Want to put the wedding breakfast at the very heart of your big day? Head chef George Richards of The Rosevine Hotel in Cornwall shares his tips on how to create the ultimate gourmet feast
A fabulous fine dining wedding menu should always be delightfully bespoke and reflect the foodie foibles of the couple and George advises seeking out a chef who is open to providing that special personal touch.
‘It’s really important for a chef to discuss dietary requirements when consulting with a bridal couple and to build a menu around their personal tastes and requirements without compromising on variety,’ he says.
Starry eyed starters
When it comes to getting the wedding breakfast off to a scrumptious start, fresh ingredients and local produce are your biggest allies.
‘Keep that in mind and you can serve the perfect dish,’ says George. ‘Of course, ingredients should be enhanced to give them a certain “wow factor” but I find that a lot of chefs go over the top and sometimes sabotage the product they are using.’
Seared scallops are a wedding-day winner and George adds a touch of luxury with crispy pig’s belly, black pudding, calvados jus and pea shoots. Similarly, the sweet woodsy flavours of panfried pigeon breast make a gorgeous starter which George enhances with parsnip puree, truffle mushrooms, crispy kale and game jus. For vegetarians, he recommends a spicy, earthy roasted cauliflower soup with tempura florets and curry oil.
Just married mains
To create a thoroughly satisfying gourmet experience, the biggest traditional wedding course needs to be perfectly balanced to maximise flavour and texture.
‘As a classically trained chef, I believe a dish should contain two vegetables (one being a puree), starch, protein, sauce and something special to give it texture,’ says George.
After cleaning guests’ palates with a refreshing sorbet, George likes to serve a main dish that is deliciously succulent such as pork tenderloin wrapped in parma ham with butternut puree, baby leeks, black pudding bon bon, lyonnaise potatoes, popping rind and mustard jus.
Tried-and-tested cooking principles can also be applied to vegetarian dishes: George serves mustard seed gnocchi with crispy duck egg, carrot and cardamom puree, crispy leeks and parsley gremolata.
Fish, too, is a fantastic option for a coastal ceremony: ‘Being a keen fisherman (who grew up close to the sea in Cornwall) has instilled a love of the ocean, and fish is close to my heart. We’re privileged at The Rosevine to get fresh fish on a daily basis which is a big hit at weddings.’
George’s classic-style panfried sea bass served with samphire, roast tomatoes, sautee potatoes and chimichurri sauce is much-requested at receptions.
Hopelessly devoted desserts
A love affair with quality shouldn’t fall short of the pudding. George recommends traditional showstoppers such as chocolate fondant with toasted hazelnuts and vanilla ice cream, or lemon posset with pistachio shortbread and clotted cream.
Gone are the days of a boring church service followed by bubbles and buffet in a garden. Weddings are bespoke, imaginative and hopefully stress free
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With a big chunk of any wedding budget going on food and drink, couples are ditching wedding breakfasts and instead making the day a gourmet-centric affair