The Weekend E.AT. – Wedding Style

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The two three FOUR-day weekend brought on celebrations in every shape and form. There was America’s birthday (more on that this week), blogs crossing paths (more on that too), and an Indian-Chinese wedding that allowed me to get the best eats from the East.

I know, I’m so artsy fartsy

If you’ve never been to an Indian wedding before (as was my case), here are some basic guidelines to follow:

  • Wear at least two different outfits; each day calls for something new and colorful.
  • The open bar is your friend, especially by day 3 when your feet are sore from dancing for days and you’ve lost track on how many people you have met.

Oh hay free alcohol

  • Speaking of dancing, there will be a lot of it. Prepare.
  • If you have figured out a way to elegantly use the restroom while wearing a sari, please contact me immediately. I must know your secrets.
  • Eat a lot and don’t be shy about it, because either an aunty will coerce you into eating more anyways, and/or you’ll just burn it all off busting a move on the dance floor.

Since this was a multi-cultural wedding, the food followed suit, which was a delicious treat and kept the culinary momentum strong throughout the festivities. Enjoy these photos and get ready for a jam-packed bender of a week!

Food fusions galore.

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Night 1 of the wedding consisted of a traditional Chinese dinner – broccolini, pork, noodles, steamed vegetables, and spicy shrimp. Even with a full plate, the meal was light and satisfying. I’ll admit that if this had been a regular dinner out, I would have consumed thrice the amount of noodles, but I did have to fit into a sari the next night.

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Paired with the Chinese dinner were gulab jamuns – a fried Indian dessert made from sweetened milk powder and soaked in syrup. To some, these can be cloying, but they are never too sweet for me, especially when they arrive warm and gooey.

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Crab-stuffed mushroom appetizer

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On the final night, the venue catered an American meal, so there was something for everyone to eat with ease. I tried to fill up on salad and salmon, but then I spotted lasagna and pesto pasta and that healthy notion failed pretty quickly.

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This was a perfectly created wedding cake – super light genoise with a key lime buttercream and strawberry accompaniment. After a full meal and before a night of dancing, this was a lovely dessert for the guests and the newlyweds to satisfy their sweet tooth.

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The Weekend E.A.T. – Back to Basics

Combine food, technology, and a little bit of luck and you have the gist of the big-city culinary world. Pop-ups pop up faster than under-toasted waffles; everything is so focussed on the next big thing (S4, I’m looking at you), that the food-inclined youth often forget where the future of food came from – the basics of the past.

Philz that killz – been caffeinating off this one since Berks

I spent the last few days visiting revisiting said past with family and friends, walking away with a key piece of advice that my old pastry co-worker imparted: Learn the basic shit before you get cute.

While we were talking meringue and panna cotta (more on that later this week), this holds true for most things in life. And after last week’s roller coaster, I’m excited to delve back into the basics of my desserts/job/life goals.

You can’t think ten steps ahead if you don’t know what the first three were.

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Beautifully seared trout with pumpkin seeds, serrano chile, chard, and butter beans from Nopalito. This restaurant is all about the classics of Mexican cuisine (read: Not burritos). I only wish they took reservations, because I don’t fancy waiting an hour in the blustery SF weather. But then again, they do have fudge paletas that make the wait worth it.

L to R: Nate Appleman, culinary manager of Chipotle and my former boss/chef at A16; sofritas tacos (for some reason, sofritas sounds like it could fit into the Harlem Shake song if you say it right); the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck makes an appearance all the way from NYC!

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival (seriously, there are way too many festivals in  Golden Gate Park during summertime). A surprisingly educational experience, the event touted Chipotle’s sustainable farming techniques and broke down their menu to demonstrate how much healthier it is versus a McDonald’s cheeseburger. With my old chef at the helm of culinary manager, this QSR has won me over.

Chili paneer samosas are good and all, but DAMN Ranbir Kapoor you just about did me in with that dancing and extra-skinny tie suits

At the end of the day, nothing is better than a good masala Bollywood movie and some equally spicy Indian-Chinese food. I can’t tell you how many times this film-food combo has occurred, but it never disappoints me. And Ranbir Kapoor, you’re pretty damn good to look at.