Themed Food Stations for a Branded Pop-Up Event in SoHo
The Deborah Miller events team is approached weekly by brands that are hosting events to launch a new product or build awareness through the press. The brands range from fashion to technology and everything in between, and the DMC team customizes the food menu to match the concept the brand is going for. From serving hot chocolate and graham cracker marshmallows for a fashion brand debuting their fall collection, to showcasing food from 3 different cities for an internal hackathon at a major social media company, it’s fair to say we’ve done it all.
So when a popular suitcase brand contacted us to work with them on a press/VIP pop-up event in SoHo, we knew we had to make it special. The brand was turning the entire space into an airport, with guests “checking in” at the front desk, receiving a boarding pass, and going through security like they would at an actual airport. There was a board listed with departures and arrivals of the many reasons why people travel – business trips, visiting parents, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and more. There was even a newsstand that looked exactly like the classic Hudson News kiosks found at most airports today. Incorporated within this layout was the latest edition of suitcases the brand had released, various travel pouches and accessories that the brand also sells, a monogram station where guests could get their new items personalized, and of course, food.
We decided to make three food stations that resembled flight gates and represented the three major airports in the Tri-State area. Each gate had a destination and the food matched the palette of that arrival city! The food stations were scattered around the room, unobtrusive to the actual merchandise on display, but a fun and delicious accent to the event. We also had a bar with 3 specialty cocktails chosen by the brand that matched these flight gates, and pretzel bites and peanut brittle at the bar to represent the treats one would get on an actual flight.
The three food stations we chose were JFK to Tokyo, EWR to Boston, and LGA to Lima (Peru). For JFK to Tokyo, we had Seasoned Edamame in adorable bamboo steamers, which we arranged in an actual suitcase to add to the décor, our classic Pork Bao Buns, and delicious Tuna Poke Bowls to round out the Japanese theme. EWR to Boston covered the Eastern seaboard/New England theme with Freshly Shucked Oysters, also propped on a suitcase for an added effect, Mini Lobster Rolls with homemade Rosemary Potato Chips, and a Chilled Corn Chowder summer soup. Finally, for LGA to Lima, we went with a Peruvian/Latin theme and served Citrus Shrimp Ceviche, Mini Short Rib Arepas, served warm and once again propped up on the brand’s suitcase, and South American Street Fruit, specifically mango and watermelon, served on a wall of mini silver spoons with spiced aioli and crema fresca.
There was no specific reason why we chose these destinations for the event – after all, for the brand the “flight gate” concept was the most important, but the DMC team knew that these 3 types of cuisine are some of the most popular and are a great representation of each corner of the world. From Asian to American to Latin, we conveyed the palette of each region seamlessly into the event and reminded guests how much food is in fact a major part of the travel experience!
Looking for more examples of themed catering? Check out the experience we crafted for the Hackathon!