It’s summer and the sun is shining, so of course it’s time to prepare for the upcoming holiday party madness! We start brainstorming ideas and looking for trends in fashion, food, lifestyle, and the design arenas. Many times my best ideas come from a dream that I wake up from and write down in the middle of the night. They subsequently turn into some of our best concepts! We try to pull out all the stops, as our clients have seen it all and therefore they push us to create and deliver fresh, exciting, and new ideas.
Pack a punch
Punch bowls are back, and we don’t mean your Mother’s recipe with sherbet! These are a festive and cheery way to serve a signature cocktail to your guests. It looks beautiful and guests can help themselves if they choose. We like to bring in the flavors of the season and use cranberries, ginger, pomegranates, or citrus in our recipes. Our current favorite is a Gingery Pomegranate Punch with vodka and fresh lime juice. Find the recipe here.
Seafood on steroids
Blow their minds with a guaranteed crowd pleaser; a festive “seafood on steroids” station! We take ours to a whole different level, starting with sashimi sliced tableside by our sushi chef, delicious bites of fresh and oh-so-trendy Hawaiian poke, brightly flavored ceviche, seared tuna pizzettas, jumbo lump crabmeat, and grilled lobster tails. We add crunch and color with yummy plantain, yucca, and wonton chips because everything’s better with a little something crunchy! To add to the drama we take the classic and often expected shrimp cocktail off and hand deliver it right to the guests via our fun lucite boxes and stunning ‘Shrimp Girls.’
Wok this way
What’s not to love about Chinese food? Serve mouthwatering hand-rolled Peking duck extra crispy with sweet plum sauce, sautéed shiitakes, and scallion pancakes alongside wok fried Asian vegetables, chicken in broccoli (for the less adventurous guest), blistered shishito peppers, and minced chicken lettuce cups. This station has a lot of action and movement which guests are excited and intrigued by, particularly it promotes interaction and fun.
Deck the halls dessert station
Move over cupcakes and come ‘foraging’ for your food in a beautiful dessert garden. Our show-stopping dessert tree dazzles guests and keeps the interactive nature of any party going right through dessert. We hang clear glass globes, “ornaments” so to speak, filled with several types of layered cake (can also be done with a Christmas tree), which is really merry and beautiful.
The hanging sweet treats loom over an equally lush table of bite-sized desserts. Creating an edible visual design element that has height and movement as well as an interactive element is something we strive for because it becomes an “experience” rather than just a buffet station.
Robin Selden is Executive Chef and Managing Partner, Marcia Selden Catering and ICA Chef of the Year 2016.