaigrette. (a tedious pain in the rear to make, but very pretty)

With the shrimp cocktail, I like to pour an inexpensive champagne with two ounces pulled and replaced with two ounces of Chambord.
post #17 of 29
Here's an important consideration to make......what is the proximity to the fryers from the dining area? If this is one of those "cost is secondary" deals, your host really won't want the smell of frying seafood permeating the dining room. I'm assuming you're bringing portable fryers and the venting will be minimal.
post #18 of 29

BlueZebra's Shrimp Cole Slaw

Hi well it's depends if you want to do a vinaigrette slaw or not. Down on the Gulf Coast in Texas we've mostly eaten it with a mayo dressing. I would love to share quantities but I just cook by the seat of my pants now! I gave my recipe book for catering to a friend who now has a business so I don't have my volume recipes anymore.

It's a basic NON-SWEET mayo dressing using Hellman's. I make it with mayo a tiny bit of sour cream. Dill relish, onion, carrot, red and green cabbage, a tiny bit of tarragon vinegar, a tiny bit of dijon mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a bit of ranch seasoning (from the original dressing mix). Mix it all up and you want it to be on the dry side of wet because it will moisten up as time goes by. You can make it a day ahead. I just cook shrimp as I would for a boil, make sure not to overcook em. Then peel and devein and coarsely chop them. Add them to the coleslaw. It's pretty awesome.

In place of the tarragon vinegar you can also try it with rice wine vinegar and then add some cilantro into and sambal olek. Different but still awesome. I use my chopping blade on the food processor to chop the cabbage, the carrot and the onion. I DO NOT use pre-shredded mess. I can't stand the taste of that stuff plus you don't know what bacteria is lurking to mate with the mayo!!

BlueZebra's Suthernese Shrimp Coleslaw:

This is a guestimate of quanitities. It's important to test this to taste:

1 head of cabbage (3/4 green to 1/4 purple)
1/2 to 1 large onion,
1 to 1-1/2 whole carrot
1/2 bunch of green onions (bottoms and tops).
1-2 Rounded tablespoon of Vlassic's Dill Relish
1 lb of med shrimp boile, deveined/shelled, coarse chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
I would start with about 1-1/4 cup Hellmans
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3-1/2 package of Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
2 tsp tarragon vinegar
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon (must use fresh)

Cook shrimp in shrimp boil or alternately a courte bouillon and blanch in ice water, once cooked. Chill thoroughly then peel and devein and coarse chop the shrimp using a chef's knife (do not chop in food processor).

Using the chopping blade and pulsing action, chop cabbages, onion and carrot. Chop green onions by hand. Combine veggies and shrimp in large mixing bowl.

Make dressing in a separate bowl by combining all dressing ingredients. Add dressing to the veggie/shrimp mixture a little at a time. I would start with a little less than 1/2 of it.


The funny thing about coleslaw is because of the moisture in the veggies, it will get soupier the longer it sits. So start with a dry-er slaw. It's even better if made the day before. If necessary, you can always add dressing to it later. Check it again in about 8-12 hours and adjust level of dressing. (It's hard to remove too much dressing cuz it all gets to be a soggy mess. You want the veggies to retain their body as much as possible). Also, you want to be able to really see and pick out the shrimp. I would cut each medium shrimp in
1/2's or 1/3's.

The taste you are going for is a tangy (lemony/vinegar) with creamy mayo taste. You also want to be able to wonder about the seasonings but not be able to exactly tell it's Ranch Mix that was used. The garlic powder (I used granulated) and the tarragon and lemon juice help to disguise the Ranch a little bit!

People always rave about this. It's an excellent accompaniment to barbque and fish/seafood fries. Great with Southern cornbread or hushpuppies!

It would be fun to do a "fritter bar" too. You could have the different mixes there and fry them to order! Conch fritters, Shrimp fritters, Crab Balls, Hush Puppies with onion and jalapeno and cheese, Risotto fritters. I don't think anyone's ever done one of those. Then have about 3-5 different sauces for people to try. Everything from homemade ailo to a mango salsa or something!
post #19 of 29
Steve have you made the quad colored potato salad before? I would test the recipe out first to make sure the purple potatoes don't bleed. Just a thought. But a real festive idea! I like!!! :D
post #20 of 29
Yes, I have made it. There will be some bleeding, definitely, if the salad is over mixed rather than tossed. They must be kept separate from the other ingredients, just until the toss and bowl. I also dress the blues slightly before adding to the mix. In the martini glass, if there's a concern over the bleed, I'd place the blues at the bottom of the glass as a base then add the others. Great point bz...thank you for noting it. Steve
post #21 of 29

Hi Steve! Thanks for these ideas!

How fun would it be to do a blue base?! I also like the idea of dressing the potatoes separately. Do you think it would be too schizo to dress each tater with a different dressing? Then gently or deliberately layer them? So you get different tastes with each bite! I think I'd like this dish with something other than caviar though because in anything like this you want the caviar to be the star but with the taters, I'd want to really thrive on them! Maybe use a different seafood like a tuna tataki???!!! Wooo hooo that would be cool wouldn't it!?
post #22 of 29
dont forget to server chicken screwers with peanut sauce. 1 parts peanutbutter, 2 parts coconut milk and a couple tbsp. chilli oil to taste. yumm!!!
post #23 of 29
So, you will have a kitchen tent with an oven and large commercial stove?

Fried food can be passed.....that way you don't have to have a "fried dinner platter portion".....in southern Louisiana fried seafood means a serving platter per person loaded out.

Seafood Station makes sense......raw oysters, shrimp with lots of sauces....remoulade, cocktail, hot/spicy, etc, marinated crab claws or crab cakes, prepared salads, a shucker, a sushi maker, could be really fun....

Carving station with beef and pork.....last week I had caramelized onions, (dried/fresh) apricot chutney, coarse mustard, cornichons, horseradish sour cream, aioli......rolls were near by so you could make a sandwich or not.

Asian Station is always popular.....potstickers or dumplings, Spring rolls are mini's with sauce and garnish on inside so you can see through the wrapper, lumpia or eggrolls with whatever filling you want....if you can get papaya's green salad is fun, sate station....get the sizzle.....

I've done an ice sculpture with holes cut in the base for shots of tomato soup....heirloom tomatoes decorated the base. Was really visual.
Alongside there were chevre/tomato jam tarts and bruschettas......whole tomato theme.

Menu planning is one of my favorite things to do......naming dishes is a whole nother ballpark.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #24 of 29

lots of ideas abound

years ago on Fire Island (a chi-chi New York summer resort) for a restauranteurs son's wedding who let us pull out all the stops
we created a raw bar to end all raw bars using an old claw foot bathtub (I know where you can get them) which we painted sea blue on the outside
and filled with ice then seaweed and all sorts of imaginable seafood and raw items including but not limited to oysters, clams, lobster, crab claws, caviar, gravalox, smoked salmon cerviche, etc.

another time a client had a fabulous all copper claw foot tub that we used as a bar station (NYC brownstone apt and the tub was exposed in the bedroom not behind a wall)

there are lots of cool presentations that will enhance even more pedistrian food

definitely go for alot of shot glass, spoon - we use both asian soup spoons with various colors and patterns, as well as coconut spoons which make a great presentation as well. We even have large coconut spoons that work well as short plates or mini entree plates.

Think about lots of short plates

maybe a bistro station with chefs producing 2-3 short plates on the floor and tall tables in a U around the chefs seating about 12 -15 at at time -3 stations in the same area but all serving a different flight.

We were at a grand opening party in Philly that used this format and it was fantastic.

Rentals are key - lots of textures, shapes, colors and
maybe some great furniture as well (not sure if you are involved in that part)

or you can hire us to do the platter and food decor and knock the socks off the client and town.

a spa menu station would be fun too - using the healthy indulgences.

we did a great party recently with a three flights paired with wines

first flight was goats cheese, pink peppercorn yucca chips
then oysters on the half shell with cucumber lemon ice
then a yummy roasted yellow beet, fried mint, key lime zest and shaved white chocolate

second flight

morel and organic asparagus on mini waffles
the morels were slow poached in cream and we only used the very tip of the farmers market spring asparagus. It was a huge hit and tres yummy.

coconut & kaffir braised cod tacos with banana guacamole

(have since done a tuna tatar in mini cone with banana guacamole which was also a huge hit)

strawberry gazpacho with rubarb and pancetta

Flight three was a small buffet

SMoked chicken and grilled pork loin with chocolate chili mole drizzle

Porchini dusted monkfirsh, with mushroom cream reduction (used the left over morel sauce)

shaved asparagus, jicama, grana padana, organic baby arugula, telliggio cheese (runny brie like goats cheese), with hazelnuts and israeli cous cous.

flight four

rosewater profiteroles enrobed in dark chocolate and pistachios atop tropical fruit salsa & served with organic california apricots, blackberries and raspberries. Not one apricot left (best part of the dish) served in oversized blue martini glasses.

Featured cocktail

Pinky Vodka Love Potent

very cool bottle and nice fruity and herbacious taste.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
post #25 of 29
Sounds very upscale tigerwoman. But I would be dollars for doughnuts this approach and the recipes would be thought of as "hoity toity" and not down to earth enough for her clients?
post #26 of 29
I would agree that that menu wasn't for this wedding per say but that the client wants something different, so some cutting edge mixed with the familar that is presented in a new way ala martini mashed potato bar, mini twiced baked mashed potatoes , international quesadillas station,
martini cheesecake bar, tossed salad bar, etc, would all fit the bill.

That menu was ultra cutting edge but still some of the concepts were quite simple like the morels and asparagus on mini waffles - could sub other mushrooms, but sometimes when you have that many guests and she will probably have 300-500 to serve, it's cool to give them some off the wall out of their norm hoity totty stuff so that you appeal to the wide audience. You still have to gain trust and give them comfortable and familar.

Like one of my favorite fun presentations is the cows in the comforter - aka pigs in the blanket served in a black jr. sized catchers mitt nestled in a field of wheatgrass.

or skewers of fresh marinated mozz. balls with grape yellow and red tomatoes
called italian lolliops and skewered upright into wheatgrass (yup love wheatgrass for presentation)

And specifically you have to come up with menus that work well for the demographics as well as the volume of guests and the cooking facilities available on location (or that can be setup) and the staffing you can "afford".
Just had a long phone conversation with Renee and the client is both sophisticated and pedistrian in her tastes but the client wants to impress the town and her guests and you have to do some edgy stuff too - it becomes a talking point.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
post #27 of 29
cool suggestions tiger! love the playful presentations! adore the italian lollis. we did salmon pinwheel lollipops for an event last fall and the were stuck into a carved pumpkin. it was pretty warhol!
post #28 of 29
and when you were growing up your mother told you not to play with your food.. HA!

I love designing both menus and presentations to rock the good food.

there are so many amazing presentations that make the food pop.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
post #29 of 29
I went to a wedding at a very exclusive club on the Atlantic in Connecticut. The reception was good Champagne and more chilled seafood than I had ever seen in one place except for a tour of one of my vendors. They had what looked like an ice "sofa table" with shrimp in the shell mounded on top - it had to be 200 pounds of U-15 shrimp. Another station of stone crab claws, a caviar station with an action chef making blinis, and a station of king crab, etc, etc. All of the stations were very simple, and then the servers were passing more composed items - seafood and vegetable. We sat down to a simple salad, and the main was beef tenderloin.

If palates are simple, then I would focus on having the most couture ingredients presented in the most delicious and understandable way. For example, a blini with Osetra caviar and a bit of creme fraiche.... if the simplest palate doesn't enjoy that, then they know forever that they don't like caviar. Foie gras, ditto.

Use Kobe ground beef and make "sliders" on a mini brioche roll with caramelized shallots, or tiny Kobe skirt steak sandwiches. I make a mini lobster club sandwiches on brioche with Niman Ranch Smoked bacon, roasted tomatoes, and tarragon mayo - yum, if I may say so.

You've really been given the Platinum card to use the best ingredients you can find - that's awesome!

Are you doing sweets at all? That could be fun with this group, too.
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