What’s For Dinner? Top Chefs Are Revamping The Wedding Menu

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Until recently, weddings were all about the party — and the food was more of an afterthought. The meal consisted of whatever box you had marked on the caterer's forms months before the big day (like you even remember which box that was).

But luckily, cookie-cutter weddings with subpar food and anticlimactic courses are yesterday’s news. More couples have been going the artisanal, foodie route and turning the menu into the focal point of their big day. Therefore, we turned to three of New York’s hottest chefs to see what they're planning to dish out this wedding season. Who's hungry?

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Local Yolkal

Food Network Chopped champion and caterer extraordinaire Elisabeth Weinberg, who runs Miss Elisabeth’s Catering in New York, has seen an influx of foodie couples coming to her for their big day.

“People who contact me are interested in the food being one of the most important parts of their event. Not only do they enjoy a great party and celebration, but they also enjoy a high-end, restaurant-quality meal,” says Weinberg, who sources most of her ingredients at the Union Square Greenmarket. Couples are asking for seasonal, organic, and local ingredients at their weddings, too. “I am designing menus based on what is available seasonally and locally, and based on the foods and dishes that the bride and groom really love,” she says.

Photo Courtesy of Feast & Fetes
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Musical Chairs

Jean Christophe Le Picart, who runs Daniel Boulud’s catering offshoot Feast & Fetes, is seeing couples move away from traditional sit-down dinners in favor of what he calls “L’ Informal Degustation.”

Instead of stagnant sitting charts and five-course meals, they are setting up more food stations with tables scattered throughout the room to encourage guests to move around and eat the things they love. Then they send butler-passed courses around the room for guests to pick and choose as they please. “This format of dinner service is unexpected, fun, and interactive. It also provides a much larger variety of food,” says Le Picart.

Photo Courtesy of Feast & Fetes
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Friends & Family Plan

Chef Marc Murphy, who runs both Landmarc and Ditch Plains in New York, also has a catering company called Benchmarc. He is seeing more couples be mindful of their guests’ dietary needs and include gluten-free and vegan options on the menu. As part of this, his clients are opting for intimate family-style meals in lieu of the traditional à la cart style. “It allows guests to pick and choose what they want to eat, and lets the couple be creative in their choices,” he says.

Photo Courtesy of Feast & Fetes