Who turns down an invitation to the wedding of two chefs? Not me. This past Sunday I was lucky enough to score the invite of the century: The matrimony of Natalie West, Executive Pastry Chef for Purple Café & Wine Bar/Barrio in Bellevue and Alex Nemeth, Executive Chef of Overlake Golf & Country Club. I usually don't get excited about weddings, but this one I was looking forward to. Yes, Natalie and Alex are friends of mine, and I certainly wanted to share this special day with them, but more importantly, I knew there would be amazing food. Just kidding, Nat and Alex! Sort of.
The lovely couple
I was a bit on edge arriving at 4:10 p.m. to a ceremony that was scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Fortunately for me, I made it just in time...to grab a glass of Syrah at the hosted bar. Here's a note to all of you future brides: Have available some sort of booze for your guests to drink before the wedding, during the wedding and certainly after the wedding. It magnifies the enjoyment of the event. Even the priest whose act should come with a two drink minimum will seem super entertaining after a glass of liquid fun. Alex and Nat did it up right. Not only did they have an open bar, they had a cocktail tree (!!) composed of a cocktail they had made special for their wedding.
About 200 people attended the nuptials at Herban Feast Sodo Park, including: Larkin Young, Chef de Cuisine at Tilth, Mike Davis, Executive Chef of Purple Café & Wine Bar/Barrio Bellevue, and Dave Harris, former owner of Other Coast Café and the current General Manager at BlueWater Bistro Greenlake.
Smoked salmon crepes
After the actually ceremony, which was incredibly lovely and delightfully succinct, and after Mr. and Mrs. Nemeth walked out of the venue to Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," guests made a bee-line for the bar, noshed on passed h'ordeuvres and mingled while the wedding set was broken down and tables set up, creating a virtual pop-up reception that seemed to happen naturally.
The food, courtesy of chef Dalis Chea and his crew, was served in three stations: Parsnip Vischyssoise, Pear and Almond Salad and Brown Butter Thyme-Scented Potato Gnocchi; Deconstructed Beef Wellington with Foie Gras Butter and Parsnip Puree; and Black Cod and Mussels with Linguine. I am a good friend of both Natalie's and Dalis's, but I swear to God this was the best food I've ever been served at a wedding. There was even a kids table with fresh veggies and juice boxes.
I left before the cakes were cut (there was both a bride and groom version), but I did manage to snag a few boxes of homemade salted caramels made by Natalie. They were the perfect ending to the sweetest wedding I've ever attended. Congratulations, Alex and Natalie! And thank you for letting me blog about this most precious and personal moment in your lives.
Natalie's salted caramels