Showing Off for Event Planners

July 16, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

J. Gordon Design put a tall centerpiece on a buffet table at The Catering Company and Metropolitan Pavilion's special event showcase.

The Catering Company and Metropolitan Pavilion's promotional party for event planners Metropolitan Pavilion Monday, 07.09.01, 6 PM to 9 PM
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If hundreds of New York event planners are at one party, who's running the rest of the events that night? This had to be a consideration when The Catering Company and Metropolitan Pavilion held their special event showcase on a relatively slow Monday in July. The two companies put together an event with eight other vendors to show off their wares--from unusual weedy-looking allium “explosion” centerpieces and Indian silk table linens to summery cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and buffet foods.

Part of the purpose of the event was to demonstrate to the more than 400 event-planning guests that the large space can do more than host conference-type events (like the Silicon Alley Reporter's event there). The right mix of lighting and decor can make the space feel warm and intimate as well (as it did for Bailey House's benefit there).

The Catering Company also wanted to show off how it can coordinate all.phpects of an event, as well as the assortment of food it can prepare. The bar included summery drinks such as cool mojitos and tasty watermelon spritzers (with spirits provided by Metropolitan Pavilion), and shrimp cocktail (set inside an ice sculpture by Ice Sculpture Designs). Passed hors d'oeuvres included slices of beef Wellington on tiny crisps, grilled salmon and spicy vegetable spring rolls. A buffet offered guests Polynesian chicken salad, roasted root vegetables and tiers of mango, watermelon and pineapple. One of the most unusual ideas was serving mashed potatoes in martini glasses (which the company also did for a Nickelodeon event) with guests' choice of toppings, including wild mushroom ragout, roasted tomatoes and curry-crusted Chilean sea bass. The folks at the Catering Company told us they also set up two carving station tables to show how the caterer can present more traditional buffet food.

Among the decor items brought in by Props for Today were pink plastic rectangles with circle cut-outs suspended from the ceiling (which looked a little similar to the Pucci-influenced display at the Sex and the City season premiere party). The furniture included cushiony white canvas-covered seats, wicker chairs, heavy black cube seat and table sets and even a vintage sofa covered with pillows, and red raw silk-covered bench seating (which reminded us of the decor scheme at the Henry Street Settlement benefit).

Something we haven't seen before: The unusual floral decor by Jes Gordon of J. Gordon Design featured heliotrope blooms and lush tropical leaves. Gordon explained that she eschewed big flowery arrangements for more simple, elegant plants that would contribute to the entire environment rather than stand out as showcase pieces. An interesting wrought-iron birdcage was set near the coat check with glowing red votive candles. More candles set around the room were contained in pretty antique drinking glasses--a nice departure from the usual white votives we see everywhere.

--Suzanne Ito

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