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.
Photo: Courtesy of Carey Polis
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?