“Scenography absolutely applies to setting up a party,” Anita agreed. “Just as people in theater never lose sight of their audience, so those of us who cater events never forget that we have to engage our audience. And this goes beyond offering delicious food and attentive service. Any Jules’ party is a multi-sensory experience–an event that unfolds over a defined period of time, offers entertainment, and, yes, even stirs emotions. For all these reasons party set-up does require a sense of stagecraft and, in some ways, a catered event can unfold like dramatic play. But not farce,” she hastened to to add. “Not The Comedy of Errors!” she laughed.
What about the venue? we inquired.
“Seaport East’s Wintergarden inspired us all. I mean… What a place to stage our 25th-anniversary celebration. Look around you…it’s a fabulous atrium. Talk about ‘theater,’ it even offers balcony seats!”
The Wintergarden at Seaport East–a dramatic setting
The glass-enclosed Wintergarden at Seaport East, which is part of the Seaport Place complex, really is an outstanding place to throw a party. The filtered light is lovely, and the space itself suggests a sort of ‘theater in the round.’
Just outside, looking especially lush under showering skies, is Eastport Park, a 1.6-acre sculpture park with views of Boston Harbor.
A fresh production
Fresh flowers were of course a vital element in the overall design. Below, a Jules’ ‘set decorator’ begins to tackle arrangements.
The clock was ticking. Of course the clock is always ticking. But it was very nearly curtain time, which meant that transforming the table designated ‘The World of Sushi’ into a dramatic display was the task at hand.
Jules’ Executive Chef Albert Rosado (below, left) sprang from the kitchen to take charge of sushi set-up. Time was of the essence.
A cast of thousands (of sushi rolls, that is)
No wonder this table was dubbed ‘The World of Sushi.’ Jules prepared 200 pieces of eight different types:
Spanish Maki Roll with Saffron Risotto, Chopped Chorizo, and Chicken
rolled in thinly sliced Spanish Ham
Southern-fried Chicken Sushi with Sushi Rice, Cole Slaw, and Barbeque Aioli
Jewish-Style Maki Roll with Smoked Salmon and Chive Cream Cheese
Greek-Style Sushi with Arborio Rice, diced Tomato, and crumbled Feta
with Ouzo-scented Shrimp and Taramousalata Dressing
Shrimp Tempura Roll
Barbeque Eel Roll
Vegetarian Sushi with Soy Ginger, Wasabe, and Pickled Ginger
Guests were happy, so it was a pleasure to mingle. Our various Hi, how are you’s? were unanimously greeted with ‘two thumbs up’ and five-star reviews.
As a member of MIT’s Chemistry Department, Michele Harris was already familiar with Jules Catering’s lunchtime offerings and office holiday-party fare. When asked about her favorite menu item for this party, she said it was a tough call, but that the prosciutto and saffron maki was what she may have enjoyed most. Jules was new to Michele’s companion, Matt Purdy, who said he was impressed by the multitude of vegetarian offerings, including (and maybe especially) Jules’ giant white beans.
Later, we caught up with Jules’ Food and Beverage Manager, Paul Malcuit, whose daily responsibilities include placing orders for every Jules-catered event. He reminded us that any catered ‘production’ doesn’t involve just food and drink, but also equipment.
“Of course it’s essential to have everything you need to cater a successful event, but you don’t want to pack too much,” he explained. “As an off-site caterer, Jules has to haul out of a party, every utensil, every glass, every piece of equipment we brought in.”
Sounds challenging, we observed.
“Not when you know what you’re doing.”
Well, Jules certainly seems to know what they’re doing.
Modestly nodding, Paul agreed.
The party’s over…(almost)
When we were gathering our rain gear, to head home, we caught wind of a rumor that just across the street from Seaport East, the Charles Riverboat Company’s new 97-foot luxury yacht, Valiant, was docked. Jules Catering has a longtime partnership with the Charles Riverboat Company…but more about Jules’ nautical offerings some other time soon!
Photo Credits: Liz Muir