Botanical Garden Hosts Alfresco Italian Supper
The New York Botanical Garden's Conservatory Ball matched the look of an active exhibit with fragrant herbs and nods to Italy.
On June 6, the New York Botanical Garden hosted 600 guests in the Bronx for its annual Conservatory Ball spring gala, which this year took on the theme, "an evening in the Italian Renaissance garden of Padua." Inspired by the "Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, Featuring the Italian Renaissance Garden" exhibit, which opened mid-May, the evening gracefully moved guests from the Perennial Garden, through the exhibit, and into the Conservatory tent where a fountain centerpiece and faux stone walls awaited.
The black-tie event also served as a preview of the partnership between the garden and Stephen Starr Events, the official on-site caterer for the venue beginning in January 2014. To showcase the company's culinary offerings, guests were provided with champagne and small bites like veal-fontina meatballs with aged balsamic and saffron arancini with truffle honey.
In the future, the two companies will work together for events, both corporate and social. According to Morgan Bedore, vice president of sales and creative development at Starr Restaurant Organization, "We are working with the garden to develop a program of special dining events that create a destination experience that is a companion point to the gorgeous gardens."
Ticket sales, contributions, and guest jewelry donations from designer Marina B raised $1.5 million that evening for the garden's mission through programs in children's education and plant research and conservation.
"That number is our goal every year, and we are always very excited to meet it," said Britt Hefelfinger, special events coordinator for the garden.
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