Dream Cuisine

By Rachel Travers | Boston Weddings |

One of the tastiest parts of planning a wedding for any bride is choosing the menu. And if you’re a foodie bride, well, then this is your chance to merge your dreams for your wedding-day fare with the experts. The Boston area is filled with creative talent, ready, willing and able to do just that. But what would they do without any constraints—culinary or budgetary?

We spoke with several of the region's experts, and asked them to design a dream menu. While each caterer took a different approach, they all delivered show-stopping menus that will leave your guests both stuffed—and impressed.


One of the tastiest parts of planning a wedding for any bride is choosing the menu. And if you’re a foodie bride, well, then this is your chance to merge your dreams for your wedding-day fare with the experts. The Boston area is filled with creative talent, ready, willing and able to do just that. But what would they do without any constraints—culinary or budgetary?

We spoke with Holly Safford, founder-owner of The Catered Affair in Hingham; Stephen J. Barck, chef-owner of Tables of Content Catering in Boston; Jim Messinger, owner of Crazy Chefs Caterers in Easton; and Steve Nelson, executive chef of Hawthorne Catering in Salem, and asked them to design a dream menu. While each caterer took a different approach, they all delivered show-stopping menus that will leave your guests both stuffed—and impressed.


CAVIAR
The Catered Affair, Hingham

Safford didn’t hesitate for a moment when asked about what her dream assignment as a wedding caterer might be: “I’m a caviar lover, so the perfect menu has a theme of all the new and innovative caviar products.” But Safford, though she loves the idea of working for a dream client who lives large, chose this subject because of the caviar crisis in the Caspian Sea, where the sturgeon are on their way to extinction. The following menu offers a theme of unusual and perhaps unknown caviars, mostly farmed, so she could educate as well as delight.

“My bride and groom want to introduce their friends and family to many of the wonderful new products that have replaced beluga and osetra caviar,” Safford says.

There’s Sterling caviar from near Sacramento, California, Chinese Kaluga from Manchuria, in China, hackleback sturgeon caviar from the Mississippi River, and the brand-new Transmontanous, from caviar purveyor Petrossian Paris in New York.

Caviar Menu
• Krug Brut Champagne 1990

Hors D’Oeuvres
• Grilled pizzas with smoked salmon and Sterling Imperial white sturgeon caviar
• Carolina rainbow trout caviar on frozen lemon slices
• Wellfleet oysters with white of leek and bowfin caviar
• Ginger snap pea shooters with American golden whitefish roe

First Course—A Tasting of Nantucket Sound
• Lobster salad timbale with quenelle of Transmontanous caviar
• Seared Cape scallop with asparagus coulis
• Tobiko rillettes of salmon with hackleback sturgeon caviar
• Dauvissat-Camus Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 1988

Main Course
• Grilled Provimi veal tenderloin medallion
• Fava bean agnolotti with English pea foam
• Spring vegetable bundle
• Asiago tuile with Sterling Imperial white sturgeon caviar
• Lisini Brunello di Montalcino 1999

Dessert
• Frozen Meyer lemon “caviar” parfait (made with tapioca)
• Fresh berry compote
• Château d’Yquem Sauternes 1967
• Demitasse


TRUFFLES
Tables of Content Catering, Boston

“I think that the reason we’ve chosen truffles is because we want this menu to not only match the occasion but even enhance it. We wanted our menu to have a theme. We wanted it to be fun. We wanted it to be decadent and truly special. In my opinion, there’s nothing more special than truffles. I think they’re a gift of the gods,” says Barck.

Barck’s dream catering event centers around New Year’s Eve for two reasons: Emotions are heightened this time of year, and December is the only month when you can buy both black and white truffles fresh.

Truffle menu
Prelude Gathering
• Sunny-side-up quail egg atop crusted halibut with truffle vinaigrette and mâche with hazelnut oil
• Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 1990

Walk Down the Aisle
• Foie gras terrine on French Périgord black truffles with Granny’s apple relish and port onion marmalade
• Paper apple chip and crusty French bread accent
• Château d’Yquem Sauternes 1975

The Marriage
• Italian Alba white truffle risotto with black truffle lamb noisette and Barolo wine au jus
• Mascarello Barolo 1982

The Reception
• Pheasant consommé with mushroom ravioli, wedding carrot star confetti and aromatic truffle oil
• Leacock’s Verdelho Madeira 1954

The Main Course
• Pure butter-poached Alaska king crab on a bed of melted leeks with shredded baby spinach salad and black truffle hollandaise
• Domaine J.F. Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne 1986

A Final Rejoice
• Black truffled pot de crème
• Chocolate truffles
• Fonseca Porto 1963


WINE-PAIRING DINNER
Hawthorne Catering, Salem

“I chose a menu that’s very traditional for a wedding and incorporates one of my favorite things to do—a wine-pairing dinner,” says Nelson.

Nelson chose items that are local and fresh, some only in season for a short time, and he designed a pricey best-ingredients menu with no shortcuts. His vision for the affair was the beautiful ballroom of the historic Hawthorne Hotel with its big Palladian windows overlooking the Salem Common. “It’s all silver trays and white-gloved service,” he says, “with the exception of the sushi bar. Having a sushi bar is a great way to provide a show.”

Wine-Pairing Menu
Reception
• Pan-seared Nantucket Bay scallops skewered on rosemary sprigs with lemon aioli
• American lamb lollipop chops with fresh oregano and garlic, served with fresh-minted apple butter
• Pan-seared foie gras with passion fruit, served in a Japanese tasting spoon with chive microgreens
• An army of sushi chefs creating inventive sushi right before your eyes
• Full open bar with top-shelf vodkas, a selection of single-malt scotches and single-barrel bourbons
• Au Bon Climat Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 2001
• Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Brut 1996

Dinner
• Triple consommé royal with veal shank, finely diced vegetables, and foie gras finished with gold leaf
• Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry, Jerez
• Line-caught wild striped bass wrapped in crisp potato, with sauteed golden leeks, black truffle soubise and pea-green shoots
• Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 1999
• Tomato essence and saffron sorbet
• Roasted herb-encrusted tenderloin and butter-poached Maine lobster medallions with steamed asparagus and fingerling potatoes stuffed with truffled potato puree
• Pride Mountain Merlot 2003
• Baby herb salad in avocado bowl with citrus vinaigrette
• Individual warm chocolate soufflés with french-served vanilla bean espresso Anglaise
• Graham’s Vintage Port 1985


GRAZING MENU
Crazy Chefs Caterers, Easton

Messinger worked with Chef Michael Beers, C.E.C., to create this themed City Grazing menu. Messinger has the whole picture. “The decor is a setup of high-top and low cocktail tables, some square and some round, a ‘lounge’ with soft and trendy club chairs,” he says. He pictures funky lighting with acrobat dancers moving to “thump” music and Brazilian samba high above the crowd. The linens are black and white with very deluxe fabrics such as silk, crushed organzas and velvets.

“Our menu is prepared in a ‘grazing’ format,” Messinger says. He pictures a waitstaff in upscale club attire passing small plates of different shapes and sizes. They are also serving small bottles of Veuve Clicquot and Pommery Pink POP Rosé with S-shaped straws sticking out in what he likes to refer to as “a sarcastic, yet swanky manner.” Which matches their menu.

Grazing Menu
Short Plates
• Pink lentil-crusted diver scallops with curried aloo gobi mashed, golden sultana gel and green mango chutney
• Tarte tatin of Belgian endives with Chioggia beet-crusted Westfield Farm Capri goat cheese and salpicon of warm summer citrus
• Wellfleet oyster on the half shell with fresh horseradish-yuzu tapioca “pearls”
• Charcoaled Wagyu beef-and-roasted-lobster lollipop, Great Hill “Bar-B-Bleu,” and shiro miso sake dips
• Rosé Sparkler, pomegranate Martini and Dom Pérignon Bellini with fresh peach nectar

Tall Plates
• Pan-roasted barramundi with olive oil potato puree, manila clam-smoked bacon broth and roasted sweet corn pavlova
• Conundrum, California, latest available vintage
• Kurobuta pork filet mignon with “pearled” barlotto, beta carrot slaw and barbecue sauce “deconstructed”
• Saintsbury Pinot Noir 1997
• Seared native striped bass with French fingerling potatoes, French breakfast radish and bleeding heart radish salad, haricot jaune and coriander vinaigrette
• Blanc de Lynch-Bages 1994
• Braised and grilled boneless short rib, sharp cheddar grits, caramelized shallot-pasilla chile broth
• Petrus 1965

Last Course
• Fine cheeses
• Wedding cake
• Vintage port

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2006/11/dream-cuisine/