Mars Hill Wedding – Post Game

May 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the last Mars Hill Update you may want to do that first.

Years spent in the entertainment industry have prepared me for when plans don’t go according to, well, plan.  I can still hear my old college drama teacher’s voice, “I am flexible; I can adjust.”  Hours spent watching the likes of Michael Symon and Robert Irvine on Dinner: Impossible have taught me that when life gives you lemons you make lemon-basil-mint granitas because any idiot can make lemonade.

The first hiccup in the wedding reception came on Thursday when the produce order arrived.  The mushrooms for the stuffed mushrooms were way too small to try and stuff.  That’s a problem as stuffed mushrooms were one of the requested hors devours.  The solution was to make bite-sized pizza crusts with flatbread that we then topped with cheese, the tiny mushrooms and then sausage ragu.  The taste was amazing and we called them sausage and mushroom pizzettes.  Problem solved.

On Tuesday our source for shrimp called to make sure we still wanted 50 pounds for the giant shrimp cocktail.  He said he’d call us right back.  The GM said he sounded drunk.  He didn’t call back.  Wednesday we called him – voice mail, no call back.  Thursday the same thing.  Friday morning still no word.  So, we bought shrimp from a local seafood distributor and ended up saving .75 cents a pound for top quality shrimp.  Score!

Side note: I would tell a customer no before I served frozen, farm-raised shrimp from anywhere, especially from another country.  I cannot in good conscience serve anything but fresh, wild caughtlocal shrimp.  If you are truly curious as to why click HERE otherwise, read on.

As I mentioned in the last Mars Hill Update, I completely forgot to order stuff for dipping in the chocolate fountain.  Thanks to a good friend’s clever suggestions we procured giant marshmallows, big pretzel sticks, maraschino cherries and angel food cake.  Crisis averted.

The party was scheduled to start at 6:30, then 7:00, then 6:45 and ultimately people started showing up around 7:10.  The two servers mingled while offering hors devours of tomatoes with salmon mouse, BLT canapés, the pizzettes and chicken salad canapés.  All were big hits; in total Jay and I knocked out about 450 bite-sized morsels.  We had also planned on doing cucumber sandwiches and Southwestern turkey mini-panini but we just didn’t need them.

The buffet featured a small salad bar, ham and cheddar on white, artisan bread loafs, fruit bowls of three melons and grapes, cheese trays with pepper jack, cheddar, Swiss and Colby-jack, dinner rolls of wheat, country white and Italian peppercorn (the bride’s request), pulled pork, pigs-in-the-blanket (also the bride’s request), salads on a stick (a spinach leaf, cube of Colby/Jack and a cube of turkey on a skewer and spritzed with raspberry vinaigrette), boiled Gulf shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce, turkey and mozzerella on wheatberry, and a trifle of angel food cake, banana pudding and mixed berries.  Missing were the two gallons of cole slaw that were insisted upon but instead sat forgotten in the walk-in.  Oddly enough no one said, “You know what this party is missing?  Cole slaw.”

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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."

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