Six hundred fifty guests gathered to raise funds for their much-loved contemporary art museum and were taken on a mystical journey for an unforgettable evening of celebration.
Spectacular artistic direction, artists, dancers and DJs contributed to the theme “In Aeternam–The Rite of Passage” during an upscale, highly original funeral reception where guests gathered in a most surprising setting.
Family-style dining for 650
To ensure ease of service, the caterer planned an efficient layout where 650 guests could be served simultaneously family-style.
The plan also had to allow enough space on the tables to present such large items.
Each of these vintage platters was the sole table decor.
Ballerina in black
A ballerina in black adds to the funereal mood.
Vintage silver sourced
The caterer did extensive product and accessory research to enhance presentation and menu composition.
Only vintage silver and copper service trays, platters, chinaware and cutlery were used to add glamor.
A sample of the vintage silver, which required extensive polishing.
Religious candles on service tray
Religious candles decorate this service tray.
To reflect the funeral theme, the chef used rare black herbs, vegetables and foliage from his own garden to decorate trays. Only dark products for the canapés were used such as:
• Morel mushrooms stuffed with foie gras mousse; some 1,600 mushrooms were cooked and then individually stuffed.
• Bite-size short rib confit cubes with black bread crumbs and truffle oil.
• Bearnaise sauce was tinted purple with Tasmanian pepper.
• Snow crab spring rolls wrapped in black nori and served with a squid ink and wasabi sauce.
All crabs were cooked and shelled off-site on event day.
Service was tricky as the kitchen was improvised in museum’s garage, allowing space for two chefs maximum, who had to prepare almost 4,000 canapes.
A dramatic serving of dark bites.
Specialty European charcuterie
Another highlight: European charcuterie.
After extensive research, charcuteries selected were chorizo Iberico, Rosette, Speck, Calabrese, Copa, Bayone and Prosciutto de Parme.
The meats were ordered from several European countries--France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland--just for this gala.
Family-style service of charcuterie
Family-style service of charcuterie.
Mini purple artichokes, ripe fresh Mediterranean figs and pomegranates split open by hand complete the offerings.
A variety of three house-made breads were served to bring out the distinct flavors of the meats.
Drinks served family-style
Drinks are served family-style, too.
A vodka magnum, Red Bull, soda, garnishes, ice and glasses were placed at the center of every table, provided highly popular self-service bars.
To optimize textures and tastes, all seafoods were cooked on-site last minute by the chef’s brigade, which cooked three different products, using different techniques and requiring different temperatures, despite limited ovens and cooking space.
A pink garlic butter, citrus zest and lime jus accompanied the seafood course. Large ornate covered silver platters were used for presentation and service.
A risotto was cooked in lobster broth off-site for eight minutes, then transported hot and finished on-site, taking into account that it continued to cook during transfer.
It was served al dente in silver terrines under silver bells.
Dessert array served on the tables
An array of miniature house-made desserts was set on each table for the guests to feast on.
Selections included tiny red berries with port wine, blueberry clafoutis, mini-tiramisus, mini lemon tartlets.