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Summer Blooms & Fresh Cali Cuisine

On a balmy spring night, XO Bloom co-owners Sarah Zahran and Laila Elsherif held an intimate dinner in their floral and gift studio located in Westlake Village, about 45 minutes north of Los Angeles.

Bloomin’ into Summer was designed to showcase XO Bloom’s summer looks, new cuisine from Good Gracious Events, and new cocktails and collaborations. As guests arrived, an unexpected light rain began to fall.

In Southern California, raindrops are auspicious, not to mention a happy harbinger of future flowers. But that night, the studio was already in full bloom. One long clear acrylic box table set with clear chairs was the focal point of the evening. The table, from Edge Design & Décor, was making its debut that evening. Appropriately named Eve, the table sported not only fig leaves but huge bunches of hydrangea, roses, and orchids artfully arranged by XO Bloom. Inside the table was a mosaic of rose petals in the evening’s pastel color palette.

Dinner and cocktails were also themed around those same colors, although the cocktail course began with a bold red. Three opaque red acrylic trays were pre-set with three bite-sized items—lobster in a tomato red parmesan taco shell, smoked chicken in a red beet hummus cone, and popcorn dusted with smoked paprika.

“We wanted to serve guests just that one appetizer all at one time for the greatest impact,” explained Joanne Purnell, Executive Vice President of Good Gracious Events, who presided over the event, introducing each course.

As guests sat to dinner, they enjoyed each colorful course with a creative cocktail from Scarlette Bartending themed around the color and mixed with just the right ingredients to complement Purnell’s menu.

The table was set with marble charger plates from XO Bloom, and each guest received a hand-lettered napkin painted with sunset colors. They also received a piece of floral jewelry art hand created by Elsherif which prompted a series of Instagram moments from the guests, each one of whom is an influencer in the event and wedding worlds.

After a colorful dinner, drinks and conversation, the evening, and the rain ended. The following morning brought a spectacular sunrise and with it, new blooms, new friendships and of course, a sky filled with the same yellows, oranges and pinks guests had enjoyed the night before.


Hors D’oeuvres

Maine lobster tomato parmesan taco

Smoked chicken red beet hummus cone

Smoked paprika dusted popcorn

Associated Cocktail

Housemade honeydew tequila, pomegranate reduction, and fresh lime layered over crushed ice

Amuse Bouche

Caramelized Cipollini yellow pepper

Associated Cocktail

Roasted red pepper gin, and ground cumin served over cold pressed pineapple and chamomile ice cubes


Scottish smoked salmon feuillete

Associated Cocktail

Mint mango vodka sgroppino

Main Course

Beef short rib risotto

Associated Cocktail

Rainer cherry whiskey sour served with a butterfly pea pod ice shot cup

Sweet Ending

Pavlova fruit love

Associated Cocktail

Grapefruit infused vodka, bitters liqueur, and a splash of prosecco served over a flower ice sphere

The Creative Team

Venue, Host and Floral Design: XO Bloom

Coordination & Design: Cindy Celis, Edge Design and Decor

Catering: Good Gracious Events

Cocktails: Scarlette Bartending

Invitations, Menu Cards: Soolip

Calligraphy on Napkins: Calligraphy by Monica

Table: Edge Design Décor

Chairs and Rentals: Party Pleasers

Lighting and Sound: Coastal Events

Photos: Sanaz Photography

Liese Gardner

Owner, Liese Gardner Communications, Los Angeles, CA

Liese Gardner is a marketing expert working with top brands and individuals in the special events industry since 1984.