Interior Design Show Kicks Off With Italian-Themed Kitchen Party for 5,000

By Susan O'Neill January 25, 2010, 3:11 PM EST

A display of kitchen utensils hung above the main bar

Photo: Gary Beechey for BizBash

IDS 10 Opening Night Party
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To kick off the 12th annual Interior Design Show, held Friday through Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, organizers played up the “Ultimate” theme for this year’s event and hosted a massive opening night kitchen party for 5,000 guests on Thursday. “It’s an Italian home kitchen party on a big scale,” event producer Marion Heintzman of Heintzman Productions said of the party, which was sponsored by Dekla, Scavolini, and House & Home Media.

To create a kitchen feel in the main stage area, Heintzman built an oversize appliance rack—measuring 24 by 16 feet—that hung above the bar where she displayed kitchen items like platters, strainers, oven mitts, graters, measuring cups, and garlic strands.

Potted herbs and tins of tomatoes filled with bread sticks topped two long tables covered in red and white gingham that flanked the main bar, which Heintzman decorated with Tag Vodka bottles and tomato tins bearing the Scavolini logo. “We have more than 600 pounds of tomatoes in cans. It was very important to us that all of this food not go to waste, so it’s all being sent to Good Shepherd [Ministries] afterwards. So decor becomes a donation,” Heintzman said. “It’s an event with a social conscience.”

At the main bar, servers from Grano Restaurant and Ferro Bar Café offered Italian dishes like ricotta-spinach croquettes and crostini topped with roasted garlic cream sauce and portabello and oyster mushrooms to attendees. Bartenders served Tag Vodka drinks, including an espresso cocktail and classic martinis.

More than 22 catering and bar stations dotted the show floor. Domenic Chiaromonte from Match Restaurant served wild mushroom risotto balls and lemon tarts and the Magic Oven offered tandoori chicken and Bombay-style pizzas. “It’s what everybody interpreted to mean as the ultimate,” Heintzman said of the theme for the food.

The Queen Street band the Calrizians performed at the entrance to the show, and DJ Jojo Flores played at the main stage and inside the Monk Lounge, where House & Home Media hosted a V.I.P. reception. The space, named for the jazz pianist and composer Thelonius Monk, was designed by Rhed design director Del Terrelonge and created by Templar—the development corporation behind the Templar Hotel Toronto, slated to open this spring.

The show, presented by the Chicago-based Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. and sponsored for the first time by Rado, returned to its original home after being held at the Direct Energy Centre for several years. “Our first three years were [at the M.T.C.C.]. We love the idea of it being right downtown. It allows us to be part of the city again,” said show creator Shauna Levy.

This year's incarnation, IDS 10, also introduced a new citywide festival. The Toronto International Design Festival (presented by Rado and Audi), began one day prior to the show and continued through the weekend. “We felt the city had matured to the point where it was ready for a design program,” Levy said. “There are about 20 different events happening around the city.” Venues like the Royal Ontario Museum, the Design Exchange, and the Art Gallery of Ontario hosted exhibits, lectures, and fairs as part of the festival.

IDS 10 sponsors included Rado, Audi, Azure, Dekla, House & Home Media, Ikea, Jenn-Air, Nescafe Dolce Gusto by Krups, Para Paints, Scavolini, and The Globe & Mail.

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