Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

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Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s always fun to see what’s going on in other parts of the country. Especially for Halloween.

At the Bellagio and Aria in Las Vegas they are making this October deliciously scary. Take a look:

How can he be so skinny and be made of chocolate?

How can he be so skinny and be made of chocolate?

All chocolate! The pumpkins AND the zombie!

All chocolate! The pumpkins AND the zombie!

ARIA’s main showpiece is a 200-pound, six-foot-tall male zombie made out of chocolate and rolling fondant. Due to his bold, statuesque position near the shop, guests are encouraged to take goosebump-worthy selfies with him if they dare. Another sight to behold is the life-size skeleton perched in a chocolate electric chair. This design took the team more than 70 hours to complete, using approximately 130 pounds of white and dark chocolate.

From gory and gruesome body parts to whimsical cakes and pastries, the displays cater to every guest, no matter how they prefer to celebrate the holiday. Executive Pastry Chef Claude Escamilla and his talented team worked diligently for eight months to create more than 45 festive showpieces that place the undead at center stage.  With a year of planning, countless sketches and hundreds of ideas from skilled pastry artists, the final display showcases their hard work through a cake closely resembling human flesh, tombstones straight out of a horror movie and many more hair-raising pieces.

“I was very much inspired by my favorite TV program, “The Walking Dead,” said Escamilla. “When I was watching the show, I kept thinking about how I could take the characters and turn them into life-size creations for the holiday.”

So you KNOW I’m loving Chef Claude’s creations.

Shall we visit Las Vegas? Hmmm?

xoxo, Patti

Magical La Hacienda

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Good Morning Darlings!

Eric and I have been so busy this summer that there’s been no time for a getaway.

We remedied that this past weekend at La Hacienda.

Our sweet friends, Ed and Tera Hattaway, are the owners of this Shangri-La.

Define Shangri-La:  Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, and particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. In the novel Lost Horizon, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance.

My view from inside the pool!

My view from inside the pool!

Because you are my darlings, I am willing to share La Hacienda with you. Brand new, magical, marvelous. Step in and allow time to slow down. We spent over 6 hours between the pool and hot tub and at the end of the evening, we fell into the deepest sleep in the most comfortable bed. When the sun rose, Ed and Tera were in the kitchen whipping up a delicious mexican brunch of machaca. What’s machaca? It is a yummy beef dish, topped with a sunny side up egg. Refried beans, fresh fruit and piping hot coffee completed the meal.

This could be your breakfast!

This could be your breakfast!

I almost hate telling you about this slice of heaven. Less for me…but more for you!

xoxo, Patti

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Good Morning Darlings!

I had the extreme pleasure of attending a very special viewing of The Hundred-Foot Journey on Wednesday night.

The VIP affair was catered by S3 Catering of Atlanta. S3 was brand new to me and I was seduced by their cuisine. Calling themselves Multicultural Cuisine Concierges, I was delighted by their offerings the night of the viewing. Duck and chevre samosas, coq au vin and the most adorable cups filled with chai mousse set the tone for the rest of the evening. Did I take photos? Um, no, I was too busy tucking into to all of that amazing food.  Sorry.

What is also distinctive about S3 is that the founders are filling a niche for the desire for  South Asian ethnic cuisines and a company who caters such deliciousness. What was also distinctive about the majority of the audience was that they were mostly of South Asian descent, and with the main characters in the movie hailing from India, it was a winsome way to experience this film in the way it was meant to be seen. Most of the audience was able to totally identify with many of the characters, and they understood when Hindi was being spoken. I didn’t, but I loved being with such a multilingual crowd.

As for the movie? I loved it. Helen Mirren is, as always, absolute perfection. Manish Dayal, who plays Hassan Kadam, put me in mind of a young Johnny Depp and is everything a romantic leading man should be – handsome, sweet, sexy. The rest of the movie is well cast. I fell in love with all of them as they fell in love with each other. I cried, I laughed, I cheered for our hero. And as you might expect, I have a soft spot for food related movies. I started Anatomy of a Dinner party after seeing Julie and Julia, and one of my top 5 favorite movies is Big Night. 

Om Puri, Manish Dayal & Helen Mirren

Go see this film. It is the perfect date movie. Plan dinner either before or after at your favorite Indian restaurant and be prepared for romance.

Watch the trailer here:

xoxo, Patti

A Jaunt to New Orleans

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Good Morning Darlings!

Every once in a while girls need a couple of days away. What better place for fun, food and cocktails than New Orleans?

My dear friend and business partner, Carrie, and I set out for a two day trip to catch the movie tour with our friend, Jonathan at New Orleans Movie Tours. Since we are both big American Horror Story: Coven fans, we were so tickled to visit Miss Robicheaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies.

All that sightseeing made us hungry – and thirsty! We headed over to The Irish House, owned by my buddy Chef Matt Murphy, formerly of the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. The Irish House is warm and inviting, just like Matt and his lovely wife, Alicia. We were greeted by friend Kris, whose company does the PR for The Irish House. Kris ordered Carrie and me a couple of Iced Irish Coffees and they were so yummy!

Inside we were treated to a bunch of delicious small plates. Scotch eggs, shepherd’s pie, wings and a super cocktail named Strawberry Fields. On the weekends you can catch live Irish bands. When you are in NOLA, you must swing by and have a pint and a plate.

While we were catching up with Matt and Alicia, Matt told me a very special story. One of their young daughters had been suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. Every morning Matt and Alicia would massage her legs before school so she would be able to walk comfortably. Alicia started doing intensive research to find a better way to help her little one. She discovered that a gluten-free, paleo diet would cure her and within two days of changing her diet, their sweet daughter was running and playing like never before. Alicia was so inspired, that she opened FARE. FARE is an adorable shop on trendy Magazine Street providing salads, soups, side dishes, healthy snacks, fresh baked goods, juices, smoothies, tea & meals that are ALL made in-house and are Paleo, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, anti-inflammatory, and all-natural with a variety of vegan and nut-free options…it also happens to be delicious!

Boy, is it delicious! I tried the cinnamon roll and the date balls. Amazing! And all painted pink! Adorable! The shop matches Alicia’s personality, sweet and bright. Not only is this a must do in New Orleans, but you will be doing something wonderful for yourself.

Here are some tips for your next visit to New Orleans:

Accommodations: Hotel Modern – a fab spot with reasonable rates. Ask for Miss Scarlett.

Eat: The Irish House – try the shepherd’s pie
FARE – Good for you healthy treats

Drink: The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel

Sightseeing: New Orleans Movie Tours – This might be the most fun thing to do in NOLA. Truly. It’s a blast.

Tea With Downton Abbey

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Good Morning Darlings!

Do you love Downton Abbey? Isn’t it positively delicious?

How about stepping into Lady and Lord Grantham’s very stylish shoes?

A’Foraging We Will Go!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

My love affair with the Ritz-Carlton hotels continues.

How are they courting me now?

Eating Here and There

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

I have been so busy, but you have been on my mind.

Join me inside?

What’s A Purloo? What’s A Syllabub?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

What’s a purloo? What’s a syllabub?

Great question! See inside for the answer…

The Art of The Craft Part Deux

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

Doesn’t Part Deux sound so much swankier than just plain ole’ two? I think so, too!

Join me for more luxurious fun!

The Art of The Craft

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

I have been absent way too long. No more.

I have missed you!