Monday, October 18, 2010

Under a Canopy of Lights, a Mid Summer Reception

The white lit frame of the open canopy was spectacular at night.

I've held off talking about Cary and Sofie's California wedding reception because I didn't know exactly where to start. My history with this wonderful family goes back at least 35 years, having known them professionally and as friends. Cary   announced his engagement to the lovely Sofie, whom he would marry in Belgium, where they work and live. The wedding reception was one of three,  events planned. The first wedding and reception in Belgium, the second reception in Denmark and Finally the third reception in California.
Greens and brown color scheme and natural wood chairs add a relaxed but elegant look to the table. Square white plates keep the table looking crisp, the white is carried through in the event drapes.

The California reception, two weeks after the wedding was to have a "Pacific Islands" theme. The plan included tropical plants, warm colors, relaxed atmosphere with spectacular lighting for the spacious tennis court.
The couple wanted the menu to be elegant and relaxed, so I created a tropical inspired menu with influences that stretch from the Caribbean to the Pacific Rim. This would offer guests a break from the norm and a chance to explore sweet, savory, spicy flavors, ingredients and preparations.
Buffet with bamboo accents, tropical flowers.
Two Week Anniversary Menu for 150 guests
california and imported cheese array
chicken negimaki with ginger wasabi dip
sliced fresh fruit with coconut rum sabayon
grilled chorizo with peppers
island shrimp gazpacho
tri-tip barbacoa with mojo mop
calypso pork with guava habanero sauce
grilled chili lime sweet potatoes
caribbean black beans with sofrito
creamy shell pasta with spinach and
yogurt dressing
peanut slaw
dinner rolls and butter
Grandma Baiely's oatmeal wedding cake
belgium chocolates
late night snacks
belgium waffles with strawberries and Cream
danish Meatballs
chicken charlies, deep fried treats

On an early visit to California, one of the couples first meals in the states together was tri-tip barbecue beef. Tri-tip is a bit of a family tradition, (Cary's grandfather Jim, is an accomplished pit master himself). I gave the beef a twist with a spicy mojo mop and Jamaican jerk spices were rubbed onto pork butts before slow roasting and serving with my special guava habanero sauce.  Other dishes carry out the island theme included; black beans with sofrito, chili lime grilled sweet potatoes and a creamy cool shell pasta dish.
Appetizer table  is set on a 66 inch round and loaded with flavors.
The appetizers included fruits such as melons, kiwi, pineapple, and papaya with a coconut rum sabayon.  Shrimp was served with a tropical gazpacho style sauce garnished with avocado and mango. A ginger wasabe sauce added a burst of flavor to the Chicken Negimaki, and the spicy chorizo sausage brought Latin flair to the table. 
The cheese assortment included many of my favorites like Rosey Goat, Port Wine Derby, White Stilton, Cotswold, Herbed Chevre, Brie in Puff Pastry, Fresh Mozzerella with basil and grape tomatoes and the slightly exotic Gorgonzola Picante among others. Not exactly associated with the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean, but cheese loves a party.
Hard to believe this was a tennis court just the day before!
Keeping this post from getting any longer, I will wrap up part 1 by saying "that's not all folk's!" There is a story behind the traditional, not so traditional wedding cake and a serious late night snack menu that includes guest chef appearances. There are also interesting logistics that go with catering on a tennis court. So more to come!


Florentina said...

So pretty! Ok, you're gonna have to do my wedding too :)

Kim said...

Wow, this is beautiful! Can't wait to read more about it. [K]

Velva said...

Absolutely stunning! Wow.

Zayne said...

Dang! I need my birthday party to look like that. It looks like the lights are floating! Meet balls and waffles are my favorite too. Keep up the good work

Unknown said...

yes, such beautiful party. I think their shades are made with durable and heavy duty canopy parts.