We love our latkes! So much so that for the past 11 years, we’ve held an annual Latke Festival to celebrate the latke and to benefit The Sylvia Center. Although we’re disappointed that we can’t celebrate with you, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite latke participants.
Chef Dima Martseniuk has won more awards at our annual Latke Festival than any other competitor and we’re always delighted to have him and his team participate. Originally from Ukraine, Chef Dima Martseniuk graduated from Kiev University Ukraine, with a degree in finance and management. He then attended the French Culinary Institute (ICC), New York and has been working at Veselka since December 2009.
He’s been featured on TV including making his short ribs pierogi with Guy Fieri, a judge on Beat Bobby Flay, a guest on Good Morning America after his 2018 Latke Festival win, on the Rachael Ray Show, and more. He’s constantly working on new recipes at Veselka, many of which have become bestsellers.
Veselka is one of New York’s most beloved Ukranian restaurants. This 24-hour go to for their famous pierogi has been operating in the East village since 1954. They’ve won numerous awards and recognition including “Best East Village Diner” and “Best Ukrainian Diner” by New York Press. They’ve been featured in the New York Times, Serious Eats, London Times, Buzzfeed, on the Food Network and more. Their pierogi have also been included in Eater’s “New York City’s 30 Most Iconic Dishes” and Thrillist’s “Most Important Food Dishes in NYC History.”
When Covid hit in March 2020, they closed out of concern for the health and safety of their staff and guests. On May 1, they reopened for take out and delivery and were able to reopen outdoor dining in June.
During this time, they’ve received tons of support from many sources, especially their local customers and their loyal fanbase who are able to order their pierogi and soups via Goldbelly (if you haven’t tried their incredibly delicious food yet, here’s your chance!)
They enclosed their outdoor space and are looking forward to welcoming guests for a warming dish of comfort during the cold winter days.
If you get a chance, show them your love either by stopping in or by ordering their pierogi (and other Ukrainian dishes) online via Goldbelly.
We can’t wait to have them participate in Latke Festival again next year!
By Sarah Prawl
Celebrate the first full month of summer with a great line-up of entertainment and Activities taking place at our partner venues!
Fally Ipupa: All White Concert
Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 pm
Award-winning Congolese singer-songwriter Fally Ipupa electrifies the audience with his sonorous voice and unique dance steps. Learn more here.
Asian American International Film Festival: Yellow Rose (Opening Night Film Screening and Reception)
Thursday, July 25 from 7:00 – 11:00 pm
Part of the 42nd Asian American International Film Festival, Yellow Rose is the story of an undocumented Filipino girl who dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Learn more here.
Wednesday, July 10 at 7:00 pm
High-end streetwear icon, Dapper Dan, graces the BAM stage to celebrate the launch of his stunning new memoir, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. Learn more here.
The Market at the Brooklyn Museum
Saturday, July 13 from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Shop one-of-a-kind, handmade items from local artisans and vendors. Learn more here.
Pop-Up Performance: Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, July 21 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Stop by the Beaux-Arts Court for the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra’s new pop-up performance series, featuring a family-friendly range of classical music from across the globe. Learn more here.
Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion
July 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion is the first New York retrospective in forty years to focus on the legendary couturier. Drawn primarily from Pierre Cardin’s archive, the exhibition traverses the designer’s decades-long career at the forefront of fashion invention. Learn more.
Complete your experience with a meal at “Maxim’s at The Norm”, a homage to Pierre Cardin’s restaurant, Maxim’s de Paris, and featuring classic dishes from the Maxim’s de Paris cookbook and Maxim’s inspired seasonal dishes.
Caramoor Takes Wing! Celebrating Birdsong
Saturday, July 13 at 8:30 pm; Sunday, July 14 at 4:30 pm
Convene with the birds through the universal language of music. Built around Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s performance of Messiaen’s complete Catalogue d’Oiseaux over three concerts, the weekend will also include bird walks, a panel discussion and family activities celebrating our feathered friends. Learn more here.
Jazz Festival (Presented in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Saturday, July 20 All Day
Celebrating its 5th year in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Caramoor’s Jazz Festival is a highly anticipated highlight of the summer with jazz performed by phenomenal talent amid lush gardens and distinctive venues on 90 acres of grounds. Learn more here.
Summer Season Finale: Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Sunday, July 28 at 4:00 pm
Caramoor’s summer season comes to a close with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, led by their Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie and violinist Christian Tetzlaff. Learn more here.
Emoción: The Sounds of Tango
Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 pm
Multinational quintet, Emocion, celebrates the universal power of music and the sounds and rhythms of Tango Nuevo. Learn more here.
Brasil Summerfest: Amaro Freitas Trio
Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 pm
In collaboration with Brasil Summerfest, Jazz at Lincoln Center presents the New York City debut of the Amaro Freitas Trio, who are on the cutting edge of fusing Afro-Brazilian rhythmic traditions with genre-defying modern jazz. Learn more here.
July 11 – July 25
Come to the Signature Café + Bar to network and mingle while enjoying Happy Hour specials. RSVP today.
Spotlight on Design: A Casebook on Octet
Join an in-depth discussion with the design team of Octet, showcasing the creative collaboration involved in bringing this acclaimed chamber choir a cappella musical to life. RSVP now.
Mokuhanga: A Japanese Woodblock Printing Intensive
Thursday, July 11 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Learn the time-honored techniques of “mokuhanga”, or relief printing, with 2019 Winter Workspace Artist Nandini Chirimar. Print using traditional Japanese woodblock techniques for two full days while exploring the basics of image preparation, transfer, registration, carving and multi-color printing. Learn more here.
Gallery to Garden Walk: Figuring the Floral
Saturday, July 27 at 2:00 pm
Tour the exhibition Figuring the Floral with an exhibiting artist and a Wave Hill horticultural interpreter, then venture out into the gardens to see how some of the flowers are used symbolically by the artists to express representations of identity. Learn more here.
By Emily Reifel
I feel extremely lucky that I have been able to call The Plaza Hotel my “home” for a decade! I often like to refer The Grand Ballroom as my “living room”, which then makes sense that I refer to my teammates as “family”.
When you spend as much time together as we do, you certainly build a bond. In our business, there is no such thing as 9-5 business hours, so if you are going to work 15-hour days, it’s an added bonus to truly enjoy the people that you work with. As I look back, I can’t believe that CPS Events has been in existence for 10 years and it’s really amazing that there are five of us who have been together since the beginning. Like sitting on cardboard boxes while answering the phones because we were waiting on our office furniture, really the beginning. It’s not just the events here that we have truly bonded over, but many personal life events that have occurred for all of us during our time here. It doesn’t look like any of us are going anywhere in the next 10 years either; we must really love what we do. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the past 10 years and we are really looking forward to seeing what is going to happen in the next decade.
EMILY REIFEL, SENIOR SOCIAL SALES MANAGER
Chanel’s Night of Diamonds – It was the first party at The Plaza since the 3-year renovation. The building was still a hard hat zone but the party truly sparkled. I had never seen someone as gorgeous as Christy Turlington in real life and I will never forget that Candice Bushnell, the author of Sex and City, was there! It was my first time seeing a live step and repeat. I learned what a red carpet really looked like!
Meeting Paul McCartney – He was the uncle of the bride for a wedding I worked on. I escorted him in and was in awe over how friendly he was. Sir Paul told me I had a hectic job…. then sent me to his concert the next week!
A 60th Birthday Party for the Books – When Tom Jones, Natalie Cole and Julio Iglesias were ALL performing in one night along with a separate 35 piece orchestra and a 7-course meal. This client took entertaining their personal guests to the next level.
ROB ARANGO, DIRECTOR OF CLIENT DEVELOPMENT
The mod squad coming out of the Campbell Suite – Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker. As they walked by me I smelled my mother—Karl was drenched in Chanel #5, his aftershave.
Meeting Oscar de la Renta when he was honored by Carnegie Hall. He was the most elegant man ever. He said he loved the fish at dinner and I noticed his manners were impeccable.
Tastings with Mercedes Bass – She taught me how to place friends/donors at the host table; what lighting really does for a room; how she adds her own personal touch to our Chef’s first, main and dessert presentations; and that the eye catches everything first. She is the most elegant woman ever.
MIKE WARREN, DIRECTOR OF CATERING
SNL’s 40th Anniversary – Watching history in the making and seeing the impromptu performances on stage–Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Prince, etc. This party was the modern day black and white ball.
The Great Gatsby Premier – Working so closely with Baz Luhrmann on every detail of planning this event and witnessing his creative genius. The moment we instantly transformed the party into a speakeasy, with an entertainment moment that was like a scene from the movie and changing lighting and decor right in front of the guests was very special.
Tony’s Afterparty – Over the years we have created an iconic event that all of Broadway looks forward to and attracts so many A-list celebrities. The party is so much fun that most of the celebrities stay the entire night.
VINCENT PALUMBO, GENERAL MANAGER
Manhattan Children’s Center (MCC) – As a parent of a child with Autism, it was truly a privilege to being able to have this event at the Plaza.
SNL’s 40th Anniversary – I was just in awe of the guests that were here that evening. It was exciting watching Hollywood’s Entertainers being the ones entertained.
Grand Opening Party in 2008 – The night that started it all. I had no idea of the experiences, guests and events that the Plaza Universe would show me and the overall impact it has made to my life.
CELIO ROMERO, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
SNL Party in 2015 – The best party ever! With Jimmy Falon as the MC, everyone improvising on stage; Miley Cyrus on the keyboard, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift on the vocals and guitar, Bill Murray on the side performing the chorus and much more.
Fox’s Superbowl Party in 2014 – Started with a walk-through on September 2012 lead by our Wallis DiMatteo, then continued with preparations in the final quarter of 2013, and finally the event taking place on February. Also invited were lots of sports figures and TV personalities.
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ 40th Birthday Party – Another event with tons of celebrities. The funniest part was seeing P. Diddy doing his own setup through the whole day, moving couches around and having a blast.