Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wedding? Wonderful!

It has been just over a week since Chris and Michela's wedding and at last I have gotten around to posting about it! Thank you to everyone who sent me encouraging messages in the lead up to the big day - as I have mentioned to a number of you, it was like having my own cheer squad and even though I was in the kitchen by myself, it was kind of like having company.

First of all, I can say without any reservation whatsoever, that it was the best wedding I have ever attended. It was truly a magical  day - a combination of celebration, creativity, warmth and fun. Everything just came together beautifully - even the weather. There had been a forecast for rain, but it stayed sunny and gorgeous as Chris and Michela took their vows under a huge purple jacaranda tree. During the ceremony, purple blossoms floated from the branches over the bride and groom like confetti. Just beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, check out the gorgeous bride and groom :)

Chris & Michela

After the ceremony concluded, guests toasted the bride and groom with glasses of delicious sparkling Italian Prosecco and the celebrations began. Tables were set out on the lawns under the trees, which were covered in lanterns that shone in white, pink and purple as the sun set. A fabulous jazz band played as corks were popped and the first of the food was served. As I mentioned in my previous post, our theme for the food was rustic Italian, with large tasting platters for people to share. There were no designated place settings, so people were free to wander and to eat and chat wherever they fancied. It was a great idea, that gave the whole event a very comfortable, relaxed feel.

Now to the menu - firstly, big apologies that I hardly got a single shot of the food. I was so flat out on the day and by the time I was free to take photos the dishes were pretty much eaten up! I have however decided to cook them again and to feature some of them in the coming weeks, as they would be great for the upcoming Christmas/entertaining season.

I have listed the menu below so you can at least get an idea of what the wedding guests feasted on. We outsourced the meat through an outside company (we thought, leave it to the experts!) and we also enjoyed beautiful poached salmon supplied by a friend of Michela's family. Carnivores and fish eaters catered for. The vegetarian main course included two kinds of frittata - everything on the menu with the exception of the meat and fish was vegetarian. I had comments from a few very happy vegos who said that they had never seen such a delicious vego selection at a wedding before (the pumpkin salad seemed to be the big vego crowd pleaser) Proof that vegetarian food need not be pedestrian and boring!

So here is what the 190 guests feasted on......

The Menu
Antpasto sharing platters (these were comprised of assorted continental meats, semi dried tomatoes, grilled asparagus, pickled vegetables, olives, marinated eggplant, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), polpetini (small italian meatballs made from a mixture of beef and pork, flavoured with capers, lemon rind, anchovies and spices - served with a spicy tomato dipping sauce), assorted cheeses (including blue cheese and aged epicure) The platters were served with an assortment of breads and crackers. Here are some photos I managed to get before all of the entree dishes were decimated completely (these are only partly decimated)

Antipasto Sharing Platter

Dolmades & Polpetini with Spicy Sauce

Slow roasted lamb
Roasted loin of pork with crackling
Roasted beef with horseradish
Whole roasted potatoes
4 x Whole poached and dressed salmon (served chilled) with cucumber and dill, french lentils & potato salad
Spring frittata with fennel, peas and mint
Porcini frittata with caramelised onion and porcini mushroom
Roasted pumpkin salad with hand spiced almonds and smoky maple/paprika dressing
Grilled mediterranean vegetable and parmesan salad (including wild rocket eggplant, red onion and zucchini) served with a roasted garlic and lemon chive dressing.
Tomato and bocconcini salad with salsa verde (using 4 kinds of fresh herbs)
Seasonal salad (mixed salad leaves,grilled aparagus, cucumber, spring onions, olives, fetta) served with a creamy mustard and white balsamic dressing
Crusty continental rolls/salted butter

Wedding cake

It was so lovely to be asked to play a part in what was such a magical event. All the work involved was worth every second, just to see how happy Chris & Michela were and to see the guests enjoying the food and having a ball. Nobody could wipe the smiles off their faces :)

As the evening began to wind down and guests began to head home, Michael and I confiscated a couple of bottles of wine from the bar staff and found a table under a big Moreton Bay fig tree to put our feet up and enjoy the rest of the evening. It had been a long day, but a very lovely one. Despite both being exhausted, we ended up sitting at that table under the tree until 2am.

But, Gourmet Goddess readers, we were not alone - as we sat in our idyllic locale under the stars, an inhabitant of the tree decided to climb down and pay us a visit. A large native brushtail possum climbed down from the branches to see who was invading his house. At one point he jumped up onto the table and let us pat him. Very cute! They do however have sizeable claws and sharp little teeth, as Michael found out when the possum got a little enthusiastic with his forefinger!

It had been a long time since I had cooked for such a large number of people and yes, it is a huge undertaking by yourself,  but it was a great way to keep my skills honed (particularly planning - cooking for a wedding is like a large military operation that relies on the logistics as much as the materials) I have to say I wasn't working alone the whole time - Michael was brilliant on the day, acting as my right hand man, sous-chef and saucier as well as providing moral support and the odd bottle of Peroni when the cook was getting thirsty. He even wore my green apron with the chickens on it (made by my Nan) and still managed to be his usual manly self ! Thanks lovely :)

Well, I guess the next big cooking event on the calendar is Christmas (which I am hosting at home this year) After cooking for 190 guests, cooking for 8 is going to be a breeze! Or maybe I should cater for 9 in case the possum drops in......


  1. Well I am looking forward very much to Christmas lunch with you.