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Menu for Sept. 23 wedding


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I had posted on this asking for suggestions many months ago, but my fiance and I found the perfect guy to cater our wedding. He's worked at some of the top restaurants around here, and is now the head chef of a big marine engineering school nearby (he got married, too, and this allows him to be home at 7 or 8 p.m. instead of 2 or 3 a.m.).

Woody doesn't have an official catering business yet; rather, he's doing a wedding or two per year, hired by friends and word of mouth, to show off his talents. When we met him, he brought a portfolio of photos of his cooking that alone could have landed him a job shooting for a magazine.

And the ideas. Most restaurants that also cater will give you perhaps three or four options. Woody gave us six pages' worth, filled with brainstorms involving eel, pork belly ... everything imaginable.

He has very little overhead, because his employer allows him full use of its huge, new kitchen. And his prices right now are impossibly reasonable. This won't last long, I am certain.

We circled far too many items on his lists, and told him when we met again that we understood he would have to help us cut it by 60 percent or so. To our amazement, he said he'd love to cook it all!

So, for 200 guests on the rapidly approaching 23rd of September, here is our menu: (By the way it is not a sit-down dinner but rather several stations so people can grab what they like).


• Crab dip with toasted crustiness

• Oriental and ginger breaded fried oysters with sesame oil remoulade

• Phyllo cups filled with crab, diced cucumber, tomato and feta with toasted cumin vinaigrette

• Smoked shrimp spring roll with peach, apricot and rum dipping sauce

• Wild mushroom bouchee with light beurre blanc

• Jerk marinated chicken skewers with a banana ketchup and sweet & sour pineapple curry sauce


• Grilled and fried soft crab accomplianed with classic tartar sauce

• Grilled rockfish seasoned with tropical citrus spice blend with – scallion aioli and corn pepper relish

• Beef tenderloin with assorted dinner rolls – cranberry horseradish sauce and bacon chipotle mayonnaise

• Maple glazed pork loin with a caramelized onion & mustard sauce

• BBQ spiced roasted shrimp skewer with coffee BBQ dipping sauce

• Italian marinated chicken breast topped with shaved ham and melted mozzarella cheese with a vinaigrette caper sauce


• Pasta salad with mixed vegetables (Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, sundried tomatoes, peas, mixed peppers, etc.) tossed in a cantoulpe sauce

• California salad with 3 dressing

• Montreal spiced potato salad

After dinner:

• Fruit Basket with peaches, apples, pears, banana, grapes

• Cheese platter with assorted crackers

• Food left over make wraps and sandwiches for late night fill

• Chips with leftover sauces (salsa)

* * *

Instead of a big wedding cake we are having 12 smaller Smith Island cakes, a local delicacy featuring 16 layers of cake and icing, in seven flavors.

For our small rehearsal dinner, I am smoking four or five pork butts for barbecue, plus other homemade sides.

I will be sure to get some photos of the food and report back after our honeymoon to Guatemala.

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Hey Chappie, that all sounds pretty wonderful! The idea of food stations really appeals to me but I have never seen it done here in New Zealand. Maybe I should be the first to try them next wedding I cater. Only thing that worries me is the staffing issue!

BTW, I do SO envy Americans with their access to those superb softshell crabs.....sigh

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to the caterer from New Zealand - log onto www.catersource.com and go the the forums - caterer to caterer and look thru for lots of great ideas and you can post questions after you register on how tos. Anyway, think of stations as mini buffets.

Here's the menu for the wedding we are catering on September 23rd for 160 guests. Also stations. Not all caterers use boilerplate menus and presentations.

We love to sit with our clients just like your chef did and brainstorm as to what would be most appealing to you. THese clients wanted a morrocan decor but an transglobal menu. We call this format "continuous passed hors d'oeuvres, accompanied by global food stations.

pre ceremony - – inside ceremony tent

Med Rim Antipasto Station –

at which guests can help themselves to delicious and fresh nibbles

- antipasto Garden of flowering vegetables with meats, salamis and cheese

- herb cured and marinated olives displayed in martini glasses

- creamy eggplant mousse on cucumber crowns

- sundried tomato and rondele pesto torta surrounded by flatbreads

- sunflower hummus with pita petals

- greek dolmatis garnished with feta and red peppers,

housemade flatbreads, european crackers

and more…

post ceremony -

International Quesadilla Action Station

choose three selections

dramatically cooked in front of your guests by one of our station chefs:

…. eurotrash – gruyere cheese sautéed mushrooms,

caramelized onions and fresh spinach

…. american gigilio – grilled cheese, crispy bacon, tomato and scallions.

the best grilled cheese ever!!!

…. santa barbara – smoked turkey, honey mustard and tomato

…. brie-licious – triple crème french brie with apricot mustard

…. capri– baby shrimp, goats cheese, mozzarella & sundried tomato

…. knish as a quesadilla – a new twist on an old favorite –fluffy mashed potatoes with caramelized onions

… hand passed temptations

alaskan smoked salmon sushi style

alaskan smoked salmon wrapped around wasabi-scallion marscapone pate perched on a framed black and white photo of an inuit native american

peking chicken empanaditas

herb scented miniature baked crescents filled with roasted peking chicken

served from a garden basket with fresh flowers and botanicals

golden triangles potato bytes

piquant potato & veggie triangles with cilantro coconut drizzle

arranged on a inlaid coconut tray with chili flower garnish

auntie dai’s dumplings

steamed chicken and veggie dumplings

passed on asian spoons with wasabi- soy sauce

absolut shrimp shooters

island and coconut shrimp shooters

served in absolut citrus infused shot glasses garnished with orchids

big city biscuits

grilled filet mignon in miniature parmesan buttermilk biscuits with horseradish crème and fire roasted peppers served in a whimsical armadillo basket

milanese pinwheels

roasted tomatoes with panko pork cutlets, fresh basil, fire roasted peppers and a blend of mozzarella, smoked provolone & grana padano cheeses

served on a smoky leaf platter

mushroom truffle risotto bundles

luxurious flavors bundled into a buttery phyllo flower

passed on an art deco platter atop tiny cut veggies

garnished with baby enoki mushrooms

saffron scallops

seared diver scallops with orange saffron glaze

passed on coconut forks nestled into green and black beans


petit mexican turkey baci in a smoky chipotle sauce

served in a rustic oaxacan clay pan garnished with gerber daisies

ubud lotus cups

asian chicken with balinese peanut sambal dressing

& japanese cut scallions in a crispy wonton cup

served on coconut spoons on a rustic driftwood tray

nouveau jewish lollipops

old fashioned crispy mini potato pancakes

loaded with caramelized onions – topped with sour crème and salmon caviar

skewered into wheatgrass in a lovely petit treasure chest

tangerine tuna crowns

ahi tuna in cucumber cups with tamari, tangerine and ginger

served on a gilted antique mirror with fresh flower and leaf garnish

cha cha cha soup sip

tequila tomato chilled soup sip with pepper jack cheese straw

served in a tall shot glass

lamb lollies

rosemary baby lamb lollipops atop meyer lemon scented spinach and watercress salad optional extra add $5 per guest

martini mashed potato bar

creamy mashed potatoes served by waitstaff

in cocktail glasses

with a variety of toppings

pick two of the following meat toppings

…. chicken monterrey – sautéed with white wine and sundried tomatoes

…. spicy salsa chicken

…. thai green beef curry

…. belgium beef and ale

…. south american pork roast with garlic sauce

…. tender pork with salsa verde

accompanied by creamy portebello mushroom ragout

shredded cheddar cheese

and sour cream

short plate presentation

Garden of Eatin’ Station: Pastas, Salads & Veggies

…. bow thai salmon - grilled teriyaki salmon with bow tie pasta and haricot vert in a thai herb sauce served in red chinese boxes

…. vietnamese crab coleslaw with fresh crab meat and chili jam lime dressing

served in 1930’s glass punch cups

…. marinated fresh bocchochini mozzarella, basil leaves and multi colored cherry tomato atop spinach and watercress salad with roasted peppers

served on small glass plates

…. fanned sliced lemon scented chicken over moroccan spiced carrot curls and japanese cut tender summer asparagus served on small glass plates

….. dessert, the final indulgence……

opulent fresh fruit display including golden pineapples, luscious summer melons, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, exotic fruits and more

including watermelon peacock with skewered fruit tail

to compliment a finger food buffet with a dazzling array of temptation such as

cream puffs drizzled with chocolate and pistachios,

middle easternand italian pastries

assorted petit cookies

mini cheesecakes

mini mousse cups


almond macaroons

served with sweetened thai and traditional ice coffee …..

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...




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Your menu sounds fabulous. I certainly don't think it's overkill...I come from the school of going overboard when it comes to feeding my guests.

At my own wedding in 2001, my guests had a choice of 10 entrees to choose from for their dinner. And the caterer offered seconds to anyone who wanted it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't have any pictures yet, but the food (and everything about the wedding) was fantastic. Unfortunately, I didn't get to sample most of it. I had sworn I wouldn't be one of those people who forgets to eat at their own wedding, but it all went by too quickly (and I was too busy dancing -- band played till midnight) and I missed out on the softshell crabs (which disappeared rapidly) and much of the other treats.

I haven't stopped hearing about how great the food was, however.

I did get to eat plenty of cake, and everyone loved the idea of being able to choose from 7 or 8 different flavors. The Smith Island cakes are insanely good.

Just got back from a perfect honeymoon in Guatemala, so I'll post more when I've collected my thoughts...

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  • 4 weeks later...

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