Yesterday i catered a wedding. It wasn;t just any wedding...it was my girlfriends parents wedding. I was also informed (by my girlfriend) that i was catering the wedding only 7 days prior. Cooks like me always get signed up for these family events, so im not surprised i found myself catering to 130 people, outside in a backyard, in the dark.
Any cook knows, hell, anyone who's thrown a dinner party knows that no matter how many lists you make, you are always going to forget something. I began the day with one large list, which quickly multiplied into 5 pages, front and back, scribbles everywhere, titles, headings, check marks, id put some in one pocket, some in others, lost a few down by the peddles of the car as i did my day-of errands like picking up coffee, getting flowers or should i say trees that filled the car like a scene in jumanji, balancing trays of duck confit puffs on the dash board with the air conditioning on high trying to offset the heat from the sun projecting through the cars window as i battle my way through traffic up to yonge and finch.
I reached my destination. The rain had stopped (thank god) but the winds were still fierce. I was standing under a 130 foot tent that looked like it was ready to set sail. First things first, unload the cars and see whats missing. Garbage bins, bags, containers, soap, scrubbies, knifes, made more lists and back downtown i went. Eventually i got back. Looking at my prep list which was in good shape i had three hours, i felt good, things were looking up.
I began drinking a beer i was offered by my girlfriends father who was trying to get my operation powered up with enough extention cords. We blew some fuses, had cords everywhere, power bars, lights, induction burners, slicers but eventually got it figured out.
I was starving, so were the two cooks helping me. I decided to get food for everyone. i drove to the corner of finch and yonge to find myself surrounded by korean restaurants. I like korean but i wasn't sure if they can do hot pot and korean bbq to go. So i settle on the only sushi joint arount. I returned with 80 bucks of sushi only to be told i had 5 minutes before we had to go to the wedding ceremony.
One thing i forgot to write on my list was that i had to go to the wedding.
There i was, in the shits, although my girlfriend was in it worse. We delegated everything we didn't have done to my two cooks who when we left, were filling balloons with helium.
Off we went.
Sitting in the front row, i managed to sneak a few text messages to the cooks during prayers and hymns giving orders, reminding them of things to get done. The plan was to grab the trees from the church and rush back as soon as possible to finish setting up before the people arrived. We were in the front row. We wanted to wait till the people began following out the groom and bride before we yanked the trees. But everyone was waiting for us to follow first. i stepped back, hoping that people would catch my drift, they waited..... i stepped back again...this time yanking my girlfriend back.... they waited.
Realizing this wasn't going anywhere, i grabbed my girlfriend and then the trees and ran out the side door.
Racing back, i through on some chef whites and got down to business. The boys had eveything together, i began slicing. Induction burner was searing pork belly, oysters were being shucked.
The people began arriving. My girlfriend was in a hectic state.
Theres two types of Hors d'oeuvres parties. Those where people eat, and those where people dont.
30 minutes into it and no one had touched a thing, they oouuud and ahhhd but no eating.
All this work for nothing.
Then i heard a gentleman say the word "plate"
There were no plates! IDIOT!
I ran inside, got a stack of paper plates and the line ups began.
oysters were moving, lobster, bacon and brioche sandwiches were flying off the shelf, pork belly was searing, duck puffs were in the oven, people were filling there plates up with meat and antipasto, things were looking up. Two hours later, the crowd had subsided, the food was all gone, and it was time to clean up.
First wedding catering behind me. Over before i knew it.