Thursday, January 15, 2009

All the Right Ingredients: Fleur De Lys Catering

Having first selected our reception venue, we set out to discover our dream caterer. From the beginning, Mr. Bruschetta and I had specific ideas about our wedding cuisine:
  • The sit-down dinner would celebrate the freshest summer produce, and our chef should be open to embracing local ingredients.

  • Decorative flowers (and other elements of "traditional" wedding caterers) would not find their way anywhere near our plated entrees.

  • Our cocktail hour and dinner would provide an upscale, "restaurant-like" experience.

When we began our planning in early 2008, six caterers were approved to work in our reception space. After reaching out to each, we were able to (quite easily!) whittle down our list.

Two never returned our calls. Three had trouble matching our budget and understanding our desires. (During a consultation at one of the "custom" caterers, we were handed a menu of options, and told to pick our dinner right off the list of dishes the kitchen had crafted in the past. Excuse me, what?) And one served food at an open house Mr. Bruschetta and I attended that gave us both the worst case of food poisoning we've ever had!

Despite these challenges, we're positively delighted to be working with Laurent Leveque of Fleur De Lys Catering. Laurent truly understands the vision for our wedding, having built his company with the aim of preserving the fine dining experience outside the restaurant setting. His culinary prowess is unquestionable, having worked in restaurants such as Le Cirque and Georges Perrier's Brasserie Perrier. And his professionalism, attention to detail and French-accent-laced English (seriously thick -- I usually can only pick up 30-40% of what he says, and hope Mr. Bruschetta catches the rest!) complete the package of our ideal chef.

Since the wedding menu will be heavily reliant on local, summer ingredients and produce, we had our tasting this past August. Laurent served up generous portions -- the salad we agreed upon, and two types each of fish and pork, so we could decide which to select -- in his "test kitchen." If all this gushing hasn't whet your appetite, take at one of Laurent's plated creations! Is it any wonder we're so highly anticipating our first married meal?

Is your reception site a B.Y.O.C. -- bring your own caterer?

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