Lori and her partner Dave prepped and presented twenty 7 1/2 pound locally produced & grain fed chickens, raised specifically for our wedding. Lori & Dave had pieced, marinated and pre-roasted over 140 pounds of chicken for our groomsmen Grill Masters.
Lori Maxwell did all this with a broken hand! A week before she was set to pick up the chickens the owner & operator of Bare Roots Catering in Nova Scotia got sidewsiped in Sackville, incurring the injury.
(I, the bride to be) was in a panic I had suggested "Lori maybe you should bail...? I can pull something together." The whole time I'm thinking how is she going to handle the prep & cooking of all this food in the next 3 days with a broken hand?
That's when Dave, her handsome and able partner stepped in.
My husband had made one simple rule prior to any planning of our main event: 'we're going to adopt everything we like of a traditional canadian wedding and nothing we don't.'
The rule seemed simple.
After a little research it was clear that an entry level cost for a wedding in Nova Scotia is $20K. I believe this is a contributing factor to why a lot people just don't bother with a wedding anymore. Once this reality washed over, we knew creativity was a must. My biggest concern was the food. And his too in retrospect. The difference being, his concern was the menu, mine was how the heck do we pull this off on our budget?
All of our guests were foodies and we the immediate family are of the most discerning. David Lee's Mom is Virginia Lee. His Aunt is Elaine Elliot. Together they have over 25 published cookbooks. Not to mention the Altantic and Pacific Flavours series. Add all of their family & friends, then take the aspiring gourmands on the Robinson side of the family and you have the impossible task of pleasing everyone.
Instead of trying to make the food fancy we opted for Local and Fresh. Lori Maxwell had all kinds of great suggestions when it came to keeping the food within a 50 mile radius. Lori is also very well connected with local organic producers having helped to manage and run an organic Farm. She knew where to find local corn in mid-July. The bulk of Nova Scotia corn crops are not ready until mid to late August. Lori snatched up beautiful French breads baked on the South Shore and had a local baker make a huge spicy Carrot Cake with the best cream cheese dressing ever.
When the day finally arrived it poured rain in the morning. Our ceremony was set for noon on the Minas Basin, just outside of Port Williams. As I peered out of the garage standing in wait for my walk down the aisle, all I saw was a sea of umbrellas and rain coats. But as luck would have it, the rain stopped just long enough to allow us to make our journey to the water's edge. Dave and I got through our vows and guests had said the sun actually shone brighter through the clouds at that moment. After the signing of the papers and kicking off the garden party, the wedding party ran down the aisle through seated guests and headed straight to the bar. And then the rain started again.
During the garden party, I'm thinking to myself 'how is it going at the farm' for the reception dinner? Is everything soaked? Are Lori and Dave ready for all of us to arrive? Where is everyone going to sit if it pours?
When the caravan from the Ceremony arrived at our home for the evening Recpeption Dinner and Dance, we were welcomed by tables beautifully set, with fresh cut flowers from our gardens, a terrific white tarp strung with white christmas lights hanging from the maple trees. The Bar was open and drinks were being poured, and the FOOD welll you could smell it 5 acres away.
All of the food was served from inside the 'Little House' as we call it. The Little House is a guest cottage we renovated on the property. Lori had set up her serving station inside and brought her chalk boards indicating the menu, ingredients and how many kms each of the foods were sourced from. It was clever, simple and perfectly our style. People loved it!
As the head table took their seats, we watched as guests poured out of the Little House, their plates mounded with various flavours of organic free range chicken, locally raised lamb, greek, romesco and cabbage salads. Facial expressions across all tables at the reception dinner confirmed Lori and Bare Roots Catering is an untapped resource in Nova Scotia. She is home grown, as is her food and ability to adapt to changing situations.
I wrote this story as an added thank you to Lori and Bare Roots Catering for the unbelievable job she did catering my Nova Scotia wedding. Lori is a qualified Chef and has worked throughout Canada. She takes all the stress out of providing great food & hospitality.
With Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas not too far away, think Bare Roots.
Lori Maxwell will take care of everything!
Sincerely, the Bride