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Top Chef To Wed

Prominent Houston restaurant chef and his surprise wife-to-be are set to marry in historic synagogue

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Dohany Street Synagogue Budapest Hungary
Deli owner Ziggy Gruber will wed Mary McCaughey in the Dohany Synagogue in Budapest. Dohany Street Synagogue
1 Ziggy Gruber and Mary McCaughey wedding July 2013
Ziggy pops the question aboard a New Orleans Mardi Gras float. Courtesy photo
5 Ziggy Gruber and Mary McCaughey wedding July 2013
Ziggy Gruber and Mary McCaughey after she said 'yes.' Courtesy photo
Dohany Street Synagogue Budapest Hungary interior
More than 50 guests will join the wedding at the Dohany Synagogue in Budapest. Photo by DMY/Wikipedia
News_Marene Gustin_Guy Food for Super Bowl_020310_Ziggy Gruber_Kenny & Ziggy's
Ziggy Gruber at home at his Kenny & Ziggy's Deli. Photo by Paula Murphy
Dohany Street Synagogue Budapest Hungary
1 Ziggy Gruber and Mary McCaughey wedding July 2013
5 Ziggy Gruber and Mary McCaughey wedding July 2013
Dohany Street Synagogue Budapest Hungary interior
News_Marene Gustin_Guy Food for Super Bowl_020310_Ziggy Gruber_Kenny & Ziggy's

Ziggy Gruber had no idea at the time that the young woman asking about the dishes he was serving at Rabbi Roy Walter's retirement party two years ago would become his personal acupuncturist much less his wife. But that was the beginning of a relationship that culminates next week in Budapest, Hungary, where Ziggy and Mary McCaughey say their "I do's" in the synagogue where his grandfather was bar mitzvah'd.

The gregarious owner/chef of Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen and Mary, owner of Houston Therapeutic Acupuncture Clinic, expect some 50 friends and family members to join them for three days of festivities including the wedding where world-renowned cantor Jack Mendelsohn of New York will sing and chief Rabbi Robert Frolich will conduct the ceremony.

 Next, he held up a "Mary, Will You Marry Me?" sign. The answer, of course, was yes. 

While the wedding will surely be a show-stopper, their engagement was a story unto itself. The bride is from Louisiana and introduced Ziggy to Mardi Gras frivolities in New Orleans last winter. Although it was his first Mardi Gras, the creative Ziggy had a plan. 

While Mary and her family waited along the parade route, Ziggy and one of Mary's cousins left the party under the pretext of checking out the beginning of the parade. He had still not returned after the parade had started and she was getting worried. That is until she looked up at  the float coming toward her and saw Ziggy, who first tossed her some beads. Next, he held up a "Mary, Will You Marry Me?" sign. The answer, of course, was yes. 

And so the wedding planning began. The couple is set to wed July 18 in the grand and historic Dohany Synagogue.

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