This party season, when it comes to catering, green is still the best color to flaunt, and we’re not just talkin’ spinach.
The green party can start with organic food and drill deep with biodiesel limousines, living plants and even gift bags made from recycled billboards, as Fox offered at its Fall Eco-Casino party.
It was the second year for the eco-friendly event, which Fox exec VP of marketing and communications Joe Earley says has been extremely popular with both talent and guests.
“We used as much as possible organic and locally grown foods, and the leftovers went to shelters or were composted,” he says. “The food was delicious, and it was even better knowing you were making a smaller footprint in some way.”
Earley says what Fox learned doing the party for two years has carried over to other studio events; the studio’s Emmy party also was carbon-neutral.
Beyond environmental correctness, exotic flavors from Thai to Korean and beyond are jostling for position as catering go-to’s, along with everyone’s favorite, sushi.
Gary Arabia, whose Global Dining is based at Hollywood’s the Lot Studios, says: “Regional American cooking is really popular. Whether it’s oysters from the Northwest or Copper River salmon, people want better-quality (overall), seasonal products, different textures and flavors from around the world.”
Arabia, who designs events for clients such as Eva Longoria, the upcoming “Fred Claus” premiere and Motorola’s lavish holiday party, says superpremium, luxurious food also is big in Hollywood — he recently did an event with the highest grade of Kobe beef, serving it cooked on hot rocks.
And despite the ever-enduring healthful image of sushi, playfully indulgent desserts are getting more ambitious than ever. Arabia does frozen cheesecake lollies while other parties have featured mini cotton candy sticks and mini caramel apples.
Cynthia Allred, director of catering and special events for Innovative Dining, which owns Sushi Roku, Katana and Boa, gets lots of requests for sushi bars set up at private parties that are “just like at Sushi Roku.”
“They want the same fish they’ll be getting at our restaurants. Everything is made on site, nothing is refrigerated,” she says.
Party givers are reaching for more creative touches, says Allred. A party for Lamborghini will feature nude models and renderings of artists’ works as well as the popular sushi-served-on-a-woman’s-body.
The group just opened Robata Bar in Santa Monica with several interesting shooters that work for catered parties as well: The shot glasses of uni, oyster and quail egg with ponzu sauce are fun for party guests to pick up and swallow.