Good Food, Will Travel

For my first real blog post, I thought that I would highlight a vendor that I worked alongside this last December at the winter wedding of Emily and Ryan Kindell in Longview, WA – Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates, run by a very nice couple, Paul and Stephanie Staley.  More to come in a later post about Emily and Ryan . . . this post is all about the food.

Chauffeurs full of chicken, cheesy potatoes, green beans and carrots, and rice laid out on the buffet.
A buffet of goodness . . .

Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE good food.  At weddings I am working and working hard.  Even though all of the families are extremely kind and inviting, always wanting us to eat, a meal usually looks more like shoving a piece of bread in my mouth while I’m changing a camera lens, or Jill and I playing tag team with a plate and an empty seat somewhere.  At Emily and Ryan’s wedding however, things were a little more relaxed.  Not only did I get a chance to talk to the caterers before we started, I had plenty of time to photograph the main meal and they made sure that I sat down and ate at dinner time.  I am so glad that they did!

We had all come down from Seattle and Tacoma, so there was a little bit of travel involved with this wedding.  Paul and Stephanie and their crew were there early getting things prepped.  There wasn’t one minute of stress about whether they were going to show up, if they were getting things out of the kitchen, etc.  They were on it and they were nice while they were at it.  They worked the entire night out of a kitchen that was attached to the reception hall and I never heard them or their crew once.  Apparently at Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates they run drills about how to serve multi-course meals as silently as mice.

Honestly, I missed the first course of tray passed hors d’oeuvres, and after having the main meal, I did regret that.  The main meal was a really nice, manageable spread of hot (often not on a buffet), bread, salad, rice, green beans, cheesy potatoes, the most marvelous chicken I’ve had in a long time, and hands-down, the BEST prime rib I have ever eaten.

Bread, salad and chauffeurs laid out by Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates.
The spread.

The bread and salad were pretty standard, but both fresh and tasty.  The rice was fluffy and flavorful.  The green beans, usually mush on a buffet, still had a bit of crunch, which I loved, and they actually tasted like nice, fresh green beans.  The cheesy potatoes. . .come on.  Apparently, aside from cooking the meanest prime rib you’ve ever had, Paul also has a knack for choosing cheeses.  These cheesy potatoes were liked a kicked up version of scalloped potatoes with this amazing sage cheese throughout the dish.  I wish I had a plateful now.

Crisp green beans and carrots in the chauffeur.
Cooked, but still crisp, green beans and carrots.
Cheesy potatoes in the middle - that browned cheesy topping is only holding in more goodness.
Cheesy potatoes in the middle – that browned cheesy topping is only holding in more goodness.

The chicken dish – I’m hoping that one of them will comment on this post and tell us all what that was . . . something with wine and something delicious.  That’s all I can say.

And for the kicker – the prime rib.  It was amazing.  I find prime rib, typically, to be flavorless, tough, and just all around not that great.  Even though I love fine cuts of meat, I usually pass this one up for something else.  This one though, was awesome.  It was seasoned perfectly, it had been rested so it was still had the juices inside instead of running all over the cutting board, it was cooked to medium rare, with a bit of pink in the middle still . . . it was fantastic.  I wanted the whole thing.  Unfortunately, they pay me to take photos, not to eat.

Hand sliced prime rib . . . the BEST.
Hand carved prime rib . . . the BEST.
Paul meticulously preparing desserts.
Paul meticulously at work preparing desserts.
Beautiful berry dessert bites.
Beautiful berry dessert bites.
Berry cobbler that I missed out on.
Berry cobbler that I missed out on.

I think that people that provide good service, great food, and are nice to everyone – from other vendors to the bride and groom – should get a big shout out.  So, this is my shout out to Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates and Paul and Stephanie!  They were awesome, their servers were friendly, their food was really good, and I enjoyed working with them.  I hope we get to do more events together in the future . . . and I hope they have prime rib on the menu.

Emerald City Cakes & Chocolates does full service catering for any occasion.  Paul and Stephanie Staley, 425.445.1970/425.974.0470. E: emeraldcitycakes@live.com W: http://www.emeraldcitycakesandchocolates.com

Good Food, Will Travel