(So to speak.)
2E's first conversation with Kim Pistone, in truth, lasted much longer than she anticipated. Being twenty-six and raised in a Google-infested world, 2E's and I converse primarily over email. Kim, on the other hand, needs to have a conversation. She's got a vivid personality, and a certain amount of electricity when talking about food. And her food has a homemade quality because, well, that's where it originated: "We used to have this ----- ------- when I was a kid. I don't know where the hell it came from, it sounds ridiculous, but it was so good. You could totally have that as a passed hors d'oeuvre." She's up for suggestions, and at the same time ready to dish some out if you're still not won over. It's remarkable.
It's not to say that, at some point, we didn't glance at a menu -- we certainly did. But rather than a strict menu of options...
Select 3 Stationery Plates
Select 4 Passed Hors D'oeuvres
Select 2 Main Entrees and 2 Side Dishes
Select 2 Desserts
... Kim's was a jumping off point. A conversation starter. In fact, I believe it was just a sample menu from a wedding she'd done previously. Sure, she has her favorite apps and dishes she knows will succeed, but she can appreciate that every event is unique and that having only four options on a menu can only limit the possibilities. She considers the average age of your guests; she considers the season ("Ooo... a --------- ------ ---- would be perfect for early October."); she takes it all into consideration, and then she'll expect you to call her. Cause she can't email you when she's standing over a stove all day.
I can't neglect to mention: when we first met her at our reception venue back in March, Kim presented us with a Glad tupperware container of homemade truffled macaroni and cheese, which we (and some friends who were happy to indulge) thought was simply out of this world. Kim later emailed -- totally out of character -- and apologized. Her 6-year-old son tasted the leftovers and told her it was too bitter. She had to agree.