July 11, 2009

Eat. Drink. Be Married.

Almost 3 months ago, our wedding coordinator, Amber started interviewing caterers and creating menus. Her only instruction: we wanted a Spanish menu complete with tapas, paella, and sangria. ¡Ole!

She pinned down 2 caterers and all that was left to do, were the tastings. It sounded simple enough, but since Tim and I have had crazy schedules and workloads we couldn't fit anything in until this past week!

So on Wednesday, we were thrilled to make the drive to meet Amber, and Terri a
nd Elayne of Auntie Em's Kitchen and even more excited to try their highly acclaimed red velvet cupcakes. (Yes, I have seen Terri on the The Throwdown with Bobby Flay and yes, she probably lost because one of the judges was rival Candace Nelson of Sprinkles.)

Terri created a mean menu complete with empanadas, and a refeshing, chilled gazpacho, inspired from her life in Spain. We wrapped up by stuffing ourselves with 3 mini cupcakes and left on a sugar high.

On Friday, Tim and I left for Downtown LA to meet Amber at Urban Palate. To call this a tasting would not be accurate. The word "feast" comes to mind as we didn't nibble or sample, rather devoured, overindulged, and binged. Ruby, the event coordinator explained that the Chef was needing a creative culinary outlet and had prepared almost everything presented on the menus Amber and I had looked at- and enough of it to feed a table of 5.

And feast we did. On everything from figs and serrano ham to a seafood paella that would have brought me to my knees had I not been seated. Several times throughout the meal, Ruby warned us, "Don't finish that, there are 7 more dishes to try." And warned us again, "Really, you'll need room for more." We tried to listen to her, really we did. But I for one, couldn't stop myself. Tim displayed slightly more restraint, thus preserving more of his dignity.

As Ruby wrapped up the extras from the kitchen (yes, 5 containers and 2 bags worth), we talked food and numbers with Amber. We made a decision on the spot that Urban Palate really hit the mark- hearty, flavorful, authentic Spanish cuisine. I had looked forward to Auntie Em's because they were slightly of
fbeat, much like the Smog, but in the end Urban's food is what I will wake up in the middle of the night dreaming of.

Bonus: Ruby is a UCLA alumna and will be doing a lot of work with TACT Event Management (the event team for the Smog) in the near future so she'll know both the catering and venue aspects of our event inside and out.

Amber has promised to take me away from any chaos and sit me down to eat during the wedding. Thank goodness! 11 months before my senses are treated to this culinary mastery again...

Until then, buen provecho!

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