TDPP WOMEN LEAD ORLANDO

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We had the pleasure partnering with The Brave Millennial to throw a Dinner Party for 100 influential Women who Lead Orlando! We got to Celebrate the ladies of our city and share with one another, while overlooking the City Beautiful at The Balcony Orlando. The evening was hosted by Big.Vision who also captured each moment from the night as well! The lovely set up by A Chair Affair, InBloom Florist, Lawton Connect, PECOX, and The Runway Collective set the stage for a gorgeous dinner with all the perfect touches. It was an honor to be surrounded by so many integral members of our community who are passionate about this city and work hard each day to make it a truly beautiful place to live.  

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We had music provided by Nicholas Roberts and a posh set up to take photos provided by The Runway Collection with the help of Big.Vision to capture memories of all the special ladies we shared the evening with.

We started with various delicious cocktails provided by Tito's Handmade Vodka and served by Shakers Bar Catering along with a bit of Shrimp Ceviche for the hors d'oeuvres provided by Black Rooster Taqueria, before taking our seats around the dinner table. 

 

We loved that every course was refreshing with a feminine touch, and served to us by Athena Staff. Each table had one of our very own TDPP guest hosts to keep the conversation flowing with fun, stimulating questions from The Brave Millennial about what it's like to be a woman in Orlando and the challenges we face. The Rusty Spoon took the lead on the Spring Tonic Soup, that was light and layered with Melted Leeks, Snow Peas, Stinging Nettles, Radish and Chervil and oh so lovely to look at! 

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Our Entrée was provided by The Osprey Tavern, which was a Braised Prime Short Rib, with Beef Fat Confit Potatoes, Red Onion Marmalade, and Bordelaise. Served by Athena Staff with our choice of pairing white or red wine.

We wrapped up the evening with a Vanilla Bean Cake with Cream and Berries provided by Fig and Flour Bakery and a cup of coffee courtesy of Credo. The Brave Millennial ended the night by sending us off with a Women Lead Orlando manifesto provided by our very own Mayor Buddy Dyer. Overall the dinner was a spectacular evening filled with strong community, great food, and just a handful of some of the amazing women that help lead our city! A huge thank you as always to all our sponsors. We look forward to doing this again!

TDPP MEDIA DINNER SPONSORED BY the RAVENOUS PIG AND WOODFORD RESERVE

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What an lovely evening it was! We had the pleasure of gathering around a table full of passionate professionals working in the Orlando media industry. The dining experience sponsored by the The Ravenous Pig and Woodford Reserve! Our guests enjoyed a 6-course dinner, lovely libations and stimulating conversation related to the biz. Special thanks to our Guest Host and lovely TDPP Founder Dana Marie Roquemore for helping to create an unforgettable evening!

The evening started out sipping on these delectably smokey and strong cocktails. This one named "Downbound Train." Woodford Reserve, Smoked Cardamom, Peychaud's Bitters, and Absinthe.

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Khalil Makdah created a beautiful table scape within the Brewery Room with flowers provided by InBloom Florist, to set the perfect space for good food, incredible drinks and great conversation. 

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We started out the night with a special amuse bouche curated by Chef Nick, as well as, several delicious select house breads and butters. The Tilefish Crudo containing rhubarb, peas, and buttermilk was almost too gorgeous to eat.

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Our second dish was Whole Roasted Foie Gras containing peaches, green garlic, on brioche, was not only amazing to eat but lovely to see as well!

Our main entree was Wild Boar Chops served with sweet potato, tuscan kale, and blackberries to tie it all together. It was not only delicious, but it was far too good not to snag a photo of as well!

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Finally for dessert we had a lovely slice of cheesecake filled with goat cheese, along with crumbled pistachio and a dollop of dill sorbet. To top it off our final cocktail by Woodford Reserve was Whiskey in the Jar. Woodford Bourbon, Pistachio Milk, Lemon, Strawberry Jam, & garnished w Dill. A huge thank you to The Ravenous Pig for hosting and feeding us such extravagent food as well as Woodford Reserve for the smooth and smoky cocktails!

Thanks to Trung Snaps for the photos!
 

TDPP Film Industry Dinner Sponsored by the Enzian

What an exciting evening it was! We had the pleasure of gathering fourteen Film Industry professionals around the dinner table last month for an exclusive dining experience sponsored by the Enzian and Woodford Reserve! Our guests enjoyed a 5-course dinner, lovely libations and stimulating conversation related to the biz. Special thanks to our Guest Hosts, Georginia and Jon of Strong Films, for helping to create an unforgettable evening!

The stage was set for a dinner party like no other. What made this night so unique, you ask? This particular dinner was being filmed for a documentary on The Dinner Party Project coming to this year's Florida Film Festival! Umm, how cool is that?! We're pretty stoked about it over here, so be on lookout for the film and a TDPP watch party when it comes out!

Special thanks to Woodford Reserve for sponsoring this evening's cocktails.

Special thanks to Woodford Reserve for sponsoring this evening's cocktails.

Woodford Reserve "Thelma & Louise" cocktails

Woodford Reserve "Thelma & Louise" cocktails

Now, let's get to the food! Our guests were greeted with bright Woodford Reserve bourbon cocktails and a beautifully stacked Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleon that was almost too pretty to eat. Beets + Goat Cheese = ALL THE YESSES! 

Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleon

Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleon

Beautiful tablescape design by Diana Matta

Beautiful tablescape design by Diana Matta

It was "lights, camera, action!" as everyone began arriving and networking during the cocktail hour. We had a full blown film, sound and lighting crew on set ready to capture every detail of the evening and all the good vibes were flowing!

Florals by In Bloom Florist

Guest Hosts Georginia & Jon being interviewed for the documentary.

Guest Hosts Georginia & Jon being interviewed for the documentary.

As our guests took their seats around the dinner table, the second course was served. The Seared Scallop Cucumber Ring Salad with mango and avocado definitely did not disappoint with its noteworthy presentation. Just look at the size of those scallops!

Seared Scallop Cucumber Ring Salad

Seared Scallop Cucumber Ring Salad

As the chatter continued and cameras were rolling, the chef introduced the main entree for the evening, a seared Filet Mignon served with Lobster Risotto and Asparagus. 

Main course: Seared Filet with Lobster Risotto and Asparagus

Main course: Seared Filet with Lobster Risotto and Asparagus

Finally, time for dessert! We were real spoiled that night as we were served not one, but TWO dessert courses, as well as a champagne dessert cocktail! This might be what dreams are made of. First, we enjoyed a Strawberry Basil Sorbet Aperitif - so refreshing and great for cleansing the palette. And to top it all, Woodford Reserve Homemade Cheesecake Ice Cream hit the table and all bets were off!

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Special thanks to the Enzian for hosting us and creating such a marvelous event to celebrate our city's film industry professionals! It's always a good sign when our guests continue to chat late into the night, well after the party is over. We never get tired of watching people arrive as strangers and leave as friends. After all, that is the heart of TDPP.

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Photography by Anna LaBeau

TDPP Single Moms Dinner Sponsored by Black Bean Deli

Last month, we gathered a group of single moms together to treat them to a complimentary dinner party sponsored by Black Bean Deli. This is TDPP's 2nd Annual Single Moms Dinner, and we absolutely LOVE celebrating these strong, hardworking women by giving them a night away from the kiddos. We received an overwhelming amount of nominations from you all, so THANK YOU for taking the time to honor these special ladies!

Tablescape designed by @khalil.makdah

Tablescape designed by @khalil.makdah

Chefs Nick Grecco and Alex Carvajal put together a very special menu outside of Black Bean Deli's regular offerings, and man, did they WOW us! We started the evening with Tito's Handmade Vodka cocktails - a Blackberry Mint Prosecco Punch, as well as two delicious hors d'oeuvres including a Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini and Hushpuppy with Lump Crab Aioli. So YUM!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes, Shallot Jam and Pistachios

Whipped Goat Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes, Shallot Jam and Pistachios

Hushpuppy with Lump Crab Aioli, Corn Puree and Louisiana Rub

Hushpuppy with Lump Crab Aioli, Corn Puree and Louisiana Rub

As our guests took their seats around the table, we began introductions led my our marvelous Guest Host, Sara. It's always so wonderful to hear everyone's different stories and walks of life, allowing our guests to find commonalities and connect with others right here in our community. That's why we love bringing people together! The next two courses were introduced by the chefs, which included the most beautiful Roasted Beet Salad and baked Clam & Scallop Half Shells. As if we weren't already amazed by this meal.

Roasted Beets Salad with Mint Creme Fraiche, Grapefruit, Frisee and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Roasted Beets Salad with Mint Creme Fraiche, Grapefruit, Frisee and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Clam & Scallop Half Shell with Herb Panko, Blackened Aioli and Lemon-Parsley Verde

Clam & Scallop Half Shell with Herb Panko, Blackened Aioli and Lemon-Parsley Verde

For the main course of the evening, Chefs Nick and Alex meticulously plated a 72-hour Sous Vide Short Rib that was oh, so tender along with Crispy Lobster. YES PLEASE!

Main Course: Short Rib & Crispy Lobster with Celery Root Purée, Red Wine BBQ, Cipollinis, Franks Hot Relish and Cornbread

Main Course: Short Rib & Crispy Lobster with Celery Root Purée, Red Wine BBQ, Cipollinis, Franks Hot Relish and Cornbread

Last but not certainly not least, we capped off the night with a Chocolate Ganache Cake served with torched Marshmallow, hand-rolled Peanut Butter Mousse and Graham Cracker Ice Cream.

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Burnt Marshmallow, Peanut Butter Mousse and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Burnt Marshmallow, Peanut Butter Mousse and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Special thanks to Black Bean Deli for hosting us and to everyone who nominated a special lady in their lives to attend this dinner. We truly appreciate all of the heartfelt nominations we received, and we look forward to continuing this annual TDPP tradition!

Photos by Anna LaBeau

Haiti Benefit Dinner Sponsored by The Rusty Spoon + Tito's

Owner & Chef Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon with husband, William Blake

Owner & Chef Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon with husband, William Blake

It was an honor for TDPP to partner with The Rusty Spoon last month for a special benefit dinner to support the rebuilding of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. Half of the proceeds generated from this dinner were donated to Mission of Hope Haiti for hurricane relief efforts. With 12 guests gathered around the table that night, we were able to raise $550 to help this country in need. 

We kicked the night off with cocktails by Tito's Handmade Vodka and passed hors d'oeuvres by The Rusty Spoon. The carpaccio bites on toasted baguette were to die for! As our guests spent some time mingling and getting to know each other, it was wonderful to see some new and familiar faces supporting this great cause. 

Everyone grabbed a seat amongst the mini pumpkins and fall florals by In Bloom Florist as the second course of the evening was served -- a delicious Fall Salad with roasted beets, crisp sunchoke and Bufala mozzarella. 

In true nature of The Dinner Party Project, everyone spent some time sharing a little bit about themselves and all the reasons they love this city! We always enjoy hearing our guests' favorite things about Orlando!

As our fantastic TDPP host, Katie, filled wine glasses, we prepared for the next course. A Rusty Spoon specialty, the hand-rolled Cavatelli pasta hit the table and bowls were empty within seconds...yeah, it's that good! And we haven't even gotten to the main dish yet.

Okay, we finally made it to the peak of the evening and, man, does The Rusty Spoon do fish right! The Snapper with vegetable succotash definitely did not disappoint after following so many flavorful courses. Of course, there was just enough room left for dessert!

We capped the night off with with this sweet and refreshing combination of chocolate chess pie and prickly pear sorbet. Way to end the night on a high note!

Special thanks to Chef Kathleen Blake & The Rusty Spoon for hosting us and making this evening so special for our guests! We are thankful for everyone's generosity and support of this cause to help Haiti. TDPP continues to support Mission of Hope on a monthly basis, as a meal a day is donated to a child in Haiti on behalf of our dinner party guests. Thank you for being a part of The Dinner Party Project!

Veterans Dinner Sponsored by Black Rooster Taqueria + Tito's

Tito's Blueberry Moscow Mule

Tito's Blueberry Moscow Mule

TDPP partnered with Black Rooster Taqueria and Tito's Vodka to honor some of our local veterans with a complimentary dinner party last week. We asked the community to nominate their American Heroes to attend this special event in advance, and we received many heartfelt military service stories. It was our pleasure to gather these 10 selfless individuals around the dinner table to show our appreciation for their service to our country.

Our guests arrived at guac o'clock as we were slinging some delicious Blueberry Moscow Mules made with Tito's, fresh muddled blueberries and ginger beer. Black Rooster kicked off the night with fantastic hors d'oeuvres, including their house made ceviche and guacamole. 

Black Rooster Chips & Guacamole: Avocado, Tomatoes, Onion, Cilantro, Chile Serrano, Lime

Black Rooster Chips & Guacamole: Avocado, Tomatoes, Onion, Cilantro, Chile Serrano, Lime

Black Rooster Ceviche: Local Shrimp, Red Bell Pepper-Tomato Broth, Onion, Cilantro, Orange

Black Rooster Ceviche: Local Shrimp, Red Bell Pepper-Tomato Broth, Onion, Cilantro, Orange

Cocktail hour at Black Rooster

Cocktail hour at Black Rooster

After some apps and brief introductions, everyone took a seat around the dinner table to share a little more about themselves and where they served in the military. We had guests representing the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines along with our Guest Host, Misty, who grew up in a military family. From active duty to reservist, to retired and beyond, this group had a combined 90+ years of service to our country.  

Next up, the Crispy Fish Tacos that we're still dreaming about. These beer-battered yummies topped with pickled red cabbage and avocado definitely left everyone wanting more!

Crispy Fish Taco by Black Rooster Taqueria

Crispy Fish Taco by Black Rooster Taqueria

As the conversation continued to flow, Chef John Calloway introduced the main course for the evening, Pozole Verde.  

Pozole Verde Bowl: Pork Shoulder, Roasted Tomatillo-Chile Poblano Broth, Radish, Cilantro, Cabbage, Lime, Queso Fresco, Tortilla Chips

Pozole Verde Bowl: Pork Shoulder, Roasted Tomatillo-Chile Poblano Broth, Radish, Cilantro, Cabbage, Lime, Queso Fresco, Tortilla Chips

For dessert, we enjoyed a Chocolate-Chipotle Peanut Butter Flan topped with blackberry sauce, chocolate soil and whipped cream (insert heart eyes emoji here)! So GOOD!

We loved dedicating this evening to our local veterans! Special thanks to John & Juliana Calloway of Black Rooster Taqueria for hosting us in their restaurant and cooking up a storm! 

Photos by Anna LaBeau

TDPP Nonprofit Dinner Party at Downtown Credo

Last week, we gathered 8 local nonprofit professionals around a dinner table at Downtown Credo in College Park. We wanted to create a special experience for these selfless individuals who have dedicated their careers to giving back to our community. Our guests experienced the culinary excellence of our guest chef, Sarah Monroe of The Wandering Wonton and joined our guest host, Ben, in discussing the unique work done in the nonprofit sector.

Florals by In Bloom Florist

Florals by In Bloom Florist

Everyone congregated in the living-room-like setting of the coffee shop for introductions and hors d'oeuvres. We started the evening off with some Elderflower Fizz champagne cocktails and pan-seared vegetable wontons drizzled with a sweet glaze.

As our guests took their seats around the dinner table, they enjoyed the second course of the evening - a colorful roasted corn & tomato summer salad. Our guest chef, Sarah, also shared a little bit about herself, her business and her heart for the nonprofit industry with the group.

Though everyone found common ground working in the nonprofit world, this group's work was still extremely diverse. Present at the table were an executive assistant at Junior Achievement, the External Affairs Director for City Year, a victim advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a co-founder of an organization that teaches self-care to nonprofit professionals, the Community Development Director for Northland Church, a librarian at the Orange County Public Library, a lifelong Central Floridian who has served countless local causes and the Coffee Director for Downtown Credo. We're thankful they graciously hosted this special dinner for us! 

Main course by The Wandering Wonton

Main course by The Wandering Wonton

Next up was the main dish, which was a delicious crispy citrus chicken over cauliflower rice and vegetables. Yum! The conversation continued to flow over interesting topics and fun questions. It was fascinating to hear everyone's thoughts on the biggest misconceptions of the nonprofit industry and what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning and continue the work they do.

We finished the night off with a creamy grapefruit bread pudding and Credo coffee prepared by the Coffee Director himself, Jason Moore. In hosting this dinner, we can only hope that everyone left feeling a little more known and connected to others who are working passionately to support the Orlando community. We are so thankful for the work you do!

Downtown Credo Coffee Director, Jason Moore

Downtown Credo Coffee Director, Jason Moore

Photography by Anna LaBeau Caibio

TDPP x Red Bull Summer Edition Launch Party

We had the pleasure of dining with 24 influential Orlandoans this past Sunday, celebrating the launch of Red Bull's new Summer Edition kiwi flavor. It was an honor to be surrounded by so many integral members of our community who are passionate about this city and work hard each day to make it a truly beautiful place to live.  

Red Bull Summer Edition Kiwi Twist

Red Bull Summer Edition Kiwi Twist

Tucked away on Lake Formosa, our guests arrived at the Loch Haven Neighborhood Center to enjoy an intimate dining experience with other local Orlando influencers. Red Bull cocktails paired with Tito's Vodka were served, as well as a delicious 4-course meal prepared by Em's Neighborhood Kitchen and dessert by Honey + Clover Pastry.

All of the tabletops were gorgeous thanks to the kiwi-inspired floral arrangements by In Bloom Florist. We loved transforming this venue into a fun, brightly colored summertime scene.

We started with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvre before taking our seats around the dinner table. We loved that every course was refreshing with a unique twist of kiwi. Each table had one of our very own TDPP guest hosts to keep the conversation flowing with fun, stimulating questions.

For the main course, we enjoyed a Sweet BBQ Braised Brisket served with a savory kiwi sauce, coleslaw and smashed potatoes.

Main course prepared by Em's Neighborhood Kitchen

Main course prepared by Em's Neighborhood Kitchen

We finished the evening with an AMAZING Kiwi Lime Coconut Mousse Bar by Honey + Clover Pastry that was to die for and Red Bull sent everyone home with a Summer Edition gift box full of goodies!

Thank you to Red Bull and everyone who joined us for this special evening! You all have made an impact on this city we love in some capacity, so keep on making Orlando a wonderful place to live. Cheers!

Photography by Anna LaBeau

 

 

Single, Mingle & Mix at Celebration Gardens

Celebration Gardens in Winter Park, FL

Celebration Gardens in Winter Park, FL

Last weekend, we had nearly 100 local Orlando singles gather at Celebration Gardens in Winter Park for our first ever TDPP Singles Mixer! Guests enjoyed craft cocktails by Old Forester Bourbon and delicious bites by John Michael Exquisite Weddings & Catering. We are so thankful the unpredictable Florida weather held up for a gorgeous outdoor evening!

Old Forester Brown Derby Cocktail with Grapefruit Garnish

Old Forester Brown Derby Cocktail with Grapefruit Garnish

Tea Thyme Punch Bar by Old Forester

Tea Thyme Punch Bar by Old Forester

As guests arrived, they grabbed a drink at one of our three bar options, each crafting a different cocktail recipe made with Old Forester Bourbon. Passed hors d'oeuvres and small plates were served up all night long, each item unique and flavorful!

Fresh Watermelon Cube with Feta, Mint & Balsamic Drizzle

Fresh Watermelon Cube with Feta, Mint & Balsamic Drizzle

Mini Corn Muffins with Honey Butter & Charred Corn Garnish

Mini Corn Muffins with Honey Butter & Charred Corn Garnish

Fresh Gazpacho Shooter with Cucumber Garnish

Fresh Gazpacho Shooter with Cucumber Garnish

Bourbon Glazed Skirt Steak with Mashed Potatoes & Caramelized Onions

Bourbon Glazed Skirt Steak with Mashed Potatoes & Caramelized Onions

Sparks were flying (literally) in the SNAP! Studio Photo Booth sponsored by Yelp. We especially enjoyed the Make Your Own Old Fashioned bar where each guest experienced a hands-on mixology lesson from our friends at Old Forester. 

MYO Old Fashioned Bar by Old Forester

MYO Old Fashioned Bar by Old Forester

Everyone mingled and mixed into the night as the sun went down and the gardens lit up. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors who made this magical evening possible. New connections were made over great food and interesting conversation, which is all we could have hoped for! 

Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Photos by Anna LaBeau

"Taste of Florida" Dinner Sponsored by NOVA Restaurant

Florida inspired tablescape designed by Anna LaBeau.

Florida inspired tablescape designed by Anna LaBeau.

What an exciting evening it was for our dinner party guests who experienced a marvelous "Taste of Florida" menu designed by Executive Chef Val Domingo of NOVA Orlando Restaurant! Accompanied by his wonderful wife in the kitchen, Chef Val wowed our TDPP guests with a 4-course meal using only ingredients sourced in the Sunshine State.

The NOVA Refresher: Tin Cup Whiskey, Watermelon Puree, Fresh Squeezed Lime

The NOVA Refresher: Tin Cup Whiskey, Watermelon Puree, Fresh Squeezed Lime

As the guests arrived at our host's beautiful craftsman style home in Thornton Park, everyone gathered in the living room for cocktails & hors d'oeuvres.

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta: Basil Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata, Olde Hearth Toasted Challah, Balsamic Gastrique

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta: Basil Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata, Olde Hearth Toasted Challah, Balsamic Gastrique

Guests enjoying cocktail hour.

Guests enjoying cocktail hour.

After some light bites and swooning over the mid-century modern flair throughout the home, everyone moved to the dining room to get to know each other a little better. The second course, a Peach & Ginger Bisque, was silky smooth and absolutely delicious.

Summer Peach & Ginger Bisque: Carmelized Organic Peaches, Dakin Dairy Cream, Pea Tendril Garnish

Summer Peach & Ginger Bisque: Carmelized Organic Peaches, Dakin Dairy Cream, Pea Tendril Garnish

Chef Val preparing the main course.

Chef Val preparing the main course.

So many connections were made and laughter filled the air as everyone around the table talked about their careers, hobbies and why they love Orlando. Time flew by as the main course was served; a gorgeous Florida Red Grouper! A crisp white wine pairing was also prepared by NOVA's General Manager/Partner, Westley Lynn.

Cast Iron Seared Florida Red Grouper, Lemongrass Ginger Risotto, Sugar Top Farms Braised Kale, Coconut Lime Buerre Blanc

Cast Iron Seared Florida Red Grouper, Lemongrass Ginger Risotto, Sugar Top Farms Braised Kale, Coconut Lime Buerre Blanc

With just enough room left for dessert, guests indulged in a traditional blueberry cobbler topped with homemade vanilla ice cream, complete with a hot, French pressed cup of Credo coffee!

Tom West Blueberry Cobbler topped with House-made Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

Tom West Blueberry Cobbler topped with House-made Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

We are thankful for our coffee sponsor and continued partnership with Downtown Credo.

We are thankful for our coffee sponsor and continued partnership with Downtown Credo.

Huge thanks to Chef Val Domingo and NOVA Restaurant for partnering with TDPP! The food was AMAZING and everyone had a wonderful evening!

 

Photos by Anna LaBeau

Event Planners Dinner at Citrus & NQT

Gathered around the table in the Bar Room at North Quarter Tavern.

Gathered around the table in the Bar Room at North Quarter Tavern.

What a pleasure it was to gather with Event Planners from all over Central Florida!  We even had one drive over from Melbourne. It was so interesting to hear how everyone got into their line of work and what makes them passionate about it.  

We started the night out at Citrus, for drinks and a few bites.

We started the night out at Citrus, for drinks and a few bites.

Wahoo Poke Tacos started out the night right. They were SO fresh and delicious.

Wahoo Poke Tacos started out the night right. They were SO fresh and delicious.

Gathering people that don't know each other can be a tricky thing.  But somehow when you gather around food and with a drink in your hand it seems a bit easier. The elegant setting of Citrus Restaurant was the perfect backdrop to start out the night. Plus sipping on their selection of drinks didn't hurt either.

Lavender Strawberry Collins did not disappoint.

Lavender Strawberry Collins did not disappoint.

After our cocktail hour we moved over to the North Quarter Tavern.  We we snagged The Bar Room as an Event Space for the Evening.  Any table set with Florals from In Bloom Florist makes for a BEAUTIFUL setting to gather around. 

Table set for 12 at The Bar Room.  Ready for all the delicious food coming our way. Makes for a Great place to Host an Event!

Table set for 12 at The Bar Room.  Ready for all the delicious food coming our way. Makes for a Great place to Host an Event!

Orange Cake from Citrus and Chef's Choice Ice Cream from NQT. All of our Guests pretty much inhaled this. 

Orange Cake from Citrus and Chef's Choice Ice Cream from NQT. All of our Guests pretty much inhaled this. 

Overflowing flowers from In Bloom!  

Overflowing flowers from In Bloom!  

Lingering over sharing stories.

Lingering over sharing stories.

Thanks to Citrus, NQT & In Bloom Florist for partnering with TDPP for this event!  So many great connections happened and, of course, all the amazing food we got to eat!

Photos: Anna LaBeau

Entrepreneurs Dinner at The Osprey Tavern

Gathered at the Osprey Tavern

Gathered at the Osprey Tavern

The above photo makes me more happy than you might know.  When I started this thing, I could only dream that I would be able to gather people like this around a dining room table.  I couldn't have picked a better setting than the Chef's Table at The Osprey Tavern.

A delightful twist on a Moscow Mule w Sake.

A delightful twist on a Moscow Mule w Sake.

The people of Orlando are pretty inspiring.  It's quite an exciting time to be here. We had Entrepreneurs that are just starting out mixed with more seasoned ones.  The stories of how they started were incredible.  I was so honored to sit at the table w these folks.

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THE FOOD. Seriously. The Food.  It was a double treat to dine at The Osprey Tavern, because we had the Executive Chef from Seito Sushi as the Guest Chef for the night.  It was one of more extravagant meals I have ever had.  So many incredible flavors and textures from around the world. And, of course, the Presentation was exquisite. 

Executive Chef of Seito Sushi Austin Boyd. 

Executive Chef of Seito Sushi Austin Boyd. 

Jidori Egg Caviar // Daikon Bed, Culantro Crema, Turmeric Blini (Might have been my favorite course of the evening.)

Jidori Egg Caviar // Daikon Bed, Culantro Crema, Turmeric Blini (Might have been my favorite course of the evening.)

Charred Octopus: Yuzu Sabayon, Ponzu Collard Greens, Sweet Potato, Sambal Froth

Charred Octopus: Yuzu Sabayon, Ponzu Collard Greens, Sweet Potato, Sambal Froth

Venison: Eryngii Chips, Glazed Wild Mushrooms, Blackberry, Asparagus

Venison: Eryngii Chips, Glazed Wild Mushrooms, Blackberry, Asparagus

Perfecting the plates.

Perfecting the plates.

Roots of Japan: Caramelized Mountain Yam, Okinawa Purée, Tokyo Turnips, Bacon-Miso Vinaigrette

Roots of Japan: Caramelized Mountain Yam, Okinawa Purée, Tokyo Turnips, Bacon-Miso Vinaigrette

Pompano: Amaebi, Black Bean Pesto, Pickled Citrus

Pompano: Amaebi, Black Bean Pesto, Pickled Citrus

The conversation around the table was rich w the past of Orlando and the Future of Orlando.  Amazing things are happening in this City and even more is on it's way.  

We didn't get many photos of the wine & sake pairings with the Courses, but they were impeccable and hand selected by Jason Chin, the Owner of The Osprey Tavern and Seito Sushi. 

All in all, it was an incredible night that won't soon be forgotten.  Much thanks to Jason & Sue Chin for Hosting The Dinner Party Project and to Chef Austin Boyd and his team for knocking our socks off.

If you haven't tried The Osprey Taven or Seito Sushi, I would highly recommend it.

Gorgeous Chef's Table at The Osprey Tavern

Gorgeous Chef's Table at The Osprey Tavern

All Photos by: Julia Cox

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KASA Orlando x TDPP

The Dinner Party Project went on a field trip to KASA Orlando, located in the heart of downtown Orlando!  12 lucky Guests were treated to 4 Extraordinary Courses, plus a craft cocktail and a white wine pairing.  We were so impressed with their culinary references from around the world!

White Fish Ceviche-Escolar: watermelon, red onion, cherry tomato, yellow bell pepper, cilantro, sriracha. The escolar is cured in a combination of lemon and lime juice, and sriracha. 

White Fish Ceviche-Escolar: watermelon, red onion, cherry tomato, yellow bell pepper, cilantro, sriracha. The escolar is cured in a combination of lemon and lime juice, and sriracha. 

The evening brought together a really fun bunch of people to gather around the table.  So many different types of people sat in these seats. There was such an easy fun relaxed vibe, for such a diverse crowd of people.

Table for 12 in KASA's lovely Private Dining Room.

Table for 12 in KASA's lovely Private Dining Room.

The FOOD...the FOOD!  Gosh everything was so delectable.  From the Ceviche to the Shrimp to the Salmon.  And don't even mention the Dessert!  It was ALL Delish. 

Shrimp a la Plancha: La Plancha is a reference to a griddle or a grill that we use to cook the shrimp. This simple shrimp dish is elevated to new heights by using Kasa’s house made coconut red curry sauce with lime and butter.

Shrimp a la PlanchaLa Plancha is a reference to a griddle or a grill that we use to cook the shrimp. This simple shrimp dish is elevated to new heights by using Kasa’s house made coconut red curry sauce with lime and butter.

When we weren't stuffing our faces with all the delicious courses, we got to hear from the Head Chef Amir Maleki, which we LOVED getting to know!  He puts so much thought and details into the food at KASA.

KASA's Head Chef Amir Maleki telling our Guests his background as a Chef.

KASA's Head Chef Amir Maleki telling our Guests his background as a Chef.

Pan Seared Salmon: The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper, then pan seared. It is paired with a creamy ratatouille risotto, containing roasted eggplant, sautéed zucchini, and roasted tomatoes. The risotto rests in a sweet red pepper consumme (broth), and the salmon adorns the dish. 

Pan Seared Salmon: The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper, then pan seared. It is paired with a creamy ratatouille risotto, containing roasted eggplant, sautéed zucchini, and roasted tomatoes. The risotto rests in a sweet red pepper consumme (broth), and the salmon adorns the dish. 

Our TDPP Guests sharing stories around the table.

Our TDPP Guests sharing stories around the table.

The HIT of the evening was: Wrecked Apple Pie served with Salted Caramel Gelato. So delightful everyone was dreaming of seconds.  Will have to go back for more ASAP.

The HIT of the evening was: Wrecked Apple Pie served with Salted Caramel Gelato. So delightful everyone was dreaming of seconds.  Will have to go back for more ASAP.

Thanks again to KASA Orlando for having us!  We loved being in your space and your amazing Customer Service left us so impressed.  We definitely recommend this place, when you are in the downtown Orlando area.

THANKS for hosting us KASA! xo

THANKS for hosting us KASA! xo

All Photos by Orlando Eats

TDPP in Parramore

What a Wonderful way to start the year.  Gathering w Strangers never gets old. This year we started off in Parramore.  When I was contacted by the City of Orlando last year to do a Dinner there, I didn't think twice about it. It's really exciting to see how that area is developing.  With the Amway Arena and the Orlando City Soccer Club going in there, it's intriguing to see how the area is developing.

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As 8 Strangers gathered around the table, the crew from Chef Eddie's, was gearing up to serve us 4 incredible courses.  We started out w some Garlic Shrimp w Garlic Bread, that we could have eaten all night. Followed by a House Salad and then the Entree blew us away w so much food! Juicy Meatloaf, Rice Pilaf, Sweet Potatoes, Mac n Cheese, & Cornbread. We rounded out the evening w some Sweet Potato Pie & Organic Vanilla Ice Cream. This Soul Food really hit the spot. That evening we learned that Chef Eddie has served the likes of President Clinton & Jesse Jackson.  We were very grateful they were up for serving us too!

Eating was half the fun!  We got so deep into conversation the night ran long.  We weren't mad about it, but were so Grateful to the Wells Built Museum for Hosting us.  It was amazing to be in a place w such History. Most of us were new to Wells Built and didn't know it has hosted so many famous Floridans, including Ray Charles, Angela Bassett and Former Miss America. 

All in all, we had a lovely evening. Laughed a lot, listened to stories and shared the commonalities of life. Thanks to everyone that made this evening such a Pleasure!  

Photos: Sarah Peerani

Single Moms Dinner

“If you only do what you can then you will never be more then what you already are.”

I heard that quote in the new Kung Fu Panda trailer. Seriously. But it really stuck with me. I became part of the single parent club due to someone else’s decisions and had daily thoughts of “I can’t do this.” After almost two years of single parenting I have learned that I can do it. Nothing has pushed my past my limits and taught me more about myself. It has been the hardest/best thing I’ve done so far in my life. 

So when I got the chance to host last month’s themed dinner for Single Moms I obviously took it. I can’t imagine anything better then treating other single mamas to night of food and fun.

After dropping off our kiddos with some generous volunteers (they got to experience Madame Tussauds,  The Sea Life Aquarium, and The Orlando Eye) we headed off to Tapa Toro. 

Tapa Toro wined and dined us. Five courses, each paired with an amazing wine. Plus we had a private flamenco show!

We started with cocktails around the bar with Jamon con Queso (baked ham and cheese) and Tartare de Tomate for appetizers. 

After moving to our private dining area we started with Caldo Gallego soup (amazing), El Carpaccio de Naranja salad, and moved on to the main course of Costillas de Res Guisadas as our entree. 

We finished with home made Churros Tapa Toro (life changer) and coffee. 

The food was great and the conversation was heart felt. 

Big thanks to Chef Wendy and our hostess Gabby at Tapa Toro who made the night unforgettable. And to Dana and The Dinner Party Project gang for putting this night together.

Cheers!
Posted by Sara Stoff

TDPP at Hyatt Regency Orlando = One Incredible Night

Table set for 10.

When we were approached by Hyatt Regency Orlando about hosting The Dinner Party Project there, there were no questions asked, after we saw the huge crystal chandelier in the foyer.  It was such a delightful evening, that we had to sneak in 2 extra people, for a total of 10 people around the table.

We sat under this Gorgeous Chandelier 

We were so lucky to have not one, but two Guest Chefs for the Evening. They came up w a Gourmet Tailgating Menu. It was the fanciest twist on tailgating food that we had ever heard of.

 We got to hear a little bit about their background and we will share it with you:

Chefs Will & Jared sharing w us about the Menu for the Evening.

First Course

 

“Artichoke Spinach (dip) Salad”

baby spinach | farro | creamy artichoke dressing | baby heirloom tomato | roasted quail              avocado chimichurri 

 

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

 

 

Chef Will Walters - Chef de Cuisine of Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse:

"I've been cooking in restaurants for 12 years, but I've been in the kitchen with my grandma, mom, and aunt since I can remember. 

I realized I loved cooking and wanted it to be my profession when I was going to school in PA for business and marketing. I picked up a job at as a prep guy at a local hot spot called Rillo's Italian restaurant. To make a long story short I slowly started skipping my business classes to go to the restaurant early because I was loving the fact that I learned something new every day and it never got boring! Soon after I failed out of Shippensburg University (parents didn't like that too much) and worked full time at Rillo's, which lead to culinary school, and that's what brought me to Florida to work at the Peabody. 

My biggest influence in cooking is most certainly my mom. She taught me to put love into every dish and not to take short cuts. Professional influence is Chef Scott Maurer who used to be the executive sous chef at the Peabody and Hyatt Regency Orlando, and Chef Jared Gross who is the chef of Urban Tide at the Hyatt Regency Orlando and my partner in the dinner party project tomorrow. These two chefs hired me, taught me, believed in me and promoted me over the last 9 years in florida. 

I would have to say as of right now my signature dish is one of my new apps on our 2015 fall/winter menu. It's Oktoberfest braised veal cheeks with caraway seed- ginger carrot puree with coriander- Grilled cipollini onion- roasted golden beets with white balsamic- and chervil. It speaks to my inner beer snob!"

Jared Gross, Chef de Cuisine of Urban Tide:

I have been cooking for 19 + years

I actually went to culinary school in Pittsburgh for front of the house and restaurant management, as a requirement we needed to learn the kitchen for 6 months and I feel I love with cooking at that point and completed my culinary degree instead

The biggest influence on my cooking style have been my old Mentor Chef Scott Maurer and Celebrity Chef Michael Symon (his cooking techniques and style are what I feel is the route I took as a Culinary interests.)

I have a Cioppino dish on my menu now for 6 years and is very popular.  I was challenged to bring this signature dish of San Francisco to Florida, so by utilizing the local Floridian seafood and Caribbean seasonings

Second Course

 

“Grilled Shrimp Kabob with Potato Salad”

spiced shrimp | crispy pork belly | warm marble potato salad | frisee | tarragon

 

Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir

 

 

Third Course

 

“Mushroom Whiz Wit”

prime ribeye | polenta cake | auricchio provolone | roasted chanterelles | grilled cipollini onion

boursin hollandaise | broken focaccia

 

Jordan Cabernet, Alexander Valley

Dessert

Chocolate Super “Bowl” with Popcorn

Coffee Mousse l Frangelico Cremeux l Buttermilk Chocolate Sponge l Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse

Popcorn Milk Crumble

by Alain Vergnault, Executive Pastry Chef of Hyatt Regency Orlando

2012 Twomey Pinot Noir

Dessert was INCREDIBLE. I know you can't see it from here, but it was served on a cylinder of dry ice. Everyone was asking if this dessert was on the Menu and when was the soonest we could come back and have some more!

The Dinner Party guests had such a blast around the table! So many connections, passions, and hilarious stories were shared around the table.

We are SO thankful to Hyatt Regency Orlando for hosting us and taking care of us so well! Looking forward to visiting their restaurants again for their delightful offerings!

_TDPP

Welcome to The Dinner Party Project BLOG

Well Hello!

We are delighted to have you following along with The Dinner Party Project.  We will be posting about what's coming up for TDPP and featuring some of the incredible ppl we work with.

It never gets old gathering 8 strangers around a Dinner Table. You never know who you will sit down next to at a Dinner Table.  We have had all manner people join us, from business owners, to dancers, to accountants, to artists, to school teachers.  You never know if the conversation will go deep or be hilarious. 

Photo: Tina Craig

We love the idea that anyone can have a seat at the table. It's not exclusive.  We want to meet everyone. That's the funny thing about this world. There is an unending amount of unique people in the world and each one has their own story that we want to hear. 

Now let's chat about the food.....

Photo: Tina Craig // Food Creation: Mike Garcia

TDPP is lucky to work w some of the most talented Chefs in Orlando! The food photos in this post are by Mike Garcia, who has worked at some of the best establishments in this City: The Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder, Prato & The Smiling Bison.  He brings all his knowledge and talent to our table at The Dinner Party Project. We are lucky to have him!

Photo: Tina Craig // Food Creation: Mike Garica

We believe that food around the table is important, whether it's fancy or not.  Giving your friends, family and strangers the ability to get to you a little better.  We believe breaking bread together is an excellent way to do that.  So Please do join us around the Dinner Table. If you have any questions, you can always send us an email: dinnerpartyprojectorlando@gmail.com. 

Photo: Tina Craig