Saturday, September 24, 2011

Surprise in Sopocachi! Wedding Bells! - La Paz, Bolivia

Saturday is a gloriously busy day – it’s the day when the earth’s bounty arrives from the countryside farms and La Paz is alive with maids & mavens engaged in intense negotiations over eggplant, tomatoes and wine. And everywhere there’s the buzz of chefs securing the very best for their clientele... Leaving the Sopocachi market my bags full, I spied a tuxedoed Chef Marco Schiapparoli standing outside of his restaurant “Beatrice Fresh Pastas” which faces the market. Evidently it was his wedding day (streamers and ribbons giving the whole thing away), he was welcoming guests as they arrived. In passing I congratulated him. He took my hand and gripping firmly he ushered me inside although painfully underdressed for the occasion, shopping bags in hand! Obviously, there’s no saying no to an Italian chef on his wedding day! The cake was a many tiered thing adorning a far wall where chilled bubbly sparkled. Conversation and laughter came from tables manned by her family; no one from his side in attendance. 

Before you raise an eyebrow, allow me to say the chef has lived twenty-two years happily with the same lovely woman and has four stunningly gorgeous children. Kudos! Not many do better!
He apprised me that the family is soon to travel to Italia for the big church wedding (Latins have a civil ceremony, thereafter, comes the church wedding). “The civil formalities in Bolivia had been excellent but the celebration in Italia is going to be incredible," declared the chef. I can only imagine the glories of a large Italian marriage ceremony and the subsequent celebration. And as Chef Marco & wife have done, one could suppose it perfectly wonderful to first have the beautiful children to fill the positions of flower girls and ring bearer. And as smartly dressed as they were today, honestly, they will be fabulous. 
Beyond the obligatory skyscraper Bolivian wedding cake was Chef Marco's Tiramisu! Caray! Say no more! The tiramisu, rich and full, would stand well with most red wines. And in perfect combination, the “Fuzion Shiraz Malbec 2010, Mendoza Argentina” flowed abundantly and the assembled crowd was jubilant. It was a first and quite the surprise to attend a wedding with my shopping bags. But the air seemed lighter and the day had more cheer because the sun shone the first time in days in rainy La Paz. And it’s always a bit of a blessing to take part in the best of times with people who, through shared memories, are becoming very good friends.
Copyright © Mick Huerta 2011. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' -
Travel, Culture, Food & Wine!

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