AND WE'RE LIVE! THE RETURN OF IN-PERSON NONPROFIT EVENTS

By Great Performances

40% of nonprofit organizations reported losses in total revenue for 2020. Partly attributed to a dramatic decline in program-related revenue, it can also be attributed to a decline in donations. Overall, 37% of nonprofit organizations reported a decline in donations in 2020 compared to 10% of nonprofit organizations in the preceding 5-year period and more than 70% of organizations reported that individual donations are essential or very important to their business. (Source)

As Covid restrictions lift and people reunite at events, restaurants, theaters, and in the office, there’s opportunity for nonprofits to recover and rebuild their donation bases. Prior to the pandemic, many nonprofit organizations held galas and events for awareness, education, community, networking, and fundraising. With our return to events, nonprofit organizations can extend their current outreach programs with live events to re-engage and grow their donor base. We spoke with some leading nonprofit event planners and partners to get a better idea of what’s happening with nonprofit organizations and how they’re coming back to live events.

Across the board, we’re seeing an increase of in-person nonprofit events, which is exciting for everyone from the nonprofit host who’s able to reconnect with their donor base to the gala attendee who is delighted to get all dressed up with somewhere to go! Rob Arango, Director of Client Development at CPS Events at The Plaza, notes that there’s been more attention to the step-and-repeat as guests are dressing up, eager to meet, greet, and have their photos taken. Even those first moments arriving at an event are celebratory! For anyone who’s watched the awards shows these past months, we’ve seen more glitz, glamor, and excitement on the red carpet.

Aside from being standard operating procedure for nonprofits to host events, galas, and live fundraisers to raise money and engage donors, there’s been increasing pushback on virtual only events (we specify virtual-only for reasons we’ll elaborate on later). The cost and effort of hosting virtual events didn’t deliver the returns in engagement and donation dollars that organizations realized from live events. As Shaun Roberts, Vice President at Great Performances notes, everyone from corporations building teams to religious organizations leading their congregations is seeing the importance of community. Specifically, education institutions are hosting alumni functions, hospitals are rebuilding fundraising efforts, artistic and performance-based groups are inviting guests back into their spaces, and socially aware organizations are rebuilding their education and outreach programs. “No matter how great the technology, it’s impossible to replicate the networking that takes place at live events,” observes James Munz, Vice President of Sales at Ziegfeld Ballroom, home to many nonprofit events including fundraisers, galas, and celebrations.

“Live events not only raise money; more importantly they are used to cultivate new donors,” reports Mike Warren, Director of Catering at CPS Events at The Plaza. Often, gala attendees will sponsor a table and invite guests who might make a connection with the cause and become a supporter. But there’s been another shift in how galas are held, notes Roberts. Instead of being tied to a table and chairs, more events are starting to have more mobile events (and not the digital kind) where guests are encouraged to walk around the space and network. “It’s been a heated debate within many organizations,” he says, “and a decision that’s very personal to each nonprofit.” Speaking with caterers, planners, and venues can help determine which event style makes the most sense for each nonprofit’s goals and constituency.

Health and safety are still top of mind for many nonprofit organizations planning events but staying on top of the latest requirements and protocols can be stressful and confusing. Munz stresses that it’s important to talk to the experts: the caterers and venues who are best able to advise on best practices that support the health, safety, and comfort of event guests. This can be anything from accessibility to ventilation. “We believe in full transparency and providing as much information as necessary to put our clients and their guests at ease. We can also share what some other nonprofits are doing to help provide some context.”

For most organizations, events look like they did pre-pandemic. Groups who are already going out are going out with a relaxed (or exhausted) attitude towards Covid stipulations: tables are not entirely distanced, and check-in is swift. At GP, we are asking our staff to be vaccinated and to remain masked, but many clients are asking that masks be removed, a sign of their desire to make everything appear as it once was. There are some planners and nonprofit organizations who are still staying on the side of caution, but Warren observes that these are few and far between and it may be as simple as setting a table for ten guests for eight.

Some nonprofit organizations aren’t quite willing to let go of the virtual component and are looking for hybrid events. Munz acknowledges that hybrid events can be a great opportunity to capture a wider audience; however, they require an extra level of planning and expertise. Roberts cautions that planning two events in one may result in increased costs and effort and that nonprofit organizations considering hybrid events need to be clear about their goals and expectations for each group of attendees. Selecting the right partner is critical to help create a program that flows smoothly. Munz notes that he’s seen the virtual portion of the hybrid event pause while the in-person attendees were being served their meals. With their deep expertise in hosting events, planners can help create a run of show and make program suggestions to make the event run seamlessly from both perspectives.

Being mindful of guest behavior advises event timelines and runs of show. Munz advises that nonprofits organizations consider adjusting their events to a shorter programmed event followed by a post-dessert reception. This allows those guests who feel uncomfortable to leave and those who feel comfortable to stay longer and socialize – a hybrid of the seated events and the networking sessions.

Event planning is also happening at a shorter timeframe. Although many nonprofits are booking venues, caterers, and other vendors months in advance, guests are waiting until closer to the event date to RSVP, making it difficult to confirm guest counts. And then there are the nonprofits that are booking events on shorter notice. Although it is possible, the current employment landscape can present a challenge. “We always recommend that our clients book the date as soon as they can so we can confirm a venue and ensure proper staffing at their event,” Roberts advises.

At the end of the day, all of the event experts and their nonprofit clients agreed on one thing: nonprofits absolutely should be hosting live events. “There used to be gala fatigue, then we had Zoom fatigue and Covid fatigue. People are eager to get back out in person,” Arango shares. People are yearning for a face-to-face connection, and it’s obvious in the excitement demonstrated when guests are together for the first time.

Encouraging those who are reluctant to venture out to an event can be as simple as providing them with more information, Roberts notes. “Be clear with what the evening holds so people can make their own choices. If you have an amazing key speaker, people will turn out for that; and keep the event to the point—no fluff.” Once you’ve identified your event goals, create a program that will engage your guests. Gone are the days when people stay at a gala until 10:00 pm because they have to; they will stay because they want to be there.

SOCIAL ATTRACTION AND EVENTS AT THE PLAZA

By Rob Arango, CPS Events at The Plaza

For the past 15 months, we have heard and read the term “social distancing” in an effort to halt the global pandemic. Our forced seclusion and isolation have made us long for the days when we could meet for drinks, share a meal with friends, and socialize with others. Our initial emergence from pandemic have demonstrated that we’ve been craving connection, and I think the new normal will be “social attraction.”

Of course, we must adhere to all the CDC guidelines and continue our efforts to eradicate this virus. I was asked a month ago to write a piece about the Plaza re-opening and the much anticipated Fall Gala season. Within the last few weeks, numerous discussions and concerns have taken place with various planners, development staff, and board members asking what are the safety protocols in place at the Plaza? Should their foundation require proof of vaccination at check in? What should they do if someone isn’t vaccinated? What about our staff? All these concerns are extremely valid and important to continue to address. At the Plaza, we are listening carefully to the CDC and state officials and will be passing along all our information to our guests to ensure a safe environment for their galas once we have a clear understanding of how to implement safety protocols.

With all that said, I also must share the other discussion, which is taking place daily with our clients. Dr. Keltner, co-founder of the Greater Good Science Center has expressed, “we’re hyper social mammals—it is our most signature strength.” For decades, Dr. Keltner has studied human behavior with a focus on “pro-social” states: behavior that strengthened connection between individuals and that are especially good for society.

Our culinary team at Great Performances, who provides all our delicious meals served at the Plaza, has a company saying that “Life happens around food.®” I add that connections with another person provide food for the soul.

In the 114 years that the Plaza has been open, it has endured the worst of historic crises including both World Wars, the first stock market crash, the Great Depression, 9/11, and countless other global calamities. Through it all, the Palm Court, Edwardian Room, Persian Room, Oak Room, and Oyster Bar remained open to soothe the social anxieties of their time. Whether it was enjoying an afternoon tea or a dry martini, Plaza guests yearned for a place to gather, hug, laugh, and enjoy the company of a friend during the worst of times. As we know even in the best of times celebrations of life are never taken for granted.

I tend to think the human spirit is nourished by social gatherings and the enjoyment of food and beverage. Many clients have expressed a strong desire to get dressed up again and begin to mingle in person as opposed to seeing one another in a Hollywood Squares-like box via video calls.

The collective actions of raising much needed funds for a good cause, the arrival of guests in their newest ballgowns, the first sip of dry champagne and a nibble of a savory canape, is what so many New Yorkers are craving. I believe there can be enormous healing among social gatherings. We aren’t meant to eat alone; we thrive on giving a hug and a smile to our dinner guest. But never forget we still need a little gossip and commentary when we can’t help but to whisper to another friend in person–“look at her dress!” or even, “she looks amazing—who is her doctor?”

We are ready to open the doors to the grand ballroom and welcome all of our friends back to celebrate.

There is a great line in a famous Sondheim lyric, “As if we never said good-bye”. That is what I imagine guests will say when they return the Grand Ballroom.

Until then, stay informed and continue to ask vital questions.

More From CPS Events at The Plaza

CHOCOLATE POT DE CRÈME

by Chef Geoff Rudaw

INGREDIENTS

PROCEDURE

For the base

  • 3 cups milk

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup cocoa powder, loosely packed

  • 4 oz 64% chocolate, chopped

  • 12 egg yolks

  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the marshmallow topping

  • 2 oz heavy cream

  • 4 oz heavy cream, whipped

  • 2 cups marshmallow topping

For the crunch

  • 1 package graham crackers

  • 1 cup puffed or toasted rice

  • 2 oz semi sweet chocolate

  • 1 tbsp Feulletine (optional)

  1. Prepare the base. Scald milk and cream together and remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and cocoa powder. Add chocolate and whisk thoroughly to combine. Strain and chill on ice bath. Once cook, whisk in egg yolks. Pour into individual serving containers (8oz Mason or Ball jars work perfectly) leaving at least an inch for the toppings. Place in water bath, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 300 F for 65 minutes. Remove, allow to cool, then chill.

  2. Prepare the marshmallow topping. In a double boiler, melt marshmallow topping with 2 oz of heavy cream. Remove from heat then fold in whipped cream. Transfer to a disposable pastry bag or ziplock bag.

  3. Prepare the crunch. Melt chocolate in microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval until melted. Drizzle over puffed rice, stirring quickly to loosely coat the puffed rice. Coarsely crush graham crackers and shake in colander to separate dust. Keep the larger crumbs. Mix in Feulletine (optional) and store in airtight container.

  4. Assemble the dessert. Add approximately 1/4 inch of crunch to each pot, then top with 3/4 inch of marshmallow topping. Torch the center of the topping (avoid getting too close to the edges to avoid cracking the jar) and quickly twist on lid to trap the “campfire” smoke. Serve cold.

Notes: this dish can be prepared a day ahead.

More Recipes

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Sherry Vinaigrette

 

In the salad I made, I used about a quarter of a small rotisserie chicken which I removed from the bone and shredded. My base was chopped frisee lettuce (white parts only) and romaine, with shaved carrot, diced avocado, a hearty spoon full of the marinaded chickpeas and diced tomato.  I topped it with a tablespoon of chopped Marcona almonds, but any nut will add great crunch and flavor.  I whisked together some heart healthy extra virgin olive oil, aged sherry vinegar, a touch of Dijon mustard and local raw honey for the dressing.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ chef

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar (substitute red wine vinegar if needed)

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp local raw honey

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 3 grinds black pepper

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Procedure:

  1. Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl.

  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking steadily to emulsify the oil and other ingredients.

  3. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator after use.

From Chef Geoff’s Notebook:

Since some people have a little bit more time on their hands lately, let’s take a moment to discuss the merits of raw honey. Local raw honey is believed to have holistic value through the theory that ingestion of micro amounts of pollen and nectar, would in time build an immunity to aid the allergy sufferer of those plants. On another note, honey is believed to be a topical burn aid, a digestive aid and an elixer for sore throats.  A one ounce serving of local raw honey contains abundant vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, and vitamin B5. Raw and local honey is also full of essential minerals like copper, calcium, iodine, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, sodium, zinc, and iron.

 

 


Hungry for More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Immune-Boosting Marinated Chickpeas

 

Eating well and getting key nutrients is going to help us all stay healthy and active in the coming weeks, so here is an immune boosting addition for canned chickpeas. This is guaranteed to turn an ordinary canned legume into a cornerstone on which to build salad, grain and vegetables dishes.

Using proven immune-boosting ingredients like turmeric, lemon, garlic, parsley and olive oil not only add key nutrients, but also a ton of flavor. Try using a similar flavor profile to jazz up canned white beans, pinto beans or even corn.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ chef

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cooked chickpeas (preferably organic)

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 tsp turmeric, ground

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp paprika

  • 1/4 tsp toasted ground coriander

  • 2 drops hot sauce

  • 1 grind of black pepper

  • 4 sprigs of parsley, leaves only, chopped

  • 2 shallots, peeled, finely dice (or 1 small red onion)

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Procedure:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas and transfer them to a stainless steel mixing bowl.

  2. Combine all of the other ingredients, and let sit, covered at room temperature for an hour. This will give the flavors to blend.

Variations:

A dressing like this can be made with any delicious and harmonious ingredients. I recommend experimenting with ginger, lemongrass and scallions or come up with your own flavor profile to suit your dish or meal.

 

Salad with marinated chickpeas and sherry vinaigrette. Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

Salad with marinated chickpeas and sherry vinaigrette.

Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

 


Hungry for More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Lemon Herb Compound Butter

 

I don’t know about you, but in our house we recently dusted off the grill for use again and fired it up.  Not every home in the NYC area has a grill, but if you do have one, there is nothing else that tastes exactly like it.  A lot of home cooks can make a mean steak, but most of the time it doesn’t make sense to make a veal stock, reduce it for hours, and then build a red wine reduction sauce for one meal.  That’s why I decided to share a compound butter recipe for steak that is easy to make, affordable, and freezes very well.  I like to apply it in a few slices on the hot steak after it is grilled to your desired temperature, while it is resting on the serving plate.  That way the butter melts into those tiny nooks and crannies and its flavor intermingles with the char, smoke and the steak itself. You can also play around with it and try applying it to roasted chicken pork or even vegetables (hello corn, hello cauliflower).

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ chef

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped herbs, you can use any herb like tarragon, parsley, thyme, chive or even a blend

  • 1 small shallot, finely diced (optional)

  • 1 lemon, zested and 1 tsp juice

  • 4 grinds of black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Procedure:

  1. Combine all ingredients In a stainless steel bowl until the butter is creamy and smooth.

  2. Arrange two layers of plastic wrap, about 10” long each, on top of each other on your counter.

  3. Using a rubber spatula, give the butter a final blend and scrape evenly on the plastic wrap into a rough log shape. If it is too soft to work with, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Roll up the butter in a tight cylinder, keeping an eye that the edged of he plastic wrap doesn’t get embedded deep into your roll. Twist the edges and chill thoroughly.

  5. To use, cut into slices and add to grilled steak, chicken, pork or vegetables.

  6. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and store in freezer for up to 3 months.

Variations:

Compound butters can have anything delicious and harmonious in them.  I recommend experimenting with some of these combinations, or feel free to make up your own.  Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.

  • Cilantro, chipotle peppers, toasted ground cumin, lime juice.

  • Ginger, garlic, scallion, soy sauce and sesame oil.

  • Green curry, coconut, lemongrass and lime juice & zest. (Some of the ingredients may be harder to find, but they’re worth it.)

 

Grilled sirloin steak with compound butter. Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

Grilled sirloin steak with compound butter.

Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

 


Hungry For More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Crunchy Vegetable Salad

Turmeric Pickled Shallots, Roasted Chicken Thigh, Tomatillo Vinaigrette

 

Being cooped up as so many of us New Yorkers have been, it’s more important as ever to eat well. Easing into Spring, its an easy transition into tasty, fulfilling, satisfying salads that have some extra flavor.

With economics in mind, it’s also important to eat with a touch of thrift, so with that in mind I present to you my lunch salad from today.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ Partner

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

For the Tomatillo Salsa

  • 4-5 tomatillos, husk removed medium size

  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled, cut in 4 wedges, root end trimmed, but intact

  • 1 poblano pepper, medium size

  • 2 scallions

  • 3 cloves confit garlic (sub recipe)

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt, ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh, (or lime)

  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup water, add more as needed

For the Confit Garlic

  • Garlic cloves, peeled, stem ends trimmed

  • Extra virigin olive oil

For the Turmeric Pickled Shallots

  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground

  • 5 black peppercorns, whole

  • 5 coriander seeds, whole

  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds, yellow or brown

  • 1 small bay leaf, dry

  • 4 medium shallots, pealed, sliced 1/8 ” rings, separated

Procedure:

For the Tomatillo Salsa

  1. Toss the tomatillos, onion wedges, poblano and scallion with 1/3 of the olive oil, season with a light pinch of kosher salt and a twist of black pepper from the pepper mill.  Broil until well charred, then turn over and char the other side.  Remove any vegetables that brown more quickly to avoid burning.

  2. Remove the skin, stem and seeds from the poblano pepper. Toss all of the charred vegetables into the blender, add confit garlic, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and puree on low-med.  Start with 1/2 cup of water, but use as much water as necessary to adjust to “sauce” consistency.  Make it a little loose, as tomatillo will gel when chilled.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. If you prefer some heat, feel free to consider adding Tabasco, your favorite hot sauce, jalapeños, etc.

  3. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.  Will easily last a week.

For the Confit Garlic

  1. In your smallest pot (preferably stainless steel), add enough cloves of garlic to cover the bottom in one layer.  Cover with extra virgin olive oil, until just covered completely by 1/4″.

  2. Set on low heat, and let the oil simmer, but not boil. The lowest heat that gets some action in the oil is preferred. When the garlic cloves are light golden, turn off heat completely and let sit on the back burner until cool.

  3. This should be stored in the refrigerator.  Some other great uses for confit oil are roasted potatoes, broccoli babe, garlic bread, pasta and broccoli to name just a few.

For the Turmeric Pickled Shallots

  1. Bring all of the ingredients except for the shallots to a boil.

  2. Put the shallots in a mason jar, small pyrex or stainless steel bowl, that is just bigger than the shallots.

  3. Pour the boiled vinegar/sugar liquid and all spices over the shallots, and let them steep.

  4. When the shallots have come to room temperature, use immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Assemble the Salad

I started with crispy skin spice roasted chicken thighs, which I pulled and tossed with a tomatillo roasted tomato salsa I used for enchilladas two nights earlier. The salad I prepared was chopped romaine, baby arugula, cucumber, carrot, Cuban-style black beans, broccoli, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and a few chopped sprigs cilantro.  The last touch was some turmeric pickled shallots I made last week, since I had more shallots on hand than I could use.

I am not by any means a light eater, and that salad really set me straight and kept me full until dinner. The Tomatillo Salsa is completely optional, the salad can hold up without it, but here is the recipes I used; feel free to substitute anywhere necessity dictates. Chopped salads are great, you can literally throw anything in there that you like; beans, spinach, cheeses, croutons, grilled salmon, roasted red peppers. Anything.


Hungry for More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Dumpling Making at Home

 

As we look to our own home kitchen as a place of gathering, nourishment and support, personally I always try to make dishes where everyone can be involved. In past years we have made pierogi, baked and decorated sugar cookies, pitched in to make and decorate dozens of cupcakes for birthday parties and school functions. I always look for a culinary task that can involve everyone, and increase in complexity to match my children’s age and keep their interest.

This year, as my children have continued to grow, and their palates have evolved, we have crossed into a new culinary frontier, Chinese style dumpling making at home! Making a simple dipping sauce based on sweetened black vinegar, the variety of dumpling filling is only limited by your imagination. We started out with the basics, ground pork with ginger, garlic and scallion, and then tried transitioning some of our favorite proteins, like ground turkey. We have tried vegetable/tofu dumplings, shrimp with chilies, and my favorite of the season, Coho Salmon, Spinach and Mushroom. We tried the Vegan square wonton wrappers, which work very well, but my favorite skin was the pot-sticker style round style.  Most of these skins are made with Flour and water, and they can be sealed with just some water and crimping. Some varieties that are on my list are spicy eggplant and green bean with ginger, and a Mexican variation I am trying soon, Guajillo Braised Chicken with Cilantro and Roasted Corn.  Here are the basic steps to making a dumpling, but whatever filling you make, the whole family can help fill and shape them. It’s not about having perfect uniform dumplings at the end, it’s about having a fun activity during which you can discuss the day you had, and the days you have coming up.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ Partner

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

For the Dumplings

  • 1 pound ground pork (or ground turkey)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely

  • 2 scallions, whites , minced finely (reserve greens)

  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced finely

  • 1/2 tsp Chinese chili sauce

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce

  • 2 scallion greens (reserved, sliced finely)

  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

  • 1 package (50ct) pot sticker wrappers

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sweet black vinegar

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I prefer Kikoman)

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 1/2 tsp granulated white sugar

  • 1/2 tsp chili sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp finely sliced scallions

  • Optional: 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger

Procedure:

  1. Saute garlic, scallions, ginger for 1 minute, then add chili sauce. Saute 30 seconds, and transfer to a bowl to cool.

  2. Add ground pork, salt, pepper, hoisin sauce, scallion greens and if desired, chopped cilantro. Mix well with a spoon, or by hand with latex gloves.

  3. To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal.

  4. Prepare the sauce: mix all ingredients. Taste, adjust salt, pepper, soy sauce based on preference. Sauce will last 2-3 days under refrigeration.

  5. Boil dumplings in salted water (about 2 Tbsp per 1 Gallon). When dumplings are floating on the top of the simmering water, and the skins begin getting translucent, they are done.

  6. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pot stickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  7. Serve immediately, or pan fry on one side for a different flavor and texture.

  8. Try adjusting the dipping sauce to your taste, either spicier, sweeter, or your own twist.

 

By Rob Arango

Myka Meier, “Queen of Manners” and author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy shares her thoughts on the Royal Family shake up.

CPS Events is happy to introduce Myka as our “Plaza Personality” this month.

It seems that most people in the world carry a phone with a camera and are on social media these days. Do you think this has made paparazzi out of everyone?

I think with the easy access to cell phones with cameras, the age-old beliefs of what constitutes paparazzi have now been magnified a million times. There is a fine line between royalty coming across as likable and relatable (and taking the occasional, friendly selfie) while working in their official capacity as senior royals with fans and being followed and given unwanted attention during their personal, private time.

Do you think Prince Harry was so affected by his mother’s death that he fears the same outcome for his wife?

I believe all the actions that Prince Harry has taken have been to protect his wife and son. I think anyone who experiences childhood trauma like that would be affected in a similar way and would want to make changes in order for history to not repeat itself.

How serious of an issue for the Royal family brand is him stepping down? Especially since he is 6th in line to the throne.

It is so rare to see this happen. I believe they must have been so unhappy that they saw this as a last resort and the only option to live the life they wanted. I also believe that you only live once and have to do what makes you happy, and happiness and peace is my greatest hope for them. I think they will make huge changes in the world for great causes around the world.

Why do you think the Queen agreed to let her grandson step down?

Prince Harry and Her Majesty have always been incredibly close. I imagine like any grandparent, she only wants the best for him and respects his wishes; and I’m sure they will remain very close. The Queen is known to be a very fair woman who loves her family very much.

Is this a one-time occurrence or do you think it might happen again with other future members of the royal family?

Never say never! While I hope the monarchy stays strong, this move was completely unexpected and we could see more surprising changes like this in the future.

Beaumont Etiquette is the official etiquette partner of The Plaza Hotel, launching The Plaza Finishing Program for adults, teens and children in 2016, with courses running to date. In 2018 Beaumont Etiquette was named the official etiquette partner of Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.

By Afiya Witter

PINK GIN & TONIC

Enjoy Valentine’s Day by sipping this classic cocktail dressed up for the occasion!

INGREDIENTS

PROCEDURE

  • 2 oz gin

  • 1-3 lime wedges

  • 3 dashes bitters

  • 3-4 oz tonic water

  1. Add gin and bitters to a glass filled with ice.

  2. Squeeze in lime wedges to taste, adding one to the rim of the glass.

  3. Add tonic water and stir gently to combine.

  4. Enjoy!

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