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The Plaza Grand Ballroom To Host NBC’s “Today Throws A Wedding”

Chef Chris Harkness to Design Unique and Sustainable Wedding Feast at this Quintessential New York Wedding Destination

New York – July 7, 2009 – Leigh and Nick — the former Olympic hopefuls who recently captured the hearts of viewers during the 10th annual TODAY Throws a Wedding series, will celebrate their nuptials with a live wedding to be broadcast from the legendary Grand Ballroom at the Plaza Hotel on the Today Show July 15 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 (EST).

The lucky couple’s once-in-a-lifetime event will culminate in an unforgettable reception with a menu created by Plaza Grand Ballroom Executive Chef Chris Harkness. Created exclusively for The Today Show wedding, Chef Harkness’ sumptuous menu will feature selections from the Ballroom’s famed 100-mile menu using the freshest ingredients sourced within 100 miles of the Plaza. This menu includes:

-Katchkie Farm Tomato Terrine
-Fresh Picked Mezze Salad and Peekytoe Crab Vinaigrette

-Local Roasted Monkfish over Sweet Pea Risotto Sautéed Katchkie Farm Swiss Chard, Tomato Jam
-Herb Seared Filet of Beef Tender Gnocchi, Baby Mushrooms, Sautéed Spinach, Cabernet Demi Glaze

-Ricotta Torte with Toasted Almonds and Blueberries

Says Chef Harkness: “Each ingredient is written with emotion, each menu item is a child being released into the world to be judged. Millions of viewers will watch the winning couple realize their fantasy wedding in the landmarked ballroom. Creating the 100 Mile Menu has been a tremendous thrill. I’m honored to serve it at the Today Show Wedding.”

Chef Chris Harkness has the impeccable sense of how great food enlivens a gathering, and as Executive Chef at renowned caterer Great Performances he ensures every mouthful is momentous. Invited to be guest chef at the James Beard House, Chris presented a “Farm to Table” menu to a wildly appreciative audience, and he has been featured in Brides Magazine as well as Quest. For Great Performances, Chris leads an 85-person culinary team in the stylish preparation of an international menu repertoire that is always in tune with New York’s changing trends.

The 100 Mile Menu is a new culinary movement that marries seasonal fare with elegant style. The bridal market’s shift toward an interest in sustainable, green weddings inspires catering that is seasonal, local, and always delicious. With fresh, organic ingredients served within 36 hours of their harvest, the 100 Mile Menu is the synthesis of robust flavor and modern dining.

The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom has hosted dream weddings for celebrities and discerning people alike for over a century, including members of the Kennedy family, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, and Donald Trump and Marla Maples. The Plaza has also hosted many of the city’s most memorable parties – Truman Capote’s Black & White Ball and Sarah Jessica Parker’s 40th birthday bash – and scenes from countless classics were filmed in the ballroom including Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and the recent blockbuster Bride Wars.