Past Meetup

Meetup #170: The Wedding Meetup! International Buffet and Crockembouche Making

Price: $35.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


Dear members,

This is to celebrate the marriage of our member couple Anne and James (yes, they gave me permission to disclose their names). Anne joined my group in summer 2008, and James joined earlier this year. They met at the meetup in January held at Anisette Brasserie in Santa Monica which was James' first meetup of my group he attended. And the courtship started soon after (which I wasn't aware of until later). Yep, James, you worked very quick, before anybody else could take her away! lol

(Meetup #98: Le Dejeuner pres de La Promenade à Santa Monica) (

Here's the menu presented by Brandi, executive chef at Surfas with the help of Kristen, sous chef. I owe so much to John at Surfas.... Thank you very much for your cooperation and arrangements! Without John, this unique event wouldn't have been possible.

~Special wedding buffet menu created for the event by Brandi and Kristen of Sufas~

-Thai: Yellow chicken curry with Jasmine rice

-Spain: Huevos a la Flamenca Egg dish with chorizo, Serrano ham, smoked paprika, onions, tomato, peas and potato.

-Italy: Traditional Italian wedding soup

-Middle East/North Africa: Hummus, Babaganoush, tabouleh, grilled veggie salad with assorted breads and crackers.

-Asian: Soba Noodle salad with snow peas, bean sprouts, red pepper pickled ginger and sweet chili yuzu dressing

-All over the world Cheese station with assorted cheeses, dried fruits, nuts and condiments.

-Fresh fruit station with sweetened Greek yogurt.


-Iced Liquid Jade Tea ( blend of green and white teas)

-Mango mint lemonade




From 12-1pm, Kei, our baking member/instructor and a professional pastry chef of Sashi Sushi and Sake Lounge in Manhattan Beach, will guide us in making our own croquembouche (traditional French wedding cake made with cream puffs) in the demo kitchen. (The Surfas demo room with the kitchen is going to be enclosed and decorated... no other customers can peek and we'll have privacy). We'll have premade cream puff shells from Surfas and custard cream prepared by Kei. Our job is to fill puff shells with custard, make caramel sauce, glue 180 cream puffs together with caramel sauce and build them into a tower. That will be fun!! Thank you very much, Kei, for teaching us. I'm very excited to learn this traditional French dessert!

The meal will start at 1pm. The food is prepared by Surfas chefs, and unfortunately it's not a cooking meetup this time except croquembouche making. It's buffet-style, but we'll sit at long tables together.

If you'd like to come for the meal only, please come at 1pm. If you want to help make croquembouche, please come at 12pm. Croquembouche making would take more than an hour, so even after 1pm the project of making croquembouche will go on until the cake is built by Kei and volunteers while people dine, and at the end of the meal, we'll eat the croquembouche together.

Dress code: Dressy casual (you don't have to wear a tie, or a formal dress, but no T-shirt or shorts please.) Since the bride wants to keep it for their official wedding next year in Paris to wear a formal gown, they won't be in traditional wedding attire either.

Gift: Not required to bring any gift. Your paid attendance is generous enough. Thank you. But a card will be nice if you know them or would like to bring (-not mandatory though, and you can just bring yourself and appetite! lol)

The fee is $35 prepaid including the meal and croquembouche. As you can see in the menu, beverages are available such as water, ice tea, special lemonade, tea and coffee. But no alcohol is included and if you want to purchase wine bottles there to consume, please let me know. You can also buy a bottle together with other members if you wish. In that case, please bring cash. And do not bring in your own alcohol.

If you'd like to attend this unique event, please make online payment now to secure your spot and please indicate if you'd like to come to help make the croquembouche or come for the meal only. The couple opted for making the event for this group only and no guests on their own will be invited, so it will be 20 of us altogether.

(And regarding the traditional wedding foods around the world for quite some time, my search only brought back result of dishes of rice, bread or desserts, and except for a few dishes, I couldn't really find main dish or appetizers or side dishes. So I asked John at Surfas for help and he introduced me to their executive chef Brandi. She and Kristen in the kitchen came up with a fabulous menu above based on my request. I know Italian wedding soup is not really associated with wedding, but more like "marriage" between ingredients, but still it's a good choice. Thank you very much for John, Brandi, and Kristen to make this feast come true and I'm very excited about this unique event combined with the baking lesson of croquembouche by Kei. Regarding Festive Jewish challah bread, thank you for your help, but I decided to do it later this year....I'm thinking of Jewish Holiday cooking meetup and would like to include challah bread making as well.)



Dear members,

Hope you're doing fine.

As I've told you before, two members who came and met at my meetups recently got married, and they took me up on my offer of holding a casual wedding celebration for them as a meetup-style (their official wedding is going to be next July in Paris!).

It's going to be at the kitchen/demo room at Surfas..yes, the cooks' heaven in Culver City. The room will be closed in so only our members can attend. They'll have long tables to seat 20 from my group and 15 from the couple's friends and families. Our member, John, who works at Surfas has been helping me coordinate (thank you!) and I bet it's going to be a cozy gathering to celebrate their marriage with good food!

We'll have Kei, our baking instructor, teach us how to make croquembouche, the traditional French wedding cake made of many cream puffs glued together with caramel sauce into a tower.

And for the food, I would like to have an international wedding buffet. I've been doing research on different traditions and would like to present festive foods from all around the world! For example:

-Indian wedding biryani: http://en.petitchef.c... (

-Pastel de Cambraye: Northern Argentine wedding pie with sweet spiced beef and meringue topping

-Osekihan: Japanese steamed sweet rice with azuki beans cooked only for special happy occasions

-Sodd - Norwegian wedding soup

-Festive Jewish challah bread with chocolate chips and cranberries

-Bulgarian wedding honey cake: "The groom’s mother feeds the newlyweds a sweet honeyed cake and wine and wishes them a long and sweet life together. She then holds a loaf of freshly-baked bread over her head and invites the couple to each pull one end of it; whichever one gets the bigger piece will have the biggest role in the new family.

Interesting, huh?! I bet there are many more traditional wedding food in the world. If you know any, please let me know! The above items are just for example...they may or may not be included in the final menu, but I'll let you know.

The date is Sun[masked] from 12pm. Wow, do you see the consecutive numbers of[masked]? Yes, I really wish them long, continuous happiness! :-)

And because of the time-constraint (we can use the room for 3 hours max), it's not going to be a full cooking meetup I thought of earlier. I'm still developing the menu with a help of a Surfas executive chef, but I'll try to keep the price around $30 to 35 per person including (hopefully 7-10) international food buffet and making of the special dessert of croquembouche.

I'll announce more details later, but if you'd like to join the celebration, please sign up now!

Thank you for reading, and hope to see you there



  • Sally

    Well, Susan, thank you for your compliment. However, as I said in the writeup, it was not me, but Surfas' chefs who developed the menu! lol Glad they did a good job, and I'm sure the food will be superb! Are you coming at 12pm or 1pm?

    8 years ago
  • Andree

    I look forward to this!

    8 years ago
  • Anne

    Thank you so much Sally for organizing this lovely event for James and I! Surfas is a great venue, and the food was delicious! The croquembouche lesson from Kei was great, it was a lot of fun to participate in making the traditional wedding cake! We had a lot of fun!!
    Thanks again!

    8 years ago