For me, food can tell wonderful stories. Historically, it’s a way for people to come together and  connect, even when they do not speak the same language. This is why I love it when couples come to me with wonderfully wild and inspiring ideas for menus for their wedding.

A few months ago, I had the privilege of sharing a wonderful couple’s love story through food. Their entire celebration was centered around the food at the event, taking their guests on the journey of the love story.


Ted & Karen: The Love Story


Ted and Karen met in Mongolia while Ted was stationed there with the US Military. Shortly after they met, Ted was relocated to Tokyo, and this is where Ted and Karen fell in love. Ted is originally from Montana and also wanted to incorporate Montana cuisine into the wedding menu, to share the food culture of his childhood with all of this guests, mostly from out of town.


After several conversations, brainstorming, reaching out to other talented chefs, and drawing on my own time spent cooking and traveling in Japan, we landed on a wonderful menu. I also happened to have a great friend in Chicago who is Mongolian and helped consult on some of the food – it was so much fun for me to explore the wonderful flavors of the Mongolian culture.


Creating the menu took a lot of time and work, but in the end it was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Ted and Karen were so passionate and knowledgeable about Mongolian food that I felt like I was able to connect with them and really learn a lot about them as a couple during our conversations. Also, many of the guests at their wedding had never been to Japan, so sharing the food of Japanese culture helped to take guests on an immersive experience of how they fell in love.


At the end of the night, Ted and Karen thanked us by having a drink with my team in the kitchen. We realized that this experience had brought us together and helped us form a wonderful connection. I will always remember their wedding fondly.


The Menu




We did these items as part of a two hour cocktail hour so people really had a chance to try and enjoy everything.

  • Lamb Buuz with a cardamom yogurt sauce (Mongolian).
  • Pork Belly Kuushur with a spicy mustard and sweet garlic sauce ( Mongolian).
  • Chicken Yakitori (Japanese).
  • Nigiri Bites (Salmon, Ahi Tuna and Trout Roe) Japanese.
  • Kishimono (Japanese).


Lamb Buuz with a cardamom yogurt sauce.


Nigiri Bites.


Pork Belly Kuushur with a spicy mustard and sweet garlic sauce .



We did this family style to create a nostalgia around serving food from home for Ted.

  • MT Elk Medallions with a huckleberry glaze.
  • MT Trout Beurre Blanc with a local microgreen salad.
  • Classic Au Gratin Potatoes.
  • Hericort Verts with Crispy Shallots and Toasted Almonds.
  • Grilled Lemon Asparagus.
  • Homemade classic dinner rolls.
  • Green Waldorf Salad.