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Alpine Holiday Feast

Menu - Ditch the Dolomites, we are the Catskills

The menu – Ditch the Dolomites, we are in the Catskills

 

I finally found the time to do some entertaining on my own – and for my own – this past winter at my home in upstate New York. I usually throw parties in the spring and summer so that I can utilize all of my outdoor space, but my friend Rebecca Ffrench and I had a hankering to throw an Italian Alpine holiday feast. We selected a date between Christmas and New Year’s to help people keep the festivities going.

We wanted to create a theme of sorts; being that we live in the Catskills – essentially our version of the Alps – we decided to do an Alpine spin on Italian cuisine, which is always a favorite. The Dolomites theme seems to be popping up everywhere lately, so we thought this was just so apropos.

Catskills- The Alps of New York

Catskills- The Alps of New York

 

All of the décor was plucked from the field; we created arrangements from pine boughs, berries, spruce tips, dried milk weed pods, grasses, and green lichen-covered logs. Our friends at Broadway Party Rentals shipped in gorgeous modern burnished black flatware and beautiful crushed taffeta linen that had the look of wood grain, and I got the opportunity to pull out all of my pottery that I never seem to be able to use. We threw some sheepskins over the mismatched chairs – even I don’t have 27 matching chairs – and created a cozy, intimate dining table.

The invitation was extended to all of our favorite local Phoenicia and Woodland Valley chefs, celebrity photographers, publishing executives, hotel owners, home designers, and foodie friends to join us in a celebration of the bountiful local delicacies available in our area year-round.

To begin our feast, we had an incredible presentation of locally pastured and cured meats from Jacüterie in Ancramdale, Alpine cheeses from Chaseholm Creamery, smoked duck and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm in Pleasant Valley, and pickles and krauts grown by my husband, Joshua Sheldon, and made by yours truly. Our lavish meal continued with the most succulently tender roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin, venison ragu with polenta, canederli (Alpine dumplings) made with beets and local rye bread, all kinds of delicious vegetables from Eliza Clark and Tim Trojian of the gorgeous new Foxfire Mountain House, and an incredible winter salad of bitter greens from our neighbors, Hayley and Marlon. But the most fun and delicious part of the evening – I have to admit – was the pizza. We have a wood burning soapstone fireplace with a pizza oven on one side, and our close friend Rudy Accornero – of Savini Tartufi in Tuscany – graciously made fresh mozzarella and pizzas with a selection of truffles that he brought with him from Italy.

Locally pastured and cured meats from Jacüterie in Ancramdale and smoked duck and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm in Pleasant Valley

Locally pastured and cured meats from Jacüterie in Ancramdale and smoked duck and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm in Pleasant Valley

 

Alpine cheeses from Chaseholm Creamery

Alpine cheeses from Chaseholm Creamery

 

Delicious vegetables and winter salad of bitter greens.

Delicious vegetables and winter salad of bitter greens.

 

Pickles and krauts grown by Joshua Sheldon and made by Marcey Brownstein.

Pickles and krauts grown by Joshua Sheldon and made by Marcey Brownstein.

 

Tender roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin

Tender roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin

 

Pizza made in our wood burning soapstone fireplace pizza oven.

Pizza made in our wood burning soapstone fireplace pizza oven.

 

Pizzas topped with homemade fresh mozzarella and a selection of truffles, from by our close friend Rudy Accornero – of Savini Tartufi in Tuscany.

Pizzas topped with homemade fresh mozzarella and a selection of truffles, from by our close friend Rudy Accornero – of Savini Tartufi in Tuscany.

 

The final course of our feast included Italian cookies from private chef Rebecca Shim of Phoenicia Honey Co., several frozen treats from my friend Robin Chess (who is an incredible cook, and leads the cooking program at our local school)…and I could go on! We were so stuffed that we didn’t even have a chance to open all of the dessert cordials I bought from Harvest Spirits in Valatie. In the spirit of the holidays and Italian-inspired camaraderie, it was a wonderful night of community, gastronomy, and overindulgence.

 

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All photography by Joshua Holz.

BHLD Yourself

Thank you Burnett’s Boards for covering this absolutely gorgeous wedding that we had the pleasure of catering. Check out the spectacular photographs from Simply Bloom Photography of the vintage inspired wedding that took place at 632 Hudson in Manhattan. We are so IN LOVE with the bride’s BHLDN dress and her beautiful headpiece! Read the whole story here.

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Photography: Simply Bloom Photography

Floral Design: Karen Lashinsky of 632 Hudson Street

Wedding Dress: BHLDN

Catering: Marcey Brownstein Catering and Events

Calligraphy: Delicate Pen

DJ: DJ Alias from Scratch Weddings

Design & Coordination: Annie Shon Events

Makeup: Anita Ahouryeh at Kimara Ahnert Studio

Shoes: Hey Lady

Venue: 632 On Hudson in NYC