Corey Wojciechowski and Laura Ross tie the knot amid friends and family
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (July 27, 2018) – When Chef Eric “Chops” Wat is asked about the handmade wooden serving trays, his answer includes not only the trays, but also the specially engineered grill, the locally grown vegetables, and some butter he and Corey Wojciechowski received from a college roommate’s mother. And though it takes a while for the concept to crystallize, in the end, everything he’s saying is about community.
Wat and Wojciechowski and several other friends met in college, and living together became an opportunity to learn about their diverse cultures and traditions. When the mother of one of the roommates sent a sampling of some sort of Mediterranean butter, they savored it, and it became a gateway food to exploring other family traditions.
Wat became a chef, and gradually he’s been “catering” the weddings of people he knows—though the term catering gives the wrong connotations for what Wat actually does. The meals Wat prepares are deeply symbolic, a celebration of friendship, and artistry, and varied skills. Everything is handcrafted, which gives members of the community multiple opportunities to contribute. In the Wat/Wojciechowski circle, you don’t have to be a chef in order to be involved in a wedding. Someone might pick vegetables, or hand-letter signs, or sand and stain wood serving trays, or light candles around the port-a-potties. Everyone is needed.
The wedding was held in a Lansing back yard, east of Oakwood Avenue. And thanks to myriad personal touches by family and friends, it was a celebration of family, friendship, and community.