Summer Grills and Chills

Written by Thursday, 02 July 2015
GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | July 2, 2015
Pork Belly BLT from the Grill

Photo: Courtesy of Feastivities

Grilling is pretty much a given staple for summer parties, so it's no surprise that caterers are adding grilled and smoked meats to seasonal menus. Eager to expand upon bacon's recent popularity surge, chefs are embracing pork belly as a flavorful alternative for summer bites. Pictured above is Feastivities' Pork Belly BLT.

Tip from Special Events

Slushy Margarita Shots

Photo: Courtesy of Delish

Good things come in small packages! These mini margaritas marry the sweet fruits of summer with the bite of tequila to create a burst of icy chill to refresh any hot summer event.

  • 6 oz. Tequila
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. Agave Nectar
  • 1 c. Ice, chopped in the blender
  • Cherries, Strawberries, Peaches, and Raspberries, chopped

Mix Tequila, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar and Ice in a shaker.
Fill shot glasses with chopped fruit and pour tequila mixture over fruit.

Tip courtesy of Delish

From Checkout Aisle to Check Out this Venue!

Photo: Derrick Bryant

Event planners love to take guests outside the box and outside the ballroom. Large, open spaces can provide blank canvases for designers eager to create engaging environments. John Hydo from Tomorrow's Event Productions transformed this empty supermarket into a fantastical venue complete with floor-to-ceiling curtains, upside-down aerialists pouring champagne, and futuristic nitrogen-frozen ice cream.

Courtesy of Collaborate

Hybrid Events Increase Connections

Photo: Courtesy of Sonic Foundry

Hybrid events are considered one of the most rapidly growing trends in the meetings and event industry. Combining in-person attendance with virtual participation, the events allow companies to engage with attendees globally with many benefits. Eliminating travel expenses and focusing only on session fees opens the doors of affordability for more people. Webcasting allows the content to be broadcast in real-time and on-demand, making it available for review or new viewing opportunities long after the event takes place.

Tip courtesy of Sonic Foundry


Animated Cakes and Bacon Spoons

Written by Thursday, 25 June 2015
GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | June 25, 2015
Bacon and Eggs Makes a Comeback

Photo: Courtesy of Erin Hession

Bacon and eggs are not just for breakfast anymore. The morning staples are popping up as appetizers on creative event menus. From traditional dishes such as deviled eggs to exquisite egg souffles and candied bacon delights, guests are digging into the trend with gusto.

Tip from Special Events

Have Your Digital Cake and Eat It, Too

Disney Digital Cake Mapping

Digital mapping continues to amaze guests by transforming rooms, walls, and now, even cakes into immersive visual decor. Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings incorporates the cake mapping technology to create animated storytelling. Images can be fully customized for each event and can even include the couple's personal photos and videos.

Tip courtesy of Inside the Magic

Blooming Walls

Photo: Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona

Floral centerpieces may be becoming passé, but don't cut fresh flowers out altogether. The emerging prevalence of floral backdrops, hanging florals, and floral wall pieces like this one from Clifton Nurseries for Jimmy Choo illustrate their blossoming prominence as decor.

Courtesy of Flowerona

El Gusano Rojo

Photo: Wendell T Webber

In honor of Father's Day, Food and Wine released a list of alternatives to the growing popularity of whiskey. At the top of their list is El Gusano Rojo. It is described as "spicy, fruity, and smoky," so it's masculine with a touch of sweet.

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces mezcal
  • 1/2 ounce passion fruit nectar
  • 2 ounces chilled ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the mezcal and passion fruit nectar and shake well. Strain the drink into an ice-filled highball glass, stir in the chilled ginger beer and drizzle the grenadine on top; it will sink to the bottom.

Tip courtesy of Food and Wine


GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | June 18, 2015
Ice-Cold Poptails

Photo: Courtesy of Honestly Yum

Why should the kids have all the summer fun? These grown-up popsicles serve up a tasty and refreshing treat that is perfect for outdoor summer events. With flavors like Cucumber Gin & Tonic, Basil Mint Citrus Mojito, or the Tequila-spiked Mango with Chile pictured above, the new poptails trend is just another great reason to have a summer party!

Tip from Mon Cheri Bridals

Communal Tables

Photo: Matthew David Celebrations

Both restaurants and social events are embracing the return to communal tables. Family-style service at long, rectangular tables creates an intimate ambience. Centerpieces can be alternated high and low, or as pictured here, a series of centerpieces in similar heights and shades can bring unity to the entire table.

Tip courtesy of Matthew David Celebrations

The Exotic Zurra

Photo: Colin Cowie Weddings

Event designer Colin Cowie calls the Zurra a Portuguese version of sangria. This white wine-based cooler is the perfect blend of summer citrus with a surprising hint of cinnamon and mint.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 lemons, sliced into sections
  • 2 blood oranges, sliced (a regular orange can be substituted)
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle chilled dry white wine
  • 1 (16-ounce) bottle of sparkling water or club soda'

1. Combine the sugar, water, and half of the mint in a small saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Place the cinnamon along with the lemon, orange, and peach slivers in a large pitcher or jug. Add the wine, then the sugar mixture. Stir well, pour into glasses over ice, top each glass with 2 ounces of sparkling water or club soda, garnish with mint leaves, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Colin Cowie Weddings

Making it Easy to Attend

Photo: Tripbuilder Media

TripBuilder Media's EventMobile app is making it easier than ever for attendees to plug in and engage with their smartphones. Users can view the entire conference schedule and customize their experience by choosing which sessions they will attend. Their choices link to the attendee's phone's calendar through the app's MySchedule feature. An interactive map provides direction on-site, and built-in social media and survey features allow the hosts to benefit from the app as well. Attendees can even access local restaurants and shops and add city highlights to their schedule to make the most of the trip.

Tip courtesy of TripBuilder Media


Break from Tradition

Written by Thursday, 11 June 2015
GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | June 11, 2015
Croquembouche Creations

Photo: Courtesty of Debi Lilly

As more couples seek sweet alternatives to traditional wedding cake, guests are pleasantly surprised at the end of the event with doughnuts, cupcakes, individual cakes, or candy buffets. The French croquembouche allows a couple to maintain the elegant presentation of a fancy cake, but still offers a unique breakaway from the standard. A traditional croquembouche is a cone of stacked choux pastry balls held together by spun threads of sweet caramel, but it can also be covered with macarons or ganache. It can be personalized with any number of adornments such as chocolate, ribbons, icing, or almonds. This one from Debi Lilly of Chicago's A Perfect Event features flowers to match the couple's wedding theme.

Virtual Gifts and Favors from the Heart

Photo: Courtesy of I Do Foundation

Today's eco-friendly and socially-conscious couples can honor their wedding guests with a thoughtful gift that keeps on giving. The I Do Foundation allows couples to purchase virtual favors in varying dollar amounts, and then guests are able to select the charity of their choice to receive the favor. The site can also be used for virtual thank you cards from the couple to their attendants and vendors. Couples can even register to receive donations for their selected charity as wedding gifts.

Paper Roses

Photo: Wojoimage

Event planners predicting decor trends seem to agree that traditional floral centerpieces are giving way to larger items such as flower backdrops. Although these structures often feature real blossoms, paper flowers such as these allow more options in color and style customization.

Back to School

Photo: Radio Milano

You won't hear many complaints about how the bartender mixes the drinks at Radio Milano's interactive birthday parties. That's because the attendees are mixing their own. Guests are invited to join in a craft cocktail training class where a professional bartender teaches the students how to make each cocktail before allowing them to sample their creations. For obvious reasons, the option is reserved for an older crowd, but this is one occasion when adults won't mind going back to school.

Tip courtesy of BizBash


Are You Ready for the Summer?

Written by Wednesday, 03 June 2015
GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | June 3, 2015
Summer Has a Glass!

Photo: Claudia Uribe

Event Planner Barton G. Weiss has taken some of our favorite things about summer and mixed them for a fun and tangy cocktail that brings out the best of the season. He starts with vividly invigorating green cucumber water which he blends with the fresh, tart citrus taste of lemon balm and lime juice along with gin and a touch a ginger ale. Then, it's time to up the flavor ante with a chilled, crisp cucumber wedge soaked in gin and topped with liquid pimento beads for a surprising spicy kick. A coriander blossom garnish completes the perfect summer ensemble--cool and refreshing with just a touch of heat!

Tip courtesy of BizBash

Bohemian Rhapsody

Photo: April Belle Photos

Miami Beach's 1 Hotel recently hosted Adrienne Bosh's Glamchella in conjunction with Team Tomorrow Inc. and Bosh's own Today I Can initiative. Inspired by the relaxed, bohemian vibe of Coachella, Bosh used floor pillows, teepees in the sand, Moroccan lanterns, and brightly-colored floral accents to create a inspirational environment for the women's motivational retreat.

Tip courtesy of BizBash

Sweet Sushi Treats

Photo: Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton South Beach

The term "sweet tooth" is not normally associated with sushi, but the Ritz Carlton South Beach is making people rethink the concept. Chocolate replaces seaweed in wrapping up a variety of fillings to satisfy sweet cravings. The charming boat display adds a crafty novelty to the catering team's unexpected display of handheld delights.

Tip courtesy of BizBash

Selfie Promotion

Photo: Lisa Rose

Love 'em or hate 'em, selfies are not going away any time soon. Pew Research Center estimates that over 97% of adults 18-29 regularly use the internet, so event planners continue to explore the use of social media for marketing and promotion. Events have increasingly embraced the selfie generation. Some host promotions that exchange swag bags for a selfie upload with the designated hashtag. Others offer prize drawings using hashtag selfies as entries. A few even have on-site media teams to assist with props or product placement and then upload photos instantly for attendees. Inside Coachella's BMF Music Lounge, Tide's selfie promotion featured a mirrored backdrop displaying the Tide Plus product logo and hashtag.

Tip courtesy of BizBash


GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | May 28, 2015
A Brilliant Display

Photo: Courtesy of OSK Marketing & Communications

Event planners love digital mapping technology for its ability to transform event space. Freightliner debuted its self-driving truck by using the Hoover Dam as a blank canvas of epic proportions for the highest light output projection ever. It took sixty 26,000-watt projectors positiioned a half mile from the dam to create the incredible transformation, which showed several images across the dam's surface throughout the night.

Tip courtesy of BizBash

Circus, Circus!


It didn't take much encouragement for attendees at the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario's Cirque event to embrace their inner child. Designer Bill Fulghum immersed guests in their own circus for the POGO's fundraising event, complete with midway games, acrobats, and cotton candy centerpieces. Brightly-colored pipe and drape lined the walls to create the illusion of a big-top tent while guests dined on circus-themed menu items.

Tip courtesy of BizBash

You Put the Lime in the Coconut

Photo: Leanne Neufeld

We are so grateful to live and coordinate events in Hawaii, so why not have a tropical beverage that embraces our beautiful and fruitful island? Frankie Solarik of BarChef's Daiquiri Adaptation features spiced rum, pineapple juice, maraschino cherry liquer, BarChef's own almond orgeat syrup, and lime juice. The delightful, fruity concoction is enough to make you feel island breezes, but Solarik completes the tropical transport with a presentation of edible flower petals, lime and orange rinds, maraschino gel, rum, toasted coconut, and vanilla brunoise with a touch of coconut-water snow. One sip is all it takes to achieve an island state of mind.

Tip courtesy of BizBash

Cute as a Button

Photo: Truffleberry Market

Traditional baby shower games might involve guests dipping into baby food containers with not-so-yummy purees like roast beef and string beans. That is not the case with these miniature delights. Shower guests in the Chicago area go ga-ga over Truffleberry Market's baby-themed desserts. Labels for the look-alike baby food jars can be personalized for the shower and the crafty spoons are just cute as a button!

Tip courtesy of BizBash


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