Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gatsby, A Night of Opulence

Hello!  I apologize for being out of commission for a long time.  I've been very busy with projects, playing for the tennis team and shooting a lot of events.  Which means, that I have more content ready to share.

What's kept me busy lately is our student event.  Blayre and Giulianna also had to do these events as they had to go through the Bachelor's Program as well.  Essentially, these events are capstone projects for those who go through their final terms at the Culinary Institute.  It's kind of the other tassel turn, if you will.

Check out Blayre's blog entry about her Latin American Table-themed event, if you would like to read it.

The premise of these events is to put together what we have learned these three and a half years whether it's cooking food, making pastries/breads, marketing, accounting... the whole enchilada.  With this knowledge and our instructor's guidance, we have to feed around 140 to 150 people, depending on how insane our General Manager or our class is.

We came up with the theme of Gatsby as the class thought that it was classy, or it was the best idea on the board among others such as a spring theme or a murder mystery.  After that, we had several recipe testing sessions and a lot of meetings regarding the event.  The pictures (with some captions) are the final result.

My friends Jackie and Tom were the photographers for the night.  It's strange for me to not be taking pictures during these events because I'm usually the one that does them, but with the pictures that they took... I got to borrow some ideas (i.e - angles, etc.) and got to edit them while playing jazz music in the background just to set the mood.

Our table settings, courtesy of our service captains: Sarah, Ryan and Steven.  Glitz and glamour, very Gatsby.  Say it five times.  On a more serious note, the service team gets to design the room for the event.  It can be done as a  group overall, or it could be done by a couple people which in this case, Sarah, Ryan and Steven worked on the main design.  We were just moving stuff around.

Our service team.  A class usually is composed of 30-36 people.  There are Marketing, Finance, Service, Food Service team and a General Manager.  With that said, we were a little short-staffed but our friends from the other class as well as mutual friends of friends helped us out during this event.  I don't know what would have happened without them, but I don't want to ever think of that scenario.

Here is our Foodservice Captain, Chad.  He was also the MIT for the Escoffier Restaurant before Bocuse opened up.  Chad was piping foie gras into bread that was custom made only for that specific dish.  Chad and the rest of the kitchen team created the menu for this event, and it was stellar and it fit the theme.  For example, here is the final product for the Foie Gras hors d'oeurve:

Zev and Jose, half of our beverage team making Kir Royale.  Other drinks in our cocktail menu included an Old Fashioned and a Rosebud, which is gin-based.  Like the foodservice team, they created a drink menu specificially for this event.

The Rosebud.

Besides selling the tickets for admission, we also have a silent auction.  Some of the items in this silent auction were certificates to dine at the CIA, gift basket, and custom made jewelry made by a friend's sister.  I forgot to mention that all proceeds went to the charity of the class' choice.  In this case, half of the proceeds that raised went to Hudson Valley Community Services, which helps people with AIDS as well as the community in general with food and shelter.  Half of the proceeds went to the Sidetowel Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship run by Chef David McCue which helps students with great work ethic but do not have a stellar GPA graduate.  So far, the Sidetowel scholarship has helped three people finish the program, an impressive number.

 People dressed up for the occasion, as well.  This picture is of Sohrob and Ashley's (one of the servers for the night) mom.  Parents and friends can support the event too if they are nearby!

Eric and Angela, General Manager and Service Manager for the next senior event this weekend, respectively.  They were invited to see how our night would go and how they would make certain adjustments to their event from what they have seen from ours.

One of my favorite pictures from the event.  I still think Sarah was dressed properly for the occasion.  The hair definitely makes it.

What is the twenties without swing dancing?  Accompanied by the Big Band Sound and PoTown Swing (something I need to get back into) came along for the party.  They were seated randomly at tables and invited people on the dance floor to lead or follow.  This supplemented the party atmosphere that the room created with all the food, cocktails and chatter.  Since every class has a different theme for their event, the class has a choice to pick the band as well.  Or there might not be a band at all, depending on the venue.

At the end of the night after all the madness was over, we were called up to the stage and got our fair share of applause.  This is the reason why it's kind of a tassel turn for seniors.  While we have not graduated yet, this event, after all the work and stress that we went through as a unit to achieve such a well-received result was almost equivalent to getting a diploma considering the circumstances that we had to go through to get it.  I really believe that each one of us are going to do great things in life and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Again, congratulations to all of us, and I'm confident that the other class will do a stellar job with their event, as well.


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