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A New York State of Mind: Another CSI Party For the Books

April 15, 2016
Kirsty Gumina

Two weeks ago, 1,000 guests of Computers and Structures, Inc. – prominent members of the structural engineering profession, professors, researchers, civic leaders, and others who traveled from all over the world – gathered at San Francisco City Hall to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the finest structural engineering software by CSI.

Entering a New York State of mind, CSI guests were welcomed into the dramatic appeal of the Rotunda.  Greeted with champagne and caviar, guests were surrounded with the culinary culture of New York City including Pakistani hors d’oeuvres, French baked brie, McCalls own Chef Kenny’s Japanese Sushi, and much more.

The South Light Court’s fashion couture wowed guests with hand painted modern art by McCalls’ own designer, Naomi Thoele, trendy daybeds and lounging by Dreamscene, and of course drinks and entertainment. The focal point of the room however was a breathtaking contemporary tulip tree by McCalls Florist, Miguel Torres.

Come 8 o’clock, it was time for CSI’s CEO, Ashraf, to make his spectacular appearance that never disappoints. Opening on City Hall’s infamous staircase, Ashraf gave a performance of a lifetime. Surrounded by body-painted artists, break dancers, and singers, the act concluded with a conga line to “Get On Your Feet” leading to the North Light Court where night had set in NYC. The room abounded with New York sights including skyscrapers, the Empire State Building, and Statue of Liberty. Even more entertainment and desserts galore, guests danced the night away – in a true New York fashion.

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Pioneering Catering at Autodesk University Las Vegas

December 14, 2015
Kirsty Gumina

Ten thousand engineers, designers, architects, animators, and tech savants from all over the world attended The Venetian | Palazzo and Sands Expo in Las Vegas, NV from December 1-3 for their annual software user conference, Autodesk University.  This year, Autodesk joined forces with Stephen Denison, a McCalls founding partner and national corporate catering consultant, to deliver an unprecedented user experience for its sponsors and attendees.

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In the course of just 72 hours, McCalls provided five unique and contemporary culinary experiences for 10,000 people. McCalls applied Autodesk’s cornerstone values of Insight, Innovation, and Inspiration in the careful planning and strategic presentation of three networking lunches and two evening receptions. McCalls streamlined the entire catering process alongside the hotel to target every customer touchpoint.

Station design and menu presentation were woven into the interactive Expo Hall itself. Attendees enjoyed a large selection of everything from fresh, market-style, made-to-order selections, to arrays of seafood, authentic Asian flavors, and street tacos from around the globe. Using San Francisco’s Green Business Standards, catering experts ensured environmental preservation with compostable dining materials, all while entertaining the lively crowd well into the night.

Positive feedback showed that the food was not only “healthy and delicious,” according to a guest, but Autodesk’s goal to increase face-to-face interaction between attendees and sponsors was fulfilled. One pleased sponsor wrote, “As a vendor with a booth in the exhibit hall, I was thrilled that the format brought the attendees to me and kept them in the hall moving from one food station to another (and passing my booth in the process).”

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The result of this exemplary conference was a cost-effective food and beverage experience that allowed attendees to create meaningful networking connections, all while maximizing the event ROI.

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At Autodesk University, the “Future of Making Things” is truly at hand and McCalls is proud to be pioneering catering for future Autodesk events.

 

 

Fine Art Museum’s 10 Anniversary

November 9, 2015
Kirsty Gumina

The atmosphere at the de Young Museum felt like a dream Wednesday night as guests celebrated the Fine Art Museum’s 10th Anniversary. Champagne and caviar in Hamon tower, hors d’oeuvres in Wilsey Court, and some mingling under Gerhard Richter’s “Strontium” mural accumulated to an extravagant fine dining experience under a magical canopy of twinkling lights on the Terrace.

McCalls’ own designer, Hadley Woodward, crafted the golden themed affair that was highlighted by incredible displays from McCalls Floral, billowing lights in the tent by Got Light and elegant settees by Blueprint.  Dede Wilsey, President of the Fine Arts Museums –  and a very integral part of making the museum a destination with millions of visitors and impressive exhibitions – invited on stage Nancy Pelosi and Willie Brown to charm the crowd as the guests dined on a rich Maine Lobster salad, Grilled New York Pave entrée, and Dark Chocolate Celebration Cake dessert.  Concluding the evening, Beach Blanket Babylon preformed a special number created just for the de Young’s anniversary.

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In celebration of 10 years, the de Young Museum will hold a Community Day on Saturday, October 17, 2015. From 10 am to 10 pm, the museum will feature music ensembles, art-making projects, presentations honoring the diverse cultures represented in the museum’s collections, and much more!

 

A Timeless Affair: The Opening Night Gala for Breguet

November 9, 2015
Kirsty Gumina

Ever wondered about the history, beauty and mechanics of watches? The Legion of Honor Museum’s latest exhibit, Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking, explores these subjects through the creations of renowned French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet.

In honor of this highly anticipated exhibition Breguet, McCalls produced a stunning opening night gala. In a tent over the museum’s Court of Honor, a sea of crystal-beaded chandeliers hung above custom mirror-topped tables with elegant floral arrangements of blue hydrangeas and cascading white orchids. These elements gave the space a luxurious but ethereal quality.

Nods to timepieces were everywhere – even the intricate silver-patterned china looked reminiscent of a clock’s interior. Upon entrance to the museum, guests were greeted to a visual treat — large images of timepieces projected on either side of the building and a long, blue carpet ushering them inside.

Rain arrived just in time for dinner, but it didn’t seem to dampen the spirit of the night. Attendees supped on a four-course meal that started off with an amuse of Turnip-Smokey Eggplant Ravioli, Cherry Tomato Pearl, Lemon Squash Mousse with Green Goddess Dressing and ended with individual Cherry Cakes custom designed by Studio Cake and topped with finely sculpted replicas of the Empress Marie-Louise’s timepiece.

The gala may be over, but the exhibit has just commenced. Be sure to check out this unique show before it’s too late! To learn more, please visit: https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/exhibitions/breguet

Visit Our Facebook Page to see images from the event.

A Melodic Start to the Fall Season with the SF Opera Ball: Moonlight and Music

November 9, 2015
Kirsty Gumina

Moonlight and Music set the scene for the San Francisco Opera’s opening of its 93rd season with the revival of Verdi’s “Luisa Miller.”

As the evening’s guests in sleek suits and voluminous gowns ascended the steps of the War Memorial Opera House, McCalls was setting a scene of our own with Austrian-themed reception bites and a Tyrolean-inspired menu.

Diners nestled in a cozy tent on Grove Street by Hensley Party Rentals – under a stunning canopy designed by Riccardo Benavides of Ideas.  Riccardo ensured the Austrian theme touched every detail of the event, from the Valet’s hats to the Opera House foyer in guise as a Tyrolean Castle.

McCalls Executive chef Josip Martinovic delighted guests with a Roasted Nectarine and Main Lobster Salad followed by Tyrolean Braised Short Ribs with Herbed Spaetzle, and a Duo of Tiramisu and Austrian Hazelnut Chocolate Roulade.

To read more about this magnificent evening, take a peek at Haute Living’s article: Behind The Scenes At The Glamorous SF Opera Ball 2015Opera Ball 2015: Moonlight & Music

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