Tag Archive | Catering

Scoozi Events Hosts a Chef Tasting in Midtown!

Scoozi Events
Above Image Courtesy of Scoozi Events; All Other Photos By Gail Except Where Notes

When you have attended as many catered events and cocktail parties as I have, you get the opportunity to sample a variety unique and tasty foods. But after your umpteenth morsel of Prime Rib on a Crostini, or Coconut Fried Shrimp, you might tend to encounter a lot of sameness among the small bites being offered by various NYC catering companies. Yes, you have perhaps tasted it all, until you are lucky enough to attend a party catered by Scoozi Events: and it is only then that your tastebuds will be fully awakened to true culinary innovation!

In operation since 1996, Scoozi Events is a full-service catering and event resource. Voted New York City’s Most Creative Catering Company, Scoozi is also a company with a conscience. Certified green with three stars by the Green Restaurant Association, Scoozi recycles, composts, and uses eco-friendly products in an effort to continue reducing its carbon footprint. The goal is to provide clients with an unmatched experience, from décor to cuisine; and the true magic is in the details. Recently, I was invited to a Chef Tasting hosted by Scoozi at one of their intimate midtown venues, where my mind was fully blown by the unique selection of mouth-watering Hors D’Oeuvres and craft cocktails that I had the extreme pleasure to enjoy. Take a look at some of my favorite bites!

Bagel Chip with Cream Cheese and Smoked Carrot

Scoozi has an extensive menu of vegetarian-friendly small bites, including this Smoked Carrot ‘Lox’ on a Bagel Crisp with Cream Cheese and Dill Garnish.

Eggplant Nigiri

Eggplant Nigiri: it looks like Smoked Eel Sushi, but it’s a teriyaki-glazed slice of perfectly torch-finished eggplant!

Chicken Cilantro Taco

Chicken Verde Tacos with Scallion Crema and Queso Fresco on a Mini Flour Tortilla. These tiny tacos were presented on a long tree branch with wedges cut out to nestle each taco perfectly. Check it out!

Chicken Tacos on a Branch
Image Courtesy of Scoozi Events

Mini Big Mac Detail

Mini Big Macs, Scoozi Style! These Baby Macs surpass the ordinary slider, taking the classic ingredients of a McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich but swapping the expected dill pickle for a slice of sweet Bread and Butter Pickle — for a little flavor thrill!

Ramen Burger

Another alternative to the traditional beef blider is the Ramen Noodle Burger; an open-faced, teriyaki-glazed Burger on a Ramen Noodle ‘Bun.’ Delish!

Mexican Street Corn on a Blue Corn Tortilla

Mexican Street Corn on a Blue Corn Tortilla!

Spaghetti and Meatball Tuna Tartar on a Crispy Rice Cake

Spaghetti and Meatball, and Tuna Tartar with Sriracha Aioli on a Crispy Rice Cake. Everyone wanted to know how they got the pasta into that shape!

Pigs in Blankets

An updated take on the cocktail party favorite of Pigs in Blankets, Scoozi calls this the Beef Pig in a Pretzel Shell with Grain Mustard “Caviar.” Absolute perfection in a single bite.

Lemongrass Chicken Pop Up

Sizzling Lemongrass Chicken with Sticky Rice ‘Pop Up’ — These customized “General Zoe’s” Chinese Take-Out containers were presented in an oversized wok filed with uncooked white rice!

Pineapple Orange Coconut Mojito with Sugar Cane Stirrer

My thirst was quenched by a selection of refreshing and fruity cocktails: the Pineapple Orange Coconut Mojito (above) and Blackberry Mojito (below), both served with a fresh Sugar Cane stalk stirrer!

Blackberry Mojito
Blackberry Mojito

Cocktail Gummies
Image Courtesy of Scoozi Events

Yummy Alcohol-infused Cocktail Gummies improve on the usual Jello Shot, being part cocktail and part sweet dessert!

Alcohol Infused Gummy Bears

The Pink Paloma was my favorite!

S'Mores Pipes

For dessert, these Deconstructed S’mores are a Scoozi original: Toasted Marshmallow rounds dusted with Graham Cracker Crumbs and accompanied by a squeezable pipe filled with Warm Melted Chocolate! To enjoy; bite the marshmallow and simultaneously squeeze the chocolate into your mouth. Decadent!

Afogato

Affogato is a traditional Italian dessert consisting of Espresso Cold Brew poured over Vanilla Ice Cream, here topped with whipped cream. Simple, but amazing! Notice that the attention to detail includes a fun miniature replica of a Greek Diner Coffee Cup. Adorable.

Scoozi Desserts
Assorted Desserts Image Courtesy of Scoozi Events

During the tasting, I had the chance to enjoy a marvelous, casual conversation with Scoozi Events President and CFO, Gianluca Ballarini, who is as charming as he is talented. Gianluca’s fascinating background includes a former career in the international fine jewelry business, and he can share stories both amusing and enlightening that probably qualify him as the guy at any party who everyone wants to talk to.  But beyond being entertained by our chat, what I got most from Gianluca is the degree to which he cares about the services that Scoozi Events provides: because it’s not just business to him, it’s really more like a family. If I hadn’t already been won over by the fine food and drinks, Gianluca’s kind heart and commitment to customer service sealed the deal.

Beyond their impeccable food, cocktails and decor, Scoozi Events also work with many cool venues all over NYC, and they can recommend a variety of places to consider when you need a place to book an upcoming event. To find out more about Scoozi Events, see menus (including so much more in the way of food, cocktails and desserts than what you’ve seen here), and request a personalized proposal to plan every perfect detail of your next event, contact them via their website at Scoozi Events Dot Com!

Mini Big Macs

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Duran New York: Unique European Open Faced Sandwiches!

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All Photos By Tom Szebeni

In NYC, event catering is a big deal business. Those in the position to hire caterers — from administrative assistants  to event planners to television production crews — are always on the lookout for reliable, hassle-free sources of delicious foods that can appeal to a variety of dietary requirements (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) while coming in at a reasonable price. Having personally accumulated about 25 years of experience working as an office manager and administrative assistant, I know this much  to be true: when it comes to event planning, no matter if it’s for 5, 50 or 500 people, the food is everything.

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Recently, I was invited to join my friend Anne from the LuxeLifeNYC blog for a private tasting at Duran Sandwiches New York, located on Madison Avenue and 27th Street. Duran is a family owned business, originating in Vienna, Austria, and dating back about 50 years! Now, you can get their fine sandwiches in the States! This is cause to celebrate!

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Duran New York is owned and operated by the completely charming  and super friendly Tom Szebeni, a former line producer for European Reality TV who came to the states and missed the delicious, open-faced sandwiches he grew to love while living in his native Hungary. When Tom decided he was ready for a career change, his love of good food and talent for bespoke customer service led him to open Duran New York. Many of the sandwich recipes served at the Madison Avenue location are actually based on traditional Austrian and Hungarian recipes.

Roast Beef with Red Onion
Roast Beef with Sweet Red Onion

We had a lovely time sitting with Tom and being entertained by his engaging stories while sampling a variety Duran’s most poplar sandwiches.

Egg Salad Lobster Salad Sirloin
Image Above By Gail

Above is a photo I took of three of my favorites: Egg Salad, Lobster Salad (especially good with a squirt of fresh lemon juice), and thinly sliced Sirloin with Cranberry Marmalade and White Asparagus. Each one was excellent in its own way, and you can see and taste the quality!

Avocado Salad

We also tasted the Avocado Salad (above) and the Sundried Tomato Salad (below), made with both sundried and fresh tomatoes, pureed to a smooth and creamy consistency along with sweet imported dates – amazing and totally vegan-friendly!

Sundried Tomato Salad

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I Got Yer Picnic Right Here

Sandwich toppings are served on the most complimentary bread variety, with a choice of White, Pumpernickel bread with sesame seeds, or Whole wheat with oat. All breads are baked exclusively by Tubito’s Brick Oven Bakery of Suffern, NY, and delivered fresh daily to the store.

Cucumber and Farmers Cheese
Cucumber and Farmers Cheese, Perfect for Tea Time

Party Catering Set Up
Duran Sandwiches Get The Party Started

The sandwiches are not only amazingly delicious, but — as you can see by these photos — each one looks like a work of art!

Camembert Cheese
Camembert Cheese

Not only should Admins and PAs be seriously considering Duran Sandwiches as a new option for corporate catering, but being able to choose from a seemingly endless variety of toppings also presents an ideal solution for passed hors d’oeuvres for home holiday entertaining — when you’d rather enjoy time with your guests than spend time in the kitchen.  They’re also terrific to take as a picnic to nearby Madison Square Park!

Duran Sandwiches is located at 62 Madison Avenue at 27th Street in NYC. Call 212-576-1000 (tell them The Worley Gig sent you!) or visit them online at Duran Sandwiches Dot Com!

Duran Smail to Go Box

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Georgetown Cupcake Debuts in Soho!

Georgetown Cupcake Opening Party

Photos By Anne Raso

Last evening, we dined on cupcakes and champagne — not kidding – at a festive and fancy launch party for the newest location (Prince Street in Soho) of Georgetown Cupcake, officially opening to the public on Saturday February 11, 2012. Some killjoys and curmudgeons may speculate that the Cupcake Craze is on the wane, but there is much evidence to the contrary. It seems to us that there are specialists in this niche of the baking spectrum who are just getting started in their quest to do these tiny cakes differently / better than any other bakers! Georgetown Cupcake certainly has a foothold in the realm of doing whatever it takes to bring Cupcakes to, as they say, the next level.

Georgetown Cupcake Pink Boxes

Georgetown Cupcake was founded by sisters and baking enthusiasts Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne, who gave up thriving careers in fashion and finance, respectively, to pursue their passion for creating artful cupcakes. Their flagship Georgetown Cupcake store opened in DC, as the city’s first and only cupcake specialty boutique, in February of 2008. In just four years, business has boomed! Katherine and Sophie now have their own TV series DC Cupcakes on the TLC cable network, and they have published a fun cupcake cookbook – The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake – which is available wherever books are sold (I think they probably sell it in their stores as well). Great success!

Waiter with Tray of Cupcakes

At Thursday night’s bash, miniature versions of Georgetown’s many cupcake flavors made continuous rounds through the packed crowd of party-goers, which allowed us to sample a variety of flavors including traditional Vanilla Buttercream, Cookies & Cream, Red Velvet (with a luscious cream cheese frosting), Lemon Blossom and an extraordinarily decadent Peanut Butter Fudge (chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and a rich fudge cream center) that everyone seemed to call out as a favorite. These cupcakes are not only moist and delicious, with frostings that are not too sugary sweet, but each is decorated beautifully, often with a tiny, signature fondant candy made in house.

Display Case of Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Georgetown can accommodate nearly any type of custom order imaginable, including holiday cupcakes and custom color icings and fondants, as well as cupcakes decorated with your company’s logo (with two weeks noticed plus a small upcharge for the custom stamp) and of course catering for weddings, baby showers and other events. It’s apparent that customer service is really what it’s all about for the sisters of Georgetown Cupcake, and with that kind of a can-do attitude there would be little reason to go elsewhere for your cupcake needs. Take a look at their cupcake menu, which includes daily regular selections as well as mouthwatering special featured flavors – such as Chocolate Banana and Pumpkin Spice – at This Link.

Georgetown Cupcake (Soho) is located at 111 Mercer Street (between Spring and Prince), New York, NY 10012. Phone 212-431-4504. Hours are Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 9 PM, and Sunday 10 AM – 7 PM, with a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 12 Noon – 9 PM. Be sure to stop by for that if you can!

The Cupcake Diaries Cook Book