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INDIAN/ITALIAN WEDDING MENU DISASTER + VENUE HELP

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sheera1 Oct 26, 2010 03:19 PM

Hi folks,

So I'm looking for some helpful suggestions with planning my wedding. My fiance is Italian and I am East-Indian. The one preference we both have is for EXTREMELY good food.

My parents have decided that our Indian guests will ONLY appreciate Indian food and this is making things incredibly difficult as the Italians do not actually eat Indian food and also want their guests to appreciate good cuisine.

The other problem is that Indian food is usually priced at a more reasonable level whereas high end North American food will likely run us around 150-250 per person.

Does anyone know or has anyone been to any Indian fusion weddings whereby they might be able to offer suggestions to solve this dilemma? I've considered Indian-fusion or Indian-inspired but my parents have firmly told me that will not fly.

I've also considered hiring 2 caterers (unless one magically appeared that could make both Indian and North American food) but that limits us to picking a venue which allows outside catering (also difficult). With over 300 guests that limits us immensely unless we want to break the bank.

At the end of the day I'm at my wits end with figuring this out. I was thinking maybe I could find a creative chef who could somehow develop a plated Indian meal...cause we can't have some people do buffet or family style and some not... I dunno, any help would be appreciated...very lost.

Thanks!

Thanks!

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    Jash RE: sheera1 Oct 26, 2010 03:39 PM

    Elope!

    A word of advice from a happily married person of 18 years: try to balance the needs of you and your fiance with those of your parents and in-laws - remember this is primarily your day, not the parents who reasonably want to show off to all and sundry. When the party is over, you will be responsible for the debt. Why not try a cuisine other than Indian / Italien and no one's offended more than the other.

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      missmu RE: sheera1 Oct 26, 2010 04:07 PM

      You seem to have considered most possible options already. Whatever you do you will have to sacrifice something. My parents were recently at a Chinese-Indian wedding held at a banquet hall in the burbs, and the couple had Chinese and Indian caterers and buffet style, or if you like "food stations."

      2 Replies
      1. re: missmu
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        pbandjelly RE: missmu Jan 17, 2011 06:33 PM

        Hello missmu! Just read your post and am wondering if you know or can find out where your parent's friends held their Chinese-Indian wedding? My fiance and I are currently planning our Chinese-Indian wedding and have decided to serve "food stations/buffet style" of both Indian and Chinese cuisine. Would be a great help!

        Thanks!

        1. re: pbandjelly
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          missmu RE: pbandjelly Feb 9, 2011 04:02 AM

          Oops just saw this now. Will check with them on the weekend. Though some of the listings on this thread that do a mix of cuisines might meet your needs.

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        sillybuns79 RE: sheera1 Oct 26, 2010 04:46 PM

        Le Jardin banquet hall in Woodbridge provides Indian (I believe it's prepared by The Host restaurant) and North American cuisine:
        http://www.lejardin.com/weddings_cate...

        Gourmet Cuisine Catering makes both types of cuisine as well:
        http://www.gourmetcuisine.com/Toronto...

        Good luck!

        1. sasgirl RE: sheera1 Oct 27, 2010 07:09 AM

          Paradise Banquet Hall in Vaughn offers Italian and East Indian cuisine. My wedding was there and we had East Indian and Afghan food at ours. They can do 2 types of cuisine at one event.

          The menus for all the cuisine that they offer are online - http://www.paradisebanquethalls.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: sasgirl
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            ddelicious RE: sasgirl Oct 27, 2010 08:45 AM

            I would love to go to a wedding with both an italian and indian buffet! sounds great.

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              phoenikia RE: sasgirl Oct 28, 2010 08:15 AM

              If the original poster is willing to consider banquet halls, I agree that Paradise Halls is a good bet. They have an amazing antipasto bar option, including dozens of salads, prosciutto, fried calamari, etc.

              Paramount is also great, and offers both Indian and Italian menus. I'm sure you could choose dishes from both menus. http://www.bypeterandpauls.com/paramo...

              Buffet or food stations would be the best way to serve guests of different backgrounds who aren't exactly flexible, so the guests just choose exactly what they want to eat.

              I've been to events at Paramount where they have the appetizers served by servers walking around with platters, which also would work. Paramount also has woodburning ovens located in the foyer of their halls, so they can also serve flatcrust pizza right out of the oven. Maybe they can also serve fresh naan out of the oven (made in an oven rather than a tandoor). I've also enjoyed a risotto bar and a yogurt bar at Paramount. At one Greek wedding I attended at Paramount, the guests could enjoy midnight gyros, and loukamades in individual cups.

              The base price at Paramount and Paradise for a simple buffet dinner is probably closer to $80 per person, although it could easily reach $125-$150 or more if you include alchohol, appetizers, 7 -10 courses, midnight dessert buffet, chair covers, etc.

              I've been to many weddings featuring food from 2 or more cultures. Last weekeend, at my friend's French-Cdn, Irish & Argentinean wedding, grilled beef skewers with chimichurri were included as part of the set menu. The best buffet I've encountered at a wedding was at a Mexican-Greek wedding!

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              JennaBean RE: sheera1 Oct 27, 2010 08:48 AM

              As a person who has planned very large events for more than 10 years. My advice is to find a venue that will allow you two caterers and then go with food stations. It will save you some money and ensure that you get the best food from each respective culture.

              5 Replies
              1. re: JennaBean
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                sheera1 RE: JennaBean Oct 27, 2010 09:22 AM

                Thanks for the responses everyone. I do agree its a very intricate balancing act to combine cultures, respect parents and not blow the bank...

                I am against the food stations/buffets cause I think it breaks up the wedding. Then no one ends up sitting together while eating and it disrupts speeches etc.

                At 300, Le Jardin seems overwhelmingly big...I also wanted to stay away from banquet halls if possible...

                Thanks to everyone fo the suggestions, I wil hold on to them as I continue my search for a solution. :)

                1. re: sheera1
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                  JennaBean RE: sheera1 Oct 27, 2010 09:39 AM

                  If you must have a sit down dinner, you will need two caterers who can work together, and know the situation in advance, and an event planner to ensure that that everything comes together. If not, it really has the potential to be a nightmare.

                  1. re: sheera1
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                    sakina RE: sheera1 Oct 27, 2010 11:35 AM

                    I know of a good indian caterer for smaller events, buffets, etc.
                    Im not sure if has ever done a plated dinner for 300 people ( I know he has done buffets of this size) but his food was incredible!
                    Not sure if your venue will allow for independent chefs either - you will have to take that into consideration too.

                    Let me know where I can pm/email you his contact info if you are interested.

                    Good luck - let us know how this works out!

                    1. re: sheera1
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                      phoenikia RE: sheera1 Oct 28, 2010 08:34 AM

                      You can still have a table plan and a seating plan with a buffet banquet, so people are sitting together, sitting in exactly the same way they'd be sitting if there was table service.

                      At the better banquet halls, they run the buffet in an organized way, usually with 2 buffet tables in opposite ends of the hall so the lines are shorter. The head table goes first, and then tables are invited, 10-20 people at a time, so the lines are manageable. Staff helps serve the hot food, so it's not entirely self-service.

                      Since the whole table goes up at the same time, the table is eating together, so in effect, they are being served at the same time. There is time to go up for seconds, but the buffet is put away by the time speeches start, so the speeches are not disrupted. I've never noticed people hopping up and down the way they do at buffet restaurants at the wedding banquets I've attended.

                      Maybe one of the halls would let you drop by on an event they're hosting, so you can see the way their buffets are run.

                      Having an Indian buffet at one end of the hall, and a Italian buffet at another end of the hall, would be a lot easier for your guests and the staff than serving some guests an Indian meal and other guests an Italian meal. For guests who like both Indian and Italian food, they would be able to visit both buffets.

                      At most weddings I've attended, the speeches take place after dessert has been served.

                      I realize you mention you want to stay away from banquet halls, but with 300 guests, banquet halls are usually the most affordable solution. The museums and galleries charge closer to $200pp, and most of Toronto's restaurant kitchens cannot handle crowds of that size.

                      1. re: phoenikia
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                        JennaBean RE: phoenikia Oct 28, 2010 12:31 PM

                        You're so right phoenikia. I would never do a wedding without a seating plan and event flow regardless of how the food was severed. That's an assumption I didn't think I needed to state out loud. No big event can be a free-for-all. You need to maintain a certain amount of control over the whole thing or it will out of hand!

                  2. foodyDudey RE: sheera1 Oct 27, 2010 12:30 PM

                    What sort of food is $150 to $250 a person? I doubt just the food alone is usually costing as much as that. Better check the prices again!

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                      gimel RE: sheera1 Oct 27, 2010 05:54 PM

                      You could investigate La Vedette in Vaughn (http://www.lavedette.com/weddings_ser...

                      )

                      For our Hinjew wedding, they didn't charge extra for the fire (or have any fire by-law issues), unlike more downtown sites, and family style catering by The Host was great. Kosher requirements were met by an alternate or in house caterer. Word of warning - Indian guests may request Kosher just "for fun"... I think they do a lot of Italian and Greek weddings there, so it may be ideal for you.

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                        MeMeMe RE: sheera1 Oct 28, 2010 07:37 AM

                        Years ago I went to an excellent Indian/ British wedding in the US. The appetizer/ cocktail portion of the post-wedding celebration was Indian food (i ate so much - there was enough food for a whole meal) and then the sit-down dinner portion of the evening was more continental. I remember that wedding specifically for the food - it had the best of both worlds...and then we danced it all off. i'm sure you can find two caterers to work together. Our wedding was at the Liberty Grand and it holds a lot of people (our wedding was 325) and it doesn't have that 'banquet hall' feel.

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                          ManAbout RE: sheera1 Oct 28, 2010 10:29 AM

                          I went to an Indian/Portugese wedding at the Pearson Convention Centre. The Indian guests got served a sit down Indian dinner, while the Portugese guests were served a different menu with Steak and Chicken options. The Indian meal was very good. The fusion Indian dessert was excellent. As is usual with Portugese weddings, they had the midnight seafood buffet as well. Overall, the both the Indian and Portugese guests were happy with the food.

                          Somebody mentioned Paramount, I was there for a wedding this summer, it was an Indian wedding. I was not impressed with the Indian food at all. The same with the Woodbine Center. The Indian food left a lot to be desired.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ManAbout
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                            phoenikia RE: ManAbout Oct 28, 2010 10:34 AM

                            Too bad about the Indian food at Paramount. I trust your opinion when it comes to Indian food, ManAbout.

                            The Greek food at Paramount is the best Greek Banquet food in TO, but then again, the Hall is owned by a Greek, so he probably keeps a close watch on the Greek food coming out of the kitchen. I've only eaten Greek, Italian and Continental food at Paramount.

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                            cuisineme RE: sheera1 Oct 28, 2010 02:49 PM

                            The Royal York offers Indian food, and is so much nicer than the 905 banquet halls - they'll actually dim the lights and create some ambiance in the room.

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                              ddelicious RE: sheera1 Oct 29, 2010 06:40 PM

                              If you were open to reconsidering banquet halls, I'm sure any of the caterers which offer two cuisines at a buffet could do the same for a plated meal. It is common to offer a choice of main course, so why not have one Indian and one Italian?

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