Thursday, May 01, 2008

Real Events

I attended a fabulous event this week at Merryvale Vineyards, sponsored by a terrific caterer, Real Events. Gaspar Sayoc, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Real Events in St Helena, 707-963-0100, not only knows how to cater exceptional food, but he knows how to create an exceptional experience.

We have long been fans of the Real Restaurant Group which includes Fog City Diner, Betelnut, Buckeye Roadhouse, Bix, Tra Vigne and 8 more hip, spirited, reasonable restaurants in the Bay Area. And now, the Group is offering catering and event coordination. Because of its origins, one unique aspect of Real Events is that it feels more like a restaurant experience than a stodgy ol' banquet experience.

Signature dishes from the various Real Restaurants were offered at serving stations including sushi and assorted pot stickers; deeply decadent and velvety macaroni and cheese, prime rib with three out-of-this-world sauces and so much more. It allowed guests to move freely and it kept the party lively. Gaspar is the master of orchestrating a party so it has energy and sizzle. If we had to do it all again, this is exactly the format we would choose for any event we hosted. It allows you to eat as much or as little as you wish, and it gives you a CHOICE.

Other professionals who contributed to the success were:

Merryvale Vineyards- they served superb wines which were thoughtfully paired with the fabulous foods. Their Cask Room (see photo above) is exactly what you envision when you think of a Napa Valley wine cellar. Dark and atmospheric.

Julie Stevens Design - Julie and Anthony created large, lush floral arrangements for each food station that echoed the theme whether asian cuisine, California cuisine, comfort food, or the dessert bar. My favorite was the profusion of cascading white phaelanopsis orchids from backlit blue glass vases. It looked like the orchids were suspended in mid-air.

Weddings With Michael Peterson - Michael carefully created a song list that was perfect for the occasion, and was played at the perfect sound level so you could comfortably speak and hear your companion. You know how uncomfortable it can be when the music is so loud you are screaming and still can't be heard. Michael provides very sleek, modern speakers that blend into the decor, not those huge, ugly black boxes you usually see. Michael perfectly created the mood that Gaspar had in mind - casual, sophisticated, fun.

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