The University of Miami recently celebrated the inauguration of their new president by taking him around the world. Ok – not really, but we WERE able to design an event to make it feel like that. The theme title was “Charting the Course to Our New Century.”
As guests arrived, music provided by the University of Miami set the mood for their grand entrance across the bridge from the Watsco Center where the Inauguration Ceremony took place, all the way to the Student Center Complex Lakeside Patio.
In front of them, guests found a spectacularly decorated space with four large structures complete with custom swag ceiling treatment in blue, yellow, black, green and red inspired by the unifying colors of the Olympic Games. Large drum chandeliers accented each of these four areas where custom food stations were designed by continent. A large central structure and wrap around bar for beverage service was created as focal point of the entire event with a mix of coordinating drum style chandeliers hanging from the center of the structure. Interior style high tops were placed throughout the space to bring continuity to the design accented with “Course Charting” inspired centerpieces. Some of the bar tops even had custom world map decals on them to really tie in the theme.
Stations were divided into Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
Asia consisted of hanging red lanterns, pho dogs, pergolas, lanterns, florals, bamboo mats and plants.
Africa was uniquely designed with masks and up-lit foliage. Proteas, sand, grass and palms were used to accent the buffet and animal print fabrics were woven into the station design between food elements.
A European market was designed with wood planks, slates, buckets, barrels and abundant baskets of flowers. Iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben were knit discretely into the design to drive the theme home.
The America’s station was inspired by the menu selected. A custom built ‘South American Ruins’ backdrop was designed to fit the theme and interior style details accented the buffet to complement food service.
Into our design? See how we transformed this wedding into a Disney inspired fantasy land.
We all know summer is all about the watermelon – but how many different ways can you really make it different? We’re adding one more preparation to your repertoire in the form of pickled watermelon radish slaw. We sat down with Executive Chef Elgin Woodman to see her thought process behind one of her mini plates – Coriander Cured Tuna Pastrami with Pickled Watermelon Radish Slaw and Avocado Puree.
This recipe is really an infusion of three diverse cultural flavors. The Watermelon radish slaw involves a pickling process inspired by Asian food culture. The rub used on the cured Tuna is composed of special Mediterranean spices for a slight “kick”. Finally, the Avocado Cream sauce adds a signature Latin layer of culture. The resulting dish is a blend of freshness and flavor profiles representing the diversity of the region. Additionally, this dish has a multitude of ways to be presented above and beyond just a mini plate. Appetizers, antipasto stations, small plate courses, salads and so many more food styles could benefit from this fresh dish. As an added benefit, this is a wonderful way to add proteins to antipasto stations where red meats and pork are not an option.
Nothing beats having top quality components to savor during an event, and this creation made sure to deliver. This is a critical component to the Home Cured Tuna with Watermelon Radish Slaw. The production of it begins with buying the freshest tuna and curing it two days prior to your event. When the tuna is finished curing, our culinary team cleans the rub and re-wraps it for event delivery. The tuna remains uncut until just before service to maintain freshness and color. The slaw and avocado cream are also prepped and mixed onsite to ensure a crisp slaw and green avocado in every bite.
What are you waiting for?! Go get in the kitchen!
Still not convinced? Maybe poolside cocktails are more your style.
Round up some friends, snacks and cocktails because it’s time to party! We’ve got the cocktails you should be sipping poolside this summer!
Craft cocktails are here to stay, and have become a must-have for catering creatives (like us!), restaurants and noteworthy bars around the world. Store-bought mixers are a thing of the past, and as a team that loves a great cocktail, we couldn’t be happier! Fresh ingredients aren’t just for food, and there’s something to be said for mixing them with quality spirits. Not only can you taste the difference, but your overall drink experience is improved by a little extra TLC. (Bonus points for pretty garnishes – your future Instagram story thanks you!)
With sunny weather and pool parties beckoning, we have three great cocktails you should be sipping poolside this summer. Put down the rosé and keep reading!
So Berry Courvoisier:
Summer = strawberry picking season! Try it by blending Cognac, Strawberry liqueur, Triple Sec, and lime juice. Shake and strain over ice into a rocks glass, then top with a splash of club soda.
Capture the sun in a glass with this bright cocktail highlighting peaches and mangoes! Try it by blending Gin, Grand Marnier, a squeeze of lime and fresh peach and mango juices. Shake and pour into a rocks glass, then garnish with a peach slice.
The Porch Swing:
It wouldn’t be a summer cocktail roundup without sweet tea! Add a twist to the classic Arnold Palmer by blending Southern Style sweet tea, mint lemonade and your favorite bourbon. Serve over ice in a tall glass, pint glass or mason jar.
The variety of exceptional summer fruits are waiting for your next cocktail creation, and the possibilities are endless. BTW: planning a pool party? You might want to take a look at our outdoor party planning tips to host like a pro!
For over 12 years, A Joy Wallace has had the honor of managing the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Cafe and Shop. This includes not only designing an elegant cafe menu worthy of this amazing property, but also the development and procurement of one of a kind gifts at the shop. Located on the north side of the main house, patrons can dine inside the cafe (which used to be John Deering’s bowling alley!) or outside on the North Patio next to the swimming pool and North Garden. The cafe menu features a variety of gourmet options include fresh salads, sandwiches, homemade sweets and wines from Deering Vineyard. In our shop, you can find a fabulous selection of books, homegoods, jewelry, clothing, tea and wine inspired by Vizcaya.
Be sure to join us every Sunday for tea on the terrace! More information can be found at http://vizcaya.org/visit-cafe-and-shop.asp
Recently, Executive Chef Elgin Woodman of AJW featured a dinner dish in the South Florida Luxury Guide Magazine. The dish, Pan-Seared Snapper with Sweet and Sour Eggplant Escabeche & Patatas Bravas is one of Elgin’s favorites and we are excited to share the recipe with you! Light and flavorful, snapper is an ideal seafood protein for any meal, and is a local Florida fish option. This Pan-Seared Snapper offers a great variety of kick, tang, texture and beautiful colors. Impress your guests for your next dinner party by following the recipe below!