Tag Archive | Launch Party

Japanese Confectioner Malebranche Launches Maru Cha Cha Cookie With a Fun Party At The Whitney!

Maru Cha Cha Packaging
All Photos By Gail

Food and Art go together; so what better venue could there be for throwing a cookie launch party than an actual art museum? We were recently invited to the Whitney Museum of American Art on Gansevoort Street to celebrate leading Japanese French-style confectioner Malebranche’s U.S. launch of its Maru Cha Cha matcha-based  biscuits, and the evening was a terrific mix of food, art and Japanese culture.

Whitney Museum Exterior Elevation
Whitney Museum with the High Line in the Foreground

The event went beyond the traditional cocktail party to include not only cocktails and delicious passed appetizers, but also tastings of the unique Maru Cha Cha cookies, including an indulgent Trifle dessert recipe by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Anthony. Guests had the chance to meet and mingle with the Japanese brand-influencers behind Malebranche  (a high end bakery in Japan) and to learn what Matcha — the key ingredient in the Maru Cha Cha biscuits — is all about.

Malebranche Interior
Above and Below, Inside a Malebranche Bakery Cafe in Kyoto.

Malebranche Interior

Maru Cha Cha Signage

According to a post by http://inthekitchen.org, Matcha is a powdered green tea made from the young tea leaves that are ground in a stone mill. Matcha can be enjoyed in thick (koicha) or thin (usucha) variations. Koicha, the base of Maru Cha Cha biscuits, is made with higher quality matcha, resulting in a richer flavor and allowing you to taste the inherent sweetness of the green tea.

“We believe that, as of late, Japanese cuisine and culture are gaining immense popularity in the U.S., but we barely see the Japanese biscuits or snacks,” said Satoshi Isohata, director of Malebranche. “As our Maru Cha Cha biscuits are inspired by Kyoto culture and tradition, we hope that they will become a new treat of choice for New Yorkers’ daily routines and, at the same time, one that will give them a taste of Japan.”

James Beard Award Winning Chef Michael Anthony
Chef Michael Anthony Addresses Party Guests

Similar to green tea, matcha holds even greater nutritional value. And since you are consuming the entire leaf, rather than drinking a steeped tea, you get a higher concentration of antioxidants. These antioxidants of matcha are proven to help fight cancers, reduce the risk of heart disease, boost calorie burn and even offer some anti-aging benefits. In addition, matcha is rich in the amino acid L-theanine, which can help you focus and reduce stress and anxiety.

Biscuits and Tea

Beyond the benefits of matcha as a main ingredient, Maru Cha Cha biscuits are gluten free, do not use animal fat and are a great treat to snack on alone or paired with tea and coffee. The simple ingredients include rice flour, sesame oil, cocoa butter and matcha.

Steak Tartare

Some of the savory snacks we enjoyed at the party included  flavorful Steak Tartare (pictured above).

Charred Broccoli
Charred Broccoli with Shaved Parmesan

Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

Maru Cha Cha Trifle Dessert
Maru Cha Cha Trifle Dessert Recipe By Chef Michael Anthony


While we took our desserts out onto the terrace to enjoy the lovely views, we were treated to an authentic Japanese live performance of Ikebana — the Japanese art of Flower Arrangement! The Ikebana artist took the display from the state you see above…

Maru Cha Cha Ikebana Completed

To this beautiful finished composition! It was fun to watch it all come together!

Maru Cha Cha Party Jazz Band

There was also a Jazz Trio! They really thought of everything to create a very memorable — and delicious — evening!

Maru Cha Cha cookies are available for purchase in specialty stores, including Dean & DeLuca, for a suggested retail price of $8 per 10-piece box and $14 per 20-piece box. They are also sold at Bon Marché in Paris and by Malebranche in Kyoto, Japan.

Maru Cha Cha Party Crowd

Everyone Had Fun!

Whitney Terrace View

And just look at that view!

MetroGuest Hosts Launch Party at So So Incredibly Beautiful

Living in Manhattan is awesome, but it ain’t cheap. If you’ve visited NYC and had the “pleasure” of booking a hotel room, you also know that a few nights’ lodging can easily drain your wallet of $1,000 or more. Ouch. To save some serious cash, but still enjoy centrally located, comfy NYC accommodations, lots of travelers turn to apartment swapping, and this is where a website like MetroGuest comes in handy. More than a marketplace for vacation and other property rentals, MetroGuest (http://www.MetroGuest.Com) is a community of hosts (property owners) and travelers looking to find an easy, complete and reliable alternative to the traditional booking process. Travelers and hosts can use the site to book a place to stay, connect with each other, read and write reviews, check references (so important), watch cool travel videos and more. MetroGuest represents properties all over the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Paris, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Tokyo and Havana. I am getting so excited just reading about it that I want to book a trip right now! Travel! MetroGuest is free to use for both property owners and travelers and is super user friendly, so there’s no reason not to sign up right now if vacation planning is on your agenda!

View South from Dining Area

On Wednesday May 4th MetroGuest hosted a party in conjunction with The Creatives Agency to celebrate the website’s recent launch, and it was pretty rad. The party was held in the highly unique, apartment-turned-art show, So So Incredibly Beautiful. With the help of The Creatives Agency, (where she is a founding member and director), apartment resident Susi Kenna put her life’s possessions in storage to transform her living space into a live-in art installation for a period of 6 months. To her knowledge, Kenna is the first person to transform her home in this way for an extended period of time.

Living Room

Showcasing the work of two artist friends, Carlos “Charlie” Perez and Julio Cesar Gonzelez, each room serves as a separate gallery housing more than 50 works of art that range from gorgeous kinetic light sculptures to photograph collages that spin on the wall, paintings, videos, rugs and custom wallpaper. Add the breathtaking views of New York City that are available through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the south and west exposure of this 42nd floor luxury residence and you’ve got one unforgettable New York experience. The work is on display through June 10th by appointment only.

Bill Murray Themed Bedroom

The Pink Room

See a Video Tour of the Space Below:

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