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Chef Heidi

Chef Heidi    |    Weddings

Food inspiration of the month- CITRUS!

While the lemonade sipping warm days of summer are still ages away, I am buried under a pile of summer wedding plans. Nothing thrills me more than working with summer brides whose color palettes are fresh and fun! Citrus colors and flavors seem to be at the forefront of my brides minds, and I couldn’t be happier. Nothing screams summer more to me than vases filled with bright yellow lemons, or candied citrus rind in a champagne martini, or fuchsia bridesmaid dresses paired with lime green bouquets. Bring on the summer!

There are many ways to bring a citrus element into your summer wedding. When thinking of your wedding cake, think of a lemon cream layered angel food cake topped with citrus flavored butter cream icing.   If strawberry shortcake was your dessert of choice as a kid (which it just happened to be for me), have a four tiered strawberry shortcake decorated with lime wedges in between the tiers.  What little kid hasn’t dreamed of that? Remember, let your inner child shine and incorporate childhood memories into your wedding plans. It will be that much more special for you and your guests.

As for your cocktail hour, come up with a fabulous signature drink that brings in all those summery citrus flavors. One of my favorite cocktails is my Clementine Vodka Splash. Combine 2 ounces of citrus flavored vodka with 1 ounce of tripe sec. Shake with ice and pour into a chilled sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with 2 slices of candied clementine on a skewer. It is heavenly!

Another refreshing element to bring into your meal is an Intermezzo Course between the appetizer and the main meal. Nothing cleanses the palette more than Chef Heidi’s Lemon Riesling Sorbet. Simply delicious!

My last fun idea for the day is to send your guests home with a homemade package of candied citrus wedges packaged in a small burlap box and tied with lime green ribbon. The possibilities are endless! If you are one of those brides whose color palette is inspired by those summery citrus colors, look to some of these photos for inspiration!

Happy Planning!


Thinking outside the rainbow

I will be the first one to admit that I am a fan of the classics. Feed me steak frites any night of the week, followed by vanilla cake topped off with vanilla buttercream icing. My cocktail of choice is always a glass of Cabernet (very original), and nothing makes me happier than a bouquet of white roses. So, for all you classic brides out there…don’t try to be something you are not! Be classic in every sense of the word. If you are true to yourself, the result is always beautiful.

Throughout my career, my classic side has managed to mesh quite well with my other side…the side that I would call my eclectic or funky side. When you are a wedding planner, you need to find numerous sources of inspiration. In order to find these sources and use them succesfully, you need to find out what inspires you. I would give the same advice to all of my brides. Dig deep…dig REALLY deep and find what excites you. Only then will you start to see magical things happen during your planning process. Nothing excites me more than a carefully thought out color palette. If you are trying to make your wedding stand out from the crowd, think COLOR! And this is where you brides, even the classic brides, need to think “outside the rainbow”.

The sky is the limit with color palettes, and today I am going to share with you two of my favorite unconventional color palettes. The first is lavender and red. This combination went down in my book as a favorite color palette after working with a couple who were trying to tie in the bride’s Chinese heritage with her favorite color, lavender. We managed to bring red and lavender together in a way that was so beautiful. Red sashes with homemade silk flowers were tied around bridesmaides lavender chiffon dresses, bouquets of purple hydrangea, red roses, lavender spray roses, and fresia were the center of attention at every table, personalized chocolate bar wedding favors were wrapped in lavender paper and tied with red string, and red velvet mini cupcakes were the stand out display at the sweet table.

My second favoirte unconventional color palette is turquoise and fuschia. Most commonly thought of as a beach wedding palette, this beautiful combination is certainly not limited to the beach. One of my favorite weddings that I worked on that incorporated this color palette was a June backyard wedding. Banners of fuschia flags hung over the bar and sweet table spelling out “how sweet it is”, pitchers of sangria were surrounded by turquoise stained glass tumblers, a beautiful white wedding cake was filled with fresh rasberries and cream and decorated ever so elegantly with turquoise fondant, and fuschia parasols doubled up as sun shades and wedding favors.

As always, I will leave you with some photos from my inspiration boards. Enjoy!

Happy Planning!



The Rise of White Chocolate

True white chocolate has a beautiful ivory color and a velvety, buttery flavor.  Nibbling good white chocolate is all about the experience of flavor and texture.

Most of us know the general process of making chocolate but how is white chocolate created?  Dark, milk and white chocolate all begin the same way.  Cocoa nibs which are part of the cocoa bean are roasted and ground into finer and finer particles.  This creates a substance called chocolate liquor or cocoa mass.  Despite the liquor term there is no alcohol involved in this step.  At this point the chocolate liquor consists of  50-60% cocoa butter and 46-48% cocoa powder. 

Now the chocolate varieties begin to differ.  The light colored cocoa butter is separated from the dark “powder”.  Dark and milk chocolates will each be created from the cocoa powder by adding vanilla, sugar and/or milk with some cocoa butter added back in.  White chocolate, however, is fashioned from the rich cocoa butter.  The term butter defines the look and feel of the product as there is no dairy in cocoa butter.  Askinosie Chocolate, a chocolate producer in Missouri, adds goats milk powder and cane sugar juice to produce their award winning, white chocolate bar.  Each fine chocolate producer adds their own touches to their cocoa butter to create their unique flavor profile. 

There has never been more chocolatiers creating great white chocolate allowing us to have many nibbling experiences.


Serve with freshly baked oatmeal cookies!

 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar or agave syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. orange zest

5 ounces grated or finely chopped quality white chocolate, such as El Rey, Askinosie, Valrhona or Guittard

  • Combine and blend above ingredients in a bowl.

 3 cups milk

  • In a saucepan, heat the milk until very warm, about 175F
  • Add the white chocolate mix and whisk until the chocolate is melted.
  • Whisk constantly until the mixture is very warm, about 175F.

 Enjoy!  Chef Heidi


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