Wedding – Caterer
When I moved from Blacksburg, I expected to miss the mountains. I expected to miss my friends. What I didn’t expect to miss was the food. In Blacksburg, I had a variety of options at my disposal. I’m afraid I took that for granted. When I moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, I found myself deprived of past staples. Elizabeth City doesn’t have Ethiopian food. It doesn’t have Indian food. It doesn’t have Thai. As a result, when we do venture out of Elizabeth City, that’s what I want. Ethiopian, Indian or Thai. Or Chic-Fil-A. We don’t have one of those either. 🙂
In the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area, Ryan quickly introduced me to Rajput Indian Cuisine. Absolutely delicious. Everything’s so, so good. I had found my new favorite restaurant. After that, anytime we were in the market for supper in that area, we were most likely going to Rajput.
When we started down the road for wedding planning, I didn’t make the connection at first… that you could actually have your favorite restaurant cater. We looked through a listing of caterers and reviewed menus and plate costs. Nothing really stuck out and worse– the whole idea of a “real wedding” was becoming more and more intimidating. Linens and flatware and silverware. Oh gosh, don’t forget the cups. That’s a lot of trouble for a meal you aren’t particularly jazzed about.
Enter Rajput and Paul Chhabra. They do full service catering! Suddenly, not only did we have a meal to look forward to…. but we had knowledgeable, unflustered Paul Chhabra in our ranks. Ryan and I didn’t know what we were doing and that was okay because Paul did know what he was doing. He took care of all those details that were so scary– the linens, the plates, the forks, the cups. He had questions we never would have thought of. He had recommendations. He had suggestions. He had answers.
He also had vision. Three weeks before the wedding, Paul and I met with Jennifer Turlington at the Virginia Living Museum for a walk through. At one point Jennifer asked where I wanted the cake table.
“Uh…..” I had no clue.
“What about right there? In front of that painting?” Paul asked.
That’s where we put it. And wow. Our nature themed cake looked so lovely in front of that backdrop.
We ended up doing a buffet dinner featuring chicken, vegetarian and vegan options. I was concerned about the children and my boss Larry, so we added in a special selection for the more finicky souls. Greg Z went into the buffet line with a plan. “Save room on your plate.” He instructed his wife, “The best stuff on a buffet is always last!” Greg stayed true to his own strategy. He kept plenty of open space on his plate, only to discover the last item was… chicken fingers and french fries. 🙂
When I arrived at the reception, I could smell the aroma of delicious Rajput food. I saw Paul and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. For months, he had squelched all my worries, alleviated all my stress and then he delivered a fabulous meal. With that, I just had to give my caterer a hug!
Paul and I had another bonding moment. At the very end of the reception as everyone started to clean up, the DJ put on Slumdog Millionaire’s Jai Ho. A young man started to dance and put on a phenomenal show. A small crowd gathered and found themselves mesmorized. Paul stood next to me and we both watched with big smiles.
“That’s my son!” he said. He said that statement with pride. It was well-founded pride.
I truly believe Rajput was the turning point of our whole wedding planning process. I think it is very possible that if Rajput had not come on board, Ryan and I would have ended up with a very different, smaller event. With food to be excited about and all Paul’s expertise, we got to stay calm and relaxed and celebrate with so, so many more loved ones. Ahh, and I got Chicken Tikka Masala and decadent rice pudding to boot. 🙂
|Wedding Vendor –Caterer
Rajput Indian Cuisine
742 W. 21st Street
Norfolk, VA 23517
Phone: (757) 625-4634