Stephanie Izard's Cheez-It Wedding Cake

Food & Wine: Stephanie Izard's Wedding Cake
Stephanie Izard's Wedding Cake © Jesse Lirola Photography
By Justine Sterling Posted October 08, 2013

Over the weekend, Girl and the Goat star chef Stephanie Izard married craft-beer consultant Gary Valentine in Chicago and celebrated with an over-the-top potluck menu created by local chefs. The Bristol’s Chris Pandel supplied cavatelli with smoked eggplant and heirloom tomatoes, GT Fish & Oyster chef Giuseppe Tentori served red-wine-braised beef short ribs and Goat pastry chef Mathew Rice handled the piece de resistance: a salty-sweet cake that incorporated Izard's favorite junk foods. F&W got an exclusive photo (left).

The four-tiered cake featured alternating layers of Strawberry Nesquik-infused chocolate marble cake with bacon buttercream and a Cheez-It-flavored cake with a crunchy filling of chocolate ganache, peanut butter and chocolate-covered Cheez-Its ("Stephanie's favorite snack in the world," says Rice). Rice first came up with the idea to pair Cheez-Its with chocolate while attempting to recreate a Butterfinger. In fact, he's put all the cake's flavors together before, in a sundae with Strawberry Nesquik gelato and chocolaty Cheez-It crumble at Izard’s diner Little Goat. “I’ve been obsessed with Strawberry Nesquik since I was a kid,” Rice says. “You can try to make any kind of upscale strawberry dessert you want but it’s never going to taste exactly like Nesquik, which is the flavor I associate with strawberry because I’m sort of like a kid still.”

While guests were initially shocked by the boldly flavored cake, Rice says that they loved it after tasting it—especially the Cheez-It layer. But the only opinion that truly counted was that of the bride, whose tastes lean more towards the savory than the sweet. "I wanted the cake to be a really good reflection of Stephanie—someone that doesn’t love dessert,” Rice says. “I think she was really happy with it and thought it was awesome.”

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