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A Black (and White)-Tie Affair to Remember

June 5, 2012
Kirsty Gumina

Last Saturday, the San Francisco Symphony’s 2012 Black & White Ball was the place to be. Thousands gathered at Civic Center Plaza to party and support a great cause: musical education programs for over 75,000 Bay Area students.

The gala stretched over nearly eight acres and included multiple venues. Like skilled conductors, McCalls—with nearly 60 chefs, 180 staff, and over 100,000 pieces of cuisine—orchestrated an unparalleled event.

Early in the evening, we served 1,500 guests in three separate sit-down dinners. The Patron’s Dinner took place in a tent off Franklin Street, lavishly decorated in graphic black and white stripes, zigzags, and polka dots. There, guests dined on chilled Maine lobster and a delicate duo of lamb. After a successful live auction, tuxedoed trumpeters playing Paul Simon’s Graceland ushered patrons into Davies Symphony Hall where Mr. Simon himself performed onstage with the symphony—a first in the ball’s 50-year history.

City Hall, divided down the middle in black-and-white décor by Blueprint Studios, hosted the Supper and Symphonix dinners in both its north and south light courts. Guests savored a trio of white asparagus, vichyssoise, fresh Porchetta, and an entrée of tender beef filet. After the dinners, in less than one hour our team helped transform the venues into breathtaking after-parties, each space showcasing musical talents spanning the decades-long history of this elegant fundraiser.

Van Ness was shut down from Grove to McAllister as party-goers braved the cold weather (as only San Franciscans can do) for extensive buffets featuring over 40,000 pieces of sushi, 12 roast pigs carved on-site, New York steak, countless platters of artisan cheeses and charcuterie, and other mouth-watering delicacies. Well-stocked bars throughout allowed guests to meander from space to space to enjoy all the mind-blowing décor and dynamic entertainment. We are proud of our nearly 20-year history working with the Symphony on this charitable event. More about the happenings at the Black & White Ball in SF Gate.