Denver-based Catering by Design knew they were in for something special when they were contracted for a French provincial-inspired wedding in Aspen, CO.
The venue for the wedding was The Dunbar, nestled deep in the Elk Mountain Range (in Aspen, CO) surrounded by majestic views.
The showstopping wedding included a lush, flower-filled wonderland, romantic accents and details, an extensive variety of food, and an award-winning vendor team.
The goal was to create a fresh, unique menu that matched the overall elegance and luxury of the entire weekend. What resulted was a seamless experience of wonder and delight, showing that there is much more to a “provincial life” than meets the eye.
This showstopping wedding included a lush, flower-filled wonderland with romantic accents and details.
Located on over 150 acres of pristine landscape, the wedding took place at The Dunbar, nestled deep in the Elk Mountain Range. The three-day wedding weekend featured a Spanish-inspired welcome party, a nostalgic game of bride versus groom kickball featuring an elevated picnic-style lunch, an outdoor movie night, and an intimate family-style rehearsal dinner, culminating in the big day itself.
The venue proved to be a logistical challenge resulting in some creative solutions. For starters, the venue’s large size meant walkie talkies were needed to help with communication onsite. Power sources were brought in and skillfully hidden, integrated into the reception area to make up for the lack of power onsite. With no water access, the team brought in water coolers each day and 1,000 bottles of VOSS water were sourced months before the wedding to keep guests hydrated.
The cuisine needed to highlight the best and freshest ingredients in elegant and innovative ways while highlighting flavor profiles that acknowledged the couple’s Texas roots. However, it also had to accommodate gluten and dairy allergies.
The menu for the wedding featured a ceviche raw bar, unique passed hors d’oeuvres, a pre-set salad served in a cloche, and savory and sweet food stations.
The raw bar, which was originally planned for a tiered outdoor ice sculpture but became passed indoors following rain, featured mini sake boxes accompanied by pipettes of sauce.
For cocktail hour, custom floral acrylic trays were created to match the wedding’s floral design. The trays held savory hors d’oeuvres such as beet macarons with goat cheese, smoked salmon galettes with creme fraiche and chives, and spicy tuna on crispy rice cubes. The team also set up a raw bar and each dish came with its own pipette.
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During the reception, tables were preset with a peach and burrata salad. For the meal, they created composed small plates of prime beef tenderloin with fire roasted tomato demi, smashed fingerling potatoes, and grilled broccolini, as well as misoglazed Chilean sea bass with ginger carrot puree, grilled citrus bok choy, and petite wasabi greens.
But perhaps the most unique station was the “Pour-Over Station,” which is what attracted the couple to Catering by Design in the first place. In this signature service, the team developed a delightful broth that was poured over a clay pot filled with herbs. The broth then traveled to the open bottom of the pot and, on its way, soaked up the rich herbal flavors and aromas before it trickled over a delightful dish.
Braised Beef Short Rib Udon (black garlic, sweet soy, dashi, maitake mushroom, shiso, and gluten free noodles).
The Pour-Over Station featured hot dashi served over a bowl of braised short rib udon, as well as a vegetarian option of hot porcino brodo poured over fresh herbs of sage and rosemary onto a bowl of roasted summer squash penne.
At the Pour-Over Station, Catering by Design offered two different options: hot dashi served over a bowl of braised short rib udon or hot porcino brodo poured over fresh herbs of sage and rosemary onto a bowl of roasted summer squash penne. In this signature service, the broth is poured over a clay pot filled with herbs.The broth then travels to the open bottom of the pot and, on its way, soaks up the rich herbal flavors and aromas before it trickles over the dish.
For dessert, guests enjoyed Brandy Alexanders (served in miniature milk bottles) along with cinnamon sugar churros with various dipping sauces. For a late-night snack, the team laid out a tater tot bar with myriad accoutrements.
Congratulations to Catering by Design for their CATIE win!
All photos courtesy Laura Murray
A gluten free, dairy free salad was a must for the family. Catering by Design accomplished this with an arugula and fennel salad with candied pecans (served during the family-style rehearsal dinner).
This Spanish inspired grazing table featured everything from cured chorizo, Serrano ham to drunken goat cheese, Iberico cheese, marcona almonds, fresh figs, queso de cabra, spanish tortillas, and olive bread (served during the welcome party).
The clear top tent made for a beautiful ambiance in the room. The full build of the tent and florals took over a week to complete. The grand reveal took place moments before guests arrived for the ceremony.
Bar decals pulled into the whole theme with elegant hanging chandeliers.
Each place setting was pre-set with a peach and burrata salad (heirloom tomato, mint, basil, parsley, chive, lemon herb vinaigrette, balsamic syrup, fresh cracked pepper, and salt).
A candy bar featured truffle popcorn, caramel bites, and an assortment of different candies.
Caprese Ice Cream Cone (diced Roma tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil chiffonade, olive oil, and balsamic) served in a savory gluten free miniature ice cream cone.
Rocky Ford Melon Crudo (diver scallop, cucumber, Szechuan peppercorn, chive blossom, and black sesame) served with a yuzu and living basil vinaigrette pipette.
The dessert options included smoked salt chocolate pot de crème (shown) as well as a churro station served alongside Brandy Alexanders.
Lobster rolls were passed as an hors d’ouerve for the wedding night. The clients wanted fresh seafood, so Catering by Design was able to get fresh lobster flown directly to them in order to ensure delicious seafood.