Bex Kitchen, a brick-and-mortar eatery in rural, bucolic Hunterdon County, New Jersey, is a multi-service company that does elevated catering, and special events, and has just opened a gallery next to its longstanding cafe on Main Street in Califon. Founded and led by Chef Becky Geisel, her reputation has stood the test and trials of time for healthy, tasty, straightforward food made from scratch without cutting corners. The Chef has a plethora of experience in wedding production, from soup to nuts. We sat down with the busy Chef and picked her brain about wedding trends and what she’s seeing in the world of matrimony.
“I’m definitely seeing some shifts from a culture in the post-covid mood. Some people are trepidatious but many are beyond joyed to be done with uncomfortable masks and confusing, ever-shifting regulations. There is a nice mood of getting back to normal,” the Chef notes. “For food and drink, I’m seeing vegetarian options are popular, as well as eating local and having variety– the traditional multi-course meal. There’s also a sense of nostalgia in the consumer world, perhaps fueled by the chaos and rapid change of covid and societal shifts. People are wanting chicken and waffles, Generation X foodstuffs, and old-fashioned cocktails. What I try to do is nostalgic elegance.”
The Chef’s art and design background from Parsons School of Design in NYC always informs her approach to how her food finally looks on the plate. She often uses antique crates and boxes as a literal springboard for charcuterie and finger food, displaying them in what she calls “food installations” after the art world. “I go for vintage,” Chef Becky says, “because these recipes have stood the test of time. We make a Hummingbird Cake that is Jamaican-inspired as well as a Pavlova, which is interestingly named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova but rooted in the New Zealand/Australia area.”
And what to wash it all down with? “With summer fast approaching it’s important to stay hydrated while enjoying summer libations and day-drinking events,” Chef illuminates. “I’m noticing trends in CBD drinks given its health claims, as well as wedding-goers wanting to see sustainability in action: canned and boxed packaging that’s compostable or recyclable. It’s an exciting time: there are all kinds of experimentation going on with kombucha and spiked sodas. Microbreweries have come leaps and bounds with unique ingredients, such as Dogfish Head out of Delaware. At Bex, we have our own roast of coffee and a small retail area where we sell electrolyte drinks, high-powered canned coffee, and healthier sodas. People at weddings like this variety and non-alcoholic options. If you take a look at our blog, you’ll see that we think about food deeply. We don’t get pretentious: we just stick to good food prepared from high-quality ingredients made by hand. People will remember the food served at a wedding, so we make it yummy, casually elegant, and artistic.”