If you ask any vegan couple what the hardest part of planning their wedding was, you'll probably get one answer: choosing the food. Deciding to have an entirely plant-based menu can be intimidating—you not only want to create dishes that align with your beliefs, but you also want to keep your guests happy and satisfied. Luckily, there's a way to do both. Matthew Kenney, CEO and founder of Plantlab, knows a thing or two about food. With 12 cookbooks, a culinary academy, and multiple restaurants under his belt—including the famed Plant Food + Wine—he's one of the world's most renowned plant-based chefs. So who better to decide on a menu both vegans and non-vegans will enjoy?
"Weddings are the most beautiful celebration of love, and deserve a menu which embodies sustainability, health, and vibrancy. A plant-based menu will energize the special day while also offering a unique experience not typically found at weddings," Kenney says. "Summer ingredients are fragrant, full of brilliant color, and complement the positive spirit of two people coming together in life." From creative dishes to warm up the crowd to desserts that will leave them begging for more, here's the ultimate wedding menu courtesy of Kenney himself. Give it to your plant-based caterer or chef and let them work their magic to replicate it on your big day.
- Flora Artisanal Cheese Tasting: White truffle and smoked cheddar nut-based cheeses served on seeded crackers with seasonal pickles on the side
- Hearts of Palm Ceviche: Ceviche made from hearts of palm with summer fruits and vegetables, topped with edible flowers
- Massaged Kale Salad: Kale salad served with coconut lime dressing, avocado, and spiced macadamia
- Heirloom Tomato: Heirloom tomatoes served with radish and shiso yogurt
"The Hearts of Palm Ceviche is by far the most colorful, vibrant dish we've created all year and is my personal favorite," Kenney says. "While exotic, the flavor profile speaks summer. It's a vibrant dish exploding with freshness and ideal for an upbeat gathering on a warm day."
- Summer Squash and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna: Summer squash lasagna with sun-dried tomato marinara, macadamia ricotta cheese, and pistachio pesto
- Zucchini Noodles: Zucchini noodles with sweet corn and mint pesto
- Smoked King Oyster Mushrooms: Smoked king oyster mushrooms and romesco
- Green Harissa Cauliflower: Roasted cauliflower with green harissa
"The Summer Squash and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna is our most classic dish, which evokes the spirit of a summer garden. Each component of the lasagna is universally loved and always works as a great crossover for anyone thinking they're not interested in plant-based cuisine," Kenney says. "Seeing dozens of them plated together, much like the hearts of palm, brings tremendous color to the entire meal experience."
- Strawberry Hibiscus Cheesecake: Strawberry Hibiscus Cheesecake with lime curd, vanilla shortbread, pistachio, and sorrel
- Coconut Cream Pie: Coconut Cream Pie with macadamia crust and banana
- Choco-Berry Mousse: Choco-Berry Mousse with hazelnut ice cream
"The Strawberry Hibiscus Cheesecake has such a lovely presentation. With edible flowers and its rosy hue, it feels like a wedding cake in a way," Kenney says. "It also happens to be one of my favorite of our raw food desserts, full of fresh berry flavor and light enough to enjoy even after a substantial meal."