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Fun-Loving Free Spirits and #ZolaCouple: Kate & John

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For these two charismatic actors, the walk down the aisle was years in the making. Read on for Kate and John’s one-of-a-kind story and laid-back advice for throwing a killer party.

How did you meet?
We met in an elevator in 1996 at our talent agency’s office in LA (we are actors and voiceover artists). I was living in NYC – John, a native New Yorker (raised in Jersey), had just relocated to the West Coast. We became fast friends and stayed close until we fell in love in 2011 (when I made LA home base), and then got married 18 years later in Big Sur!

How did you get engaged?
John had gone on a work trip to the Supanova Convention in Australia, solo, for two weeks. That’s the longest we had ever been apart. When he got back, he popped the question. He had to wait for the ring to be delivered by FedEx, so I was in my robe at home! He got down on one knee right inside the front door.

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What was the first thing you did after you got engaged?
We went to the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs to celebrate for the weekend! We love it so much in Palm Springs that we ended up acquiring a vacation home there, a 1959 Alexander. Each time we go, it feels like we’re celebrating our life together. It’s awesome.

What are you most excited for on your registry?
There’s something so artistic and unique about the Taika collection of dinnerware. Whimsical and colorful – it is perfect for the Palm Springs house. We got married in our 40’s and had so much already, so it was nice to have a choice of practical things as well as something different.

Any tips on balancing wedding planning with your everyday busy life?
I planned our wedding in less than 5 months, and I wanted very little stress. It was about our union, our love and friendship and celebrating the long road together. It was very DIY, and we had the most low-key brunch at Big Sur Bakery. We had only those who were a part of our everyday lives and that truly supported and loved us in attendance, a small guest list of 70. We also have many friends who are the artistic type – the two of them that are photographers took the wedding pictures as our gift. Our musician pals rearranged Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way” for the violin. That what was playing as I walked down the “aisle”…

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Favorite meal to cook for two?
I love throwing any kind of meat that does well braised in the crockpot or cocotte! Roasts or ribs. I’m also a big fan of pasta. If you have a stocked pantry you can do anything with it. From primavera to oil and herbs from the garden to just a can of good tomatoes…

Favorite Sunday Breakfast?
I love doing a traditional English Breakfast with fried eggs, baked beans, bacon or sausage on really good toast.

Who’s the cook between the two of you?
We both cook, and we usually make dinner together. John’s fantastic on the grill, especially with steak. He makes a mean meatloaf and yummy omelettes!

Go-to recipe for dinner parties or potlucks?
Finocchi Montagliari or Braised Fennel. Any braised vegetable, really – it’s easy and travels well!

Braised Fennel

  • 2-8 fennel bulbs (depending on the number of guests)
  • 4-16 sprigs Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2-8 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup + of “pelati” tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup + EVOO
  • sea salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut each fennel bulb in half, top to bottom, then slice each half lengthwise, about 3/8 inch thick. Combine parsley and garlic on cutting board and chop. Place mixture in a medium-sized, heavy flame-proof cocotte or casserole (I use my Staub or ceramic Le Creuset). Add fennel, tomatoes, and olive oil Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in 1/2 cup water (sometimes I’ll splash in a little dry white wine). Cover & simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender…kateandjohn3

Would you rather be the host or the guest?
I love entertaining. I do it often. I most recently threw a dinner party for over 20 people and I had food leftover. I also love being entertained. So I’d have to say both!

Best party you’ve hosted or attended together?
Our wedding! Hands down. Breakfast pizza and the best Bloody Marys anywhere!

See some of our favorite items below and check out their entire registry here


berghoffareawaretaika 1.BergHOFF Cook&Co Bamboo Baguette Board
2. Areaware C’mere Reality Hand Hook
3. iittala Taika Salad Plate

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