Holiday Hosting 101 with Sur La Table

Over 60 guests, press and bloggers gathered together this week with Kuzak’s Closet to capture the spirit of the season at a press and friends event in partnership with the wonderful Sur La Table Palo Alto, on Sunday, November 15. We’ve collaborated with big brands in the past for events but this partnership was truly amazing!

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The event was expertly curated and organized with the events team at Sur La Table and Kuzak’s Closet.  My hat goes off to Ruth and Monica who push me (I am an introvert afterall) to do things like this! I literally ended an organizing session with one of my highest profile clients at 6pm and had to change in the back of my van to make it to the event on time!


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Kuzak's Closet Holiday Hosting with Sur La Table

The after-hours event was a double-walled cocktail shaker of party-planning experts heading full tilt into the season—yours truly (me), Sur La Table Palo Alto, and the finest spirits of the season, Hendrick’s Gin. My gal pal and Kuzak’s Closet’s HR Manager Sutzi loves Gin and she’s been turning me on to it since I met her in 2011. I typically like a Gin and Tonic but after the sampling provided by the Hendrick’s Mixologist I think I am going to expand my horizons.  Drink recipes will be coming soon!

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It was a chilly night for California standards so it was perfect planning by our events team to have guests moving about the store, visiting multiple stations to hone their holiday hosting skills including party- punch making and classic Hendrick’s Gin Martini with world champion mixologist Mark Stoddard (seriously–#1), expert menu-planning—with hands-on demonstration and sampling in the Sur La Table kitchen with master chef Christy Wolf, tips on dessert array creation, and the trending new party drink–craft-coffee.  And keeping your dinner emergency free—a knife skills “crash course.”

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All along the way, I shared my well-honed organization tips and along with time management and shopping plans, I’ll share them on Monday so stay tuned!

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Sur La Table kept us busy in the kitchen.  Guests found out the secret to making Gnocci with a Brown Butter and Sage sauce, and you heard it here first—7-minute Risotto.

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Did you know those beautifully colored and hip macaron are actually kind of easy to make—and that you can make dozens even on a budget.  We piped maple buttercream into the pumpkin spice macaron, and then… created a caramel apple macaron using pre-made apple butter and caramel buttercream.  Yes, as good as you think!

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Partnering with Sur la Table Palo Alto was exciting—this is among the top five location in the country, boasting the #1 private event space of all locations, #1 children’s camp, extremely popular class program, and is a locus for serious home cooks and novices alike.  What I love the most is their “touch it and try it” ethos gives new cooks and experts alike an invaluable space to experiment with new products and techniques from the latest gadget to serious equipment.  That way you’re not wasting time and figure out exactly what you need. Chef Christy Wolf and the staff have made this location an invaluable resource for the Bay area.  They are an amazing team—reminds me of the Kuzak’s team in fact! At the end of the event Christy and I recapped over at the coffee bar and as we discussed the success of the event I admitted that I wish I would have made it to the Gnocchi demonstration and she pulled me back into the kitchen and recreated it for me, how amazing is that! 

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I am looking forward to breaking down more details from this event with you over the holiday season so stay tuned! I’m talking style, recipes, and organizing, the perfect blend for a fantastic entertaining season!

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