Last weekend, Marinship Park in Sausalito came alive with the sights, sounds and flavors of Carnevale. The 2014 Sausalito Art Festival Foundation kicked off its annual Labor Day weekend of art from 270 local artists, live music and food with its Friday night preview soiree: the 2014 Carnevale “Unmask Your Imagination” Gala. The evening was replete with cocktails and a Carnevale inspired banquet dinner and dining tent. Brazilian dancers spiced up the night and danced along with revelers to the musical stylings of the Dick Bright Orchestra. Even our own Chef Josip enjoyed some of the fun!
Before taking part in the spectacle, Chef Josip and our team of culinary artisans served up quite the feast. Chilled Carrot Gazpacho Soup topped with Curried Prawns tantalized the palettes of artists and art enthusiasts alike, along with a vibrant salad of Heirloom Tomatoes, Melon, Di Stefano Burrata and Wild Arugula, drizzled with Micro Basil Olive Oil and White Balsamic Reduction. A hearty Grilled Filet of Beef with Champignon Crown, a medley of summer vegetables and a sauce of Cognac and Cream followed suit, and a Frozen Elderflower Soufflé Glacé Parfait with a Raspberry Macaron rounded off the meal on a cool note.
But underneath this fabulous evening and the ensuing art festival lays an important mission. The Sausalito Art Festival Foundation is founded on an objective to bolster arts in the local community. This year the proceeds of the weekend will be funneled into Artists Teaching Art, a fresh but highly successful program that engages young Marin students and working artists in order to foster artistic stimulus, imagination and experience.
We are always honored to be part of such a fun and inspirational evening celebrating our local creative community. If you missed the gala and festival this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next years’ Labor Day weekend and boogie the night away at the “Studio 63” Gala.
The San Francisco Exploratorium is a playful place to explore, learn and ignite curiosity. When McCalls was given the opportunity to coordinate the design for The Exploratorium’s Annual Gala, we wanted the principles of the Museum to be translated into the design. Our designer met with our lighting specialists on the subject of color shadows to create something that would be fun and interactive for guests, and that also emulated the Exploratorium itself.
What are color shadows and how do you make them? Colored shadows occur when two or more different-colored lights shine on the same spot on a white surface; the light reflecting from that spot to your eyes is called an “additive mixture” because it contains the colors from both lights. Utilizing all white tables, our design team created a table scape with unique and thoughtfully- placed flower arrangements; serving dishes in bold geometric shapes, and reflective glassware to amplify the shadows. All of these elements drew together to create the perfect configuration for the color shadows to be the focal point of the overall design.
Photo credit to Drew Altizer Photography
For more photos of The Exploratorium Gala and to see the other room designs, please visit our Pinterest Profile.
To experience the Exploratorium first hand buy tickets here.
McCalls is always excited to unite with novel and unique sites on special events. Ringing in 2014, we are thrilled to showcase The Wattis Room as one of our newest venue partners.
Located in the cultural hub of San Francisco’ performing arts district, The Wattis Room is an intimate, exclusive locale nestled in the heart of the celebrated Davies Symphony Hall. Designed by distinguished architect Andrew Skurman, the room features deep crimson red walls, a beautiful existing U-shaped marble bar and three spectacular paintings on loan from SFMOMA.
The room’s cozy and inviting surroundings are perfect for anything from a corporate dinner or business reception, to a rehearsal dinner, wedding or birthday celebration. This exceptional venue can accommodate up to 80 guests for a seated dinner and 200 guests for cocktail receptions.
So if you are looking for an intimate yet vibrant space to host your next event or gathering, The Wattis Room may be the perfect fit.
To inquire about catering packages or to schedule a site visit, please contact Trisha Heigl at 415.503.5333 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Gala’s 1930’s glamour was exquisitely portrayed in the Jazz Modern: Art Deco and the Avant-Garde theme. Guests were immediately greeted by towering urns designed by Andrew Skurman that transported them to a bygone era. In line with the Avant-Garde theme, the cuisine mirrored the American Industrial and European-influenced era with wondrous displays of caviar, fine assortments of cheeses, and decadent desserts.
Students from the Enterprise Program helped pass hors d’oeuvres while guests perused the selection of fabulous antiques. Attendants indulged in chilled Blue Angel Vodka paired with American Sturgeon caviar sprinkled with lemon on homemade potato chips and topped with a touch of sour cream. Guests continued to enjoy the Lamb Karsky on a bed of Potatoes au Gratin with an Apple Mint Relish.
As a grand finale, dessert-lovers satisfied their sweet tooth with an array of sweets: from Espresso Crème Brûlée to Raspberries with Crème
de Cassis and Kirsch-Soaked Cherries with Chantilly Cream.
The successful gala raised funds for an excellent cause and provided an enjoyable experience to all involved. We look forward to seeing what next year’s show will bring.
To find out more about EHSS mission and its programs visit their website at: http://www.ehss.org/index.html
This year’s opening night gala for the San Francisco Opera’s 91st Season was a Bay Area cultural soiree for the books. Internationally-renowned event designer, Colin Cowie, was selected by the Opera Guild to visually bring to life The Opera Ball 2013: The Garden of Good and Evil with his acclaimed eye for design.
As stilt walkers clad in greenery and leaves meandered among guests outfitted in ball gowns and tuxedos, audible bird chirping and ambient green lighting completed the experience for City Hall’s nighttime “garden party.” Cowie’s design featured whimsically eerie, yet mysteriously beautiful, crystal-draped and black feather-topped chandelier centerpieces that towered over the green velvet and copper sequin dinner tables. Attendees enjoyed dishes of Chilled Three Green Pea Soup with Apple and Smoked Trout and Grilled Grass-Fed Lamb Chops with Monterey Fog Artichoke-Potato Gratin and Late Summer Squash. Rounding out the banquet, White and Dark Chocolate Skulls filled with a Berry Parfait and Madagascar Vanilla Anglaise pleased both the good and the slightly evil alike at this enigmatic garden fete. After dinner, guests enjoyed a glittering opening night performance of Arrigo Boito’s Mephistopheles conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. After the performance, the opera-goers followed fire dancers back to City Hall for the slightly more sinister after-party, where we tempted guests with bountiful savory stations, decadent hand-rolled chocolate truffles and cocktails as guests danced the night away.
While the grandness of the Opera’s opening night ball is always impressive, it is most important to note the driving cause: the Opera Guild takes all proceeds from ticket sales and funnels them into arts education for Northern California students in over 230 schools. Between this great mission and the added benefit of a great party, it is no wonder the Opera Ball sells out so fast!
Prior to the gala, The Avant Gardist, a fashion blog based out of San Francisco, got some inside information from the Opera Guild and the design skinny from Mr. Cowie himself. The article also referenced McCalls for our impending catering services. To learn what Mr. Cowie had to say about the then-upcoming Opera Ball and to see our mention, check out the article by Cynthia Riddell here: http://theavant-gardist.com/stay-tuned-with-colin-cowie/
To see photos and to read more about the Opera Ball, take a look at this article from SFGate: http://www.sfgate.com/performance/article/Opera-gala-s-glittering-Garden-of-Good-and-Evil-4797318.php
To find out more about the Opera, its performances and its programs, please visit their website:
Be sure to check out our Facebook page next week to see some behind the scenes photos of the Opera Ball as well as the Symphony Gala!
On June 26, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum put on a lovely dinner and cocktail reception in honor of the debut of their latest exhibit, In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection.
Inspired by the collection, the menu focused on Japanese cuisine with our own California twist. Sake was paired with bites of Seared Loin of Lamb with Japanese Eggplant Puree on Rice Chips as well as Sushi Balls of Maguro, Hamachi and Avocado. Guests continued to dine on a salad of Smoked Duck Breast, Cherries, Hearts of Palm, Petite Lettuce, Tatsoi Spinach, Pickled Daikon drizzled with a Yuzu Basil Vinaigrette followed by a Seared Wild Northern Halibut accompanied by Bamboo Rice Risotto, Tokyo Turnips, Wilted Japanese Spinach and a Shoyu Shallot Butter Sauce. Under the warmth of the sunset flooding Samsung Hall, attendees enjoyed their meal at intimate wooden farm tables adorned with cascading white orchids, succulents and bamboo– the perfect floral touch to evoke the spirit of the Japanese Art.
collection of Japanese art, highlighting both the immediate beauty of
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the works themselves as well as the dynamic relationship between collector and the collected. Make sure to head over to the Asian Art this summer to catch this exhibit before it ends on September 22.
To learn more about this exhibit, please visit: http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/in-the-moment
To see more photos from the opening night event, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/McCallsCatering
It must be summertime! San Francisco’s annual Stern Grove Festival kicked off its 76th season yesterday afternoon with “The Big Picnic” – a celebratory benefit concert and luncheon supporting the Stern Grove Festival Association. Overjoyed to be a part of the outdoor music-filled event, we served up summer-ready dishes to over 400 guests such as our house-made Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Deep Dish Quiches, Poached Salmon with “Dill Mousseline” and Blueberry Caulfoutti with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The sun was shining as Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs headlined the event in support of Stern Grove’s mission of providing admission-free performing art shows throughout the Bay Area.
With many great artists on the Stern Grove’s 2013 line up – including Ramsey Lewis and Dee Dee Bridgewater, the San Francisco Symphony and Pink Martini, to name just a few – don’t let the summer pass you by without checking out a concert. The Stern Grove Festival takes place every Sunday through August 18 at 2:00pm, but be sure to get there early to snag yourself a good seat!
To learn more about the Stern Grove Festival Association and to find out who else will be featured on the 2013 lineup, please visit the Stern Grove Festival website at: http://www.sterngrove.org/
The McCalls team is overjoyed to be featured in Special Events magazine’s May-June cover story on “25 Great, Big Caterers,” and we are honored to be the only representative from Northern California!
Featuring fun tidbits of information on the selected 25 biggest caterers worldwide, the article shares some of each company’s strategies for success in this recovering economy while also highlighting their standout traits. Special Events gives us accolades for our long-standing tradition of impeccable service thanks to our knowledgeable and dedicated wait-staff, many of whom have been with us for a decade or more. While we are a catering company built on a history of excellent service, the magazine also gives a nod to our drive to keep the industry on its toes with our trendsetting food and beverage programs.
With over 700 events on our calendar this year, we are absolutely thrilled to be ranked with these 25 top international companies all working to propel the catering industry into the future!
To read more on our listing and
learn more about the other international caterers that were listed, please visit Special Events digital magazine issue at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3c8312e3
A typical Thursday night at the California Academy of Sciences finds the Academy bustling with its very popular, hip and successful NightLife program. However last Thursday, April 18, was not your average Thursday night: instead, the museum was packed with party-goers enjoying the Academy’s biggest night of the year, Big Bang: Party After Dark! in conjunction with the annual Big Bang Gala.
As guests streamed into the Academy for Party After Dark! they were welcomed by vibrant, colorfully decorated human butterflies, gracefully towering above on stilts. Attendees were first received in the Piazza, specially adorned with graphic black and silver lounge furniture, delicate orange flowers and bold black bars. Music piped through the building as bartenders started whipping up cocktails and pouring wine. The evening’s specialty drink, our very own Spa Collins, was a hit: a zesty and refreshing concoction of vodka, lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, pickled ginger, mint leaves and cucumber slices. Buffets of scrumptious finger foods were open to those hungry for Chicken Siu Mai, Fried Chicken Sliders and Crispy Purses of Swiss Chard, Preserved Lemon and Feta – to name a few edible delights. Bars and buffets continued outside in the East Garden, where the Del Popolo pizza truck was also stationed, dishing up pizzas to guests checking out Rock the Bike featuring DJ Izzy Wise.
Towards the end of the night, DJ Mayer Hawthorne threw down on the turntables in the Piazza, where guests danced up a storm. As guests left the event, they were tempted by abundant candy buffets offering up a wide array of treats to satisfy any sweet tooth.
The gala dinner, which took place for a smaller group prior to Party After Dark! was also a tremendous success. Gala diners were invited first to participate in one of two lectures in either African Hall or the Planetarium by two of the world’s leading natural scientists in the field of biodiversity: James Balog and William McDonough.
Upon the conclusion of these illuminating discourses, attendees were lead into a tent impressively designed by Blueprint Studios, who drew design inspiration from the natural world that the Academy helps to protect. Decorative green and brown walls enclosed diners in an intimate setting, topped off with multi-shaped geometric chandeliers – hanging like stars against the clear-top tent. Succulents and vibrant floral arrangements in stone containers ornamented the tables, alongside candles floating in vases of water.
In this atmosphere of natural wonder and beauty, guests supped on fresh antipasto until the service of the first course, a Monterey Artichoke Salad with Shaved Fennel, Butter Lettuce, Chiogga Beets, Spring Peas, Artichoke and Chenel Cheese. Seared Halibut followed replete with Potato Turnip Puree, Fava Beans, Romanesco Broccoli, Carrots Vichy, Cipollini Onion and a Lemon Dill Beurre Blanc. A delectable dessert course of Raspberry Sorbet with Santa Cruz Berries in a Nougat Basket followed for those who saved room for dessert.
Revelers at both the Big Bang Gala and Party After Dark! not only enjoyed a rollicking grand time, they also helped to raise money for the sustainability and conservation programs for the Academy of Sciences. We are already looking forward to supporting these great initiatives with next year’s Big Bang!
To find out more information about the California Academy of Sciences and its programs, please visit their website at: http://www.calacademy.org/
The Exploratorium, one of San Francisco’s most beloved and interactive museums, has found a new home in Pier 15 and on Friday, April 12, we got a sneak peak at the cutting-edge space during the Opening Gala reception. It goes without saying that we were blown away.
Full of wonderful, thought provoking exhibits – for both the young and old alike – the Exploratorium is one of the leading museums where science is presented as an interactive activity and where all are encouraged to dive in to discover, or rediscover, one’s love of learning. When the new Exploratorium opens to the public in just a two days, a quarter of the 600 exhibits will be brand new, taking inspiration from its new location on the Embarcadero and highlighting the Museum’s dedication to implementing green technologies. From top to bottom, the entire building is an architectural testament to green reforms: the roof is the second largest solar roof in the City and the pipes in the floor use water from the bay every hour to heat and cool the building.
Nestled among all the fascinating scientific displays, the Opening Gala proved as fun, creative and diverse as the exhibits themselves. The VIP reception was hosted in the East Gallery which was sprinkled with a wide variety of lounge furniture vignettes, from a 1970’s VW bug camp set-up complete with tie-dye and bean bags, to
light color sample.
a charming antique, Shabby-Chic arrangement. Mingling among these vignettes, guests took in
the breath-taking view of the Bay Bridge and tasted passed hors d’oeuvres such as Grilled Prawns with Tamarind and Powdered Lime, Long Braised Pork Cilantro Empanadas with Avocado Crème, as well as Spring Peas and Mint Chilled Soup Shots served in test tubes.
As the sun set over the Bay, VIP diners headed up to the Observatory for dinner. Sleek minimalist
glass tables, adorned with silver branch-like placemats and illuminated “O” centerpieces – a trademark of the Exploratorium – complemented the stunning view of the San Francisco Bay. Here, invitees were treated to a delectable three course meal starting off with
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Maine Lobster, Gem Lettuce, Oranges, Chioggia Beets, Baby Arugula and Hearts of Palm, followed bya hearty entrée of Grilled Grass-Fed Mignon of Beef, Braised Onion and Mustard Seeds, Smoked Potato Gratin, Colossal Asparagus, and Pommery Mustard Sauce. A trio of small desserts rounded off the meal with an Almond Tuile with Fresh Raspberries, a Chocolate Mousse with Bacetti Gelato and a Financier Pyramid.
The excitement and exploration did not stop after dinner. More guests poured in to enjoy an energetic after party where they
reveled in mouth-watering desserts, a full bar and live entertainment by Reggie Watts, Tainted Love
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The doors of the revamped Exploratorium officially open on the morning of April 17th, but if you are not able to make it
during business hours, be sure to stroll by Pier 15 after work on April 17th or 18th so you can catch a glimpse of a striking video installation by Obscura Digital. Whatever your schedule, definitely find a time to pay a visit to the Exploratorium to enjoy this beautiful new space andto immerse yourself in a realm of marvel and curiosity.
To find out more about the Exploratorium, please visit their website at: http://www.exploratorium.edu/.