Teams square off on the popular reality cooking show to provide the ultimate wedding buffet
When Corey and JP Marchetti got engaged in June 2006, they knew they had plenty of time to plan the wedding of their dreams, which was scheduled for April 2008. As the director of business development of Galleria Marchetti, a venue in Chicago, Corey plays host to more than 70 weddings each year, so planning her own should have been a breeze, until the phone call came.
A producer from the TV show Top Chef called and asked if we had any upcoming weddings booked because they wanted to shoot an episode of Top Chef around a Chicago wedding. At the time we didnt so we told him no, says Corey. I got off the phone and told JP, We could get married earlier. So I called them back and told them wed change our wedding date and do the show.
With just five weeks to redo and finalize the plans for her wedding, rescheduled for October 21, 2007, Corey contacted Erika Lohmar, an event producer with The Meetinghouse Companies, to help with the details.
I told Erika the situation and put it all on her plate, Corey says. She made a specific schedule for the day of the event and it was so detailed, right down to the minute, that even the TV crew used it.
Knowing that the food portion of the wedding would be taken care of by the show was a relief, but Corey wouldnt find out what would be on the menu until the day of their wedding. Chefs from Top Chef interviewed the couple to find out what their favorite foods were, and then the teams took it from there. I told them I love comfort foods and JPs favorite is Italian, says Corey. Thats all we knew about the menu prior to our wedding.
The kitchens at Galleria Marchetti were used by the team of chefs. One entire room of the restaurant was taken up by the camera crew. The producers and crew were so laid back, we didnt even know they were there, says Corey. We were so excited about the wedding we didnt even think about the TV show.
Following the wedding, a reception was held in the permanent tented pavilion at Galleria Marchetti. Corey was unsure how the chefs planned to combine comfort foods with Italian, and as it turned out they didnt. The chefs split into two teams, one side catered a brides buffet and one side catered a grooms buffet, says Corey. The idea was to make a buffet after each of our favorite foods and half the guests dined on the brides buffet and the other half dined at the grooms buffet. Different colored charger platesgold for the brides buffet and chocolate for the grooms buffetindicated where the guests should dine to enjoy the couples favorite foods.
The judges, along with guest judge Gale Gand, sat at one table and dined from both buffets to determine the winning team of chefs. When the show aired on May 7, 2008, catersources Mike and Bernice Roman, and director of consulting Carl Sacks joined the Marchettis as they learned that the team catering the brides buffet won.
An interesting twist to the day was that we were not allowed to tell anyone what TV show was taping our wedding; we could only tell everyone it was a reality show, says Corey. The guests loved the added excitement, but above all, everyone enjoyed the fabulous dual buffets of food.
Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pizza
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Potato-Fried Chicken with Basil and Chipotle
Short Ribs and Blue Cheese in Phyllo
Comfort Foods Buffet
SautÃ©ed Mushrooms and Asparagus
Asparagus Salad with Corn, Almonds and Arugula
Blue Cheese Grits
Corn Bread with Honey Butter
Crispy Almond-Basil Chicken
Dark Chocolate and Lemon Cake
Fig and Prosciutto
Carved Roast Filet with Horseradish Cream and Red Wine Reduction
Ragu-Braised Pork and Beef with Orechetti
Chilean Sea Bass with Capers, Olives and Artichokes
Beets with Goat Cheese and Candied Hazelnuts
Butternut Tortellini with Brown Butter and Sage
Marinated Roasted Vegetables
Sicilian Tuna Salad