We have the pleasure of working closely with many interesting people in this town, but it is rare that we have the excitement of working with a group of people that enjoy food as much as we do. Let’s face it, the food business is an interesting life to live, and for those of you that are not involved, I would like to invite you in to an amazing event, the Wedding of Katie Brandon and Jason Farmand. Amazing because of the wonderful couple it was centered around, amazing because of the food quality, and most importantly, amazing because of the true love that was reflected by the mother of the bride, Pam Brandon, Food Writer.
The first meeting with Pam was full of enjoyment, because her love for food is clear and simple – perfection is really the key ingredient in every item. Along with her close friends, we explored them into a tasting of different stations based on a few new creations. The planning process was so wonderful, as we finally found someone into detail as much as we are!
The wedding day was breathtaking – perfect May weather, a slight breeze and a touch of warmth from the sun. We arrived early to begin staging our kitchen and setting the Reception hall. Skinny rectangular tables were placed together to create long tables to seat 20 guests. Crisp white linens were carefully steamed and placed, accented with Loden Green Table runners. Thirty custom made candles where placed on each table by Flowers of Winter Park, along with custom made trees around the room. Pam and I were adamant about covering the stage area so White Sateen Drapes were built to create an elegant backdrop. A white dance floor was built to continue with the white crisp theme. Outside, a White Lounge was formulated for a later in the evening Farmand tradition, Houkah Bar. The atmosphere was crisp, but the food simply amazing!
Guests were welcomed to the Veranda with House Cured Duck Prosciutto with Fig Jam; Cold Smoked Bay Scallops on Parsnip Puree and Fennel Foam; and Baby Artichoke Hearts with goat cheese, olive tapenade and sundried tomatoes presented on wheat grass. Fresh watermelon Mojitos where a huge hit as well, Yellow Watermelon and mint garnish. As guests entered the reception, their eyes settled into the candlelight, and stationed on their tables were a sampling of Middle Eastern Dips such as baba ghanoush and hummus and marinated olives with fresh baked lavosh and onion ciabatta breads. The Bride and Groom arrived, and the
show really began! Our stations opened with two to three chefs attending each, to create individually unique plates for each menu item.Flatbreads and Satchel’s Salad, using amazing roasted tomatoes that came from Waterkist farms in Sanford, FL. These are all organic and hydroponically grown things of beauty with flavor to match. Then there was the Pancetta, caramelized onion, roasted peppers and Arugula pizza that was a bride and groom favorite. The pizzas where served with a salad designed from Satch’s Pizzeria where Katie and Jason use to frequent in Gainesville, Florida while going to college together.
Guests where invited to step up to another station that was serving Turkish coffee rubbed, melt in your mouth, Braised Short Ribs Over Hazelnut Infused Mashed Potatoes and espresso demi glaze then finished with a hazelnut tuille and Tahoon cress micro green. It was like a cup of coffee on a plate. Many of our creations were finished with all natural organically grown micro greens from Adale farms in Polk County.
The next station which was a huge hit was the “Muddy Waters” station. This was none other than Shrimp and Grits with Heirloom Anson mills grits made fresh at the station and yes the infamous Parmesan Fried Green Tomatoes especially picked just for this event from Waterkist farms. With the trimmings from these beautiful tomatoes we made an amazing green tomato relish to compliment the spicy jumbo shrimp that where being seared to order on our e.v.o. flattop while the other chef was frying up to crispy perfection the tomato wheels. This dish was finished with micro cilantro and Louisiana hot sauce caviar which was a real molecular show stopper.
The last station was “From The Fields” which was a dual lamb offering with 72 hour sou vie Lemon and Garlic Marinated Leg Of Lamb sliced and served with roasted vegetable Israeli couscous, feta and olives topped with cumin scented tzatziki and finished with organic black mint. The second lamb was beautifully frenched 32 ounce Pepper berry Rubbed New Zealand Rack Of Lamb served over beet infused couscous and a crimson reduction made from beet juice then finished with micro shiso, a peppery micro green.
The “Good night Kiss” was passed as guests exited, of Chef Grilled Brioche and Applewood Smoked Cheddar Cheese Paninis, along with Shoestring Fries in a Paper Cone.
We were honored to celebrate such an important day for The Brandons. Most importantly, we appreciated their addiction for detail. We were proud that we “far exceeded their expectations,” and look forward to another memorable occasion!
Heidi Brice, Senior Special Event Planner