Monday, November 28, 2011

September, October, November...

Katie & Me, Independence Pass, August 30, 2011
Good Morning, readers of my blog. I am determined to get back into writing with a fury, so watch out! Since one of my favorite sayings is "Those that don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.", I always feel the need to relive the past; with my own spin of course. Today's post will deal with the fall catering and events season, as experienced by me, as I went through some fairly big changes in my life. I love this picture of my daughter and me, I have been using it as my Facebook profile picture ever since she sent it to me. What an incredible trip that was for the two of us. Eight days on the road, Memphis, Ozarks and the heart of the Colorado Mountains, ending with a wonderful introduction to her college life at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. She is doing great there, and just yesterday began the most important part of every (almost) Colorado college students year: Ski/Snowboarding season.

Feastival, main restaurant area
The first major event for me of the fall season was the Second Annual Feastival on September 14. It was great to work with Audrey Claire Taichman, Jennafer Ross, Stephanie Krzywanski and Liz Trasmundi on silent auction donations and then get to help out with restaurant logistics the day of the event, especially as I got to work with my old buddy Erin Lambert from the Max & Me days, what a treat! The last major event Erin & I did together was an event for Audi in 2006, and ironically we found ourselves directing restaurant load-in traffic to make room for the evenings auto sponsor: Audi!
Cool Ice Sculpture, BF Bridge behind
I also helped the ice sculptor for the evening haul and install the hanging piece pictured here as well as the ice bar. I managed to break my pinky finger while attempting to keep the ice from falling off the cart at one point, stupid move on my part. There were approximately 75 restaurants and I never got around to reviewing or taking notes on all the food I ate. It was a great event, very well produced, especially cool was the outside lounge area set up on Columbus Boulevard. Peter Breslow, my PR buddy did this video for the producers of Feastival, watch it, he did a very nice job: Feastival Video.

Creative Juice does it again!
The 16th Annual Taste & Tour of The Countryside was another major hospitality industry event that I was involved with, it was held on October 18th at Drexelbrook Events Center and is produced by Jim Cohn for the Brandywine Conference and Visitor's Bureau. I am now a confirmed believer in this event as an important promotional opportunity for caterers that want to reach top corporate and social event planners. It has always drawn great crowds but now the quantity and quality of planners attending should make every caterer that contemplates missing it think twice. I already covered this event in a previous blog so I won't blather on.

Best picture I could find, sorry Joey.
Some other September events I attended included the PAMPI monthly meeting held at the new event space at WHYY studios with some very tasty catering by Catering by Design; BBQ, Brews & Blues at The Electric Factory; Society of Wedding Planners at The Foundry; ISES monthly at The Ballpark and The Rittenhouse Row Fall Fest held at The Comcast Shops, decent food but yummy and powerful cocktails. The Popped Festival should have been a very cool food event with a nice list of restaurants that would have participated in the food bazaar had the weather not forced the event indoors where there was no realistic way to accommodate the food vendors.

Mobile production kitchen, Innovative rocks movie set eats!
Octobers frolics included The Midtown Village Fall Festival, Party Rentals Open House which had some delicious and innovative cocktail snacks and cocktails served with panache by the Drexelbrook team; Night Market at Chinatown, PAMPI monthly in the new portion of the PA Convention Center; ISES monthly at Buca di Beppo; Two Film Industry Parties including the GPFO's annual soiree held at Vie; Philly 100 Event at Annenberg Center; PCMA Bowling Night at Lucky Strike (North Bowl rules); and the Valley Forge Food Show. Lots of eating, lots of fun, lots of networking.

Sigma Sound Stage, one block from the PA Convention Center
Feastivities, new chef cart at Sigma
PCVB lunch, Mike Lyons and friends
November work/play events started the month with a bang, first up was the Philly Event Group's event at Sigma Sound Stage. This event was awesome: the space, location and history of Sigma make this a top choice for many different types of events; Feastivities food was really tasty and very creative, their chef carts are a great new way to feed the people. The next night AFR (American Furniture Rentals) did a great job with venue choice, their products and a great team of other vendors. The food however did not measure up to Feastivities' menu or execution the night before, and many attendees left to get dinner elsewhere. Many other networking and party times followed in November: PAMPI's Silent Auction at the Hub City View where it was great to see Shreve Taylor cheffing it up; Amis' Industry night that I attended with Jenn Carroll, great take on Thanksgiving food by Terence Feury of Fork; Whisper Nightclub's First Anniversary Party; and on the 23rd, the most important networking event of the year, the PCVB annual luncheon. New President Jack Ferguson transformed the lunch into a much better experience by making it a full time networking event with many different food stations and an open bar, thanks Jack!!!

Piazza, New Year's Eve. Lookout!

Looking forward, I am lucky enough to be part of the team that will be bringing you New Year's Eve at The Piazza. Huge tent, 4 restaurants, lots of entertainment and a world class event team. I don't normally go out for NYE, but when I do, I attend events like this. You can actually contact me for tickets.