"Cocktails & Conversation": A New PodCast with Dana Marie Roquemore

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We’re serving up a new course!

We are excited to announce a TDPP Podcast called "Cocktails & Conversation." I, Dana Marie, will be sitting down with Guests from Orlando and elsewhere discussing some of my favorite topics: Cocktails (of course); Stories (how life events have shaped us;) Enneagram (how we are intrinsically created has shaped us;) and Rest. Join me as we listen in on some fascinating stories!

We’ve started recording and we can’t wait to share! Stories coming SOON.

More to come....

Seven Out-of-the-(Chocolate)-Box Date Ideas for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day. It’s pretty dependable that it’s coming ‘round every year. No warning needed. And here it is again, upon us in just a couple of weeks.

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So do you have a special someone you’re planning something for? Something memorable? Don’t have the same ‘ole date night this year. We think you should think outside of the (chocolate) box and do something a little different. We’ll get you started. Here are seven ideas you might want to consider:

1. Take a cocktail class. Look around in the area where you live and see if there’s a cocktail-making class. You and your date can create your own magical concoction and even give it a super-cutesy name. And of course anything made with Tito’s Vodka will surely be a winner! wink, wink

2. Give it a go at an escape game. Completely disregard that silly horror movie about escape games out in theaters right now! This is not about that, and escape games/rooms are a fun way to spend some time with someone…while also getting to know another side of them as a person - their brain! There are many, many in the Central Florida area and if you’re in another city just give it a quick Google search for some escape games around you.

3. Visit a museum. This one might seem a tad cliché but seriously - when was the last time you actually visited a museum?

4. Sample a wine room or local vineyard. Just make sure to drink responsibly, as always.

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5. Take a ghost tour. Many cities—particularly in the south—have ghost tours on the regular. It’s definitely an “out-of-the-box” idea and even if it turns out to be a little lame there are certain to be some spooky-grab-on-to-me moments that will bring you and your date closer together. See - we’re doing the thinking for ya!

6. Tour a local gardens or plant shop. This one might be more of a Valentine’s Day “day” idea, but it’s certainly romantic and who doesn’t love looking at pretty flowers? Of course, it’s crazy cold in many areas around the country so this may not be an option if you’re outside of the Central Florida area. But if you’re living here in Orlando the weather may end up being just right. Perhaps a visit to Leu Gardens or Mead Botanical Garden?

7. Take a painting class. It might be a canvas painting class or pottery class. You may not really have any interest in what the final product will be, but most of these places allow their guests to bring wine so you can enjoy a glass or two while working on your creation. It might make a great gift for an upcoming birthday or something special for a child or niece or nephew.

So what do you think? Has this helped spark some ideas for a more interesting Valentine’s Day than usual? If you have any other ideas feel free to share!


Looking Ahead to a New Year


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We’re ready to take on 2019!

A few things we’re looking forward to this year.

We previously talked about some of the things we were thankful for in 2018. While it’s certainly great to look behind and be thankful for what’s been had, we’re also really excited about things to come in the new year.

So with that, we thought we’d put together a few thoughts about what we’re looking forward to in 2019:

  • New concepts and projects for The Dinner Party Project. You know we can’t give too much away so consider this your appetizer! Keep your ears open for more details in the coming month or two….

  • Making new friends. The connections made at dinner parties are often priceless. Whether a new friend to meet up and get coffee with, a renewed friendship with a previous dinner guest or acquaintance, or a potential new business relationship, the dinners we Host are about so much more than eating.

  • Expanding The Dinner Party Experience. We’re looking at bringing TDPP to other cities to join the Orlando family. Without giving too much away we’ll say a big apple (ok - it’s The Big Apple!) and DC (not the comics) are both on the ballot. See what we did there?

In short, we’re looking to make some big waves in 2019 and we invite you to ride the wave with us.

What about you: Do you have a list of things you’re excited for in the coming year?

Looking back on 2018....

You were (mostly)great, 2018!

This past year was a magical and tough year for so many, including The Dinner Party Project. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to good things, but we can look back fondly, hold everything dear, and get excited for things to come in the coming year.

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Here are three things we’re thankful for in 2018:

  • Our Partnerships. In particular, we’re so gracious for our partnership with Tito's Handmade Vodka and their dedication to our philanthropic efforts. Because of that were were able to donate 3,633 meals to Mission of Hope Haiti. That is not a typo: Over 3,500 meals! YOU made this possible by attending TDPP.

  • Countless stories and laughs. If you’ve ever been to a dinner you know the food and the people are the foundation of the evening but it’s the stories that are shared and the laughs that take place that really create the lasting memories.

  • Hitting the road. You may or may not be aware, but I, Dana Marie, took The Dinner Party Project on the road this past summer and brought some amazing dinner experiences to the great cities of Washington, D.C, New York City, Houston, Austin, and New Orleans. If you didn’t get a chance to follow along on the journey you can get a glimpse here, here, here, and here.

Of course, there’s so much more to be thankful for, but these three really made an impact. Thank you, again, for all you’ve done to support TDPP in 2018!

IMMERSE Dinner Party 2018

A Night to Remember: Dinner, Drinks & Conversation

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Sure, sure - the holidays are upon us, but we’re talking about the (what’s now become) annual VIP IMMERSE Dinner Party experience. You might recall last year TDPP had the opportunity bring together the 2017 VIP IMMERSE Dinner Party in gorgeous downtown Orlando. Go ahead - take a look…but be warned you might experience a serious case of FOMO if you weren’t actually there. Well we once again had the chance to host the 2018 VIP IMMERSE Dinner Party in the heart of The City Beautiful over the course (obligatory food pun 😉) of two splendid evenings.

Beautiful setting. ✔︎

Beautiful food. ✔︎

Beautiful people. ✔︎

Beautiful memories! ✔︎

Ready to relive the night? Here are some of our favorite moments:

Just a taste more….


And a full feature of the delicious menu offered to those in attendance:

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Drooling yet? It happens, so nobody will fault you. We obviously couldn’t have this fabulous evening without the support and partnerships of the following:

And if the food weren’t appetizing enough (ok - just one more food pun) guests were treated to live entertainment—like firedancers—and the surrounding atmosphere of Orlando’s creative community bringing together by Creative City Project.

Also special shout-out to these great folks who helped make the evening so memorable: Downtown CREDO, Corkcicle, Prismatic and In Bloom Florist. Support them if you can!


So if that FOMO has taken over real bad and you’re interested in checking The Dinner Party Project events — including one of our dinners — be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so we can hit-you-up when there’s availability.

And be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. #TDDP


The Creative Class Dinner at Celine

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Recently, we hosted our very first Creative Class Dinner that included a curated guest list of almost 40 local creatives and business owners. The evening was intended to not only gather some of the best Orlando has to offer them a unique dining experience, but to also celebrate them, their hard work and provide a setting where their work and stories could be shared with other local peers.

 
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 A new downtown venue called Celine was where we hosted everyone and the night showcased a lot of local talent for our guests to experience and enjoy.

The centerpieces for the evening were a combination of various salts, minerals, quartz and other rocks provided by Ancient Artifacts & Treasures placed intentionally at each table. 

The Smitten Pen came out and made sure each of our guests had hand-written name cards for their table setting.

Hunger Street Tacos brought their A-game as usual. The most notable dish was an Octopus Aguachile which included Ranchera Salsa, a Spicy Hibiscus Broth, Avocado, Cucumber, Roasted Tomatillo and Jicama.  It was sexy and delicious!

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Tequila Herradura partnered with Bartist to provide an array of incredible cocktails throughout the night. The Lavender Spritz was a favorite and the evening was which capped off nicely with a Horchata featuring Downtown CREDO coffee and Mexican chocolate. 

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Finally, each guest left with a lovely copper travel mug from our friends at Corkcicle.

We were incredibly grateful for all of the sponsors who helped pull this evening together and super thankful to have such a solid group of guests to enjoy the night with us. 

To attend a Dinner with us, go check out our upcoming dates here!

TDPP's 2nd Annual Women Lead Orlando

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What a night! We had the great pleasure partnering with Kindness.org at The MEZZ to host some of the City’s most influential Women! We not only had a one-of-a-kind evening featuring a 4-Course dinner with a wine-pairing, cocktails by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and coffee by Credo, but a beautifully curated conversation around the topic of kindness and what that looks like for the trailblazing women of the City Beautiful! 

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We kicked the night off with Spring inspired cocktails by Tito's Handmade Vodka, and delicious hors d’oeuvres, provided by Orlando Meats!

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We still can’t decide which was our favorite cocktail from the night! All three were to die for! Watermelon-Limoncello Collins, Lemonade Prosecco Punch and the Blackberry Martini. So good!!

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Each table was outfitted with gorgeous flowers from InBloom Florist. The inspiring conversation about kindness in the workplace flowed over a fresh field greens salad, provided by The Butcher and Baker, and the assortment of Neapolitan pizzas, provided by The Neapolitan Pizza Company! It was truly an honor to not only be in the presence of these incredible women, but to also witness the connections forming, and uplifting messages of kindness being spread!

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And, of course, what better way to end the night than with some incredible Sweet By Holly cupcakes, and coffee from Credo!  Each  guest went home with a gift bag filled with awesome goodies from Ananda Candles, Healing Butterfly Matcha Tea, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Sweet by Holly, and InBloom Florist to gift to a woman in their life that they value! 

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We’re still pinching ourselves on how spectacular the evening was! It’s our greatest pleasure hosting events like these which bring the community together over great food & drinks and inspiring conversation! A huge thank you to all our sponsors, including, pecox, Beth Hobart & REVEL - rentals + design, who made this night possible. And to the Women who Lead Orlando, you all inspire us daily!

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We can’t wait to see you all again next year! XO

The night was captured by Jarred Paluzzi (@jpaluzzophotorgraphy)!

 

TDPP x Young Professionals Dinner Party

To kick off the year in the best possible way, The Dinner Party Project surpassed itself to offer another amazing Event, in an incredible location. This time, TDPP partnered up with the Young Professionals crew and the Orlando Science Center to offer over 30 guests a unique dining experience, Dinner surrounded by Dinosaurs.

TDPP also joined forces with Tito's Vodka, InBloom Florist and Credo Coffee to offer the highest quality experience to the Young Professionals present that evening, on top of a 4 - course meal by Art of Taste including : 

- Chicken Chorizo Braise Fritter with Annato Aioli

- Avocado and Purple Ninja Radish Salad with Asian Pair, Sunomodo Vinaigrette, & Garnet Mustard Greens

- Wild Scottish Salmon, Toasted Grano Risotto, Kale & Cauliflower with Puttanesca Sauce

- Fig & Flour Chocolate Cake.

- Cafe con Leche Ganache with Black Bean Chocolate Crumbles 

The evening was dedicated to making significant connections with Young Professionals of Orlando and, thanks to Tito's Vodka, supporting the Orlando Science Center!

Video by Michael Stern 

 

TDPP x IMMERSE Dinner Party

Last year TDPP had the amazing opportunity to host a dinner in the coolest location yet - right in the heart of downtown Orlando! It was such a pleasure to Partner with the Creative City Project for the 2017 VIP IMMERSE Dinner Party!

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No one was complaining about these amazing  Tequila Herradura  Cocktails on tap:  Black Raspberry Paloma:  Herradura Silver, Grapefruit Soda, Chambord Liquor, garnished w Blackberries & Mint. Good thing there was plenty to go around!

No one was complaining about these amazing Tequila Herradura Cocktails on tap: Black Raspberry Paloma: Herradura Silver, Grapefruit Soda, Chambord Liquor, garnished w Blackberries & Mint. Good thing there was plenty to go around!

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Strawberry Swine - Burnt Strawberries, Gorgonzola, Fresh Mozzarella, Rosemary, Iberico lardo, and Lemon Zest by  Pizza Bruno  was quite Incredible!

Strawberry Swine - Burnt Strawberries, Gorgonzola, Fresh Mozzarella, Rosemary, Iberico lardo, and Lemon Zest by Pizza Bruno was quite Incredible!

We always are crushing on that Black Matte Silverware by  Treasury Rentals.

We always are crushing on that Black Matte Silverware by Treasury Rentals.

Next up Guests were treated to Eggplant Ricotta Mousse, Smoked Tomatoes, Chard Pluots, & Crispy Coin Potatoes by  Art of Taste Orlando . Beautiful & Delicious! 

Next up Guests were treated to Eggplant Ricotta Mousse, Smoked Tomatoes, Chard Pluots, & Crispy Coin Potatoes by Art of Taste Orlando. Beautiful & Delicious! 

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No one went home hungry after this delightful meal by  Pig Floyd's : Smoked Pork, Cauliflower Mash, Mexican Style Street Corn, & Plantains.

No one went home hungry after this delightful meal by Pig Floyd's: Smoked Pork, Cauliflower Mash, Mexican Style Street Corn, & Plantains.

A tini Affogato by  Downtown Credo  to wrap up the Dinner, was the perfect amount of energy to enjoy the rest of the night at IMMERSE.

A tini Affogato by Downtown Credo to wrap up the Dinner, was the perfect amount of energy to enjoy the rest of the night at IMMERSE.

Half Baked Bites  provided an Incredible dessert to end the night: Pumpkin Cremeux: Mexican Hot Chocolate and Spice Cake Crumble, Smoked Cherry and Mango Gel, Pistachio Tuile, Corn Coulis and Salted Caramel. Tres Magnifique! 

Half Baked Bites provided an Incredible dessert to end the night: Pumpkin Cremeux: Mexican Hot Chocolate and Spice Cake Crumble, Smoked Cherry and Mango Gel, Pistachio Tuile, Corn Coulis and Salted Caramel. Tres Magnifique! 

What an incredible time we had at the VIP IMMERSE 2017 Dinner Party! It was an honor to be a part of what the Creative City Project is doing in Orlando. Many Thanks to our Sponsors for helping make this night happen!

Photos by: Akeem Rashard Bethea

TEDx OrlandoWomen Bridges Dinner Party

What an honor it was to Partner with TEDxOrlando for a Dinner Party celebrating and connecting so many incredible Women!

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The night started off with some delicious drinks with Tito's Handmade Vodka, by The Guesthouse. Guests were able to choose from The Guesthouse Mule, a Dirty Martini and The Dinner Bell, as shown above. 

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During cocktail hour, guests also enjoyed some hors d'oeuvres by Black Rooster Taqueria. They treated us to this amazing Local Shrimp Ceviche. 

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We are honored to Partner with Tito's Vodka to be able to donate $20 for every guest, back to TEDxOrlandoWomen to help continue amazing programming like this Event! We loved having 3 live Speakers.

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Next up, this fresh Turnip and Heirloom Apple Salad by The Rusty Spoon

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The Osprey Tavern provided the an incredible Entrée of Chicken Roulade with Sun-choke Puree, Sunflower Seed Crumble and Port Wine Cherries. So YUM!

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The cutest and most delicious Honey Mascarpone Mousse desserts were brought to our guests by Olivia, of Fig and Flour Bakery

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We loved having MacBeth Studio snap some photos of our guests! Special thank you to all the amazing ladies that made it to this wonderful dinner! 

We could not have done it without our amazing BRIDGES Sponsors that made the night happen: 

UCF Downtown, Valencia College, Treasury Rentals, The Revel Co., Credo Coffee,                     1010 West, Pivot Business Consulting, Lawton Connect, Uproar PR,                     Kelly Cohen, Beth Hobart, blëzoo, & switchboard.

Photos by: real. simple. photos.

Le Diner en Blanc

TDPP had the amazing opportunity to be a part of this year's Le Diner en Blanc at Lake Eola! We dressed in all white, packed up a delicious spread and enjoyed some amazing live entertainment.

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This year, The Dinner Party Project's table was decorated with flowers, candles, greenery, and of course, a most delicious dinner. We made sure to dine in true french fashion with ALL of the carbs, cheese and wine.

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The Entertainment during the dinner was absolutely incredible! 

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The guests of Diner en Blanc always create the most amazing tablescapes. Here are just a few of the ones we fell in love with!

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Diner en Blanc was truly a magical and exciting experience! Can't wait to see what they dream up next year!

TDPP Influencer's Dinner

Recently we invited some amazing influential women of social media to gather together to connect and share their stories around an amazing dinner. Bloomingdale's graciously hosted us along with many talented businesses who brought some fun goodies to create one unforgettable night!

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The night started off with meeting new people, mingling and of course, taking LOTS of pictures! 

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One amazing sponsor of the night was Corkcicle. Not only did guests receive their very own canteen, but they got to try them out for the first time this very night as their water glasses.

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Guests were able to try on some super beautiful jewelry created by two incredible jewelry ladies, Gypset Collective and BandB Jewels. After that, Tequila Herradura placed a yummy Watermelon Fresca cocktail in their hand along with handcrafted cocktail napkins with the coolest designs by Lettermade. Fiber & Credo also added amazing goodies to the Swag bags!

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Flowers + Donuts? Yes please! In Bloom Florist brought some amazing florals for guests to create personalized arrangements. Guests also snagged one, or probably two, seriously delicious donuts from Little Blue Donut Co

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When it was finally time for the main event, guests found their way to three tables beautifully and uniquely styled by Revel

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The oh so talented chefs from Earl's Kitchen + Bar cooked up some tasty courses for us to enjoy. First up, some Avocado Super Toast to munch on. Next, a Quinoa Powerbowl full of yummy and health ingredients. 

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For the main course, BBQ Ribs served with warm Potato Salad and Coleslaw. To finish off the night, David Ramirez Chocolates provided us with the cutest and most delicious macarons. 

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So many laughs and stories were shared around these tables during the night. It was such a blast and was definitely one for the books! 

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Such a big thank you from us at TDPP to everybody who joined us for this spectacular night, and of course to all who helped make it happen!

Photos & Video by: 28 North Photography

TDPP Community Dinner with hawkers

Last month we had the exciting opportunity to throw our very first Community Dinner! Thirty guests gathered around one table at the beautiful 1010 West to enjoy an amazing dinner and some thoughtful conversation. 

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The night started off with a tasty Herradura Spicy Watermelon Margarita consisting of Watermelon Juice, Fresh Watermelon, Lime Wedges, Spicy Jalapeños and, of course, Tequila Herradura.

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Once guests found their way to their seats, Chef Ron of Hawkers, introduced the yummy buffet he had prepared for them. 

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Guests were treated to a delicious spread consisting of Roti Canai, a Tiger Salad, Pan Fried Chicken Potstickers, and Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai. To end the night, a Ginger Cheesecake was served for dessert. 

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Make sure to try out this super yummy Tiger Salad, courtesy of Hawkers! 

INGREDIENTS
For the dressing:
1 fl. oz. Rice Wine Vinegar
¾ tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
1/3 tsp Garlic, minced
1/3 tsp Sesame Oil
For the salad:
1 (packed) cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves, roughly chopped
1/8 cup Carrots, julienned
1/8 cup Green Onions, julienned
1/8 cup Celery Hearts, julienned
1/8 cup Cucumber, julienned
About 1 pinch Japanese Togarashi Pepper Spice, or to taste
1 oz. (about 5 slices) Boiled Octopus Leg, sliced thin
Note: The Octopus Leg is easier to slice if freezing to semi-firmness after boiling, and then
slicing.

DIRECTIONS
1) Get a small mixing bowl. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until dissolved
completely.
2) In a larger bowl, toss together the rest of the salad ingredients; then add in the dressing
from the mixing bowl, toss well and serve.

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Huge thank you to all the wonderful guests and hosts that attended and helped make this night unforgettable! 

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TDPP x Herradura Bartender's Dinner

We were so thrilled to Host a Private Dinner Party for Tequila Herradura for some local bartenders in town. The night started off with a Herradura Spicy Watermelon Margarita. As guests sipped on this fresh and fiery drink, the talented Chef Brandon introduced his first course of the night, Bite Size Tamales.

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Our Gorgeous table with the help of InBloom Florist at 1010 West.

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We LOVE gathering strangers around the Dinner Table, even if they are coming from the same Industry.  Our City is better when we are more connected.

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Next up, a delicious Lobster Quesadilla paired with a taste of Herradura Reposado Neat. Seriously, we could have easily eaten another round of these.

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For the main course, Chef Brandon treated the guests to a unique and exciting entree consisting of Grilled Octopus, Pork Belly, Remesco and a Blueberry Balsamic. This course was also paired with Herradura The Sweet Naiveteo Cocktail. 

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The night ended with a bang as a Fruit Compote Flan with White Chocolate Shavings was brought to the dinner table on fire! This impressive dessert was paired with Herradura Ultra. 

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Huge thanks to these wonderful bartenders who attended the dinner, to Chef Brandon for providing a killer meal, Herradura for the cocktails and tequila tastings and to Jarred Paluzzi Photography for capturing this unforgettable night! 

TDPP Love to Brunch

Here at The Dinner Party Project- we brunch hard. In partnership with Tito's Handmade Vodka, Tapa Toro Orlando, and The Brunch Bros and we threw a single's brunch for the books. 

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We started with a Tito's cocktail bar and some brunch bites including to-die-for Avocado Toast. All while Tapa Toro treated us to incredible entertainment by way of The Flamenco.

Next up The Brunch Bros kicked the convo up a notch with a hilarious dating show style Q and A! We loved watching our guests mix, mingle, and get to know one another.

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Here's to new friends, great food and drink, and fantastic entertainment. Want in on a TDPP party? Check out upcoming events here!

Photography courtesy of Jessica Perlaza.

TDPP SUMMER HUSTLE

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On a hot summer night in May, Orlando got down. The Dinner Party Project's Summer Hustle was a blast. With the help of Tito's Handmade Vodka, Red Bull, 1010 West, Chef B's Catering, and DJ M Squared we had a night to remember. 

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The evening started with VIP treatment. Our VIP ticket holders were treated to two amazing cocktails by Tito's and Redbull and some delicious hor d'ourves from Chef B. Then the drinks kept flowing, the guests kept coming, and the party got started.

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We were thrilled to be at 1010 West where DJ M Squared brought the house down with some amazing 90's beats. There was an impromptu limbo contest and some sweet moves in a dance circle. To say a good time was had by all would be an understatement. But the best part of the night had to be that together we raised over $800 for Mission of Hope Haiti.

 

We are so thankful for our sponsors and amazing partners.  Here's to another fantastic TDPP event. Hope to see you at the next one!

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!

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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