5 Tips For Personalizing Your Event

5 Tips For Personalizing Your Event

Chef Stephanie Nass, a.k.a. Chefanie, is the ultimate entertaining doyenne - a girl about town who's forever on the guest list, and forever making a guest list. Of course, nothing passes the eye of this professional hostess, no detail too small to be left unturned.

The regular events she cooks up for Victory Club, the arts and dining club she founded in 2014, can be spotted from miles away, leaving trails of her signature touches, from painted menushand-embroidered napkins, even cakes dressed with her custom Chefanie Sheets

Take note of her five simple steps to personalizing any party, and prepare to be the belle of your own ball!

Oscars Party Tips

The Oscars are a fun Sunday night tradition and a perfect excuse to get people together! Here are some of Chefanie's tips for throwing a fabulous Oscars party... 

ON THE MENU

  1. Get in the festive spirit! Include some black tie options on your menu:

Chocolate dipped strawberries with Chefanie Sheets (recipe here)

Chocolate dipped strawberries with Chefanie Sheets (recipe here)

2.  Star-shaped chips, fruits, vegetables.

3. Typical movie theater concessions like Popcorn & candy bars

4. Popcorn cake with Chefanie Sheets (following this video)

Tall vanilla cake dressed with American Flag Chefanie Sheets & popcorn

 

SET UP A POPCORN BAR

with different topping options, including but not limited to:

Truffle salt from Urbani

Melted chocolate

Queso

Butter

AT THE COCKTAIL BAR

Cocktails named after nominated films  

Hell or High Water, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, etc.

& of course Prosecco

DECORATIONS

Gold balloons

Photobooth with cutouts of Oscars, black ties, popcorn, and.... an Admit-one netflix and chill coupon : 

One netflix & chill coupon via Elite Daily

One netflix & chill coupon via Elite Daily


 

WHAT TO SEND PEOPLE HOME WITH

Oscar cookies from Eleni’s

Bottle of Prosecco

Pop Corn Pop Chocolate Bar from Chuao Chocolatier

Mini bags of homemade popcorn - with recipe on the back

Admit-one netflix and chill coupon

Cookies decorated with Chefanie Sheets

How to Make Your Holiday Party the Talk of the Town

Chefanie at Victory Club's holiday party wearing an Ann Taylor dress and Mercedes Salazar earrings. Photo credit: Noa Griffel for BFA

Chefanie at Victory Club's holiday party wearing an Ann Taylor dress and Mercedes Salazar earrings. Photo credit: Noa Griffel for BFA

Last weekend, Chefanie threw Victory Club's annual Holiday Fête at Dickinson Roundell Gallery. The event, sponsored by BMW of Manhattan, hosted members and friends for an afternoon of bites and bubbles. Here, Chefanie shares her 5 best tips for throwing a holiday party of your own. Cheers! 

Photo credit: Noa Griffel for BFA

1. Prosecco

Nothing gets people in the holiday spirit like a little bubbly. We served Prosecco from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region of Italy, the birthplace of Prosecco.

 

2. Keep the food options simple. 

Only the very best. For us, that meant a lifesize gingerbread house, pigs in a blanket, and cakes with Chefanie Sheets

 

5 foot Gingerbread House. Photo credit: Noa Griffel for BFA

Mistletoe. Photo credit: Noa Griffel for BFA

Mistletoe. Photo credit: Noa Griffel for BFA

3. Mistletoe

What turns your party from fleeting to famous is the introduction of 2 people who end up dating. Maximize your chances of this happening by maximizing the mistletoe. A Christmas miracle never hurt anyone... 

4. Send everyone home with a souvenir. 

For all 80 guests, Chefanie prepared giftbags of her favorite things: truffle oil from Urbani, gingerbread chocolates from Chuao, Green Hot Cinnamon tea from Harney & Sons, Jacques Pepin spatulas from Sur La Table, cocktail napkins by Baron von Fancy from The Prospect NY, and adorable bottles of Hottie Tottie.

5. Make a snapchat filter

Because the only thing better than your guests having fun is letting everyone else know. 

Thanksgiving Tips & Traditions

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Chefanie has your plating, decorating, cooking, and baking needs covered. Embrace the season by designing your tablescape with autumnal colors.

Chefanie's Thanksgiving tablescape at her family home in New York.

Last year, Chefanie set the table for her family dinner with cornucopias of assorted flowers in orange and yellow fall hues. To make the table even more festive, she added various pumpkins as centerpieces and placed a little pumpkin soup bowls at everyone's place setting - functional and festive!

Pumpkin soup bowls and other accessories

Chefanie adds napkin rings wrapped with artificial berries and vines. And who could forget Chefanie's signature hand-painted menus. She painted Thanksgiving dishes as well as a Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation around the border pertaining to gratitude: 

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”

The metallic accents of her antique dishes are also a beautiful touch.

Chefanie's hand-painted watercolor menus

Some of Chefanie's seasonal holiday inspired cakes are her Matcha CakeSweet Potato Cake, Cranberry Cake, and Chestnut Maple Cake.

One thing Chefanie says to not shy away from is going out for Thanksgiving Dinner - sometimes it's better to just relax and enjoy your family without the stress of cooking. Her favorite restaurants - Redeye Grill and Brooklyn Diner - serve all of your traditional Thanksgiving foods and desserts and do not disappoint.

Chefanie consulted some tastemakers to share with you their favorite Thanksgiving tips and traditions.

Alexandra Porter, Art Advisor: 

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is preparing the meal, starting the day before, with my mother and sister and grandmother. I could try to be original, but there's really nothing better than the emulsion of custom and cooking over strong bonds and good smells. My mother makes a brilliant stuffing, and my grandmother's gravy is to die for - my sister and I are still sorting out our gifts :-) My tip would be for everyone to have a part of the meal they're responsible for to help the cooking go faster and so everyone can be a part of the experience.

I have to say, I love Christmas. Since we're lucky enough to travel a lot, there's a narrow window for decorations; I try to get the tree up straight away upon returning from Thanksgiving. It blends one holiday right into the next!

Rachel Dalton, Event Specialist:

Some of my Thanksgiving traditions include making my infamous “turkey” cookies for family and friends. They are simple, delicious, plain cookies in the shape of turkeys, which I top with cinnamon and sugar. Going to a family brunch overlooking the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then spending the rest of the day with my husband’s family in Connecticut.  They have a tradition of having Chinese food as part of their Thanksgiving dinner, which is a lot of fun! Watching football with my boys while feeling very stuffed :)

Some of my entertaining tips: mini pumpkins and gourds are a fabulous way to decorate your fall table. I like to use place cards to strategically seat my guests. You can put the place cards in small frames which make a great take home gift. Serve each guest a mini scoop of sorbet (mix up the flavors) in between courses to cleanse the palate.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Holiday #ChefanieSheets

Chefanie is excited to introduce new Chefanie Sheets designs for the festive season! Chefanie has translated her signature watercolors into edible cake paper, and we are pleased to share them with you in time for your upcoming holiday parties.

 

TARTAN

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Tartan #ChefanieSheet is a classic take on your seasonal plaid print. Chefanie loves matching her clothing to her cakes, and Tartan does the job perfectly. Show up at your next party with your favorite plaid skirt, tie, or scarf -- and a cake wrapped in our Tartan Sheet to match!  We paired our Matcha Cake with Tartan Chefanie Sheets to pick up on the sheet’s holiday color scheme; recipe here

HARRISON TILE

Harrison Tile #ChefanieSheet was inspired by Chefanie’s favorite tile table in her family home in Harrison, New York. This sheet is simple and elegant. The icy blues compliment the feeling of the season and look perfect on your chinoiserie tableware. We dressed our Chestnut Maple Cake in Harrison Tile; recipe here.

BEIJING

Beijing #ChefanieSheet is one of our boldest designs yet! We love the graphic punch it brings to your cake and the colors perfectly pair with your traditional holiday scheme. This sheet is definitely for our more eclectic, risk-taking entertainer and is sure to catch everyone’s attention. Our Zucchini Cake looks great in Beijing; recipe here.

Shop Chefanie Sheets. 

5 Menu Ideas for Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, here are 5 menu ideas to make your festivities a success! Whether it's for your own Halloween party or a friend's, these snacks are sure to be the center of the event and satisfy everyone's sweet treat cravings!

1. CAKE (EYE)BALLS

Use either fresh or leftover cake to create cake (eye)balls! You can paint on the cake balls with edible markers to make them look like actual eyeballs and use #ChefanieSheets to make the eyes pop!

2. CHECKERBOARD CAKE

Make a cake with a surprise inside. This Halloween orange and black Checkerboard Cake is sure to wow your guests! Finish with Carrara #ChefanieSheet for an extra effect.

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3. PUMPKIN BUNS

These whimsical pumpkin buns are savory and sweet and can be served with breakfast or dinner! Check out the recipe here or pick them up at The Bakery at Four Corners in Pelham, New York.

leaf pasta.jpg

4. PASTA LEAVES

With your Kitchenaid pasta machine, take your dough and use a cookie cutter to make these leaves. Such an easy way to make your pasta more autumnal!

5. BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

This Smokey Butternut Squash Soup will leave you feeling like fall inside and out. This soup is so easy for a party - and will let the host enjoy the party! It's elegant but doesn't require too much plating effort. Just sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds as a garnish et voilà!

World's Best Food Stores

World's Best Food Stores

Chefanie's passion for food has taken her all over the world. From Austin to Berlin, San Francisco to Jerusalem, it seems that Chefanie is always on a mission to find the best ingredients for Victory Club events & casual dinner parties. We've compiled a list of the best food stores around the world to reference along your own travels. Bon voyage & bon appétit! 

Five 5-Star Entrées

Last week, we let you in on a little secret: we at Chefanie HQ are addicted to pasta. Of course we realize that not everyone shares our same pasta cravings nor wants to indulge in pasta constantly. (GASP!) In the event that one of your dinner guests has an aversion to pasta or is on a protein-heavy diet, try one of our easy and elegant 5-star entrée recipes that will be sure to please everyone at the table.

1. Magret de Canard with braided leeks, plum sauce and flower petals

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Addicted to Pasta

Addicted to pasta? So are we. Here are 5 pasta recipes that will satisfy even the most crazed addict.

1. Basic Homemade Pasta Dough 

Every home cook must learn how to make homemade pasta. After all, it requires very few ingredients, very little time (and effort), and can be kept in the freezer for months. Roll it out to make spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, farfalle or ravioli--literally any type of pasta that you can dream of, it can be made with our basic homemade pasta recipe.

2. Cacio e Pepe

Although Cacio e Pepe calls for very few ingredients, the process of combining the ingredients makes this Roman staple somewhat of a challenge. Have no fear. With our fool-proof method, you’ll be mastering Cacio e pepe in no time.

3. Ramp Pesto

With the resemblance of a scallion and the bite of garlic, ramps are the more adventurous older brother of the spring onion. They’re only in season for a couple months, so when you see them, be sure to grab them because these guys make THE BEST PESTO EVER.

4. Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach

This next recipe is a perfect example of how you can balance an otherwise carb-heavy dish, like ravioli, with some nutrients! The not-so-secret formula? Ravioli + spinach + garlic = a seamlessly delicious (and healthy) dish.

5. Spaghetti Squash with Brussel Sprout Petals

Craving pasta and not the calories? We’ve got a recipe just for you: spaghetti squash with brussel sprout petals. Spaghetti squash has become the all-star of healthy, clean eating. It’s jam-packed with a ton of nutrients, like fiber and vitamin C, tastes pretty darn good, and easy to transform into noodles of spaghetti without any culinary expertise. With the addition of the perfectly crisp brussel sprout, this superfood dish is a crowd pleaser.

How to Throw a Fire-Cracking Fourth of July Fête

Chefanie's 4th of July Table. Custom napkins available here, American flag Chefanie Sheet available here

Chefanie's 4th of July Table. Custom napkins available here, American flag Chefanie Sheet available here

Planning your 4th of July party? Here’s how to have a fire-cracking Fourth of July party wherever you are...

THE TABLESCAPE

  • The Colors: On Fourth of July, throw yourself into a classic red, white & blue color scheme. Let the table sing the national anthem and recite the declaration of independence. It should be patriotic. 
  • The Plates: Mix & match blue plates that you find at a thrift store. Chips have charm :) 
  • The Tablecloths: Can be a long piece of denim fabric found at a fabric store or your grandma's white tablecloth folded in half. 
  • The Centerpiece: This is literally the center of conversation. It does not have to be flowers; it can be an artwork, a newspaper article, a vase with goldfish (lol), book, candles, or gasp -- a cake! Get creative! Think about where it will take the conversation, and how it can enrich the conversation.
  • The Flowers (if you choose to do flowers): Pick something seasonal, either from your garden or from the florist. Seasonal flowers are always less expensive because they are grown in abundance! Here Chefanie used white hydrangeas from her garden.
  • The Napkins: Chefanie embroiders napkins, and she can do them for you too! Here

THE MENU

4th of July Menu Template, painted by Chefanie

4th of July Menu Template, painted by Chefanie

  • Printed menus double as place cards. Download Chefanie's 4th of July menu template here & scribble in what you serve and the names of your guests.
  • Food-wise, fire up the grill! Nothing is off limits: you can do veggies (anything seasonal), pizzas, and (cheese, salmon, turkey, chicken, veggie) burgers! 
  • Chefanie's favorite summer salad is Zucchini Carpaccio
  • This cacio e pepe with pink peppercorns on a blue plate totally fits in the color scheme!
  • For dessert we recommend a red, white, and blue cake! Here's our recipe. And of course, a corresponding Chefanie Sheet. This year, we are donating a percentage of all American Flag Chefanie Sheets sales to the families of Orlando victims. Order a Caprices Sheet and note that you want it to be a flag here
American Flag cake with Caprices Chefanie Sheets. When ordering, note that you want your sheet to be an American flag.

American Flag cake with Caprices Chefanie Sheets. When ordering, note that you want your sheet to be an American flag.

American Flag cake with Caprices Chefanie Sheets. When ordering, note that you want your sheet to be an American flag.

American Flag cake with Caprices Chefanie Sheets. When ordering, note that you want your sheet to be an American flag.

American Flag cake with Caprices Chefanie Sheets. When ordering, note that you want your sheet to be an American flag. 

American Flag cake with Caprices Chefanie Sheets. When ordering, note that you want your sheet to be an American flag. 

THE LIBATIONS

  • Red, white, and blue sangria with white wine, strawberries, and blueberries is a low maintenance drink that is absolutely delicious. Plus, it can (and should) be made in advance to minimize your work on the day of the event. 
  • Make sure to always have water on the table in a pitcher or pretty glass bottle.

THE PLAYLIST

 

 

 

We love any Spotify playlist that starts with Don McLean's "American Pie," but especially this one...

Bon Appétit! 

Chefanie's 5 Favorite Plating Tricks

You’re having people over, and you want everything to be perfect. No. Not perfect. Better than perfect. This isn’t keeping up with the Jones’s--this is setting the standard. And that standard is about to reach a whole new level. Here's how to raise the bar with Chefanie's 5 favorite plating tricks:

1. Use a ring mold. It makes anything and everything look restaurant ready.

2. Always place the protein at six o’clock.

3. Food should never touch the rim of the plate. Under any circumstances.

4. You don’t need to fill all the space on the plate. Negative space or, as Taylor Swift would say, blank space, is good; it allows the main attraction--the food--to shine.

5. Garnishing in general takes a dish from plain to insane. (Be sure to check out our 5 Ways to Garnish a Soup.)

If you follow these tricks, your guests will be ooh-ing and ahh-ing at your beautiful creations. We guarantee it. 

5 Ways to Garnish a Soup

We love soup. In fact, we love soup so much that we actually slurp it all-year-round. Especially during the summertime. But, as soup connoisseurs, we understand that soups--hot or cold, thick or thin--don’t always have the best sexy appeal. After all, they're no cheeseburger. So we've decided to compile a list of the 5 easiest ways to garnish a soup that will transform your soup from average to drop-dead gorgeous. 

1. Zucchini soup garnished with woven pastry

2. Smoky butternut squash with toasted pumpkin seeds

3. Pumpkin soup garnished with cinnamon foam

4. Carrot soup garnished with puzzle piece-shaped crostini

5. Chilled asparagus soup garnished with artichoke heads and mascarpone

Announcing Chefanie Sheets

Very proud to announce the launch of #ChefanieSheets, a product that elevates an ordinary grocery-bought or home-made cake to a work of art in just a few moments. Each sheet is completely edible: vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free. Sheets come in two sizes (small & large) as part of a kit that also includes a ruler and instructions.  Each design is part of a seasonal collection inspired by my travels.

The major ingredients are tapioca starch, corn syrup solids, sugar, water, and food coloring. The sheets are shelf stable, lasting up to 1 year when kept in the correct conditions. Sheets should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place. 

As I always say, "no pattern, no party!" So, starting patterning up your cakes for all your parties! 

Xo chefanie