Sunday, August 1, 2010

the cake + the knife + the wedding

I don't normally disagree with Shakespeare, really, I don't. It seems a little mean to do so now, a tad petty. I really ought to let it go. Bygones, Sleeping Dogs, Water Under Bridges etc etc etc. Good Willy's beyond rotten corpse has been relegated to the depths of an earth that long ago saw its last golden sun, and here I am, lounging on a deck chair, pool side in provence, with a belly full of suave baguette and serendipitous cheese, wriggling my somewhat pudgey toes in the dying summer light and watching Hela paint her fingernails a confused shade of purplish brown. I know, that's mean. You're probably shlupping around in rain soaked Sydney waiting for your Maggi Noodles to soften in some kettle water. But it's the truth. I'm all a lovely stupor, suspended between a haze of green beneath and blue above, in my very own Midsummer Night's Dream. If Lysander were to materialize before me to tell me that 'the course of true love never did run smooth', i'm afraid i'd have to beg to differ. Flying to Europe to attend the wedding of Dan's brother has certainly taught me otherwise. Not only can true love be a gently fading float down the melodious stream of life, but the courses of celebratory wedding food that it is want to give rise to run quite smoothly indeed. Smoothly from the fabulous first, through the delicious middles and until and beyond the delectable last. Smoothly into your mouth, down your throat and upon the ether of your very being.

The Wedding of A + C was held at the Beau Rivage Palace, Lausanne. Ooh La La. Forget hiking, fondue, recycling and the electric car, this is what Switzerland's really about. When two fine foodies come together to say I Do, the taste is something to have and to hold, for all the days of your life. Let's face it, we all judge a wedding by the food, and the results are in: 10.0!

With a day of intense eating ahead and a Zimmy chiffon number I already didn't fit into (thanks Sue and Teddy for the 10 minute hand zipping me in - we got there in the end!), the only logical start was the Beau's Buffet Breakfast, with its heavy line up of flavours and its view of Lake Geneva. In Europe, you don't have breakfast, you Take It. Taking breakfast at the Beau Rivage includes a simple starter of a Potted ChocolatelyMouseyPuddingTypeThing. J.R Cash didn't even get this deep. Seep-Weep-Deep, chocolate so rich and wanton and smooth and glistening. Slipping surfaces that rise and fall over the silver spoon. R Rated chocolate, heavy heady cococrazed and certainly not for the kiddies. From Chocolate to..

Bread. Chocolate and Bread are pretty much the twin pillars of sanity. Drop The Tip Top and Hop into some of real stuff. Drop Dead Bread in perfect baguette. Bread in Europe makes you feel somewhat jipped for being an Aussie, this stuff is tantric texture, it needs very little else to create a perfect meal (but don't let that hold you back from the rest of the buffet). A real baguette reveals itself to the eye even if the mouth is yet to be introduced. Great baguettes have a very compact and slightly shiny surface. Porous bread is a sign you may in fact have a crapuette on your hands. You want the surface to be sealed and just a little slick, the shininess of the surface means that the doughiness within is far more likely to be wonderfully moist and not at all dry. What's more, the hard crispy shell adds the perfect juxtaposition of texture. It's Jekyll to Hyde, Sweet to Sinful, Soft to Slap, Dream to Rush. The inside was wholesome goodness, slightly glossy dough with a perfect hue of pale caramel - you don't want bright white, it just doesn't taste as good. If you can imagine a heavy silver knife spreading a luscious smooth, rich creamy European butter over this cross-eye-inducing CrustySoft incarnation of wonderous wheat. Life Halts. Deliciousness, perfection, sonorous silence rising up before you, bread like this makes you know who you are...it was enough on its own, but we kept going.

Brilliant bread has quite a few spunky disciples. A perfect pain au chocolat, a sticky little danish type thing with madness as crushed hazelnut stickiness between and a delicious brioche that looks like its contracted lolly-measles: bright, bright lipstick pink globs of crystal confection porcupine themselves out of delicious buttery brioche. But don't swoon too long over the bread basket, there are bigger fish to fry.

Hotcakes with pure little sticky jeweled pots of perfectly personalised maple syrup? TartSweet strawberries that blush at you from their own rubied fullness? Little crispy globs of perfect, nutty golden waffle, all cubic and crunchy and perfect with roasted hazelnuts? There were also roast potatoes. Bircher in Bliss. Pineapple and Mint, Apples, Glistening Grapefruit. Sausages, creamy eggs-a-scramble and bountiful bacon. Lesser people would fall dead upon their own sighs at this point, but there's one thing that perfection still demands of the experience...

Perfect Earl Grey: Ch-e-ck. Steaming and brilliantly bergamoted, like waking up a beautiful dream. I was suspended in warmth like the bubble in the center of that cup.

A couple of I do's in a beautiful room gushing with flowers and a teary eye or two later, C + A are the stunning newlyweds and we are ushered into a hall that is a wee bit grand. Stand and to-your-mouth-raise-your-hand, grand! European grand outgrands what passes from grand down under. Good thing my jaw dropped, it left a lot of room for what was to follow - and with a setting this sumptuous, the food is likely to be nothing less.

We are sitting with Anna and Seth and Ben, and a lovely couple whose names I can't remember on a beautifully set table of spiralling roses in cream with little sparks of fragrant lavender. Flowers everywhere, and gentle candle light, and music and gowns in every colour under the rainbow. Anna in electric blue and Wendy is rollicking purple. Look, it was a touching ceremony, this love story that blossomed almost 7 years ago is something that ignites your wonder, watching C float down the aisle, seeing the look on A's face, precious, precious stuff. But you know what touched me the most of all? Touched me with its furry little orange feelers? Why, an entree of Lobster, of course.

Lobster from Maine with curry and Granny Smith Apples to be exact. Swanky stuff. Light and succulent and slightly salted. Clean and expensive and effortlessly summery. The curry gave it a lick of creamy heat which contrasted brilliantly with the sweetness and the coolness of the apple.

Not to be outdone by the langoustines with guacamole and pepper and gaspacho coulis, with a little edible flower. These entrees were as good as they come and paired with some Petite Arvine and Coteaux du Languedoc, it was a happy ocean of delight in our emotional bellies. But that all was all preface, precursor, that was all a little toe dipped into the water before true culinary fireworks lit up the vast skies of taste bud imagination...

Conflagration as Roasted Saddle of Veal in a Wellinton Style...to have, and to hold forever, from this day forth, for as long as you both shall live..which probably wasn't very long for this poor, little cow - but never mind that! Deliciousness upon deliciousness. Praise the lord! This was hands down the most divine veal I have ever happened upon. It's the perfect anatomy of pink, succulent veal encased within layers of rich, deep golden pastry, sure and crusty. It's sigh wrapped around moan. The moistness of the meat against the dryness of the baked pastry was as eternal as matrimonial bliss. Forget the honeymoon, what could be a sweeter ending than this?

Perhaps an amazing dessert buffet which I was too busy selecting from to even think about taking a photo. Forgive me. There was so much cake and only 2 hands and all these other guests to beat out. Use your imagination! Dark chocolate tarts glossed in wicked, deep pots of nutty creme brulee, strawberries and tortes, layers of sweet upon sticky, each treat more colourful than the next. Add a triumphant platter of matured European cheese and some firecracker wedding cake, studded in cream and berries and covered in a candied layer of reflective white, with some chocolates and coffee to boot... and believe me when I tell you that we all live happily ever after.

It was so overwhelming that even a Champagne granite couldn't bring me back to my worldly senses.

A + C, what a wonderful wedding! Congratulations on your nuptials, on each other and on having the taste, style and good sense to choose such maddeningly moorish wedding food. Given that the menu was this amazing, I am most disappointed that this is very likely the one and only time you'll ever be getting married!

Between the Beau's breakfast buffet and the stunning wedding feast, this will also go down as one of the happiest days of my life. And I didn't even mention the mini burgers, sushi and poolside mojitos that we downed while waiting for the bridal party to take pictures. When foodies say I do, it's truly a joyous occasion.

Love (of food) and marriage, most definitely go together like a horse and carriage.

the end.

4 comments:

Belinda MacDonald said...

where oh where is the wedding cake??

amanda said...

heh. i knew youd hate me for that! we went out when it was being cut and i came back to it in slice form! it was plain white with many layers and they were staggered a far way apart because there were actual little firespitting things that shot out like jets in between. amanda king and i were talking about you and your yummy talent the other day. im planning dans birthday cake already and its not til november, ill be begging you to do it again. hope you and the kids are good xxx

Belinda MacDonald said...

I would love to, book in quick though, it is getting crazy on my calender this year!

Cath @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said...

Looks like the wedding was a fantastic occasion. Would have loved to have seen the cake though. Mind you the rest of the food looked awesome.