We apologize in advance if this post ignites a serious ice cream/cake/sweets craving, but we guarantee it’ll all be worth it (plus, hey, if we’re going down, we’re taking you with us): if you are at all interested in ice cream cake—and who among us isn’t?—you’ve got to check out the amazing creations that are coming out of the kitchen of Kristina Beese (who’s also a local photographer!) and Tom Williamson over at The Beese Knees.
When Jeffrey Miller was a sophomore at Penn, he started a catering business right out of his dorm room: “$5.50 for fresh-squeezed OJ, champagne, Eggs Benedict, strawberries with Grand Marnier and coffee—what a deal!” he says of his early days in the business.
Now, it’s 35 years later, and Jeffrey A. Miller Catering turns out 400 weddings a year at their 10 exclusive venues; if you’ve attended a wedding or event at the Racquet Club, Lake House Inn or Aldie Mansion, for starters, then you’ve experienced JAM Catering for yourself.
And so, we caught up with Mr. Miller to ask him about what he’s loving right now, from the thing he’s most proud of when it comes to JAM venues, to what he craves when he’s not eating his own food.
When it comes to wedding-day desserts, the all-important multi-tiered confection draped in fondant doesn’t have to be the only sweet treat your party guests get to nibble on—and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more darling companion to the coffee service at your reception than the heart-shaped teacup cookies coming out of local baker Jess Balmer’s Kitchen on Mermaid Lane.
Q: I know that it’s standard practice to offer a vegetarian option for the dinner at our wedding, but these days, I feel like everyone is doing the gluten-free thing—including, we’re assuming, some of our guests. (Whether they’re all doing it for allergy reasons or because it’s a fad is another story.) Must we now offer a gluten-free option, too?
When you think about the drinks that will be served at your wedding—signature or otherwise—your thoughts are most likely focused on the cocktails, and not so much on the coffee and tea service that’ll wrap up your reception. More often than not, your venue or caterer has the whole thing taken care of—but why not treat your guests to a smooth, small batch cup of joe from one of Philly’s many local roasters?
There are quite a few variations on the wedding reception dinner, and at least as many reasons to go with one over the other. Maybe you’ve got a giant guest list for a celebration you’re starting later in the evening, and it just makes sense to go with a cocktail party. If your wedding is very formal and traditional, chances are you’ll do a seated, multi-course dinner—and if you’re throwing a rustic outdoor celebration, family style is such a sweet way to serve your meal.
The Washington Post mused today on whether the whole freezing the top tier of your wedding cake for the purposes of sentimental consumption on your first anniversary thing is a tradition that should just die already.
So, while I think that whether or not you choose to follow this tradition is completely a matter of preference and that it’s definitely not necessary for a tradition to not exist (or die) in order for a couple to voluntarily just, you know, not follow it, what I did find interesting in the piece was a whole slew of pointers for successfully freezing and defrosting your wedding cake, if that’s an effort you’re choosing to put forth.
They basically break down like this:
For the past five years, Fishtown’s Whipped Bakeshop has been turning out buttery cupcakes, cookies, cakes and other sweet treats that we wouldn’t be surprised to hear you have scarfed down yourself, popular as the shop has grown in its few years on the scene. Owner Zoë Lukas has a degree in painting (which certainly explains why her cake designs are so gorg), but opened the shop in 2009 with her husband Brennen when she decided that her lifetime love of baking was the path she wanted to follow.
You’ll frequently see Lukas’s beautiful (and so good—trust us) work in the pages of PW, but we thought we’d check in with her to find out about a few of her favorite things.