If you’re a Central Texas foodie, then odds are good you’ve heard of Chef Tim McDiarmid (a.k.a. “Tim the Girl”). She’s known for serving up delicious, healthy food with flair. Tim is also the talent and brains behind The Good Kind—a market/cafe at the Alamo City’s award-winning Historic Pearl Brewery complex—that sells take-away comfort food that is “clean, nourishing, sustainable and delicious”. And just last week she was named to the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour hosted by John Brand this October at San Antonio’s elegant Hotel Emma.

With summer wedding season starting to hit its stride, we sought Tim’s insights into what’s hot right now on the food-after-nuptials circuit. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us via email.

THE TEXAS WILDFLOWER (TW): How did you come to your profession? What drives you to cook for other people?

Tim McDiarmid (TD): I grew up growing my own food on a farm in rural Canada, so a fresh, local diet has always been part of my life. I had great experiences working on farms and in restaurants in New York in my twenties, and by the time I moved to San Antonio, I wanted a business that would draw on my expertise and offer the same kind of wholesome, inventive food I loved.

TW: More than just the need to refuel, what makes food such an essential part of the typical modern wedding day?

TD: People uniting together over a meal is an ancient tradition—the wedding meal honors that. We design our menus to reflect on each family’s special history, as well as offering a new shared history for the couple.

TW: What foods are popular lately with Texas brides and grooms?

TD: We’re doing a lot of colorful, seasonal, local ingredients, of course. Wedding clients are also moving away from formal, plated dinners to stations where guests can make their own choices. I’m also seeing a lot more health-conscious brides and grooms!

TW: Have we moved beyond the chocolate fountain’s big moment—or is it iconic and here to stay?

TD: It’s up to the bride and groom, of course, but there are so many other fun ways to serve dessert. Guests want something personalized and interactive, so we’re suggesting ideas like donut walls and sundae bars.

TW: A few weeks back on Instagram, you shared some photographs from your own wedding, which wasn’t too long ago. What was that like, to be “on the other side”—and, most importantly, what did you serve?

TD: We were married in March 2017, and I did all the planning and catering myself—so I guess I was on both sides. I was able to avoid a lot of the pitfalls some brides run into! I wanted guests to relax and have fun—and also easily accommodate everyone’s dietary needs. So we did a series of stations: a salad bar with six different types of salad, a bread table with ten different types of bread plus dips, spreads, flavored oils and butters, and a grill station, with various meats and grilled veggies, plus sauces like chimichurri, romesco, and pesto.

TW: And dessert?

TD: It was a wedding cake made by my sister who is a pastry chef at Prairie Whale in Great Barrington in Massachusetts. It was made with candied ginger and grapefruit marmalade that I made for the cake the season prior and canned. These are my favorite flavors. Oh, and Mexican wedding cookies by my amazingly talented friend who is a chef in New York City.

Originally published in “The Texas Wildflower”, by Team Wildflower, May 20, 2018