The wedding itself was gorgeous perfection. The bride was nothing short of stunning. The groom was beaming. The venue was amazing. (Willows Inn, if you ever find yourself in the area). The ceremony was intimate, personal and tear-jerking (yep, I cried, despite the fact that I'd only met the couple the night before). The weather was epic. And the food...well, the food was spectacular. Probably some of the best wedding food I've had.
I had a hunch it was going to be a treat when I overheard the officiator introduce herself to the chef as he cruised around the deck during the rehearsal dinner. He introduced himself as Justin, and I thought, gosh this guy looks familiar. I dismissed the small chance I knew who he was and blamed my bad eyesight for failing me yet again. But then, my boyfriend's dad casually mentioned that the guy use to have a place in Capitol Hill in Seattle. Ding-Ding-Ding. I guess my eyes aren't that bad after all. Justin Niedermeyer--the former and premiere pasta maker at Spinasse--was cooking this lovely couple's wedding meal. AWESOME.
I didn't get the full story on how he ended up at this place but know it has something to do with him hunkering down for a bit after traveling to Italy. And to be frank, I didn't care why he was on that that little, idyllic island--I just thought it was amazing to be eating the guy's food for a wedding I was already adoring.
The even better part? The bulk of the meal was sourced with ingredients from Lummi. I've known local, farm-to-table meals have a different, most often better taste than dishes that were made the other way around for awhile (much love, Alice Waters). But this meal slapped me in the face with a tasty reminder. Some salmon from the Sound. Some greens from one of the many nearby farms. Some bread that was made in the kitchen earlier that day. Some lamb that was raised on the island. All of it incredible.
And yes, Niedermeyer of course did a pasta. It was a spinach-filled Cannelloni that was rich and crispy and tender and savory and...sigh, perfect. But the taste that's still making my mouth water is the roasted cauliflower, made with olive oil, salt, pepper and red chili flakes. It really is the simple things with me.
I tried a bit of everything and was so full I could barely do a second glass of champagne, a rarity for me, as I think I've been clear that I love my bubbles. A lot.
Unfortunately, I didn't get any shots of the food (or the rest of the wedding, for that matter). A memory lapse meant I left my camera on the bed at the farmhouse where we stayed. I did get a few shots earlier that day of the scenery though, which I actually think are more important in this case. The food was definitely a standout. But it was sharing it with some pretty incredible people, during a weekend I felt seriously fortunate to be a part of, in a place that looked like this, that really made it an experience: