A big day

There’s no pressure ok?

You just have to select a menu – that like the flowers, the music, your dress, the readings, brief for the photographer and your partner’s tie, sums up in a physical form, exactly what your relationship is all about.

It has to be in budget. It has to satisfy a multitude of tastes. And if you are all about food in your life, then you’d also like it to be pretty special.

Because whatever you choose is then going to be photographed, discussed and redisgested until you’ve got indigestion from the overwork.

I was pretty sane about many of the details for our wedding- ( I think..) but I admit, when it came to the food, I went a little nutty.

The selection of the location for us, was key. We wanted to feel like we were out to dinner at a great restaurant with all of our favourite people. We wanted a place with classy cutlery, and more, a place that had significant stemware. At the moment we still drink wine out of $1 IKEA glasses. Nice glasses is one way we really know we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Being out of Sydney wasn’t a problem- in fact, it could even be an asset.

A variety of locations were sourced, but in the end we decided on Terroir at the Hungerford Hill winery in the Hunter Valley, about 2 hours out of Sydney.

The fact that we could say with a lisp “Torwee’s getting mahwied at Terroir” was a scarily large influencing factor.

Things were going great- there were Riedel glasses that matched to the wines, we were quite partial to the 2006 Pinot Gris from the winery- so much so that we bought 3 cases of it to cellar under the stairs, just in case they couldn’t guarantee it would be available a year hence for the reception.

Then the chef quit. I was pretty calm. Then they got a replacement who had worked at Est in Sydney. I was a happier being to be around after we found out that.

The Hungry One weighed in on certain elements. He loves a canape or two ( or nine) so we decided on an extended walking entree. More than a canape, he loves a buffet- so we decided on a dessert buffet. I had a few ground rules for the main courses. I was going to be ok with alternate drop- so long as I’d happily eat either. There’s nothing quite like receiving dry chicken stuffed with chalky ricotta and a pesto jus when your partner’s been served rib eye, groaning with portobello mushrooms. That involves a level of negotiation I’m not capable of after four champagnes and some empathetic tears during the ceremony while subtlely sucking my stilettos out of the grass.

I wanted what was served to cope with flexibility in the wedding’s timeline. If I’ve been cornered by someone, I don’t want to have to peel them off my veil and say- ‘we have to go- the kingfish is cooking through as it sits and I’m sure it’s drying out…’.

I want the food to be easy for chef to plate. Happy chef= happy reception. I don’t need anyone who’s not part of the bridal party, or the designated hecklers swearing throughout my reception.

I want it to use local ingredients. The Hunter Valley is known for its Binnorie dairy, which does the most incredble goats cheese- if there wasn’t a suit and a dress for us to squeeze into, we would have locked ourselves in the dairy the entire night before.

I don’t want to be double starched. I don’t want a side of du puy lentils and mash potato with my protein. I don’t want gnocchi AND breadcrumbs. I want a nice blend of protein and accompaniments that’s not too heavy, but will still soak up some of the booze.

I want some choose your own adventure sides to be placed down the table- some green salads, some roast potatoes to dig into.

When it came to canapes, I went even nuttier. There were lists circulated via email. There were polls taken. There was research done. In the end, I was content with the selection, in its progression of weight, variety of textures and tastes.

On the actual day, I made the brideslaves have roast tomato soup for lunch, so not to spoil our appetites.

On the actual day, there were berry dacquiris served as part of the pre dinner drinks. Don’t think that the vibrant fuschia of the drinks wasn’t chosen exactly to complement the brideslave’s flowers.

There were little prawn and basil tarts, and tarts with Binnorie goats cheese, caramellised onion and thyme. There were peking duck pancakes, crostini with steak tartare and aioli. There was sesame crusted tuna with pickled cucumber and sesame and chicken and almond croissants. Then, just as people were having too much of the Dalliance sparkling wine, Hungerford Hill rose, Coronas and lime and Coopers green there were portions of pea and mint risotto with ricotta and lemon oil.

There was an alternate drop of ocean trout, cooked in a light confit style so it was rosy pink and almost indestructable. It came with an almond tartator and a pickled vegetable salsa. I claimed that. Looking around most of the boys on the day inherited the lamb loin with a garlic, roast mushroom and breadcrumb salsa.

There was chocolate nut wedding cake, lemon tarts, vanilla pannacotta with nectarines and strawberries for dessert. There was Earl Grey tea and chocolate truffles.

On the day, I drank 2 glasses of sparkling- one very quickly following the ceremony, and two glasses of rose.

I ate a peking duck pancake, bending over like a kid at a bubbler, so it wouldn’t drip on the dress. I ate a forkfull of ocean trout and at the behest of a brideslave some salad and two nuggets of roast potato.

I have a distant memory of eating a tiny piece of cake.

I have many memories of smiling until my face hurt and crying just a litte bit.

But- I didn’t really eat.

I woke up in the morning with my belly aching. I woke up the next morning hungrier than I’d ever been. I woke up the next morning as someone a bit different. Bridezilla was gone and a very hungry caterpillar had emerged in her place.

You see, I’m now Mrs Hungry One and I couldn’t be happier.

****** Apparently the food, for those who ate it was pretty good.

For me, I got my second wind the next day when we discovered the top, untouched layer of the raspberry and white chocolate mud cake.

Start as you mean to go on, I say. Married life is looking pretty good.

The honeymoon has brought us to Paris, where we have a pretty arduous task of eating a lot. This has been written, remembering my wedding day from an apartment in the 5th while the Hungry One is out foraging for baguettes and croissants. More updates to come.

  1. It was pretty special, Tori. Loving your blog. Enjoy the honeymoon.

  2. We also bought a case of the pinot gris and it’s nearly gone already…

    Fantastic day, enjoyed it very much.

    You’re motivating me to go visit Paris, although I feel a little sick after reading about the eight course meal.

    – Jonathan.

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