What’s the perfect way to start an Italian dinner party? Pasta, a cheese plate, a caesar salad, or how about we combine all of those into one really delicious appetizer! That’s exactly what I did here in these Chicken Caesar Baked Pasta Cups!
I’m fortunate enough to be spending 10 days in Arizona and Miami attending a friend’s wedding, Thunder basketball game, lounging on the beach and of course, enjoying some fabulous food! I will not be posting any new recipes this week, but I will be posting about my vacation food adventures from coast to coast!
I don’t consider myself a “food snob” but I definitely differentiate good food, from great food, from amazing food! In general I feel that most food at weddings is good at best!
This was not the case last night when I attended my friend Krystal’s wedding in Arizona. The wedding was catered by my best friends family who owns a chain of amazing pizzerias in Arizona that I’ve mentioned before, Jimmy and Joe’s. They went all out for Krystal’s wedding as she has been a friend of the family for almost a decade and they wanted this to be their gift to her.
As a chef I realize the difficulties of making a full dinner for almost 200 guests, but every wedding caterer should take some notes from this man.
Yup, the man behind the meat is Terry Black, the founder and owner of Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria. He’s been written up in Pizza Today about being a “visible manager” which discussed his community involvement and being on the front line of all his restaurants. Jimmy and Joe’s is a family business and my best friend (Terry’s daughter) runs one of the locations and is heavily involved in the expansion of the business. Every once in a while you’ll also catch a glimpse of the other Black woman, Mary, and Saturday’s wedding was no different, check out all the Black’s in action!
Now let’s get to that delicious food they are cooking up back there! Terry is seen above slicing the most juicy, tender prime rib I’ve ever had! This main dish was served with a caesar salad, which I topped with the lemon chicken they had also prepared. Oh my gosh, it was so flavorful and moist! I feel that usually chicken made in bulk is dry and flavorless but this was so far from either of those things, loaded with lemon and garlic flavors and olive oil to keep the chicken moist it was the perfect topping on my caesar! They also served penne pasta with marinara and meatballs, because of course Italian is their bread and butter! I could have eaten 100 of those meatballs!
This was my one plate of food piled up. Yes I only had one plate. Yes I wanted three more. No I wouldn’t have been able to fit in my dress anymore if I had eaten three more hence why I didn’t!
Meatball = Joy!
Someday when I start cooking for more than a dozen friends I’m going to call up Terry Black for pointers!
If you’re in the greater Phoenix area on Tuesday stop by Jimmy and Joe’s Mesa location and find me interviewing the manager Miss Amy Black for another fabulous LLB video post! We’ll be talking about how the pizzerias came to be, their mission and most importantly how they make that amazing pizza of theirs SO GOOD!!!