Why You Should Have a Top Chef Cater Your Wedding

Treat your reception guests to a unique (and delicious) restaurant-style experience.

 Sure, you could hire a caterer for your wedding (and there are many great ones in the Hudson Valley). But there’s something extra-special about having a top chef design your menu and prepare your wedding feast. And with foodie culture showing no signs of slowing down, more couples are going the top-chef route. Is there a chef whose cuisine you really love? A restaurant you both consider “your place”? Why not share your your favorite cuisine with your wedding guests? 


Dafna Mizrahi

Monte’s Local Kitchen & Tap Room, Amenia​

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Cuisine: farm-forward New American (the same style that helped this 20-something become a Chopped champion in 2015) 

Signature Dishes: kale salad, sliders, and lobster rolls 

Favorite Local Venues: anything outdoors, from barns to ski slopes

What’s Trending: Stations are the way to go. People love to watch others cook — plus, stations are interactive. 

If I were catering my wedding, I’d serve… tacos all the way. 

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The best way to save a few bucks is to… portion properly. 

Pricing: varies



Michael Kaphan​

Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish, North Salem; Hudson Farmer & the Fish, Sleepy Hollow
North Salem

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Cuisine: seafood (oyster lovers, this one’s for you) and farm-fresh produce — grown on a four-acre farm surrounding the restaurant. 

Signature Dishes: raw bar, farm table with selection of vegetables and purees, Hudson Valley-cured meats, and New York State cheeses

Favorite Local Venues: Three Ponds Farm in North Salem, John Jay Homestead in Katonah, The Hill in Hudson

What’s Trending: The biggest trend we’re seeing is open-fire wood-burning cookery of primal cuts of meat and whole fish. Many of our clients also request that we grow specific vegetables for their event. 

If I were catering my wedding, I’d serve… a clam bake or lobster boil and wood-fired rib-eyes with Hudson Valley corn still in the husk. For cocktail hour, it would be Fisher Island oysters and Ossetra caviar. 

I’d like to see couples ask for… more input from the caterer during the planning process. 

Please never ask me… to sacrifice the integrity of the ingredients to save a couple bucks. 

Pricing: from $100/person



Peter X. Kelly 

X2O Xaviars on Hudson, Yonkers;
Restaurant X, Congers

Cuisine: Kelly is the Hudson Valley’s OG celebrity chef, and his cuisine is a confluence of traditional American cookery, Asian flavors, and elegant presentation and service. 

Signature Dishes: shellfish crêpe with star-anise glaze, braised short ribs, and black cod with honey and sake 

Favorite Local Venues: Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison and Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville

What’s Trending: dinner by the bite and farm-to-table family-style meals 

If I were catering my wedding, I’d serve… a luxurious array of butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated dinner. 

The best way to save a few bucks is to… trust your caterer and not get talked into things you don’t need or want. 

I’d like to see couples ask for… my recommendations when planning their events. It’s nice to become part of the family and create a relationship that can last for years to come. 

Pricing: from $120/person



Zak Pelaccio

​Fish & Game and Backbar, Hudson 

Cuisine: An eclectic mix of Hudson Valley cuisine (for which he won the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast) and the Malaysian flavors he first garnered praise for at NYC’s Fatty Crab.  

Signature Dishes: whole-smoked pig and whole lamb
Favorite Local Venues: Private homes and estates
What’s Trending: Live-fire cooking

If I were catering my wedding, I’d serve…whole
wood-fired lamb with yogurt; grilled sardines with sambal; summer bean salad with garlic, anchovy, chili, and vinegar; smoked trout larb with Bibb lettuce; and wild-rice salad with tons of fresh herbs. 

The best way to save a few bucks is to…go buffet.
The food is better and it requires fewer servers. 

Pricing: Catering fees start at $2,500, and vary by menu and distance from Hudson. 



The Cookery and The Parlor,
Dobbs Ferry

Cuisine: fresh pastas, Nonna-style comfort foods (house-made mozzarella and tender meatballs) and pork prepared every which way. His DoughNation pizza truck does Neapolitan pies with funky toppings (e.g., bone marrow or scamorza and lemon). 

Signature Dishes: whole-roasted suckling pig and Everything
Bagel pizza

Favorite Local Venue: Captain Lawrence Brewing Company

What’s Trending: People are moving away from traditional sit-down dinners and toward longer cocktail- and family-style menus. 

If I were catering my wedding, I’d serve… a lot of whole-animal dishes, fish, and vegetables, roasted over a wood fire in the style of Francis Mallmann. 

The best way to save a few bucks is to… do something different, like having food trucks in your backyard. 

Please never ask me… for a choice: fish, chicken, or beef. 

Pricing: from $120/person


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