The kitchen at Open Table is alive with activity & enticing smells as Ronit rushes around, directing the pre-show that precedes every special event.
The car is packed, lists checked, & the staff travelling with Ronit sing in Hebrew & English as we drive, happy and excited to be a part of someone’s very important day.
We arrive at the location to a chorus of ‘ooos’ & ‘aahs’. It is a lush retreat, jacarandas in bloom creating a stunning purple canopy above & carpet below. A Bali style hut & freshly mown grass add to the tranquil garden atmosphere. The marquee is decorated with fragrant bouquets, crisp white linen & polished, sparkling long stem glasses awaiting champagne. Expressions of joy are heard as the staff arrive, each greeting good friends with hugs & laughter.
The air tingles with anticipation.
The catering marquee is hot in the afternoon sun, & getting hotter as the BBQ hotplates are stoked up & the staff begin to prep the fresh ingredients for the feast. The grass below makes an uneven floor, there is nowhere to change into uniform, & no access to running water. The crew laugh as we strip in the corner of the tent, & a garden hose is rigged up specially. Although the staff represent several different nationalities, there is a general Aussie ‘No worries’ sentiment palpable .
The girls of the crew pause every now & then, excited to see the Bride & discussing Irish weddings. Gorgeous canapés, displayed on palm & banana leaves, arrayed with flowers are created within the alchemy of love for the food, companionship, & more ‘ooos’ & ‘aahs’ from the staff.
Ronit’s ship is tight, efficient & imbued with an atmosphere of fun & support – even after 9 hours of carrying heavy platters & trays of drinks – the crew are still smiling, joking, & enjoying the celebration.
The wedding guests are flying on an unbelievable ocean of champagne & beer, & really enjoying the excellent service of the crew.
As we wash the hundreds of glasses with buckets, a garden hose, & aching arms, relieving each other for sneaky cigarette breaks behind the bush – the crew agree: the Bride was beautiful, the food divine, & a great time was had by all.
We pack, journey home – relaxing on Ronit’s veranda, eyes half closed, sore feet up, laughing in hysterical exhaustion as we try to stay awake to share a final smoke.