Hi, good afternoon, my name is Ned Grieg. I’m the Corporate Executive Chef of the Woodman’s restaurant group and The Essex Room. I’m here to talk to you a little bit about vegetarian culinary offerings that have become very prominent in the catering industry, especially in the wedding industry.
We have gone and advanced it quite a bit more than most companies have. We do vegetarian risotto, and it’s also vegan. Vegan meaning there is no dairy as well. We do a potpourri of really wonderful roasted vegetables, then we just use white wine and we use a vegetable broth as opposed to a chicken broth. That’s one particular one that has been very popular with us.
We also do grilled vegetable Napoleons. That’s fun – it is kind of like a deconstructed vegetarian cassoulet. A cassoulet is a classic French dish that has a lot of meat in it, but we do it with beans. We also have it with a really wonderful tomato sauce, and then we grill and roast certain types of vegetables. Then we make a gremolata on top, which are garlic flavored bread crumbs, but instead of using it with butter, we do it with olive oil. That’s a wonderful choice as well.
If we have an ethnicity of the crowd that is coming in and they are from the Pacific rim, we offer Thai noodle balls or Singapore noodle balls, which will have a whole bunch of different types of vegetables, and we make a broth. Then we make homemade ramen noodles or we use rice noodles with it, with all of these different vegetables and things they can add to it.
One that I always like to do is, I love the idea of North African couscous. We take the meat out of it, and again, we cook it. I have four tagines at home. I bring them out here to make it look like we’re doing it the real way. But quite frankly, when you are mass cooking for hundreds of people, you can’t be using a tagine that can only serve four people at a time. But we will do that a lot when we use sweet potatoes and the flavor of cardamom seeds in there, and cinnamon, and hard spice, and harissa. It just gives it a wonderful flavor and the tagines makes it look like it’s really authentic.
Those are a few different options that we have here for people that choose to have a vegetarian selection and/or vegetarian wedding.