Event Spotlight: A Salon Dinner & Pop-up Country Store for a Cause

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Last fall, we were approached by Wellness in the Schools, a charity that is very dear to our hearts, to produce one of their “10 for 10 Benefits” to celebrate 10 years of wellness programs in public schools.  Their vision was clear – they wanted to bring a taste of the Hudson Valley to the Lower East Side and were seeking a partner to help them execute the 2-day event.  And no venue was a better fit than the Old Bowery Station which provided a gallery space and kitchen.

The first night was to be a plated Salon Dinner highlighting the ingredients of Millerton, NY surrounded by the commissioned work of Eleventh Street Arts that depicted the pastoral landscape of the Hudson Valley.  Excited by the opportunity to work with Millerton purveyors such as Harney & Sons Fine Teas, McEnroe Organic Farm, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, and Harpersfield Cheese, the Epicurean Events culinary team went to work on a 5-course dinner menu.  Each course was represented by an Epicurean Group chef:

Roasted Beets, Heirloom Tomatoes, Whipped Ricotta & Red Sorrel
Erin Shambura, L’Artusi
Brisket on Garlic-Rubbed Bruschetta, Fried Egg, Fried Leeks & Parmesan
Jubilee Ihorn, Epicurean Events
Orecchiette, Braised Short Rib & Radicchio with Lemon Zest & Parsley
Andrew Whitney, dell’anima
Roasted Chicken, Braised Greens, Autumn Squash
Henry Reed, L’Apicio
Bittersweet Chocolate Crostata, Poached Pears, Candied Hazelnuts,
Creme Fraiche Mousse
Sarah Ewald, Epicurean Group

Throughout the night, we guided 60 guests through the culinary experience of Millerton’s agricultural offerings alongside wine pairings presented by Epicurean Group’s beverage team.

The second day, our team was tasked with completely transforming the Old Bowery Station from a seated dinner to a country retail store that showcased the goods and produce of Millerton, NY.  No rookie to quick turnarounds and pop-up retail stands, we replaced the communal tables and seating with baskets and crates full of fresh produce in a single night.

Early the following morning, neighbors and passersby began to stop in and taste farm fresh cheeses, pick up a bouquet of flowers or grab a morning coffee or tea.  A wide selection of pastries & sandwiches crafted in-house by our culinary team were sold from the counter to go.  Our hand-selected inventory included:

potted floral arrangements from KAMILLA’S FLORAL DESIGN
fresh farm produce & meats from McENROE’S ORGANIC FARM
fresh farm produce & flowers from SOL FLOWER FARM
handmade jewelry from META44
sustainably-sourced artisan coffee from IRVING FARM COFFEE ROASTERS
seasonal tea blends from HARNEY & SONS FINE TEAS
tea-infused cheeses from HARPERSFIELD CHEESE
artisanal salumi, bacon & sausage from JACUTERIE

A portion of both days’ proceeds went directly to Wellness in the Schools to fund wellness programs in over 30,000 public schools across New York City, Kentucky, and Florida that inspire healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life.  Working with quality ingredients and for such a great cause was a dream event, and one we’d be proud to put together again.

If you are looking to put together a carefully curated pop-up or concession stand, give us a call – 646.517.1109.  We have worked with Governor’s Ball, Electric Zoo, JBF Live, Friends of Hudson River Park, among others to offer their crowds quality concession goods.  We’d love to create something fun and fresh for you too!


Wedding Trends: Floating Dinner Receptions

Congrats, you’re engaged!!  Now what?

At Epicurean Events, we know that planning a wedding can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Before your engagement flutters have even subsided, questions like “Where should we have the reception,” “Who should our florist be,” and “What should we serve?” flood the couple’s minds.

Couples today are looking for unique ways to differentiate their wedding reception from the traditional three course dinner that has not only been done so many times before but can also quickly become very expensive per head.

Instead of a sit down dinner, a floating dinner reception is the progression of passed food throughout the night. Without stopping the party for dinner, guests get to enjoy a variety of appetizers, starters, entrees and desserts, beautifully crafted in individual portions and passed throughout the event. And rather than stressing over the intricacies of who to seat where, throw out the seating chart for a mix of lounge seating with high top tables and communal tables, setting the stage for a relaxed and comfortable evening, where all your guests will feel like part of the family.

The floating dinner reception is a great way to impress your guests with a new way to dine, while setting the stage for a rocking party.

Ask an Expert: DIY Bodega Flower Arrangements

One of our favorite things in the warm summer months are the vast array of flowers that become available at our local farmer’s markets and bodegas.  We love bringing these into our living and work spaces for a pop of color and an element of nature.

We wanted to create some arrangements a step above our normal cut-and-vase method, so we turned to Christina Squillari of Christina Squillari Floral Design.  Not only is Christina Epicurean Group’s resident green thumb and florist extraordinaire, she is our go-to vendor for off-site events’ flower needs as well as weddings.

Below are a few easy tips from Christina to help bring your at-home flower arrangements to the next level.


Cut stems at a slight angle with a sharp knife or scissors about inch or more.  (Hydrangeas can be fickle: cut on an angle and smash their woody stems with a hamper or with a clipper cut a cross through the bottom. Mist the heads with water to keep flower heads moist. If heads get soft, float entire flower in water or a few hours.)


Prolong the life of your flowers by adding floral food to the water (letting dissolve before adding flowers),  If you don’t have floral food, you can add a packet of sugar or a few drops of bleach to keep free of bacteria.  Change the water or add cool water daily.  Keep the arrangement out of direct sunlight and away from heat.


Remove leaves that will be submerged in water.  You can also remove pollen sacs before they develop that can end up staining clothing or furniture.


To make a tight bouquet or if your vase is too large to keep a neat bouquet, tie the stems together at the top with raffia, floral tape or use a rubber band.  Or, create a support grid using Scotch tape.


Pick seasonal flowers with different textures and fragrances. Mix colors for a bold look – basic color theory always work well (a favorite technique of Van Gogh’s!) – yellow + violet, blue + orange.  Or stay monochromatic with all one color.

Make your arrangements at eye level (you may even need to prop it up on a higher table to get a better view) and turn while making it to make sure it looks good at all angles.  Height of the bouquet is usually 1.5 times the container but you can always play with scale.  Centerpieces shouldn’t be taller than 8-10 inches to see your guests across the table.

Christina Squillari
Christina Squillari Floral Designs

Event Spotlight: Outsider Art Fair 2015

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We were excited to partner again for our second consecutive year with Outsider Art Fair, held at Chelsea’s Center 548. The fair featured about 50 exhibitors, comprised of both local and international artists. Unique to this fair, a majority of the artists featured are self-taught or non-academic. Outsider Art Fair provides a great opportunity for these talented artists to display their work.

Epicurean Events was right alongside these masterpieces for the whole fair. At the opening gala, we served over 1000 guests a selection of our passed hors d’oeuvres, ranging from our Arancini filled with Sausage & Fontina to our Barbeque Chicken Lollipops with a Pomegranate Glaze. We quenched our guest’s thirst with a selection of wines from Rioja wines; craft IPA’s from Dogfish Head and cocktail of the evening, the Spicy Solbeso Sour.

For the remainder of Outsider Art Fair, we converted to a pop-up café setup, “Eats by Epicurean Events.” Banana Nut Muffins and Housemade Brown Butter Granola Bars fueled our morning guests. For an afternoon and evening pick-me-up, we featured our Italian Bahn Mi Sandwich with Prosciutto Cotto, Fresh Cilantro, Pickled Vegetables with Sriracha Aioli and our classic comfort combo of Grilled Cheese with Fontina & Cheddar and a Vegan Tomato Soup.

Always a not-to-miss event with inspiring art and soulful food, we can’t wait for 2016 Outsider Art Fair.

Your Oscars Party – We’ve Got You Covered

The 87th Academy Awards are only a few short weeks away, airing on Sunday, February 22nd.  Between our dapper dessert and sparkling cocktail recipes, you’ll have everything you need to throw a get-together fit for the occasion.


BLACK TIE PROFITEROLES (yield 2½ dozen)Profiteroles

Ditch the Oscar shaped cookie cutter and impress your friends! Try our Executive Pastry Chef Sarah Ewald’s recipe for Black Tie Profiteroles. Ideal recipe to make ahead and will be the star of the party.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 yolk

Homemade cool whip

  • ¼ cup water, cold
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ¾ heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Melted Chocolate

  • 8 ounces of dark bittersweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan and melt ingredients together. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon for several seconds, until the dough starts to stick to bottom of saucepan and begins to form a ball. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Place eggs and yolk in Kitchen Aid Mixer with paddle attachment. Add dough mixture to the eggs and mix on medium speed until homogenous.
  4. Place the dough in the pastry bag. Baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silpat. Pipe the desired shapes onto the baking sheets. The dough can be frozen at this point on the tray then collected into freezer bags and sealed.
  5. For small puffs, bake for 7 minutes and then rotate sheet and bake for another 7 minutes or until puffed up, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. While the profiteroles are cooling, start making the homemade cool whip. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a saucepan and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  7. Whip heavy cream, cream of tartar and sugar together until a soft peak forms. Slowly pour in gelatin mixture while mixing. Add vanilla and continue to mix until cream is thick and smooth.
  8. Melt chocolate in double boiler
  9. Fill with our homemade cool whip and leave them as is or dip in melted chocolate.


THE NIKO COCKTAIL (yields 1 cocktail)20150205_174918

Created by Anfora’s bartender Joe Kozlinski, this sparkling wine cocktail is the perfect mix of bubbles with subtle hints of floral and fruit.


  • ¾ oz Nikolaiof Elderflower Syrup
  • ¾ oz Martin Millers Gin
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Prosecco of your choice


  1. Add ingredients into champagne flute
  2. Top with Prosecco
  3. Garnish with an orange twist