Since it's been a minute since our last wedding vendor spotlight, I'm SO excited to bring this series back and pickup right where we left off... with loads of eye-candy for you to help design your wedding to be one that leaves people speechless because it's so YOU. Today's spotlight features an incredible local maryland wedding caterer that is one of the most artistic and inventive teams I've had the honor of working alongside! Eleven Courses Catering's culinary creativity constantly has me asking "how are you going to top this?" and then they do... every time!! (ps - how'd ya like that sentence's alliteration?) Melissa and Jim have such a passion for designing a culinary experience like no other with every event they're a part of - it's so refreshing to see how open to new ideas and collaboration they are (and as another husband and wife team, they get even more bonus points in my book!).
If you don't already follow them, go do it now - eleven courses catering!
What led you to pursue a career in catering?
When I met Jim in college, he cooked an amazing dinner for me on our first date. It was love at first bite. I was so blown away by how he could take a few simple ingredients and create something, almost melodic to eat. I was so inspired by him that I started organizing dinner parties for friends and family (I have a design background and loved creating the perfect table setting) – from there we launched a private chef company and a few years later turned into exclusively large-scale events.
What is your favorite aspect about working with engaged couples and within the wedding industry?
I love that we never cater the same wedding twice, each couple is so different and unique – there stories are their own and the fact that we get to be a part of each one makes my heart sing. We are part of a day that ends up being a lifelong memory – talk about an incredible feeling of euphoria!
What are some creative ways couples can stay within their budget when it comes to their menu planning?
I love this question. Sometimes less is more, so scaling back on the number of options, without compromising quality or flavor profiles can be a very effective budgeting strategy. If you wow your guests with a phenomenal one entrée option or two, vs three of four – it can be such a win win!
Where would you go if you were planning a honeymoon right now?
I am pretty lucky because Jim and I take a culinary tour each year to a different spot on the globe, scouring the world, looking for inspiration to bring to life through our chef-curated, ever changing menus. These trips always feel honeymoon-esque to me! We just got back from a trip to Italy, next up is Peru.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everyday favorites – reimagining classic dishes with modern twists, or taking a single ingredient and loving on it to create dishes that show it in a new way; color schemes always conjure up whimsical ways to create new recipes too – and of course there is the change of the seasons and our culinary tours. I also get a ton of inspiration from our clients, their backgrounds and stories.
Favorite recent read or podcast?
With three littles ones, my time to read or listen to something besides Moana or nursery rhymes is pretty scarce haha, but Jim always seems to have a book in tow – and I revel in excerpts he reads me – most recently was The Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich. He usually has something to do with food or music on his nightstand, haha.
Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations we should watch for?
We recently were invited back on Good Day L.A. to talk wedding trends for 2018, we will be returning to Houston as guests on Great Day Houston, as well as, hosting another event at the national Health Museum there. We love being able to share our recipes and stories with local and national audiences. We were also selected as the March of Dimes – Celebrity Chef of the Year, which will be officially announced next month. Such a complete honor and dream for us!
Well deserved and so exciting! I can't wait for us to work together at M+C's September Main Street Ballroom wedding... if you're looking for a wedding caterer that will design a show-stopping menu, work with any dietary needs/restrictions and still making the most beautiful and delicious food you've ever had, your search is over! ;)