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I have fallen completely in love with Diffa, and Dining by Design!  BizBash New York recently published a series of articles about this company and their innovative tabletop designs.  I hope you will be as inspired as I am.  Enjoy!!

 

News Archive for Diffa Dining By Design
 
FROM THE EDITORS   04.07.08 5:31 PM
Looking at Diffa’s Trove of Tabletop Design Ideas
<!– –>
A cardboard and plywood dining room designed by Pratt students

Photo: Francine Daveta for BizBash

Each year when the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS Dining by Design benefit hits New York—recruiting designers to dream up elaborate tabletop looks—we record the myriad inspirational ideas the event offers. This year was no exception, and our style editors were on the prowl last week, spotting new place setting concepts, identifying color trends, and (lucky you) highlighting the event’s 10 most steal-able ideas. You can find an archive of our coverage of the event here.    

RELATED TOPICS Diffa, Diffa Dining by Design

THE SCOUT   04.04.08 10:15 AM
Diffa’s 10 Most-Steal-Able Ideas <!– –>
Kravet Inc.’s collection of inspirational items
Photo: Francine Daveta for BizBash

Designers at Diffa’s Dining by Design showcase always offers a multitude of concepts to adapt to other events. This year’s most-likely-to-reappear concepts included patterned seat cushions, veggies as centerpiece fodder, and napkin rings made from colored paper swatches. Here’s a list of ideas that made an impression. READ MORE

RELATED TOPICS Diffa, Diffa Dining by Design, Domino, Pratt Institute, Parsons the New School for Design, James Coviello, Michael Tavano, New York Design Center, Architectural Digest, Vicente Wolf, The New York Times

TREND SPOTTED   04.04.08 9:45 AM
Diffa’s Color Trend: Yellow <!– –>
A rich goldenrod-colored linen covered Ralph Lauren Home’s table.
Photo: Francine Daveta for BizBash

Perhaps as a nod to spring, many designers at Diffa’s Dining by Design event incorporated yellow accents into their tables this year, with shades of the color popping up as table linens, vases, statuary, and flowers. Here’s a look at an array of the warm settings. READ MORE

RELATED TOPICS Diffa, Diffa Dining by Design, Gourmet, J.C. Penney, Ralph Lauren Home, Michael Tavano

 
TREND SPOTTED   04.03.08 4:25 PM
Diffa’s Sparkling Chandeliers <!– –>
Stolichnaya Elit’s illuminated ceiling featured suspended prisms.
Photo: Francine Daveta for BizBash

Crystal-studded orbs, vintage-looking fixtures, traditional cut-crystal chandeliers, dangling pendants dressed up with fabrics, and mod prisms embellished lighting at many of the tables at Diffa’s Dining by Design event at Skylight. Here’s a selection of the glittering installations. READ MORE

RELATED TOPICS Diffa, Diffa Dining by Design, Baccarat, Architectural Digest, Stolichnaya Elit

THE SCOUT   04.02.08 4:20 PM
Diffa’s Place Settings That Popped <!– –>
Kravet Inc. used Lucite-topped books as place settings.
Photo: Francine Daveta for BizBash

Books, picnic baskets, film reels, logs, and fabric encased in plexiglass were among the unusual props and decorative devices that topped tables at Diffa’s Dining by Design event at Skylight. Here’s a look at some of the most striking settings.   —Lisa Cericola & Mark Mavrigian

RELATED TOPICS Diffa, Diffa Dining by Design, Allsteel, Apherea, Fashion Institute of Technology, HOK, Kravet Inc., The New York Times

EVENT REPORT   04.02.08 3:44 PM
Diffa Showcases Big Tabletop Designs in Smaller Venue
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David Stark’s dining environment for Benjamin Moore was made mostly out of paint swatches and paper.
Photo: Francine Daveta for BizBash

This year, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS’s annual Dining by Design fund-raiser moved from its most recent home at the Waterfront to the downtown venue Skylight. The new location had a strong impact on the experience of walking through the showcase, which recruits a slate of designers and sponsors to build imaginative dining environments.

Compared with the Waterfront, with its exposed brick and steel beams (and the benefit’s previous homes at the Hammerstein Ballroom and Roseland) Skylight’s big white box provided a brighter, less distracting background for the designers’ intensely layered creations. And the new site’s smaller size necessitated a tighter collection of tables (cut down from more than 50 to 39) that made for a more focused—and more easily navigable—forum for locating trends and gathering ideas.

“It’s always a challenge to find a venue here, and for us, [Skylight is] a very user-friendly venue, with two load-in points—plus it’s a blank canvas for us; it’s a gallery,” said Diffa’s special events manager, Steven Williams. “It’s a little more exclusive because it’s smaller, and we have more sponsors this year.”

So, speaking of trends and ideas, how did the designers fill the new location? READ MORE

RELATED TOPICS Diffa, Diffa Dining by Design, Architectural Digest, Benjamin Moore, Beringer, Domino, Gourmet, Hewlett-Packard, Kravet Inc., Nautica, New York Design Center, The New York Times, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Stolichnaya Elit, Vivienne Tam

Source:  (http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/archive.php?t=Diffa+Dining+by+Design)

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Did you think I was going to post about The Ohio State University?  No, not I!!  Today’s post is about the decadent candy called “Buckeyes”. The candy closely resembles the native fruit of the Buckeye tree, which is also Ohio’s State Tree.  The candy is mass produced and marketed by several companies in Ohio, but I enjoy the homemade ones the best.

If you are looking for a unique treat to serve to your wedding guests, as a flavorful addition to your wedding cake, or as a special gift to take home at the end of the evening, Buckeyes are a great choice.

I found some great recipes to share with you.  Enjoy!!

From www.allrecipes.com:

Buckeyes I

SUBMITTED BY: Tammy Winters      PHOTO BY: LROSE55

“This recipe is so good that I double it whenever I make it. Since it is peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate it is almost like candy. Real buckeyes are nuts that grow on trees and are related to the horse chestnut.”

PREP TIME  15 Min
COOK TIME  5 Min
READY IN  50 Min
SERVINGS & SCALING
Original recipe yield: 5 dozen
    

About  scaling  and  conversions

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
  2. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.
  4. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.
Buckeye Balls Buckeye Balls Description
A recipe for Buckeye Balls

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups Smucker’s® Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Coating:
  • 1 pound chocolate flavor candy coating
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco® Shortening

Preparation
1. Combine Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, butter or margarine, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat at low speed of electric mixer until blended. Add 2 cups sugar. Beat until blended.

2. Continue adding 1/2 cup sugar at a time until mixture shaped into ball will hold onto toothpick. Shape into 3/4 inch balls. Place on tray. Chill.

3. For coating, combine candy coating and Crisco Shortening in microwave-safe bowl.

4. Microwave at 50% (medium) for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Insert toothpick in candy ball. Dip three-fourths of ball into melted coating. Scrape off excess.

5. Place on waxed paper lined tray. Remove toothpick. Smooth over holes. Refrigerate until coating is firm; then remove from paper. Store at room temperature in covered container.

Nutrition
no information available

Serves
Makes 8 dozen

Variations
no information available

Source Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter

Buckeye Candy Buckeye Candy Description
A recipe for Buckeye Candy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups (16-ounce box) powdered sugar
  • 2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Preparation
LINE baking sheets with wax paper.

BEAT peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze 1 hour.

MELT morsels and shortening in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute; stir. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.

DIP peanut butter centers into melted chocolate using toothpick, leaving small portion of center uncovered. Shake off excess chocolate and scrape bottom of candy on side of bowl. Return to baking sheets; refrigerate until chocolate sets. Store refrigerated in covered container.

Nutrition
Nutrition Information per Serving: 100 calories; 50 calories from fat; 6g total fat; 2g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 40mg sodium; 11g carbohydrate; <1g fiber; 9g sugars; 2g protein

Serves
Makes about 6 dozen candies

Variations
no information available

Source Nestlé USA, Inc.

From www.andreasrecipes.com:

Buckeyes

Buckeyes

This is a Midwest Christmas tradition that both our families enjoy. Buckeye candy is designed to look like the seeds of the Ohio buckeye tree and is quite popular during the holidays or during the Ohio State University football season. I have made the traditional recipe for years, then this year I decided to darken things up a bit by adding some good bittersweet chocolate, and the new recipe was a hit.

I usually make two batches of this, but I do the batches separately. I’ve had trouble fitting a double batch of the peanut butter mixture ingredients in my 4-1/2 quart mixer bowl without making a huge mess, but if you have a large mixer bowl it might not be a problem.

[Recipe updated November 11, 2007]

Equipment

stand mixer with paddle attachment
half cookie sheets line with wax paper
toothpicks
4-cup glass bowl
tins or plastic containers, for storing

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preparation

1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Stir until blended, mixture will be slightly dry.

2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on prepared cookie sheets.

3. Stick a toothpick in the top of each peanut butter ball. You’ll use this “handle” later for dipping. Freeze the balls for about 30 minutes, until hard.

4. Pour semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips into glass bowl. Add the butter. Microwave 60 seconds at 70% then gently stir. Microwave for 30 seconds at 70% and stir, repeating until the chocolate is almost but not completely melted. Do not overheat. You don’t want the chocolate to be completely melted in the microwave. If you’ve done it right, the last few stirs will mix in the remaining firm chips.

5. Dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate, leaving a circle of peanut butter showing on top. They should look like buckeyes (see photo below). Place the dipped balls back on the cookie sheets.

6. Refrigerate finished buckeyes for at least 2 hours. Remove the toothpicks and store in tins between layers of wax paper.

Aesculus glabra seeds (Ohio buckeye tree)

References

Wikipedia -Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye tree)

Wikimedia – Image: Aesculus glabra seeds

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Viva Las Vegas!! - An Inspiration Board

Ok, it’s time to have some fun!!  Since I am snowed in this weekend in Ohio, with a snowfall expected of 15 inches total, I thought I would put together an inspiration board for a Las Vegas or casino themed affair.  My husband and I are planning to go to Las Vegas next year to renew our wedding vows.  I want an Elvis impersonator to do the ceremony, and he keeps threatening to run off with a showgirl if that happens!!  I will win in the end, though!!  Let the good times roll, and remember, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”  Enjoy!!

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Crystal Couture - An Inspiration Board

 I love Crystals!!  Timeless, elegant, and very hot right now in the world of weddings and special events.  They are everywhere, hanging on trees, dripping from tall candleabra, and wrapped around everything in sight.  Whether you are looking to implement all-out bling, or to infuse just a touch of sparkle into your event, these ideas should inspire you.  Enjoy!!

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Sweet & Sexy - An Inspiration Board

Orange and Blue – opposites on the color wheel, but put them together, and you have a gorgeous palette for a wedding or any other celebration!  This inspiration board has many influences: tropical, caribbean, Asian, touches of sweet whimsy, and sheer sophistication.  Enjoy!

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This story was posted on BizBash New York.  I love the lush displays of orchids!  I am inspired to try something similar for my next event.  We’ll see!!

More Inspiring Orchid Dinner Tabletops
With so many settings to explore, we had to share more unique ideas from the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Dinner. Here are 10 additional tables to check out.
CONTINUED >
Photo Gallery                             The Lars Bolander dining table blended larger-than-life mushroom sculptures with white orchids.
                            The Lars Bolander dining table blended larger-than-life mushroom sculptures with white orchids.                                                                        LMD Floral's undulating escort table was the first creation guests saw at the event.
                            Sebastian Li Events' bold pink-and-orange table featured a flamboyant explosion of phalaenopsis blooms.                                                                      Fête's towering waterfall structure included suspended crystal prisms and teardrops, along with a mirrored tabletop.
                            A slumped chandelier (placed as if it fell from the ceiling) intertwined with orchids, moss, and greenery on Carrier and Company's table.                                                                                    Jamie Drake of Drake Design Associates used rows of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (placed within a moss base) to contain orchid stems.
                            A bust of Persephone filled with a plethora of green and white orchid stems made a striking centerpiece at Richard Keith Langham's table.                                                                        One of the quirkier designs was an ordinary floor lamp topped with a cymbidium orchid lampshade, by Stephen Miller Siegel Architects.
                          Timothy Whealon Interiors created a stark tree centerpiece budding with orchids that stood in for leaves. Around its base was a small pool of water with live goldfish.                                                                    The white orchid arrangement by Ovando for the Thom Felicia and Safavieh setting was reminiscent of a winter tree.
LMD Floral’s undulating escort table was the first creation guests saw at the event.
Photo: Gustavo Campos for BizBash
Our story from the dinner is here.   —Lisa Cericola & Mark Mavrigian

Photo and Story Source: (http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9869.php)

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I found this article on Biz Bash NY.  Sounds totally decadent!!  Enjoy!!

Suite Chocolate
To unveil this year’s Valentine’s Day promotion, Godiva brought press to the East Village for ataste—and photo op—of a room made almost entirely of chocolate.
Last January, Godiva created a chocolate-walled lounge for In Style‘s Golden Globes after-party,but for its yearly Valentine’s Day competition this year, the chocolate brand is going one step further,

with an experiential marketing stunt that offers a weekend stay at a hotel suite made almost entirely

of chocolate. At Divine Studio on Tuesday afternoon, 30 members of the press gathered for a first

glimpse of the grand prize, which will ultimately be enjoyed only once, at the Bryant Park Hotel.

Erica Lapidus, head of public relations and promotions for the Belgian-based chocolatier, worked

with public relations firm Alison Brod and Los Angeles-based designer Larry Abel to produce a

wall-to-wall Godiva-loaded room that doesn’t melt at room temperature.

“I had to imagine the perfect chocolate-lover’s fantasy,” Abel said about the suite, soon to be

rebuilt at the hotel for the sweepstakes winner. Abel, who has worked with Godiva for four years,

said this was the biggest and most extravagant project yet. “It took a team of 14 to bring the brand

to life, beginning in L.A. and continuing with the two-day installment in New York,” he said. Godiva

reps wouldn’t comment on the cost of the products used, and Abel admitted there was too much for

him to even estimate the number of pounds of chocolate.

CONTINUED >
Photo Gallery                                                                                             For Larry Abel's art mosaic, one of his most challenging pieces, he used bonbons from every Godiva collection.
http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9766.php#photosanchor   http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9766.php#photosanchor
http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9766.php#photosanchor   http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9766.php#photosanchor
http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9766.php#photosanchor  
For Larry Abel’s art mosaic, one of his most challenging pieces, he used bonbons from every Godiva collection.
Photo: Sara Jaye Weiss
From the initial concept to the finished design, Abel says he put more than 1,000 hours of work into the piece, which, to him, is more than a simple showcase of colorful chocolates. “I considered the art elements, how I would invent a really cool, unusual space with rich browns, varied textures, and mixtures of classic and contemporary designs,” he said. For Lapidus, the goal of the suite was to create a “unique culinary experience,” which, despite being edible, will hopefully be “more admired than nibbled on.”Playing with interactive components, Abel included a crystal ice bucket filled with white chocolate truffles, books that open to pieces of chocolate in place of pages, and even edible flowers. He also created interpretations of two paintings: a Jackson Pollock-inspired canvas splattered with multicolored chocolate and a re-creation of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss.” “The Kiss” in particular was a challenge for Abel, who describes the piece as an explosion of gold, ribbons, foils, and mint cherry cordials. The Pucci-inspired chocolate upholstery on the armchairs and the chocolate mosaic on the dining room table are also deeply detailed designs that pushed Abel to come up with something visually appealing while using chocolates from every Godiva collection.

To add a little life to the suite, Godiva tapped Heroes star Ali Larter to help promote the competition (which anyone can enter by purchasing a $23 heart-marked gift box) for reasons beyond her pretty celebrity face. The recently engaged actress claims to carry tins of Godiva chocolates, and last year requested a Godiva cake for her birthday. “This year, Ali Larter, a huge Godiva fan and bride-to-be, best embodied the brand,” said Randi Peck, vice president of lifestyle at Alison Brod. Larter, the only non-press guest at the event, participated as the roving centerpiece and a draw for the photographers.

The Decadence Suite is only part of Godiva’s promotional package; other sinful goodies include a year’s supply of Godiva chocolates and a private chocolate tasting led by Godiva’s executive chef and chocolatier, Thierry Muret. “This is our most extraordinary prize to date,” Lapidus said of the suite, “which is why we’ve already started brainstorming ways to top it next year.”   —Lauren Matison

Godiva Chocolatier’s Valentine’s Day Promotion Press Conference
Design, Production Larry Abel / De-signs
Lighting, Sound XL5 Productions
PR Alison Brod Public Relations
Printing Five Boro Flag Banner & Sign
Rentals Broadway Party Rentals
Staffing T and L Events Inc. / ThePartyCrew.net
Venue Divine Studio
RELATED TOPICS Godiva, Valentine’s Day

Source:  (http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/e9766.php)

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