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Fall Food: Caterers Show Their Spreads

October 15, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Susan Edgar Design placed floral arrangements atop high skinny poles and framed them in gold boxes for Great Performances' seating area at Grand Central's Landmark Event in Vanderbilt Hall, which showcased fall food and decor from five catering companies.

Grand Central's Landmark Event Vanderbilt Hall Thursday, 10.10.02, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
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Pumpkins, apples and squash—your standby fall flavors—got updated twists when five catering companies showcased seasonal spreads for event planners at Grand Central's Landmark Event in Vanderbilt Hall. Cosponsored by Where New York magazine, the event wasn't just about the food, but also about creative presentation. Each caterer designed its own eating area, while the entire room was lit in moving red, pink and blue lights by Frost Lighting.

Susan Edgar Design mixed red and green apples with lots of shiny, metallic items to create Great Performances' decor. Several floral arrangements were placed atop high skinny poles and framed in gold boxes, while neon green lights (like the glow-in-the-dark necklaces worn by club-goers) were looped through a large bin of bright red apples on the floor. Large silver urns were filled with CDs—metallic side up—and topped with a silver metal tree that had green apples and ornaments instead of leaves. The menu followed suit with an all-apple theme: butternut gnocchi with walnut butter served in roasted yellow apples, apple pancakes with seared foie gras, apple beignets dusted with powdered sugar and apple pie specialty drinks.

The Catering Company served its food in cocktail glasses: lime and cilantro marinated chicken with roasted corn, black beans, jicama and tortilla frizzles in martini glasses; champagne risotto with roasted squash and toasted pumpkin seeds in champagne glasses; and vodka-marinated Chilean sea bass over mashed potatoes with green olives and frizzled leeks in mini martini glasses. The caterer's area was filled with dark orange and wood decor, and passed hors d'oeuvres like crunchy shrimp chopsticks were served on rectangular wooden trays filled with tiny orange and red pebbles.

The Glazier Group opted for a traditional fall look and placed pumpkins and large branch arrangements adorned with dark red and orange roses between two buffet tables. Small cups of butternut squash with gorgonzola cheese straws were doled out and spiced sweet potato chips spilled from wooden buckets. The specialty drink was a mix of passion fruit, nutmeg and vodka.

As an alternative to the plentiful fall colors, Creative Edge Parties created a black and white lounge. Polka-dot carpets and black leather chairs and ottomans were placed in between black bars that were topped with clear glass vases filled with eggs. Passed hors d'oeuvres included deviled eggs with chervil, curry and smoked paprika, and porcini mushroom tarts. Plated samples included warm root vegetable gratin with wild mushroom jus and micro greens, and a chopped Greek salad with sweet corn, English peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, eggplant, feta and sourdough croutons.

In the middle of the room, Grand Central tenant Campbell Apartment served drinks while Abigail Kirsch Culinary Productions (one of the venue's exclusive caterers) passed hors d'oeuvres of grilled Kumamoto oysters, fish and chips and edible chocolate chopsticks.

Jill Musguire

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