Meet the experts

How far will chefs Vinny Dotolo, left, and Jon Shook go to spice up wedding fare? Consider this menu for a spring wedding they're planning: lamb sliders with feta cheese and harissa aioli; bacon-fried oysters with horseradish tartar sauce; gem lettuce with Maytag vinaigrette and candied pecans; grouper with carrots, melted leeks, spinach and chervil butter; pork shoulder with apples, navy beans and green garlic. For dessert, rhubarb and strawberry cobbler with cream in a lavender crust. In the four years since the launch of their Caramelized Productions catering business, Dotolo and Shook--known to Food Network fans as "2 Dudes Catering"--have become celebrity favorites, recently catering the postnuptial bash of "American Idol" beauty Katharine McPhee and groom Nick Cokas. Graduates of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Shook and Dotolo customize the menus for the 100-plus weddings they cater each year, which range in size from 1,500 guests to just three. No matter what they're serving, it's made with whatever is fresh at local farmers markets and their favorite L.A. shops, including BreadBar, the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills and Chef's Warehouse. Between gigs, they're preparing for the June debut of their first restaurant, animal, five doors north of Canter's Deli on Fairfax Avenue. And Clarkson Potter is set to publish their cookbook, "Two Dudes, One Pan," in August. Even with his busy schedule, Shook says, he has no plans to leave weddings behind: "We love seeing where people want to go. Then we'll run with it." (954) 599-6990

--Wayne Niemi

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