Catering for Weddings: a Tale of Two Menus

LA wedding catering

Photography by Global Photography via Maharani Weddings

I love catering weddings. Creating a custom-made menu for such a memorable occasion is big time in my book—and also quite an honor. I also love bringing So Cal flavor to special events. And that’s why catering this Indian wedding at Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard was such an absolute delight. (Have you seen this place, guys? 360-degree views of staggering beauty, and all just 30 minutes from LA).

LA wedding catering

When you’re planning a wedding, honoring your culture—and also your guests’ preferences—is equally important. But what do you do when your guests are a blend of old world and new school? That’s easy. Offer a bit of both.

This lovely bride wanted American vegetarian fare for her American guests, and also traditional Indian fare for her more traditional Indian guests. She called on Taste of Pace for the American menu, and we went right to work.

As an LA-based catering company, our approach to menu-planning is simple: Use what’s in season, and use what tastes good. If you stick with the first part, the second pretty much takes care of itself. You also end up with vibrant, colorful, perfectly seasonal (and perfectly delicious) fare.

Since I don’t have photos of the food itself to share, you’ll need to use a little imagination. Start by looking at this gorgeous place setting, closing your eyes, and picturing this seasonal menu:

LA wedding catering

  • herb goat cheese, crushed spiced almonds, caramelized leeks, endive spears
  • potato crosnes latkes, herb creme fraiche, apple, chive
  • wild mushroom truffle agnolotti
  • cone of housemade purple potato chips
  • caramelized onion, winter squash, thyme tart
  • artisanal cheese (burrata & pistou, fontina, manchego), house made date paste, spiced almonds

The bride was happy, the guests were happy, and you guys, that made me so, so happy!

Wanna hear more about Taste of Pace’s approach to wedding menu design? Check me out on My Hotel Wedding.

Ingredient of the Month: Bottarga

I’m about to let you in on a not-so-secret obsession of mine. It’s called bottarga, and it has totally and completely rocked my world.

bottarga

What is it?

Simply put, bottarga is dried, salted fish roe, typically made from tuna or mullet. The traditional method includes extracting the eggs, curing them in sea salt, and then allowing them to dry for a few days. The roe is then pressed between two wooden boards, resulting in a fantastic (and grate-friendly) block, similar to sausage. After that, the bottarga is hung, where it ripens and matures to utter perfection (which usually takes months).

How do you use it?

Bottarga has an intense, salty, and yes, since it comes from roe, fishy flavor. That’s why it’s best used sparingly. But it’s amazing on scrambled eggs in the morning, sprinkled on top of deviled eggs, or grated over a Caesar salad. You can really add it to anything that could use some extra saltiness and a little “sea” essence.

I love that it adds a level of complexity to my dishes. It’s salt with a purpose! I used it as a sea salt garnish on this sexy sepia pasta dish, and it was a match made in heaven.

sepia_pasta12

Studio EMP via Utterly Engaged

Where can you get it?

I buy mine from Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market and Restaurant (they’ve got two locations—one in the Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax, and a second shop at the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade), and also at McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. in Los Feliz.

Brite Space LA: Bring on the Color!

brite space la

You guys know that I’m all about color in the kitchen, and in general for that matter. So when I had the chance to take part in the Brite Space LA pop-up series last month, I jumped.

This super eclectic, totally groovy LA event was jam-packed with good art, good music, and freshly mixed cocktails (also good). There was even a yoga class and a screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. So L.A., right?

As for the food, well, that’s where we come in. As an LA-based catering company, we were thrilled to get the chance to do what we do best: bring fresh, seasonal, locally-sourced food to the table—er, party. And with a name like Brite Space LA, you guys know we had to pull out all the stops.

Color took center stage when it came to our appetizers. Because, Brite Space.

This fresh, bright, totally refreshing cucumber cup is filled with avocado mousse, watermelon radish, mango, and cilantro.

brite space la

And you’ve gotta have some comfort food. Enter mini mac n’ cheese balls.

Eventbrite PopUp

These beauties are fried squash blossoms with her ricotta and fleur de sel.

Eventbrite PopUp

And here’s some Hamachi tartare on purple potato with sesame seeds and micro cilantro. Don’t you just love that pop of green?

Eventbrite PopUp

And then there’s these. THESE! They’re the most beautiful deviled eggs I ever did see. If you missed last week’s post, you can get the recipe here.

fourth of july recipe

Planning a party or event of your own? We’ll hook you up! Just check out our catering page here.

Fourth of July Recipe: Beet Pickled Eggs

Anyone else scrambling for a last minute Fourth of July recipe? We’ve got you covered. Just feast your eyes on these beauties:

fourth of july recipe

I took a classic deviled egg recipe and turned it up a few notches.  Shallot, fennel seeds, and whole grain mustard add the perfect amount of seasoning and sophistication.

And the color. The color! Red, white and blue is patriotic and all, but these beet-colored beauties are about as festive as it gets. Perfect for your Fourth of July celebration, or to brighten up any summer evening spread.

Beet Pickled Eggs
yields 24 halves

Ingredients

3 cups water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 small beet, peeled and sliced
1 small shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
12 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and cooled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Garnish: 1/2 bunch of chives, cut into 1” pieces

Garnish for the platter: chive blossoms (optional)

Preparation

Bring water, vinegar, beet, shallot, sugar, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then simmer, covered, until beet is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, uncovered. Put beet mixture in a container with eggs and marinate, chilled, gently stirring once or twice, at least 2 hours.

Finely grind fennel seeds in grinder.

Remove eggs from beet mixture and pat dry (discard beet mixture). Cut in half through the equator and remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and fennel seeds. Season with salt and pepper, then divide among egg whites, preferably with a star tip.