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Bon Appetit Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

A Bon Appétit Editor Reveals What She Really Thinks About Wedding Cake

 Bon Appetit, Cakes, Real Brides, Wedding Cakes  Comments Off on A Bon Appétit Editor Reveals What She Really Thinks About Wedding Cake
Apr 162015
 

Meet our guest blogger, Carey Polis, senior web editor at Bon Appétit magazine. From her food-filled proposal to figuring out a menu, Carey has taken us through the process of all things edible when it comes to weddings. For her final installment, she explains why she's serving doughnuts instead of wedding cake.

There are many desserts I love: gooey-in-the-center chocolate brownies, ice cream sandwiches, banana pudding, strawberry shortcakes. I could continue for awhile.

Very far down that list is wedding cake. While wedding cake often looks beautiful, once it is sliced, it often sits mostly uneaten on guests' plates, suffering from dryness, excess sugar, gummy fondant, or just general unexcitement.

Dessert shouldn't be a downer. For a recent wedding package we ran in Bon Appétit, the Test Kitchen went to town re-inventing the definition of wedding desserts. From chocolate pot de crémes to strawberry-cucumber ice pops, these desserts reflect how we really want to end a meal. With something bright, something easily portioned, and something a little more funky.

See More: Beyond Vanilla: 9 Local-Inspired Wedding Cake Flavors That Are Anything But Basic

Jon and I never really considered having wedding cake. To be honest, it sounded more like a chore than something exciting — it felt too fancy for the summer-barbecue-except-it's-vegetarian-meets-swanky-garden-party vibe we were going for. And, it felt too restrictive: just one flavor, just one look — It was all too rigid.

We tossed out several ideas: an ice cream sundae bar, a "bar" bar, a simple option of a particularly tasty olive oil cake. And then we realized that doughnuts pretty much checked all the boxes: Something fun, something customizable, and something most of our guests likely don't eat on a regular basis. Plus, now we get to decide how many different flavors we want, and those are the kinds of wedding decisions I really like to make.

So yeah. A Middle East-inspired vegetarian wedding menu with doughnuts for dessert, taking place in a massive shuffleboard court (oh, maybe I haven't mentioned that part). Perhaps not exactly what I envisioned when I was a 7-year-old playing make believe, but something that my 29-year-old self is pretty stoked about.

For even more wedding food advice, head over to bonappetit.com/weddings to explore dessert ideas, wedding cake trends, catering advice, booze tips, and way more.

A Bon Appétit Editor on Creating Your Wedding Menu: Don’t Try to Please Everyone

 Bon Appetit, Food & Drink, Real Brides, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on A Bon Appétit Editor on Creating Your Wedding Menu: Don’t Try to Please Everyone
Apr 142015
 

Meet our newest guest blogger, Carey Polis, senior web editor at Bon Appétit magazine. From her food-filled proposal to figuring out a menu, Carey is taking us through the process of all things edible when it comes to weddings. For even more wedding food advice, head over to bonappetit.com/weddings to explore dessert ideas, wedding cake trends, catering advice, booze tips, and way more.

Truth time: I had already written a 500-word post about why we decided to serve Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian food at our wedding and how that was strangely a radical decision in my family because it's not the typical meat-and-two-sides options you typically expect.

But I decided to scrap it. Frankly, it was really negative, with a lot of ranting about bad wedding food and then explaining why I'm trying not to fall in that trap. But you don't know me (well, a few of you might. Hi, mom! And hi various relatives that my mom is inevitably forwarding this to!). And you probably aren't that invested in the fact that I'm pretty stoked about a halloumi-stuffed eggplant dish we're serving, or the yogurt-shallot-dip, or the stewed pole beans.

Maybe you're really into the meat-and-two-sides option. Maybe all you ever wanted was to have a mashed potato bar in which the potatoes are served in a martini glass and people can put kind of weird toppings on them. Not my thing, but hey, it's your day. I would never want to deprive someone of his or her one true potato love.

Look, if I really could serve whatever I wanted, I would probably have opted for a barbecue with a truly epic nacho bar. Just massive quantities of nachos, with no naked chips and lots and lots of melted cheese. And guac. So much guac. Avocados everywhere.

See More: The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Catering: A Breakdown of Your Options

But there is also reality to consider; like the fact that my fiancé and I are having a Jewish wedding and it needs to be kosher-style. And that while I am fully capable of making nachos my meal, I understand that perhaps that's not everyone's thing. I've quickly learned that it's impossible to please everyone, especially when your family consists of various relatives who either don't eat salt, don't eat dairy, are allergic to nuts, avoid gluten, don't like vegetables, or don't eat anything red (true story).

What remains important is to give everyone an entry-point, though. We opted to go for a buffet so people can choose specific foods that they like. We'll probably label each dish so people know exactly what they're getting. If my mother succeeds in convincing me, we might even offer a fish dish even though something about pre-cooked seafood just doesn't sound that appetizing to me.

Even if the food you serve at your wedding maybe isn't your original dream (I'll save the nachos for a smaller gathering), it definitely doesn't have to be mundane. The best wedding food I've ever eaten was a simple soba noodle salad, some vegetable sides, and a roast pig, all served family-style. It was not that dissimilar to what I would want to serve someone if they were coming over for dinner at my apartment.

So maybe that should be the new rule of thumb. Forget the salad with the bad vinaigrette, forget the dry chicken, and forget the never-quite-molten-enough-molten-chocolate-cake. Serve a menu that feels like an extension of the food you love and want to share with others.

And if your guests don't like that, well, then, they might be missing the whole point of a wedding.

A Bon Appétit Editor Dishes on Her Food-Filled Proposal, Which Involves a Ring Made Out of Cheese!

 Bon Appetit, Food & Drink, Planning Tips, Real Brides, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on A Bon Appétit Editor Dishes on Her Food-Filled Proposal, Which Involves a Ring Made Out of Cheese!
Apr 092015
 
Carey Polis, Bon Appetit Editor Real Bride Blogger

Photo: Courtesy of Carey Polis

Meet our newest guest blogger, Carey Polis, senior web editor at Bon Appétit magazine. From her food-filled proposal to figuring out a menu, Carey is taking us through the process of all things edible when it comes to weddings. For even more wedding food advice, head over to bonappetit.com/weddings to explore dessert ideas, wedding cake trends, catering advice, booze tips, and way more.

Love comes in many forms for many people. For me, it was elbow macaroni when I was two years old, cream cheese and black olive sandwiches when I was seven, gambas al ajillo when I was 15, Humboldt Fog when I was 21, torta fritta when I was 24, and steak tartare when I was 29 (so...now).

Those loves were immediate, deep, and long-lasting. I fell hard, and I was all in. In terms of actual human love though, well, my fiancé Jon and I dated for eight years before he proposed — and I actually thought that was moving fast. Perhaps my allegiances were elsewhere.

Jon took that cue somewhat to heart when he proposed in a Los Angeles airport hotel. I was flying back from a family trip and had just settled into my room when a hotel staffer knocked at the door and delivered an In-N-Out Burger. And then Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles. And then a cauliflower dish from Superba Snack Bar. Then Jon showed up, and proposed... with a ring made out of cheese (shout-out to Andrew's Cheese Shop for helping Jon find the right semi-hard sheep cheese that wouldn't melt when he was "crafting" the ring). In my book, diamonds ain't got nothing on dairy.

So that was one thing we knew about our wedding food from the start: There would have to be cheese.

Carey Polis Real Bride Blogger Cheese Ring

Photo: Courtesy of Carey Polis

See More: How to Perfect Your Food-and-Wine Pairings at Your Wedding

Beyond that, we knew we didn't want to fall into the typical wedding food trap of dry chicken, overcooked fish, or gray steak served with out-of-season asparagus and lukewarm mashed potatoes. Despite the many mediocre wedding meals I've eaten, I refuse to accept the premise that wedding food is never tasty.

I am not willing to assume that because we are serving a big crowd of guests that we will have to compromise on quality. You pay a lot of money for caterers; it's a damn shame if they can't deliver their end of the bargain.

But that doesn't mean we've been dreaming up a grand oysters-and-caviar affair. The night of our engagement, Jon had made reservations at a well-regarded LA restaurant. I asked him to cancel it in favor of drive-thru tacos instead. They were excellent — generous hunks of al pastor with pineapple, plenty of fresh radishes, and lots of lime.

This idea — that good food doesn't have to be fancy food — is something I care about not only for a wedding but also just as a life philosophy. So that was our challenge: Excellent, unpretentious food, for 250+ guests. Oh, and it had to be kosher, or at least kosher-style. No big deal, right?

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