It’s not every day that you get to witness a special wedding ceremony from one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. We recently catered Roxanne Bahadurji and Jason Duarte’s wedding that was steeped in the traditions of Zoroastrianism, a religion founded in ancient Iran approximately 3,500 years ago that combines aspects of Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and some Islam.
The beautiful ceremony and reception were held at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco with over 160 guests in attendance. Our gorgeous couple walked down an aisle lined with beautiful flowers floating in ornate, gold pedestals along with dramatic, brightly colored bouquets. At the end of the aisle was a small, delicately decorated stage where two silver platters awaited them, each holding a symbolic egg and coconut representing the wiping away of evil spirits. The mother of the bride circles the head of the groom seven times with an egg followed by a coconut, after which she smashes the two items on the ground to destroy any evilness within them. The groom’s mother then does the same thing to the bride. Once this process is completed, the bride and groom are now believed to be purified for the marriage ceremony.
Another traditional aspect of the ceremony was the act of holding a crisp, white sheet between the bride and groom while they both held grains of rice in their hands. The sheet was then dropped and the first person to throw rice at the other was declared to be the dominate one in the marriage.
Once the ceremony was complete, the guests made their way outside of the room to a cocktail reception with tray passed hors d’oeuvres of Tiny Thai Tombo Tuna Tacos, Miniature “Burger” Bites, Lamb Kabobs, Micro Roti, and Paneer and Vegetable Pakora Bites. There was also a Crudo Station on display where guests were invited to help themselves to individual servings of Shrimp Ceviche, Beet “Tartare” and Green Papaya Salads.
Our bartenders served special Bride and Groom cocktails. Roxanne chose our Cucumber Refresher as her drink with Gin, St. Germaine and hints of Cucumber, Lemon and Lime while Jason wanted an Old Fashioned with Bourbon, Vermouth and flavors of Black Cherry and Chocolate. We also served the ‘Dessert Before Dinner’ cocktail, which was a special blend of Cava and Port Wine.
For dinner, the guests made their way back to the ceremony room, which was transformed into an elegant dining area accented with stunning bouquets and centerpieces of deep red, pink and white. Once seated, everyone started with a Salad of Roasted Gold Beets, Burrata and Arugula, followed by their choice of Roasted Black Cod with Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and Parsnip Puree, or Grilled Rib Eye with Sautéed Broccoli, Preserved Lemon, Roasted Marble Potatoes, Niçoise Olives, “Sweety Drop” Pickled Peppers and a Saffron Raisin Emulsion. In addition, there was a vegetarian option of Crispy Lentil Cakes with Tandoori-Spiced Cauliflower, Curried Spinach, Mango Chutney and Saffron Rice.
Once dinner service was completed and the dancing was in full swing, guests were directed to a dessert table filled with Valrhona’s Manjari Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Compote Verrines, “Coffee Ambers,” mini servings of Crème Brûlée, Brown Butter Financiers and Assorted Colorful Parisian Macaroons.