Down on the Farm…Up in the ‘Burbs

I love a country wedding even if “country” means the far out suburbs of Chicago, 30 minutes due north of the nation’s 3rd largest city.  Hey, when you’re an urban dweller, and the only skyline you can identify is made of trees…that’s the country. Work with me here.

One of our favorite event planners, Rachel Bradley of Rachel Bradley Events, asked EC to come up with a lush and bountiful wedding menu inspired by an October Harvest.  Needless to say, I was game.

And so began my culinary adventure at Elawa Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois last weekend.

Those of you who know me, know that I consider myself a global nomad.  It is all about authenticity and I have tasted (almost) all of it.  When I found out a that the groom was of Italian heritage, a Midwestern-Farm-meets-Italian-Vineyard menu was destined.

Following the ceremony, as guests approached their dinner table, they found a bountiful scene waiting for them floral created by .  Cocktails served in mason jars were in everyone’s hand as they discovered tables overflowing with housemade foccaccia and grissini, garnished with fresh bunches of oregano, and complimented by wedges of nutty pecorino and drizzles of honey. Moments later, guests found our waiters by their side with platters of hard-carved Rack of Lamb, Beef Tenderloin and Cherry-glazed Chicken.  Rich butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sauce stood in for what would have been a more all-American potato choice. We finished with homemade “windowsill” fruit pies that were scooped warm into mugs with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh whipped cream.

What an extraordinary evening!  I admit, I am proud of the menu, but the other elements of the evening: the beauty of the Elawa Farms setting, a perfectly warm October evening complete with an amber sunset and, of course, a table full of love, reminded me of why I love weddings at EC — and that perhaps, I am a country girl at heart.