My job as a personal chef brings different celebrations week upon week, but some are just more heartfelt and meaningful than others. Of course, y'all know my philosophy that "any excuse for a party is a good one," yet, when it comes to a celebration of love, it just makes it feel more special.
Several weeks ago, I had the absolute honor of cooking for a 50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner Party of about 20 people. My sweet friend and favorite photographer (who has taken many of the pictures on the front of my website and is talented beyond words.. look her up - 314 Productions), Nicole Cole, asked me to be the chef of her grandparent's "50 years of marriage party," and I could not have been more excited. I work so hard every week to make sure my clients are happy and my food is perfect, but when it's a friend and a party of such significance, the pressure is on even more than normal.
Nicole was hosting the party at her home and sent me some photos of how she wanted it to look. I admire this gal's style and taste so much, and when she sent me the pictures, I knew it wasn't only going to be a fun party but a beautiful one. I took the pictures she sent me and starting designing sample menus that would go along with the theme of the party. I saw it as very "backyard summer elegance," so I used that as a guide for menu creation . I then did as I do for all my dinner parties and emailed Nicole three (3 course) sample menus to either choose one menu or create her own from each course. She did as most people do and created her own, choosing one item from each course. It always makes me happy when people do that because then I know they're getting exactly what they want.
The menu looked like this:
- First Course: Super Southern Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Crumbled Cream Cheese, Grit Croutons, and Maple Vinaigrette
- Second Course: Lemon Spaghetti with Summer Herb Roasted Chicken Breast
- Third Course: Mini Blueberry Pies with Honey Whipped Cream
The food turned out divine, just as I had hoped, and Nicole nailed it with the theme. The decor was Pinterest Heaven (you can see her post about it on her blog, here) - complete with a long white tablecloth covered table, floral printed menus, and beautiful fresh flowers. When her family arrived, you truly could feel the love. 50 years of marriage - that's what every person on earth hopes for one day, and her sweet grandparents got to celebrate just that.
There's a reason I wanted to stop my full-time 9 to 5 where I made fantastic money and dedicate my world to cooking. This... celebrations like this are the reason. This is what I love most about my job, and why I named my blog "COOKTALES." Parties and celebrations are a time for friends and family to come together over food, laughter, and love. There truly is a story behind every recipe because it's impossible to celebrate anything without food as the centerpiece. A few weeks ago, I saw that more than ever in Nicole's backyard where the word "Cooktales" was alive and well.