Waves of passed apps will be the culinary star of the wedding… (Classic Catering )
Not the greatest quirk for a bride-to-be who needs to squeeze into a white dress in five short months, but my fiancé and I are both self-described foodies. From indulgent dinners at Woodberry Kitchen to Soju-soaked meals at Jong Kak with friends, our social lives seem to revolve pretty heavily around eating. Even a quiet night in is often made special by the addition of a great new recipe that we have been jonesing to try. When the topic of food came up for the wedding, it was an obvious decision. My family’s relationship with Classic Catering dates back to two Bat Mitzvahs and multiple flawless in-home soirées. Flavors and presentation are never anything less than spot-on, leaving just the impression that we are going for at our wedding.
At most weddings, it seems as though the food is an afterthought. A menu consisting of the four options given to you by the venue or the old catering standbys of chicken, steak and a painfully bland vegetarian selection. In no way was that going to fly at the wedding of two people who could spend a week straight touring the city in search of the best hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint. The mission statement of our wedding, from the moment we started planning, has been that we want everyone in attendance to have as much fun as we do. I want each guest to feel like we have experienced something special together, not that they were there purely because we had seats to fill. And the fare is to be no exception.
In trying to plan a meal for almost 200 guests that would be exciting, whimsical, and most importantly delicious, we decided on something a little controversial. Perhaps it is just me, but my favorite food offerings at any wedding I have ever attended are the passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour. Something about a perfectly packaged amuse-bouche served from a glistening, silver tray evokes the feeling that you are somewhere special. This led us to the decision to forgo the 90 minutes of boring salads and dry chicken for a dinner entirely comprised of passed small bites. To avoid hunger and confusion from the guests who have never experienced this before, food will be served in four waves with four options, each progressing from light to heavy as the night, and consumption, go on. Just thinking about it is making me giddy with anticipation.
The menu-planning meeting with Classic Catering’s equally gastro-obsessed Bobby Pressman was irrefutably one of the highlights of this process for me. I showed up at the Owings Mills office, file folder filled to the brim with printouts of their sample menus, barely recognizable from the graffiti of notes and scribbles added by yours truly. We sat for over two hours rambling about Baltimore's best Indian carryout, which Asian market has the best duck, how can we incorporate truffle oil into absolutely anything on the menu. I was in serious need of an intervention. Once we reeled it in a touch and returned to the menu brainstorm, this crazy idea of ours turned into a reality.
The menu is still evolving and I don't want to divulge too many of our secrets but wedding guests, be forewarned: I will of course visit and schmooze and thank you profusely for coming, but when you see that tray of mini lobster rolls stroll by, you may want to get out of the way.