Our Team

About Us

Company     |     Our Team


Marcey Brownstein
 
 
Owner


How long have you been with us? I started the company in 2000.


What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why? When I was 25 years old I was traveling in Italy with my best girlfriend and we met a wonderful couple who invited us to dine at their farmhouse in Tuscany. We arrived in the afternoon on a very hot summer day. A long wooden farm table was set out under an arbor overlooking the vineyards of Greve in Chianti. Gathered were several local families each of whom brought something they produced from their land; the German couple down the road brought a delightful homemade white wine in a big plastic jug, the Italian farmer next door brought olives and his own cloudy delicious olive oil, and the English couple who owned the home made amazing platters of steaming pasta with just-picked zucchini and fried zucchini blossoms. It seemed that the conversation just flowed, along with the wine and the afternoon was kind of like a dream of delicious food and a hot breeze and the cacophony of cicadas in the vines. It is a day I will never forget and long to repeat.


If you see this on a menu you will order it no matter what: A cooked egg on top of anything. Frisee aux lardon, croque madame, warm potato salad with coddled pheasant eggs, first of spring grilled asparagus with a farm egg, pizza with sauteed greens and a sunny side up egg. You get the picture.


Last meal of your life? Probably an oozy ripe French raw milk Alpine cheese like a Reblochon with a perfect loaf of crusty bread, some olives straight from the vineyard with spicy olive oil and a bottle of wine. I can have very simple tastes.


One country where you want to go and eat your face off: I have never traveled to Southeast Asia and long for an experience eating in Thailand and Vietnam. The bounty of herbs, fruits, vegetables and seafood is astounding and what I think strikes me most is the color of it all. One of my planners took her honeymoon in Vietnam and went to a culinary school there for a day of marketing, cooking and eating and her photographs inspired such feeling. I hope to visit there one day in the not too distant future.


What’s your next challenge, personally and professionally? First and foremost, I want to have more fun! I love cooking for my family and friends, playing tennis, hiking, yoga and socializing. I need to do more for me which isn’t always easy. Despite all of the exposure to good food, my six year old son is still a kind of plain-food eater. I long to teach him to cook and love food as my husband and I do and turn him into a junior culinarian. I hope to continue to expand my farm-den in upstate New York and someday create a culinary-wellness retreat where folks can harvest their own food, learn to cook it without a recipe and relax in a beautiful mountain environment.

 


Leslie Russell
 
 
Event planner and wedding specialist


How long have you been with us? 9 years!


What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why? For me, I was lucky enough to plan the most spectacular party I had ever seen or been to. A client of mine gave me this directive for her 40th birthday: “Make it fabulous!” and I ran with it! From the Raj Tents trucked in from California to the escargot caviar smuggled in from Paris, we transformed an empty loft into her dream birthday party – a wonderful mishmash of vintage shoes and cigarette cases, ice sculptures shaped like gems, gorgeous staff in white tuxedoes, goodie bags in Tory Burch beach totes that included engraved iPods, and a menu of 5 courses and wine pairings that would put most NYC restaurants to shame. The most amazing part of the experience was that after all that planning, I actually got to sit down and be a guest at the party because she really considers me a friend. I can’t think of a better example of how each event I plan is crafted to be truly reflective of the client and how all the hard work turns into not just a fun party but also a wonderful friendship.


If you see this on a menu you will order it no matter what: Octopus in any way, shape or form. Seriously, grill it, sous vide it, ceviche it, fry it, no matter what I will eat it!


Last meal of your life? I would start with a half dozen raw oysters and a half dozen oysters chargrilled from Acme Bar in New Orleans and an Abita beer. Then I would eat several orders of the “Oysters and Pearls” amuse bouche from Per Se with a glass of Champagne. A little low brow, a little high brow!


One country where you want to go and eat your face off: Spain – I have already done it twice but I always want to go back again, wandering the streets at 2am, eating small bites up and down the cobblestones, never staying anywhere longer than 30 minutes, and always ending the night with a glass of Txakolina and a kiss on both cheeks from the bartender!


What’s your next challenge, personally and professionally? Personally, I have been working on a vegetable herb garden in my backyard and want to do some research and figure out how to make it better and more productive for next year. Let’s just say my untamed parsley took over and ate my cilantro! Professionally, I would like to spend some time researching even more ethnic foods so that we can incorporate them into our wedding menus and truly reflect our clients’ backgrounds. We did that for my wedding and it was really one of the most special elements of the day!

 


Sue Parillo
 
 
Event Planner and Director of Corporate Events


How long have you been with us? 6 years


What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why? A balmy evening in Negril, Jamaica at Drumville Cove Villas. I took over the restaurant kitchen and prepared dinner for 20 friends, both tourists and locals. My friend, Simon, the security guard at the villas set up a steel drum topped with a grate for us to use as a grill out on the cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. We roasted just-caught snapper wrapped in foil on the makeshift grill, and I and my “helpers” (aka other vacationing friends and guests at the resort) prepared delectable accompaniments to enjoy with the fish including beautiful local produce that we bought at an open air market. We dined on the cliffs overlooking the sea as the crimson sun set over the west, Red Stripes in hand with the music of Bob Marley serenading us in the background.


If you see this on a menu you will order it no matter what: OCTOPUS!!!


Last meal of your life? The Pulpo a la Plancha, proceeded by the Ceviche Verde washed down with Negra Modelo, ending with a shot of Anejo tequila at Zama Beach Club on Isla Mujeres, Mexico.


One country where you want to go and eat your face off: Spain


What’s your next challenge, personally and professionally? Time management on both counts. Personally, I would like to spend more time with my family; especially as my parents grow older. Professionally, as much as I love my job there is a lot of juggling that takes place to seamlessly execute all aspects of each and every event while still having time to bring in new business and cultivate new and existing relationships with clients, event planners, and venue managers. I am striving to strike a harmonious balance between the two, as our MBC family continues to work on growing our business and providing our clients with unforgettable experiences.

 


Olga Svirkova
 
 
Event Planner


How long have you been with us? A year and a half.


What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why? Among the best parties were the family gatherings we would throw at our dacha outside of Moscow each summer. My aunt would create all the dishes using the produce from our vegetable garden and the local farmer’s market, while my uncle grilled shish kebabs of marinated beef and chicken from the local butcher. We would sit around the table under the apple trees late into the night drinking wine and telling stories.


If you see this on a menu you will order it no matter what: Caviar, whether it be in Japanese, French or new American cuisine, I love the texture and saltiness it provides.


Last meal of your life? My grandmother’s khinkali, a traditional Georgian dumpling with herbed lamb and broth, ceviche and a shrimp taco from a seaside spot in Ensenada, Mexico, all chased down with a spicy mezcal cocktail.


One country where you want to go and eat your face off: I’d want to go back to Georgia, where my mother’s side of the family comes from. Food plays a great role in Georgian culture, where extended families gather for large feasts of satsivi, a dish of chicken in walnut sauce and khachapuri, a savory pastry of salty cheese. Apart from tasting Georgia’s famous wine Kindzmarauli, I have been dreaming of going to Vodi Lagidze, an old time soda fountain shop in Tbilisi with natural syrups and fresh Borjomi water.


What’s your next challenge, personally and professionally? Personally, I want to strive toward a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally by finding the balance between all my duties. Professionally, I want to continue to build relationships with my clients, to learn about the event planning industry and eventually take on large scale events on my own!

 


Will Burgess
 
 
Executive Chef


How long have you been with us? Since the very beginning.


What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why? My wedding in Central Park and moving on to Evergreen Shanghai – because it was my wedding; I married the greatest woman in the world; it was a perfect, beautiful day.


If you see this on a menu you will order it no matter what: Duck Confit.


Last meal of your life? Frisee salad with lardon and a poached egg; Duck or Pork Rillettes, Grass-fed (preferably Argentinian) strip steak, Black & Blue, with a thick slice of Irish Butter, sauteed spinach and mushrooms; a slice of Stilton with a perfectly ripe Bartlett Pear, and a large chocolate pots de creme with a double shot of espresso and a glass of Kirsch. I will die full.


One country where you want to go and eat your face off: Lebanon.

 


Leslie Tseng
 
 
Operations Executive Sous Chef


How long have you been with us? 10 years in January 2014.


What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why? My wedding on the Bow Bridge in Central Park followed by a Chinese 10 course meal with all our friends and family surrounding us. And my sweet beautiful husband by my side smiling and laughing while we were introduced to all the Chinese relatives he has never met.


I just love to have a variety of dishes to nibble on at once so my taste buds can always be pleasantly surprised. We had the typical lazy Susan at each table and the roasted suckling pig being wheeled out around the room before the 10 course meal began.


I had a Chinese calligrapher so the parents and kids could have some fun while my nephew Dylan jammed out Green Day on his guitar. My dad was alive to give me away and my mom was there to tell embarrassing stories about me. It was a time that things seemed to be just right!


If you see this on a menu you will order it no matter what: Steak tartare with harissa and quail egg.


Last meal of your life? Spicy cabbage, soup dumplings, duck eggs, sauteed kidney’s with scallions, duck tongues, braised pork belly and smoked tofu chinese celery and pork, steamed carp w/ ginger scallion & soy sauce and a big bowl of rice!


One country where you want to go and eat your face off: Vietnam.


What’s your next challenge, personally and professionally? Balance of work versus personal life. Learning not to always sweat the small stuff when possible.