Tag Archives: dinner party

Adrián Villar Rojas’ The Theater of Disappearance On The Roof of The Met

Theater of Dissappearance
All Photos By Gail

The cooler, more inclement weather that comes with Fall is slowly encroaching, which means that the annual Roof Garden exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is about to close. So, if you’ve not yet made a visit to see Adrián Villar Rojas’ fantastic installation, The Theater of Disappearance, you have until October 29th, 2017 to check out (weather permitting of course) this unique exhibit that strongly resembles the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a very fancy dinner party.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

For this site specific-installation, Argentian artist Adrián Villar Rojas (b. 1980) used the Museum itself as his subject material; drawing on objects in the collection and the history of collecting practices. To realize the extensive work, the artist immersed himself in The Met, and with its staff over many months, held conversations with the curators, conservators, managers, and technicians — 3-D scanning and imaging experts —  across every department, who all contributed to the realization of this installation. Conceived as a holistic environment, The Theater of Disappearance transfers the space of the Roof Garden into a performative diorama.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Sixteen black and white sculptures incorporate nearly one hundred detailed replicas of objects from The Met’s collection – selected from a wide variety of time periods and cultures, and reconfigured as amalgamations, The Theater of Disappearance encompasses thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures, and fuses them with facsimiles of contemporary human figures as well as furniture, animals, cutlery, and food. Each object — whether a 1,000-year-old decorative plate or a human hand — is rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a thin layer of dust.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Architecture is folded into the fabric of the work. Villar Rojas’s intervention includes two radical new flooring systems – one checkerboard and the other a reflective metallic surface – as well as a redesigned bar, benches, new plantings, and an extended pergola overhead, creating dramatic setting that transforms the panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline into theatrical backdrops for the installation.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

The total effect of sculptures and environment is a dazzling, disorienting scene where all senses of the interpretive history associated with Museum objects has vanished, making way for and alternative history for art.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

This project is dedicated to the memory of Ronald Street, The Met’s first head of digital imaging. Please enjoy more photos, which I shot during two separate visits this past summer!

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Dissappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Yellowchair Presents a Mezcal Tasting Event, Plus Music By Cory Wade, For a Cause!

Yellow Chair Table Setting
All Photos By Gail, Except Where Noted

Hey what’s up. Do you enjoy having fun new experiences where you get to eat and drink while also making new friends? I sure do. Recently, I was invited to check out a Mezcal Tasting sponsored by Yellowchair; a series of culinary-themed networking events that take place all over the city.

Yellowchair members have access to curated dinners, tastings, private events and culinary adventures, making each happening the perfect backdrop for, as their buzz phrase says, “Dinner with New Friends.” In addition to the Mezcal tasting and accompanying appetizers, the evening promised a music set by singer and America’s Next Top Model finalist, Cory Wade.  Have you seen him? I did not watch his season, but I know he is super fierce.

Cory Wade Headshot
Cory Wade: The Fierceness (Image Source)

I invited my friend Tracy, a fellow blogger who loves to eat, drink and network, to come along and we set out for a fun night!

Casa Mezcal Lounge

The event took place in the upstairs lounge space at Casa Mezcal Mexican Restaurant (86 Orchard Street). In business for five years, Casa Mezcal is partner’s Guillermo Olguin and Ignacio Carballido’s vision of a place that brings the essence of Oaxaca to New York City!

Cory and Alex

Cory was already warming up as guests were getting seated and he was accompanied by guitarist Alex Alleva. I really enjoyed his set of pop standards from different eras, including current hits like the ubiquitous “Uptown Funk.”  Cory’s voice is very fluid and he has a friendly stage persona coupled with a professional charisma that makes him an ideal entertainer for both an intimate setting and larger venues. One of my favorite moments of the set was when he and Alex performed a clever mash-up of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and the Ray Charles classic,  “Hit the Road, Jack,” that was just insane.

Cory has recently partnered with Sound Affects – a non-profit, donation-­based crowdfunding platform which enables bio-researchers to accelerate the development of cancer treatments. Sound Affects strategically partners with celebrity and amateur musical artists to promote their approach to revolutionizing the war on cancer. All proceeds for the evening were donated to Sound Affects.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest.

Los Amantes Mezcal

In line with its goal of serving as a portal to the rich cultural and culinary traditions of  Mexico’s Oaxaca region, Casa Mezcal also features its own brand of  high end Mezcal, Los Amantes, which was created by Carballido and Olguin. Los Amantes was our first tasting of the evening.

Mezcal #1

Los Amantes Joven is single young mezcal, triple distilled with fruit tones and mildly smoked. You can taste citrus and sweet flavors, and at the end the notes are slightly metallic and herbaceous. We were also served salted orange slices with the mezcal to accentuate the flavors.

Guacamole and Chips

The mezcal tastings were accompanied by fresh and spicy Guacamole, chips with assorted salsas, and small dishes of Chapulines estilo Oaxaca; toasted grasshoppers seasoned with salt and lime. I’ve been hearing for years that grasshoppers are an excellent alternative source of protein and that they taste and crunch like potato chips, so I was definitely down for the culinary adventure. I will tell you that they tasted very salty, and could have been crunchier, but they weren’t bad. The lady sitting across from me went pretty wild for them, though. Good for her!

Ceiling Lights

The grasshoppers were also a good conversation stimulant, as everybody chimed in with stories about the weirdest thing they’d ever eaten, tongues lubricated by the smoky mezcal!


Santa Pedrera

The second mezcal tasting was Santa Pedrera; a single young mezcal with a bit of a kick to start, full bodied and less smoky than the Los Amantes. Earthy and bright, Santa Pedrera has a more traditional take on the ways to mezcal flavor. I preferred it over our first tasting selection.

Santa Pedrera

It tasted nice with a twist of orange rind added!

We were also served an appetizer course called Queso Con Yerbasanta: pan fried cheese wrapped on hierba santa,  served over a delicious tomatillo sauce with fresh homemade corn tortillas on the side. I was so excited to eat this dish that I completely forgot to take a picture. It was really good.

Overall, it was a very fun evening where I made some new friends, heard some good tunes, ate  an adventurous food thing, and got a buzz for free! Find out more about Yellowchair events, and register for a free account, at This Link!


Pepperidge Farm and Swanson Present Holidays in July!

Product Display
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

The idea of Christmas in July has always been exciting to me, because I love the Holiday season, but I also love Summer. So it was extremely fun to be invited to a lovely Holiday-Themed Dinner Party thrown by Swanson and Pepperidge Farm that not only featured delicious foods but also easy cooking tips and beautiful home decorating ideas. Win win win!

Holidays in July Signage

Of course, the point of the Holidays in July Campaign is not rush the coming of the season but to point out that it is never too early to start planning!

Holiday Tree

Swanson and Pepperidge Farm (which are both owned by Campbell Soup Company, a fact I did not previously know) had the event space decorated beautifully complete with seasonally appropriate touches including a Tree, Wreaths and Wrapped Presents — very festive!

Cheese Table

Before dinner was served, we all enjoyed a spread of delicious snacks, including this insane Brie En Croute made with Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.

Brie En Croute

Look at this gorgeous thing. Just look at it.


Pre-dinner cocktails included a signature drink, the Gingerbread Martini, topped with a Pepperidge Farm Gingerman Cookie! You would not believe how delicious and refreshing this cocktail was.

Gingerbread Man Cocktail

Plus, cute.

Table Setting

Nothing gets your guests excited for a delicious holiday meal quite like a beautifully set table. Mixing Christmas ornaments in with fresh flower arrangements really brings the seasonal atmosphere into your home.

Gingerbread House

And look, somebody made a Gingerbread Cookie House from a variety of Pepperidge Farm Cookies!

Floral Centerpiece

Here’s what was on the evening’s menu:

Roast Whole Turkey

Sliced Turkey on Platter

Herb Roasted Turkey and Pan Gravy with Swanson Chicken Stock.


Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Swanson Beef Stock.

Two Kinds of Potatoes

Here’s a fun presentation suggestion: serve two different kinds of potatoes side by side in the same dish! Above, you’ll see a Sweet Potato and Parsnip Puree nestled alongside ultra creamy traditional Mashed Potatoes. All vegetables were cooked in Swanson Chicken Broth instead of water, which simply enhances the flavor of the food without imparting a chicken taste to the finished dish. This is a tip I am definitely going to put into practice, because the results are outstanding.

Macaroni and Cheese with Crushed Goldfish

Check out this rich Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese topped with crushed Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers. Kids (and Adults) will flip over this!

Three Kinds of Stuffing

Three varieties of stuffing included (Left to Right):

Caramelized Onion with Pancetta and Rosemary Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing and Swanson Chicken Broth.

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing.

Baked Apple Cranberry Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Unseasoned Stuffing and Swanson Chicken Broth. (My Favorite).

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing.

There was also an assortment of Pepperidge Farm Bake at Home Breads and Stone Baked Artisan Breads.

Puff Pastry Sheets

After a huge feast like the one I’ve just talked about, everyone needed a bit of a rest before dessert. Everyone was invited into the kitchen to watch one of Pepperidge Farm’s in-house chefs demonstrate how easy it is to make desserts with the brand’s best-selling Puff Pastry!

Chef Making Pastry

Puff Pastry with Fruit

Puff Pastries topped with Fresh Fruit.

Puff Pastries with Nutella and Hazelnuts

Puff Pastries filled with Nutella and topped with Hazelnuts.

Bananas Foster Pudding with Chessmen

And last but not least, Bananas Foster Pudding topped with a layer of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies! Delish!

Get recipes mentioned in this post and more by downloading Pepperidge Farm’s Holiday Recipe Booklet at This Link! Happy Holidays!

Dinner Menu

Miles Aldridge, I Only Want You to Love Me at Steven Kasher

Miles Aldridge Actress #6
Miles Aldridge Actress #6 (All Photos By Gail)

Fashion Photographer Miles Aldridge is currently showing a selection of his Technicolor dream photography, I Only Want You to Love Me, at Steven Kasher Gallery. We declare that this is a Must See exhibit!

Continue reading Miles Aldridge, I Only Want You to Love Me at Steven Kasher

Throw an Instant Dinner Party with Emmi Fondue!

Cheese Fondue Package with Bread and Wine

All Photos By Gail

If you enjoy the idea of combining delicious foods with fun and easy home entertaining, then you should probably consider having a fondue party. I was recently introduced to Emmi brand Fondue, a product of Switzerland that you can buy now in the States. The idea of making fondue in your home probably seems like a hassle, but Emmi makes it so easy! I will tell you how easy right now.

Cheese Fondue Box Back
Easy Step By Step Instructions!

First of all, I would like to thank my friend Lauren and her lovely teenage daughter Sophia for hosting the Fondue Party in their home, and helping with the minimal prep work. Here is all you have to do to have a fun, easy and delicious dinner party!

Emmi cheese fondue is made with natural Swiss cheese, white wine, kirsch brandy, salt and other spices to give it the authentic taste of Fondue that you would enjoy in a fine specialty restaurant. All you have to do is squeeze the fondue from the foil packet (which keeps it shelf fresh for months) into a fondue pot or enamel sauce pan and heat it up.

Cubed Bread

While the fondue heats under a watchful eye, prepare the food items that you will dip into the cheese. We had a crusty loaf of bread, which I cut into cubes.

Broccoli and Carrots

We also chose lightly steamed fresh broccoli and baby carrots as dippers. The Emmi fondue package lists other appropriate dippers, but you can get creative according to your tastes. We were thinking that maybe next time we will choose some cubed ham.

Table Set

The Fondue was hot in under ten minutes and ready to enjoy! Emmi Swiss Fondue has an excellent consistency – thick but not gloppy – and a rich cheese flavor enhanced by the wine and kirsch. One package easily feeds two hungry adults.

After a short period of rest, it was time for dessert!

Emmi Chocolate Fondue Package

Emmi makes an amazing Swiss Chocolate Fondue which was even easier to prepare than the cheese fondue. Do you see two packages there? Each serves two people. We made them both.

Chocolate Fondue Unmelted

This is what the fondue looks like before it melts. The white spots you see are little morsels of white chocolate inside the larger, bittersweet chocolate nuggets. Oh, man.
Chocolate Fondue Melted

Over low heat it melts very fast! Smooth!

Dipping Bananas

Reccommended dippers for the chocolate fondue are cut up fruits, cookies, marshmallows or cubes of pound cake or angel food cake. We cut up a couple of fresh pears, an apple and some bananas. Confession: we dipped the bread left over from the cheese fondue into the chocolate also. It was insane. Lauren noted that the melted chocolate perfectly enrobed each piece of fruit.

Chocolate Fondue All Gone

This pot may look empty but, trust me, we scraped it clean.

So, there you go: Delicious. Easy. Fun. Emmi Fondues sell for between $8 – $10 depending on the vendor. Lauren and I definitely agree that they are  super convenient and an excellent value. Why not put an Emmi Fondue Party on your To Do List right now!?