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Bash Buzz: 02.19.01

February 19, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

OUT: CAVIAR, IN: DING DONGS?
If you're on the lookout for the new trend in party food, you won't find it at Dean & Deluca. According to a story in the Styles section of Sunday's The New York Times, Ho Ho's, Twinkies and Popeyes fried chicken are the new hot party treats--for the young hipsters quoted in the story, at least. So-called comfort food has already overtaken menus at chic, high-priced restaurants like the Hudson Cafeteria in the Hudson Hotel, and now the junk food sold in supermarkets and fast food joints is popping up at parties. Jamie Richardson, White Castle's marketing director, offers this explanation: “It's the age of the Kodak generation--we're all overdeveloped and underexposed, so the simplicity of the product pulls people together.” Or maybe it's the cheap price: The story reports that White Castle caters 500-person events for $700, while Glorious Food's prices start at $250 a person.

GRAMMY'S GIGANTIC GIFT BAG
No matter what you put in your last event's gift bag, it probably wasn't this good: Each of the celebrities presenting awards at the Grammys on Wednesday will get a bag of loot worth $15,000. People magazine's Steven Cojocaru was dishing about the bags during his weekly Today show appearance last Thursday. He also showed Matt Lauer a few items from a special $20,000 bag intended for Madonna. The newlywed is getting a few extra perks, including a Christian Dior purse not yet available in stores.

FORD'S WOBBLY FASHION TIE-IN
The Ford Motor Company tried to cash in on last week's Fashion Week hoopla and add some glam to its somewhat pedestrian image by co-hosting the Fashion in Focus show with magazine publisher Hachette Filippachi (owner of Elle) at Cipriani 42nd Street. According to Inside.com, the event's models strutted down a wobbly, clear Plexiglas runway that was built over some of the cars on display, wearing fashions made entirely of materials from the Ford Focus interior. (A wedding dress made of airbags was the uncontested hit of the evening.) “While there was some stumbling,” the snarky report adds, “models actually tripped.”

Adding a fashion element to events held by non-fashion industry companies is a trend we've seen in other recent events, including a Canon product launch.

GROWING A BUSINESS TAKING SLICKERS AND SCARVES
Lots of.phpiring actors, models and musicians make some bucks by doing all kinds of event work. But these three sisters started their own company, and have watched it grow: Jayne Anne, Eloise and Mary Lou Harris started checking coats to make money between acting gigs, and now their company, Coat Check Inc., has expanded its services to offer staffing for other special event jobs, from serving to carpentry. Emily DeNitto's “New York, New York” column in last week's Crain's New York Business reported that last year the company brought in $230,000, a 25 percent increase from the previous year. The key to their success? “Attention to details often overlooked by most coat checkers, such as having staff members help guests on and off with their Prada slickers.” Their clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cartier and American Express.

D.C. REPORTERS IN A TIZZY OVER MENU TASTING
Usually the politicians they cover are the ones arguing, but Washington's Radio-Television Correspondents are having their own row over the group's annual dinner next month. The source of the trouble: C-SPAN's Lew Ketcham, the group's outgoing chairman, decided that the seven members of its board didn't all need to attend the menu-tasting for the event. RollCall.com reports that Ketcham's wife, Barbara, a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, told her husband the industry standard is for two or three people to do a tasting. But John Bisney, a radio corresondent for CNN, was so infuriated by the change he fired off a protest letter, which got other reporters buzzing about the tasting tiff.

Posted 02.19.01

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