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Sonoma Wedding Reception Shines with Sonoma-Grown Ingredients

Ramekins Culinary School - Sonoma County

For many wedding receptions, the food is an important focal point. Because let’s be honest, while it’s “all eyes on the bride,” it can also be “all eyes on the buffet.”

For a Sonoma Wine Country wedding, the food can take on extra significance. Given the local bounty that thrives here, a good chef will feature just-picked fruits, vegetables and herbs, alongside locally produced meats, seafood and honey.

For guests at an event hosted by Ramekins Culinary School & Inn of Sonoma, a meal doesn’t get much fresher. The property has its own 5th Street Farms nearby, where the proprietors grow their farm-to-table produce. Based on what’s seasonal, the executive chef prepares a custom menu, and cooks it in the world-class kitchen right on-site.

A menu may take a theme, depending on the wedding couple’s preference.

“Field, Orchard & Dairy,” for example, might include an array of small bites like Lipstick Pepper gazpacho shooters garnished with lime zest and cilantro, crispy stuffed squash blossoms with Sonoma pepper jack and roasted peppers, English pea and mascarpone toast with fresh mint, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, sweet Delicata squash whipped with brown butter on toast points with poached pear, Marin French blue and walnut shortbreads with fig marmalade and Cabernet syrup, mini leek and gruyère quiche, and polenta cakes stuffed with mushrooms and fontina topped in tomato confiture.

“Pasture & Ranch” might offer meaty small bites like curried chicken sliders with toasted almonds and Sultana raisins, thinly sliced Sonoma duck breast on potato gaufrette with tart cherry glaze, mushroom caps stuffed with Italian sausage and Asiago cheese, bacon wrapped Medjool dates stuffed with Laura Chenel goat cheese and walnuts, wild mushroom crostini with triple cream brie and caramelized pancetta, mini barbecued pulled pork sandwiches with shaved fennel and apple cider slaw, and beef bourguignon profiteroles with Point Reyes blue cheese mousse.

Some events — ranging from showers, to rehearsal dinners to receptions and post-wedding family brunches — take place in the Great Room, elegant with oak beam vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Others are held outdoors in the rustic European-inspired courtyard which boasts an antique limestone fountain and French doors.

Wherever they’re enjoyed, meals can be as casual or as formal as a couple likes. Lavish multi-course sit-down dinners are custom designed for as many as 175 people, and the feast becomes a talking point as guests savor the Sonoma-grown roasted 5th Street Farms beets with wild arugula, Black Mission figs, toasted pecans and La Bodega sherry vinaigrette, or honey-brined Petaluma chicken breast with mascarpone whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus and lemon zest.

To add that extra-special Wine Country accent to the supper, the chef might even come out of the kitchen, to introduce the ingredients as they’re served.

Details: Ramekins Culinary School & Inn, 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma, 707-933-0450.


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