We asked caterers on both coasts to give us a peek at their summertime menus. Jordana Blitz, President of Little Gem NYC, and Kathleen Schaffer, Owner and Creative Director of Schaffer LA, shared their top food and beverage trends for summer 2018. Turns out, they share one common ingredient: Instagram. Read on for what – and how – to serve and sip this summer.
Jordana Blitz, President, Little Gem NYC
People are eating at events again. Our fashion press events used to abide by all of the typical fashion cliches when it came to food, but lately, when we would provide a small, modest menu the guests were asking for more. We worked with Ralph Lauren on a press breakfast last month and gave them the opposite: a bountiful breakfast spread with lots of colors and variety, with healthy choices like coconut milk chia pudding and more decadent white chocolate strawberry scones.
A theme that carries over from that breakfast is the request for a combination of healthy and sinful food. At a recent press day at the Karla Otto showroom for the afternoon snack we had baby donuts on the same tray as a dark chocolate, quinoa and apricot bark. In my opinion, if you want some sugar, have the cake, so I'm personally happy to see more traditional sweets making their way back onto the menus.
Baby donuts served alongside a dark chocolate, quinoa and apricot bark
Our clients all want something their guests will post on Instagram so many of them are opting for a theme. With a themed menu it’s easy for the rest of the event details to organically fall into place and it also lends itself to a fun hashtag and consistency on Instagram. For a recent dinner to celebrate the La Ligne collaboration with Cuyana we prepared a Moroccan meal, featuring dishes such as a preserved lemon chicken tagine, skirt steak with chermoula and herbed rice with currants and pistachios. Not a morsel of food remained when we cleared the table.
Kathleen Schaffer, Owner& Creative Director, Schaffer
The word “interactive” is a constant request from both social and corporate clients. Brands are aiming to solicit engagement with their guests and create “Instagrammable” moments while social clients want their weddings and celebrations to be memorable and unique. Think: live action chef stations with on trend items like Poke bowls or Fresh Crudo Stations where guests can add their own toppings: micro herbs, flavored salts, oils, tear-droppers of Aji Amarillo etc.
Interactive station for customizing crudo
Kombucha cocktails continue to be all the rage; we have created several lately that are still being requested for summer events. A favorite right now is our “Jalabucha” made with jalapeno simple syrup, fresh mint, lime juice, organic vodka and Healthade™ Lady Apple Kombucha.
We have seen a rise in all-vegan menus as plant-based diets are on the rise.Many clients want to express their core beliefs and values through their menu choices. Gluten-free options are still commonly requested, and we are embracing alternative proteins like the Impossible Burger™ for cocktail hour sliders which delight both vegans and carnivores alike.
Interactive station for customizing crudo
We have also seen the pendulum shift and swing away from casual bohemian events and more towards chic and elegant moments. Out with flower crowns and family-style vineyard dinners and in with tuxedos and gowns. To accompany the formal attire, martini bars and four-course plated meals are being requested. We are taking classic dishes from the 40s and 50s and morphing them into modern interpretations.
Considering how many hours a week we spend working, the place in which we do so is something of a second home. Luckily, a handful of coworking spaces have addressed the need for multifunctional workspaces that are as functional as they are chic. New York and LA: check out some of the best coworking spaces we’ve found - some you might have heard of, plus a few insider favorites you might not know about yet.
Both Manhattan and Brooklyn residents can enjoy the unique community The Wing has created. The women-only concept, now with locations in Flatiron, Soho and Dumbo, offers more than a flexible work environment with meeting rooms and phone booths. Think: amenities like showers, lockers, a beauty room, cafe and bar - making that work-to-evening transition seamless.
The Wing DUMBO
The Wing SoHo
The Wing Flatiron
Spring Place draws members in with its sophisticated design elements, abundant natural light and ample workspaces and meeting rooms. The cozy-chic aesthetic makes for a homey feeling, a sort of comfort that’s most welcome during a hard day’s work. Spring Terrace, the rooftop space, is the perfect place to both clear your head and get ideas going. Working on the West Coast? Spring Place LA is set to open its doors soon.
Spring Place Executive Room
Spring Place Dining Room
Thompson House Group
Thompson House Group caters to the creative industries from coast to coast. In Soho, Thompson Square Studios is a penthouse with both private studio spaces as well as screening and conference rooms. Similarly, the Hills Penthouse West Hollywood may inspire productivity with its 360 degree views of LA. Exquisite design makes these members-only coworking spaces stand out in both cities.
Thompson Square Studios
Brooklyn coworking space Camp David is something of a full-service space. Set up shop at a furnished workstation, get your gym-time in, decompress in the library lounges, grab a bite and do pretty much do anything else your day requires here. Members of the Industry City locale also have access to a sound-proof content studio as well as creative materials and tools.
Speaking of multifaceted spaces, Blender Workspace features a full-service cafe in a 2,500 sq. ft. event space in addition to its assortment of dedicated desks and private offices. The NoMad space delivers thoughtful design elements to create a hub for creative individuals and businesses.
A staple space in NYC and LA, Neuehouse is many members’ go-to for workspace and event space alike. Beyond desk space and meeting rooms, Neuehouse is made up of many workspaces in one. New Yorkers reap the benefits of a broadcasting studio, screening room and private dining space under one roof. In LA, everything from the full-service restaurant and roof deck to a SONOS listening room and performance space draw members in.
Neuehouse New York