Epicurean & Entertaining
’Tis the season for throwing a fabulous party in your home and we’ve got all the insider secrets you’ll need for planning the perfect soirée. We’ve recruited five local party planners to design events that might occur in these festive fall and winter months. Five area chefs lent their expertise to create delicious menus to complement the fêtes, while James Hensley, general manager of Patterson House, offered up drink recommendations for every occasion. From a fall harvest dinner to a New Year’s Eve cocktail party and everything in between, your home (and calendar) will be enviously filled for months. Because, if you can’t trust Nfocus for party expertise, who can you trust?
—Photographs by Michael W. Bunch and Eric England
To celebrate the arrival of autumn, Elizabeth Ulrich from Stockroom Vintage imagined an elegant and chic alfresco dinner. Staged in the herb garden at Travellers Rest Plantation, the party’s use of jewel tones and natural elements, as well as Stockroom’s stash of vintage china and rustic furniture, resulted in a romantic woodland affair. Paired with a farm-to-table menu from Chef Tyler Brown of the Capitol Grille, this party makes us want to cozy up with our closest companions and sip wine well into the night!
• Instead of relying on traditional autumn décor (pumpkins, gourds and apples), use jewel tones and natural elements to create a party atmosphere that’s romantic, rustic and chic.
• Mix-and-match vintage china, old amber bottles, a rustic farm table and mismatched chairs are the perfect way to add relaxed charm.
• Be generous with candles to creates a dreamy ambiance!
• Cream cotton canvas dipped in Rit dye create one-of-a-kind napkins and table runners in the perfect hue. Dip them in stages to achieve a beautiful ombré effect!
• Make your own mini wreath place cards with pliable branches and blooms from your own backyard. Adorn with a tea-stained name tag for a fabulous personal touch.
• Fallen leaves dipped in metallic paint and sewn together with clear thread make whimsical chair garlands.
Chicken Liver Mousse with Onion Jam
Venison Rillettes Celery Root Moutarda
Vidalia Onion Bisque Shooters
Housemade Elgin’s Hot Sausage
Heirloom Radish, Pickled Ramp Mayo, Garlic Scape
Arugula, SarVecchio Sartori, Lemon, Country Ham
Fried Palmetto Quail
Creamed Collard Greens
Tennessee Sweet Potato & North Georgia Candy Roaster Pumpkin
Double H Strip Loin of Beef with Chimmichurri
Tatsoi, Bok Choy, and Napa Cabbages
Sorghum Glazed Tokyo Turnips, Carrots, and Beets
Jonagold Apples, Rhubarb, Cruze Dairy Buttermilk, Anson Mills Cornbread
Menu created by Tyler Brown, Capitol Grille
Flowers: Hillary Yeager at Brocade Designs
Calligraphy + Paper Goods: Elizabeth Hardin at Hardink Calligraphy
Shoot Location: Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum
Styling Assistant: Jenna Puckett
Patterson House Recommends
Spiced Rum Punch: Mott’s Fresh Pressed Unfiltered Apple Juice + Honey + Lemon + Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum + Apples + Cinnamon Sticks + Cloves. Warm the honey and stir it into the apple juice. Toss in cinnamon sticks, cloves and a couple sliced apples. Add the rum. Let sit for an hour and serve it up. Note: You can put this on a low heat for a warm drink but add the rum to order in each person’s glass so it doesn’t cook off. Doing so also makes the drink a “virgin” option for those at the party who don’t drink. Or, make two batches, one with booze and one without.
When it comes to entertaining, Sarah Boyce of Fabu can think of no better time than winter! Intrigued by the contrast of iciness outdoors and the coziness of a warm fire, Sarah created a fun, unexpected brunch in her Sylvan Park home. The blue, white and silver color scheme of a pre-brunch cocktail and appetizer hour offered a nod to the chilly temperatures outdoors, while warm colors created a cozier environment for the meal: a tantalizing brunch menu created by Margot McCormack, chef and owner of Margot Café and Bar.
• Glass milk jugs from a local dairy or grocery store make great carafes for party drinks.
• Using a variety of juices for champagne cocktails adds a fun pop of color!
• Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors and themes! Start with a more formal pre-brunch hour for coffee, cocktails and appetizers before moving onto a more relaxed plated meal.
• Let the room serve as inspiration for the party decor by playing off the colors, lighting
• A lot of candlelight adds warmth to a daytime event in the winter months.
• Family silver, imperfect transferware from the flea market and mercury glass provide a warm contrast to glassware.
Mimolette, Taleggio and Purple Haze with Dried Fruit Mustarda and Buttermilk Currant Toasts
Smoked Salmon with Red Onion, Lemon Crème Fraîche and Caper Berries
Baguette French Toast with Maple Syrup and Powdered Sugar
Patterson House Recommends
Pimm’s and Ginger: Pimm’s No. 1 + Ginger Beer + Lemon + Lime. In a tall collins glass with ice, squeeze and insert one lemon wedge and one lime wedge. Add Pimm’s and ginger beer. Garnish with lemon and lime wedges.
Shoot Location: Sarah Boyce’s home
Designer: Harlin Sadler
Photograph of Sarah: Henry Mangrum
Formal Holiday Dinner
To find the perfect location for a formal holiday dinner, Amos Gott of AmosEvents looked no further than Sylvia Roberts’ breathtaking Page Road home. (You may recognize it from ABC’s hit show, Nashville!) Pulling out the fine china, heirloom crystal and polished silver, Amos created a lavish tablescape sure to take your breath away. The sophisticated décor combined with an elegant menu from Flyte World Dining and Wine’s Chef Matthew Lackey will bring good tidings to you and your kin.
• Gather greenery, such as cyprus, magnolia or pine, from outside for an easy way to instantly make your home feel more festive for the holidays.
• The holidays are the perfect time to pull out your finest china, heirloom crystal and silver.
• Make a floral centerpiece feel more festive by adding glittery ornaments or ribbon.
• The mirrored placemats are the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary.
• Mercury glass is very trendy, but still feels classic and timeless.
• Don’t hide a beautiful piece of furniture with a tablecloth! Keep the wood exposed for a warmer feel.
The Hammery’s 16-month Aged Ham
Bonnie Blue’s Tanasa Tomme Cave Aged Cheese
Antica Pumpernickel with Roasted Pumpkin Butter
The Cupboard: House Mustard, Pickles, Fig Jam, Butterscotch Pear Butter
Confit Tennessee Duck Leg with Maple Duck Reduction
Roasted Chestnut Risotto
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Fall Root Vegetable Casserole
Bacon Sorghum Brussels Sprouts
Caramel Cake with Toasted Hickory Nuts
Woodford Reserve Homemade Eggnog
Patterson House Recommends
Manhattan: Your Favorite Whiskey + Dolin Sweet Vermouth + A dash of Angostura Bitters. The woodsy aspect of the vermouth along with the cinnamon and clove from the bitters makes it a great holiday cocktail.
Amos Gott, AmosEvents
Napkins: Graceful Tables
Shoot Location: 1358 Page Road, Nashville, TN
Photograph of Amos: Peyton Hoge
Winter Dinner Party
For Hugh Howser of H3 Events, this winter dinner party could be described as “a few of my favorite things.” Relying on his favorite color combination (robin’s egg blue, Tiffany blue and gold) and his favorite decorating accessory (flowers), Hugh designed an evening of tailored elegance. Add to that a mouthwatering menu from Silly Goose’s Chef and Owner Roderick Bailey and we’re eagerly awaiting our invitation to this sophisticated shindig!
• Personalized place cards and printed menus add an elegant and customized touch to any dinner party.
• White flowers, gold, crystal and mercury glass accents complement any color so pick your favorite hue (or one that matches your house) and use it as a base for the party decor.
• Anything in mass is impressive! A huge floral centerpiece makes a bold statement, but if there are items you love more, use them instead. And use a lot of them!
• Find a florist that you love and who understands your vision. The right flowers can set the tone for any event!
Smoked Duck Pastrami, Tuscan Toast, Honey Roasted Fig Jam, Local Arugula, Pistachios, Duck Cracklins
Local Apples, Pears, Grapes, Mustard Greens, Unfiltered Cider & Kentucky Sorghum Dressing
Grilled Wild Gulf Shrimp, Bacon Jam, Parsley, Celery, Lemon, Fennel Pollen
Organic Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, Candied Pecans, Parmesan Reggiano, Roasted Orange Vinaigrette
Ricotta & Local Honey Cheesecake, Bullit Caramel, Cinnamon Apple Compote
Menu created by Roderick Bailey, Silly Goose
Patterson House Recommends
Horse’s Neck: Your Favorite Whiskey + Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer + A long, long lemon twist. Serve it in a tall collins glass with some of the lemon zest on top and snake the long lemon twist up through the drink and around the walls of the glass.
Anita Hogin, H3 Events
Hugh Howser, H3 Events
New Year’s Cocktail Party
Time is ticking away on another year and the folks at Big Events, Inc.—Martha and Malcolm Greenwood and Denise Sikes—planned a rather “timely” party to welcome the new year. An assortment of clocks, personalized touches such as homemade tags and labels, and plenty of bubbly created a chic setting for counting down the final minutes of 2012. Chef Marco Sedda of 360 Wine Bar Bistro envisioned a menu of sweet and savory bites to satiate revelers well after midnight. With a party this fun and festive, how can 2013 be anything but fabulous?
Big Events Recommends
• Scour your house or garage sales for mismatched antique clocks which make a perfect centerpiece or accent.
• Add vintage charm with feathers, top hats and masks.
• Jazz up basic party supplies with homemade printed tags and ribbon.
• A clockface printed on cardstock is a fun way to spruce up clear glass plates.
Duck Confit over Challah Bread and Baked Butternut Squash
Yellow Beet, Goat Cheese and Chive
Asparagus in Puff Pastry and Ham
White Chocolate and Coconut Truffle
Chocolate Cake, Hazelnut Mousse
Menu created by Marco Sedda, 360 Wine Bar Bistro
Champagne Cocktail: Bubbly + An Angostura soaked sugar cube + A lemon twist. Coat a sugar cube and drop it in the glass. Top with champagne and a lemon twist, making sure to get some lemon oil on top of the drink.
Linens: BBJ Linen
Chairs/China Rentals: Music City Tents and Events
Shoot Location: Big Events, Inc.
Photographs of Martha, Malcolm and Denise: Mary Rosenbaum Photography