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Photos by Amie Kindall Photography
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For some, the wedding is about the dress, the music or being surrounded by friends and family. For foodies, it’s about the menu. Guest lists are shorter and while decorations are important, the lion’s share of the attention gets funneled toward ensuring the food and drinks are a reflection of the betrothed. For insight on how to make your menu shine, we talked with three Richmond foodie couples who planned the menus for their reception based on their expertise. Grab a bite before continuing — these ideas are sure to make your mouth water.
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Newlyweds: Michael McGhee, program director at Culinard, and Emily McHenry, general manager and lead sommelier at The Wine Loft
Date: April 20, 2013
Reception: Kitchen on Cary
Dubbed “The McWedding” because of the couple’s last names, Michael and Emily’s celebration was anything but the mediocrity the prefix implies. “We had to do something different with the food,” Michael says. It helped that they had a team of Culinard instructors who offered their expertise as a wedding present. The six chefs each planned a menu item for the couple, which included in-house cured and smoked ham, ahi tuna sashimi, grilled leeks with Romesco sauce, and Anderson’s Neck oysters from The Magpie. “It was a reflection of all of us,” Michael says.
“I love Manny’s tres leches [cake] from Kuba Kuba,” Michael says of the Cuban restaurant on Park Avenue. “I think that’s one of the best desserts you can get.” They couldn’t get the sought-after cake for that weekend, but pastry chef Laura Brown put her own spin on it for the wedding.
Emily stocked the bar with a few of the couple’s favorite French varietals: rosé from Provence, Chardonnay from Argentina and a Côtes du Rhône. For the champers, she chose Gosset — the oldest wine house in France’s Champagne region — for its soft Cadbury chocolate notes. They also served signature cocktails instead of offering a full bar — Irish lemonade with Jameson for Michael and vodka cocktails for Emily.