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Despite my passion for everything winter—long weekends in Vermont, fireside naps, cups of Jacques Torres’ Wicked Hot Chocolate, over-sized sweaters, and oodles of Kimberly’s comfort food—I am more than ready to bid adieu to the slopes and embrace a few sunny afternoons in Prospect Park. The Dinner Belle, much like this new spring season, is entering a period of rebirth and regeneration! As Chef Belle and I work hard to put the finishing touches on our business plan, open our doors to potential investors, and search the city for our very own kitchen and tasting room, we look forward to what’s already shaping up to be a catering season in full bloom!
While February is typically a slow month in the event planning biz, we kept ourselves busy with The Dinner Belle’s popular drop-off brunch & lunch service. Trays of Mediterranean charcuterie, harvest crudités, gourmet sandwiches, seasonal salads, chocolate truffles, sliced fruit, and fresh baked cookies, brownies, muffins, scones, bagels, and croissants are a perfectly simple way to cater smaller events on a tighter budget. If you’re sick and tired of the same-old, boring vegetable platters and uninspired cheese trays that always seem to crop up during office meetings or launch parties, just ring The Dinner Belle and we’ll turn your humdrum affair into a tasty experience to remember. For sample menus and pricing information, feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February also ushered in a lot of memory making moments with my man and my girls! Amanda flew in from LA, and Kimberly marked the occasion of our “Tribal Reunion” by hosting a Valentine’s Day feast, featuring a love-inspired menu of heart-shaped partridge & pear pot pies, a celery salad laced with lovage, and pretty-in-pink angel food cake stuffed with cherries and served alongside a cherry glaze she used to write “sweet nothings” on our dessert plates. As the resident candy-o-holic, I brought the conversation hearts for inspiration. Later that night my guy surprised me with a “Be mine” greeting card with these same candies glued to the cover. For five years we’ve been swapping crafty handmade cards, but this was the first time he seduced my sweet tooth. The boy’s catching on! After settling into our favorite romcom, we cracked open a bottle of Chianti we brought all the way back from Tuscany and made memories anew while tasting the Italy we toured together last fall. Without a doubt, it was a la doce vita day!
Then came March and Kimberly’s Burger Shoppe Birthday Bash! I helped her to cater a black & white dinner party in our friend Heather’s boho chic Wall Street loft, but even sweeter than the black & white cupcakes she served, was the profile published on her birthday in The Daily News. We were thrilled for the press, and The Dinner Belle has been busier than ever booking more new clients than we expected such a tiny tribute to generate. I guess word is getting out that, “New York tastes better with Belle!”
As spring sprang last week, so too has our catering schedule. With a few early spring events already under our belts and many more lined up, we got back into the kitchen to bake even more cupcakes. First up was an engagement party at Soho House for Kimberly’s fabulous songstress friend Rachel P. This time around we served a cupcake tower featuring Nutella stuffed devil’s food cupcakes and brown-butter strawberry shortcakes stuffed with homemade strawberry sauce made from hand-picked strawberries Kimberly collected last summer. Next we catered a swanky Park Avenue book launch for The Municipal Art Society of New York. We were honored to do the catering for this prestigious occasion, and were even more stoked about the setting, as it was our inaugural event in the historic Park Avenue Armory—one that we hope will prove the first of many more to come. Set up in the beautiful Tiffany glass embossed Veteran’s room, we provided a wine bar and two of our signature stations: Mediterranean Charcuterie and Harvest Crudité, both of which wowed guests as they nibbled the evening away.
Later this month, we’ll create another assembly of our signature stations for The Nation magazine, as we cater an exclusive event for them in a private home on the Upper West Side. We’re also looking forward to catering a 25th anniversary college reunion for a group of friends who gather in TriBeCa every year to ring in their graduation celebration. We’ll be providing delicious dinner dishes, including: Chef Belle’s pasta verdi, smoked salmon fusilli salad, fennel crusted pork loin, tangelo bars and warm, jumbo, chocolate chip cookies topped with fleur de sel. To close out April, we’ll be back at Laser Cosmetica ringing in their first anniversary with the same menu we served for their launch party last year. I guess it was a success because they called saying, “We want you back. Same food, same place, same Belle’s!” We’ll be there!
With all the busy catering buzz, I nearly forgot to mention what’s coming up this week. Oh, it’s just our busiest week of catering ever. That’s right; Kimberly and I will attempt to cater 6 events in 1 week! Call us crazy, or call us successful—sometimes I think the line’s a little fuzzy—but we’re gearing up and getting ready for it, and you can catch us in action! It’s been exactly one year since we baked 7,000 cookies for Topshop’s launch event back in 2009, and they’ve invited us back to sing Happy Birthday. We’ll start on Thursday night with a private in-store cocktail party co-hosted by Nylon magazine, where our staff will be passing a variety of miniature picnic bites, including: classic burger sliders, pigs in a blanket, lobster rolls and mini fluffer-nutter cupcakes.
Following Thursday’s fete, we’ll really get the celebration going with a three-day in-store Topshop tea party. Starting at noon each day from Friday, April 2th to Sunday, April 4th, Kimberly and I will be in there in-person handing out slices of birthday cake (red velvet if you get there early and vanilla with pink frosting for you late comers) until we run out! All you have to do is buy something in the store—no price minimum! Show us the receipt, and we’ll fork over the cake.
By that time, Passover will have passed, Lent will be ending, and Easter’s on her way, so I can’t think of a better reason to let yourself eat cake!