Vegan Weddings Tenille Evans

1. Did you enjoy cooking from an early age or was it a passion of yours later on in life?

I loved baking cookies with my sisters when we were little. I used to get in trouble with my mum for not following the recipes closely. But I just loved being creative and the excitement of seeing how something new would turn out. That's still my favourite part of cooking, coming up with new recipes and processes. Playing. We don't get many opportunities to play as adults and the kitchen is a place where that is still possible if you give yourself permission. Professionally, I've worked in restaurants since I was 17, straight after I finished high school over 20 years ago. I was a salad hand and kitchen hand while I was studying design at uni. That's where I fell in love with the sharing of food, playing a small role in the meaningful moments of people's lives and celebrations was so rewarding.

2. What is your favourite meal to cook and eat?

I love making anything that requires a dough! So breads, pastry, pizza and pasta, things like that. I find the process so meditative and calming. The rising and the kneading, the science and the time that it takes. One of my favorite doughs to make is gnocchi which I also love to eat. It's so versatile and can be served with whatever beautiful seasonal produce you have. There's a recipe in my cookbook for a gnocchi dish with roasted pumpkin, fennel and dehydrated olive. The sauce is just some of the roasted pumpkin pureed. So simple and delicious. Even my picky children like gnocchi too!

3. What should couples consider when selecting their menu options?

Food is about more than just taste. It can be another creative way to express your values as a couple and what is important to you. Ultimately that is what your wedding is all about, sharing all of the pieces of your love and lives together with your family and friends. With that in mind, I encourage you to think about your wedding menu beyond just the flavours. If the environment is important to you, think about finding a caterer that uses local and seasonal produce. If inclusion is important to you, make sure you find a caterer that takes allergies and food preferences seriously, so that all of your guests feel included and nourished. If creativity and aesthetics are important to you, find a caterer whose food looks as good as it tastes and suits the concept of your event. Coming together to share food is part of the ritual, the ceremony, it should be an expression of you just like everything else is for your wedding. On the practical side, I love share plates instead of the traditional alternate serve. They are popular now for a reason. They allow for guests to take more of what they like and less of what they don't like. They also look beautiful and abundant on a styled table and the act of sharing feels so warm and intimate.