Which comes first? Food or design?
Premier caterers ask themselves this every day. And every day the answer varies. But it always comes down to two things: keep it simple and keep it brilliant.
With this in mind, Creative Edge Parties created a 10,000-square-foot “think tank” in an abandoned train station in Jersey City, New Jersey, to develop unique ideas for the food and design for upcoming events. For one event in particular, the team was tasked with developing a menu for one of the first events at 1 World Trade Center, America's tallest building. The client had a trio of needs to be considered as Creative Edge conceptualized the menu:
Take something standard and turn it on its head
Highlight fresh, local ingredients
Honor an enduring New York landmark
How did Creative Edge do it? The team re-envisioned the age-old crudité station and built a series of floating Lucite cube towers to reflect the new building and created a 360-degree grab-and-go crudité experience. Each of the four cubes was open on a different side of the building, prompting guests to walk completely around the tower to experience the individually composed mini gardens of crudité.
Here’s a taste of what was served:
Romesco Cauliflower, Meyer Lemon and Truffle Soil
Haricot Vert, avocado, Green Goddess Dressing
Citrus Marinated Carrots, Saffron Aioli and Toasted Pumpernickel Croutons
Cherry Tomato, Bloody Mary Salt and Celery
Another task solved in the “think tank” was for a recent brand appreciation event that took place in a new downtown loft space in the middle of renovation. This time, the client demands differed:
- Engage guests through interactions that both teach and entertain
- Design an elevated bar experience
- Enhance the venue’s “cool factor”
To meet this challenge, Creative Edge brought its own mixologists into the kitchen with the design department to create a truly inspired event. Here's what they came up with:
• “Flip” egg white foam cocktails that featured a tasting spoon across the top of the glass filled with pomegranate seeds paired with a foie gras-filled fortune cookie
• Bourbon-based cocktails using exotic bitters that start by scenting the glass with hickory-infused smoke
• Custom-built ladders where the rungs are styled with mosaics of artisanal cheeses, a variety of breads, and “accessories” to create a customized cheese plate
To top it off, the following delicious treats were served:
Cheeses: Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche, Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve, Keeley’s Across the Pond, Blue Ledge Farms, Middlebury Blue, and 5 Spoke Tumbleweed Cheddar
Breads: sourdough, Nordic rye bread, cranberry walnut, and petite baguettes
Infused honeycombs: lavender, thyme, and truffle
Pate de fruits: guava, quince, Turkish dried apricots, and fig
Nuts: Spiced pecans
Droppers: fig balsamic reduction, rose peppercorn syrup, and Riesling emulsion
These are the challenges that caterers face every day. Creative Edge Parties is able to succeed by collaborating with its clients in a way that engages the overall message and creates a unique event. Creative Edge breaks the boundaries between caterer and client to build the solution with the design department, and of course, with the kitchen.