Charming Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread was considered a good luck symbol given to knights before they headed to battle by the ladies who fancied them. Inspired by the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, the first gingerbread house came to be in 16th century Germany and fast became a Christmas tradition.

At Design Cuisine our Gingerbread houses are not made by a lady in waiting, but rather our French Pastry Chef, Patrick.  With hours spent brooding over each and every detail Patrick & his team create royal houses of gingerbread which make appearances at almost every holiday event we produce. Here’s a few photos from the 2014 collection.

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Pistachio Chocolate Ganache

National Pastry Day! With visions of cookie dough bon bons, cranberry chocolate bark, and petite fours dancing in our heads – we couldn’t decide on which pastry best to celebrate with… Enter the award winning dessert from this years Wolftrap Gala – a teardrop chocolate ganache filled with pistachio mousse and accompanied by candied pistachios, goat cheese Bavarians, pistachio-hazelnut lavosh and rosewater-honey ice cream. A poetic blend of sweet and salty guaranteed to dazzle, it can be made to your custom taste by our in house chocolatiers & ice cream makers.

Photo by Event Digital Photography Inc.

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Washington D.C. Union Station Nuptials

With it’s buzzy atmosphere and place in Capitol Hill history, Union Station makes for a poetic space to celebrate. Dating back to 1908, this home to the rails has seen it’s share of Washington D.C.’s twentieth century culture. With $160 million in renovations, Union Station has three impeccable event spaces accommodating up to 7,500 guests featuring dramatic 30′ ceilings and architecture that stimulates the soul. Home of many historic events, Union Station boasts a fine client list from Walt Disney, Merrill Lynch and the Presidential Inaugural Committee to fabulous D.C. couples tying the knot. At the forefront of the Union Station special events team is director Michéle Jacobs, who has worked on numerous notable D.C. events including the Inaugural Balls for the past four presidents and U.S. Olympic Committee.

At this wedding guests mingled in the Columbus Club off the Main Hall before moving into the East Hall for the formal reception – a space that once was the original dining room for early 20th century travelers. Design Cuisine set the scene with timeless gold chiavari chairs and natural linens to complement arrangements of cymbidium orchids, lavender roses, cabbage, hydrangea and dahlias. Our highest praise to the team at Special Events at Union Station and Michéle Jacobs in executing another flawless event.

Photos by Procopio Photography

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Michéle Jacobs

Exploring DC Thanksgiving 2014

This Thanksgiving we’re ditching the egg nog and mixing something not likely found in your grandmother’s recipes. An aromatic combination of rosemary, lemon, & gin – not only does this cocktail look classy and festive, but its potency puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Recipe from Food & Wine.

Rosemary Gin Fizz

1/4 cup gin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Rosemary Syrup
Ice cubes
Cold club soda
1 rosemary sprig and fresh red currants, for garnish

In a tall glass, stir the gin, lemon juice and Rosemary Syrup. Fill the glass halfway with ice; top with club soda. Garnish with the rosemary and currants and serve.

After you’ve finished feasting, and napping,  it’s time to get out an explore. Here are five of our favorite things to do this Thanksgiving:

1. Start off your Thanksgiving by breaking a sweat for a great cause. So Others Might Eat is hosting the 13th Annual Trot for 1. Start off your Thanksgiving by breaking a sweat for a great cause. So Others Might Eat is hosting the 13th Annual Trot for Hunger at Freedom Plaza to benefit the homeless in the nation’s capital. Burn off that second slice of pumpkin pie!! #TrotforHunger

2. If you’ve never seen the Mount Vernon estate at the holiday season you are missing out. It’s open on Thanksgiving and then starting on Friday view the candlelight tour of George Washington’s Mansion including fireworks set to Christmas music, dancing and fire-side caroling.

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3. Go exploring this Thanksgiving day at the U.S. Botanic Garden by embarking on a tour of the seven seas, a nautical wonderland led by the lights of 33 lighthouses. Word on the street says you can view sea creatures, mermaids and a pirate ship all made of botanics. Yargh!

4. Okay, not exactly Thanksgiving weekend but still a favorite, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be on December 4, 2014. Every year one-of-a-kind ornaments are made by ordinary Americans, representing every U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia. Artists and volunteers have given their time and talents to design and create tree ornaments that symbolize the history, heritage and culture of their homelands.  Headlining the entertainment is the incomparable Patti Labelle.

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5. Do you know what 2 million pounds of ice looks like? The folks at the Gaylord National Resort may have some idea. Celebrating the annual Gaylord National Resort’s ICE with nightly entertainment, indoor snowfall, a live ice-carving station featuring talented ice artisans and ten interactive ice scene attractions. After the Gaylord, walk to the Waterfront Plaza at the National Harbor to see the 60 foot Christmas tree with over 20,000 lights.


In addition to the gratitude we feel each day celebrating with our guests, and working with our vendor partners, this year we are especially thankful for our internal guest, our crew. From dishwasher to director – and every position in between we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for the countless hours, selflessness, creativity, dedication, and loyalty so many of you have shown over your careers with Design Cuisine, we don’t tell you enough, but we truly appreciate you and thank you for your service. Happy Thanksgiving!

Hostess With the Mostess ~ LOVE-ly Tea Party

Being featured in the well read event blog Hostess with the Mostess is a great honor, most especially as a result of partnering with the mother of the bride & trio of designers at Events in the City for the “Love-ly tea party”.  From the lacy umbrellas swaying above the brunch table and teapot with pearls centerpieces, to the continuity of color scheme and incorporation of vintage furniture, Lyn Ferrerio’s love and support for her daughter showed in every personal touch, and proved a great lesson in how to artfully, and tastefully DIY.

Design Cuisine was tapped to style a seasonally driven menu, linens, chairs & china.  Fresh fruit parfaits, petite quiche Loraine, mandarin salad and fluffy mini chocolate chip pancakes made for a satisfying balance of sweet and savory, much like love itself.  Continuing the theme, the host provided teapot cake pops, candy stations, and various other treats for the future brides guests to enjoy.

For more pictures & details of this event, or for help inspiring ideas for your own special event, skip the endless hours of Pinterest searching, and head directly to HWTM.

Photos by Genevieve Lelper Photography.


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13th Annual Spirit of Mount Vernon Heritage Gala

At what may be the most buzz worthy fundraiser to date, rare spirits brought in top donations for the 13th annual Spirit of Mount Vernon Heritage gala sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council.

Inspired by a historic recipe found in George Washington’s mansion records and crafted by a team of master distillers from the nation’s top whiskey brands, bottle #11 of 24 from the first batch of rye whiskey distilled at Mount Vernon in 200 years bearing the signature of former President Bill Clinton, sold for an impressive $32,000 contributing to the overall $400,000 purse.  Since inception, the gala has raised over $3.25 million dollars toward the mission “to preserve, restore, and manage the estate of George Washington to the highest standards and to educate visitors and people throughout the world about the life and legacies of George Washington, so that his example of character and leadership will continue to inform and inspire future generations”.

To compliment the spirits, Design Cuisine Account Executive Christine Cadima and our team forged a menu fit for the first President, and all his present day supporters.  The first course was comprised of an earthy duo of colored beets, spring pea shoots, and goat cheese quenelles picking up notes of oak and toffee most notably present in locally distilled rye.  Herbed toasts and asparagus drizzled with champagne vinaigrette cut through those caramel tannins with a crisp and welcome acidity.

The entrée, Roasted Colorado Lamb, was served alongside a starchy French gratin, heirloom carrots, charred broccolini and pistachio chutney.  A rustic mouthful that complimented not only the atmosphere of Historic Mount Vernon, but warmed up the chilly night when coupled with the Honey Thyme Sour crafted with Knob Creek Bourbon, Chef Shannon’s drink of choice.

Right when we thought we’d climbed the proverbial peak of flavor, Sticky Toffee Pudding, caramel sauce and housemade vanilla bean ice cream made its way to the table.

Calories don’t count when you’re honoring the forefather of this great country right?

Photos by ImageLink Moving Pictures.

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