Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Indian Fusion Catering- a night of continuous hors d'oeuvres, stations, and short plates - an east meets west feast & a 40th Birthday celebration…

Now here’s an event that started out to be an Arabian Nights Feast and ended up being an Indian Fusion Hors D'Oeuvres Menu with Silver and White Décor. The client and I worked together over the course of a few monthes while she decided on what the theme was going to be. It was a surprise 40th birthday – we seem to get a lot of those in the 21st century– big milestone birthday for this generation. The party was held in Harrison - a Westchester suburban bedroom community

The couple, both highly successful business people had a guest list was a combination of family and friends with over 20% of the guests being strict vegetarians. These clients are both Indian- American (not American Indian) and it was important to bring a new vibe to the food in both presentation and taste. Thus the concept of Indian fusion hors d'ouevres and Indian fusion catering was the guiding light for creating this customized menu.
The hostess and her family (who were "consulting" behind the scenes) wanted some traditional Indian food to make the traditionalists happy, yet with a cutting edge spin to the food to bring new life to this important milestone celebration – ultimately the client decided that the Arabian/Moroccan theme décor was too similar to the vibrant beautiful colors that are often associated with Indian events.
We decided to work on a brilliant white and silver theme with touches blue enhanced by wheatgrass and all white flower arrangements.
CuisinEtc was able to handle both the food and décor/event styling. Despite some near mishaps, - it was an outdoor party and the client only agreed to a tent at the last minute when rain was eminent and then we had to go back and get sides and rig up a temporaty looring for the canopy that saved the day when the rain actually started. We were sloshing through it, but as usual the show goes on and it was a absolute success. We knew we had hit the mark when the hosts mom was shocked that an American company had been able to replicate unusual regional indian foods with complete authenticity.
Here's an excerpt from the lovely handwritten thank you note our client sent following the event.
"Dear Lisa
I wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful job you did for my husband's surprise 40th birthday party. The Indian fusion food was both very creative but also delicious!
My family was so impressed that an "american" caterer was able to do these dises with the authenticity of an indian chef while adding some great twists to the food.
Not only did everything taste great but the presentation was very special. It is one of the biggest reasons I choose your firm. My Mom especially loved the risotto in the coconut spoons and the elegant antique cups of behl puri.
The decor was what I was hoping - simple, elegant and beautiful. Thanks so much for working with me on that.
Thanks again for making the event special and memorable and for rolling with the punches and our weather conditions. Looking forward to working together again soon!
Thank you,
Harrison, New York 10528

Before the rain started, it was a lovely August evening -- as the guests entered the backyard, they were offered a glass of cheer and asked to join the others in waiting to surprise the guest of honor. Guests nibbled on a variety of Ethnic Breads and Spreads.
Once the festivities began, the air waffled with the aroma of Grilled Filet Mignon, Tandoori Shrimp, and Kerala Crab Pompadoms, to name a few.
Throughout the evening CuisinEtc waiters were circulating among guests with an alluring array of passed hors d’oeuvres. This served to create a seamless party, where there was no interruption for the “main course” to start, and yet was delicious, filling and chic for guests to eat while standing and chatting.
Each platter of temptations and short plates was artfully & whimsically presented echoing the food and theme. The overall ambiance was trademark CuisinEtc upmarket service, taste and quality reflecting the elegance and blend of traditional vs. cutting edge that this 40th surprise birthday celebration merited.

notice the "matching flooring" Since the rain was eminent, we had to have tarps brought in at the last minute to create a floor - as a caterer, I insisted on it, because I knew that both the guests and staff would have trouble walking on the wet grass - and as it was navigating the steps became a bit treacherous at times as the lights kept blowing due to all the lighting in the tent. Cann't tell you how appreciative I was of my crew who worked so hard both setting up, Thank you especiallly to John McDermott, party chef and set designer extraordinaire. We are a multi talented group and John and I spent most of the afternoon stringing up the hundreds of lights the hostess had purchased for the event. We draped silver material from the ceiling, made pillow covers for the lawn furniture and brought the whole event together with the use of white, silver - as well as sparkling cut glass display pieces for the breads and spreads table, and elegant white floral arrangements, styled by yours truly. I am always so happy when I get to work with florals and fauna.

ethnic breads & spreads station

ready by 6:30 pm for your guests to enjoy in the tent before the birthday boy arrives

-flowering crudité of freshly cut veggies
with raita dip
- brie topped with mango chutney & pistachios
- mango & black bean salsa
surrounded by black and golden tortillas
- cucumber crowns topped with eggplant mousse
and spicy tomato relish
- crispy indian snacks
- lemon scented greek dolmatis garnished with feta and roasted peppers
- sunflower hummous with pita petals and black olive seeds
- assorted olives in martini glasses
housemade flatbreads, european crackers and more…

butler passed hors d’oeuvres
– a selection of 15 tempting delights

…kerala crab (served hot)
gingery crab medallion mini pompadom
with tamarind chutney

…auntie dai’s dumplings (served hot)
steamed chicken dumplings passed
on asian spoons with wasabi- soy sauce

…thai chicken satay cups
thai style chicken, peanut sauce and scallions
in a crispy lotus cup

…wasabi smoked salmon
smoked salmon wrapped around wasabi cream cheese pate cut sushi style

…tandoori lemongrass shrimp shooters
with black pepper, coconut milk & citron vodka

…tandoori chicken pompadom
tandoori chicken, granny smith apples, mango chutney
& more atop a mini pompadom

…saalom samosas (served hot)
spicy crispy baby potato & chickpea samosas

…moroccan butterfly pinwheels
cumin & citrus scented carrots, white bean tapenade,
and fresh spinach pinwheels
…very veggie biscuits
grilled vegetables with spicy red pepper & eggplant tapenade

…pav bhaji crostinis
(served hot)
a medley of sautéed vegetables and indian spices
atop tomcat semolina crostinis served on moroccan tiles

…fusion risotto bytes
(served hot)
mint, coconut & cilantro risotto with crispy shallots
served on coconut spoons

…bhelpuri chick pea & potato chaat
in antique glass punch cups

…jewels of siam
cucumber crowns filled with strips of marinated filet mignon,
slivers of red pepper, cilantro, mint & scallions
in a soy ginger glaze served on a gilted antique mirror

…asian tigerhead meatballs (served hot)
korean ginger, lemongrass & scallion meatballs
skewered into wheatgrass

…bombay biscuits
garam masala glazed filet mignon
& sweet chili jam in a mini black sesame biscuit
served in an armadillo pewter basket

Petit Desserts, Finger Food Delights and Fruit Display…..

...fresh fruit display with melons, pineapple, berries and other seasonal fruit

...rosewater scented cream puffs dipped in belgium chocolate & pistachios bytes sized baklava and middle eastern pastries

...and a medley of vibrant cupcakes displayed on tiered stands and risers

Late Night Comfort Food
– to sober up before the ride home
nothing like a curry after an evening of drinking

.... a selection of favorites

basmati rice......pompadoms & nan.......west indian pumpkin & soy curry......
......spicy curried chicken with chickpeas and zucchini

presented by CuisinEtc, a boutique NYC caterer

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