Courtesy of Lexi Dwyer
This summer I was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Sarah Kagan, a close friend who's also the food editor of Epicurious. Sarah and her now-husband Jason are master entertainers. I get hungry thinking about parties they've hosted, which I tend to remember based on the menu. (Ever since the warm summer night when I tasted her grilled scallops with just the right amount of lemon and butter, shellfish has never been the same.) Sarah is also the most detail-oriented person I know, so watching her work her organizational magic on such a huge event felt a bit like seeing Michaelangelo sketching the Sistine Chapel: It was masterful.
The ceremony and reception happened at Bedell Cellars, a gorgeous vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island. As Sarah and Jason stood under a giant old maple tree and read vows they'd written themselves, I was overcome—first with joy, and then with fear that tears would ruin my eye makeup (it had been carefully applied by a fellow bridesmaid per Sarah's vision, and thankfully it held). The vineyard is dotted with lavender bushes, so Sarah's mom, a talented gardener, potted more than 200 lavender plants for guest favors. Just getting a plant would be lovely enough, but Sarah of course took the concept one step further; she developed her own recipe for lavender-lemon cookies, and attached it on a card.
When you're a food editor, the menu is the thing, so Sarah dreamed up a locavore lineup with standout ingredients like halibut pulled from the waters off Long Island; a goat cheese made in the area that was voted the best in the country; and an almond wedding cake filled with lemon buttercream and peach compote (the peaches came from a local farmstand). I'll be dreaming of it for months. —Lexi, BRIDES Magazine