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A once-in-a-lifetime event at Bimbo’s 365 Club

March 11, 2011
Kirsty Gumina

Wandered into Bimbo’s 365 Club for what I thought was a simple birthday party. It turned out to be a McCall’s de force. George Marcus hired the catering firm to produce a 70th birthday party for his wife, Judy.

The event was called “Jam with Judy” and as you walked in we got such things as deviled quail egg with crispy prosciutto and sturgeon caviar on potato souffle. If you dared to sit at any table you’d be tempted by tortilla chips with homemade guacamole. Then around the dance floor were very small Margarita pepperoni and vegetarian pizzas. There was also a seafood table that had oysters, smoked Scottish salmon and Dungeness crab, all with the appropriate condiments.

They created food stations to represent the distinct San Francisco neighborhoods. They put North Beach and Chinatown together and offered ravioli, salami, chicken with shiitake mushrooms, marinated olives and then dim sum. For Japantown they had a sushi bar that had ahi tuna, halibut, shrimp and hand rolls, all done in front of you.

They also offered some all-American fun food: burgers, Nathan hot dogs, a chicken burger, cole slaw, grilled cheese and mushroom triangles, and French fries in a cone.

Then they had something on the dessert side. I particularly liked the warm petite doughnuts, and of course the event wouldn’t be complete unless you had coffee to go.

So this Bimbo’s dining experience is probably a once in a lifetime event. That topped all of my other restaurant visits for the week.

From Willie Brown’s Inside Scoop – March 9, 2011

Stanford Cancer Center Benefit Invokes That 70’s Show

February 25, 2011
Kirsty Gumina

The annual Valentine’s fundraiser — benefitting the Stanford Cancer Center, hosted at the home of Alan Salzman and Jillian Manus — has become a legendary tour de force, both for its fundraising prowess and for its themed events. Over the years, the gala has raised millions of dollars.

Robert Fountain, event designer and producer, may have topped even himself this year, invoking a 1970’s show theme called “Channeling Love.” The guests walked into each room feeling like they were on the sets of “Archie Bunker,” “Addams Family,” “I Love Lucy,” and a parade of other hit shows from that decade.

“McCall’s catering served beer and hot pretzels in the “Laverne & Shirley Shotz Brewery” room, fried catfish nuggets in the laundry-strewn “Beverly Hillbillies” room and Middle Eastern noshes in the “I Dream of Jeannie” tent (where the Bill Hopkins band played radio hits),” said Carolyne Zinko in the San Francisco Chronicle. Zinko’s colleague, Leah Garchik, said this year’s event raised more than $1 million.

Photos by Drew Altizer Photography via SFWIRE

California State Parks Foundation’s Golden Poppy Gala

February 22, 2011
Kirsty Gumina

The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) held its seventh annual Golden Poppy Awards Gala in January. The awards are given to individuals and organizations who “have made a significant contribution to protecting, enhancing and/or advocating for California’s state parks,” the foundation said in a release. Two of the recipients — the Stater Bros. and Coca-Cola Refreshments — had raised more than $1.1 million for state parks and beaches in Southern California. McCalls catered the event for nearly 400 guests at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center.

“There was something for everyone: a silent auction with some handcrafted items by foundation members, a live auction featuring tremendous trips, sensational food by McCalls Catering & Events, awards, entertainment, and dancing to the surfer band Pyronauts,” said Janet Duca Norton in her column for the Palo Alto Daily News.

CSFP logo courtesy of the California State Parks Foundation

An Elegant SF Wedding at the Flood Mansion

February 10, 2011
Kirsty Gumina

Edited from Melissa Mermin’s “Love Stories”

Heather and James live in Los Angeles, but Heather knew she had to get married at the James Leary Flood Mansion in San Francisco: Heather went to school there. The Flood Mansion is home to the Sacred Heart School where Heather attended from a child to graduation and was very close to the staff.

The wedding was an intimate affair of 80 guests. The food, lighting and floral design were provided by McCalls Catering & Events. Anna Williams from McCalls was their wedding coordinator and always a pleasure to work with. The couple danced to their first song, “By Your Side” by Sade. The guests danced the night away to music provided by Chris Williams (Everything Audio Visual) and a great time was had by all.

Photo by Melissa Mermin.

Read more about James and Heather’s Wedding Day and view their Wedding Slideshow.

Science of Cocktails @ the Exploratorium

February 7, 2011
Kirsty Gumina

The Exploratorium’s second annual Science of Cocktails event on Jan. 27 raised more than $50,000 for the museum’s educational programs. Guests at the sold-out gala learned about the physics, chemistry and biology behind the cocktails being made. McCalls served drinks and hors d’oeuvres. In keeping with the spirit of the evening, the array of hors d’oeuvres included oyster shooters in spicy Bloody Mary salsa and bay scallops & salsa fresca — both in shot glasses.

Attendees were treated to presentations from the Exploratorium’s own biologist, the Cocktail Lab and St. George Spirits. The artisan drinks were concoted by bartenders representing
some of the Bay Area’s best incuding 15 Romolo, Bourbon & Branch, and Comstock and Rye.

For more details on the gala evening at the Exploratorium, read Drew Altizer’s story on SF Wire.

Photo courtesy of the Exploratorium’s flickr slideshow.