FEBRUARY FOOD FESTIVAL: POTATOES

We all love potatoes, and they’re a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They’re also the perfect vessels for delicious flavors, including our Kelewele Spice Mix developed by Chef Daniel Sokolov. Kelewele is a popular food from Ghana made of fried plantains and seasoned with spices including ginger, garlic, onion, cayenne, nutmeg, and anise. This savory dish is often served alongside stews, although it’s delicious on its own as a snack.

Chef Daniel Sokolov has adapted the recipe from our Pan-African Station and made it available to the home cook. Here he suggests using it to season a roasted potato dish, but it would be a delicious seasoning for almost anything from vegetables to proteins including shrimp, chicken, and tofu.

Kelewele-Spiced Roasted Potato Wedges with Citrus Yogurt Sauce​

by Daniel Sokolov, Research & Development Chef

INGREDIENTS

For Potatoes

  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp GP kelewele spice blend
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

For Citrus Yogurt Sauce

  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt (or vegan yogurt)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

For Potatoes

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Toss the potato wedges with olive oil, spices, and salt. Add to pan in a single layer and roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
  3. Remove from pan, garnish with mint, basil, and pickled onions, and serve immediately.

 

For Citrus Yogurt Sauce

  1. Combine sauce ingredients and mix well until smooth and well combined. Serve with kelewele-spiced potatoes.

More Food Festival Recipes

Winter Reflections from Katchkie Farm

By Jon Ronsani

If I could give a picture of a farming season it would be akin to a voyage out to sea. Once we set sail, there is no turning back. To quote the old English poem “The Seafarer”

 

True is the tale that I tell of my travels
Sing of my seafaring sorrow and woes
Hunger and hardship’s heaviest burdens
Tempest and terrible toil of the deep
Daily I’ve born on the deck of my boat”
Then one day “land ho.”

 

Winter is here and we get to dock our metaphorical boat. The rains, droughts, and long days are but distant memories. At that point, they seem more like wise teachers than “hardship’s heaviest burdens.”

 

The main work on the farm during the shorter days is spent creating the plan for the upcoming growing season which is no small task. The crop plan and outcome of the previous season is reviewed. Changes and improvements are noted and will be put into the upcoming growing season. Then, the big question of what the farm is growing and for whom has to be answered. The answer to this question drives the whole shape of the farm for the upcoming year. If we were growing tomatoes for canning and U pick pumpkins, the plan would be very different than it would if we were growing 50 different crops harvested over 22 weeks for a CSA. In general, the more diverse the range of crops, the more nuanced the management must be. Answering all questions from the number of plants needed, projected yield, crop revenue, needed yield, seeding dates, nutrient needs, field preparation, harvest dates, crop rotations, distribution and labor needs for each crop is what creates the plan. The aforementioned plan is essential, but this is one part of the farmer’s work in winter.

 

I tend to think that some of the most important work of the farmer happens in the longer nights of winter. This is the time that the farmer can rekindle their love with farming and the farm. For me this happens in many ways. One is while spending more time with the family. Children have such a unique way of doing any task. This can be eating dinner, drawing, painting, playing board games, and building, among other things. They are not so concerned with the “rules” as they are with fully immersing themselves in what they are doing. This really reminds me not to connect with solely the plan of the farm, but to also connect with why I made the plan. Children also have such an innate sense of wonder that is very inspiring as well.

 

Farming is full of natural processes that I could chemically explain, but if you asked me with that knowledge to make a leaf of lettuce, I would be completely at a loss. I would still need a lettuce seed to make that leaf of lettuce. Reconnecting with that sense of wonder is so essential for me. Experiencing that sense in my children also inspires me to look at the farm in a different way during the day.

 

While I walk around the fields in the winter, I cannot help but wonder what is slumbering under the soils and what shape the fields will take as they start to grow our food. Looking at the snow-covered fields is really like looking at a blank canvas. Crop by crop, the fields will become full again creating a new composition unique to each season. Those long winter nights are also the perfect time to study agriculture. I had recently come across what the farmers of the ancient Persian empire studied. They studied mathematics, art, music, astronomy, and medicine. I have to admit that my depth of knowledge does not go that far, but delving into some of the great works of literature or study of the stars is something that can only be savored in the winter nights.

 

After about two months of this kind of this nourishment, it is time to set sail for another voyage and start the season again. I do have to say that with each voyage the breadth of vision is a little wider and the ups and downs of the farming season are easier to navigate.

EXCITING EVENTS AROUND NEW YORK: FEBRUARY 2024

By Great Performances

Explore Great Music, Art and More at Our Partner Venues This Month!

The Apollo Theater's soundstage can be rented to host your special event

APOLLO MUSIC CAFÉ

Location: Apollo’s Soundstage

Tickets: $30 (Plus $10 food and beverage minimum)

Perfect for date night, or a night out with friends, the Apollo Music Café series has served as a launching pad for numerous artists including Grammy winners PJ Morton and Samara Joy showcasing their unique artistry in an intimate nightclub setting. The series features diverse performances across a myriad of genres (R&B, hip-hop, soul, jazz, latin, pop, funk and rock) and showcases artists drawn from the independent music scene who are making their mark in the industry.

BLAKLEY – Friday, February 2nd at 10:00pm

Blakley’s soulful voice captures your heart at the rise and fall of every note, mesmerizing audiences and musical tastemakers alike. Grammy Award-winning producer Adam Blackstone calls him one of his favorite vocalists. After making the ABC’s Boy Band finale and forming the 4th Avenue band with fellow contestants– this hopeless romantic steps into the spotlight for a night of ballads on our intimate Soundstage.

WÉ ANI – Saturday, February 3rd at 10:00pm

Join us as we welcome this Harlem native, Amateur Night alum and American Idol 2023 contestant home for an intimate night on our Soundstage!

RIP MICHEALS LIVE “DID I GO TOO FAR”?

Friday, February 23rd at 8:00pm

Location: Apollo’s Historic Theater

Tickets: start at $45.20

Rip Micheals brings the Did I Go Too Far comedy show to The Apollo live on February 23, 2023. Featuring music by DJ Self.

Click here to learn more

LEO BAR HAPPY HOUR

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Asia Society!

Friday, February 9th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Tickets: $20 which includes one drink

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with an evening of cocktails and music from DJ Kai Song on Friday, February 9 from 5:30 to 8 PM. Enjoy the gorgeous Garden Court as you ring in the Year of the Dragon, mingle with friends, and make new connections at Asia Society!

Bo Law Kung Fu will perform a lion dance, and there will be fortune telling stations with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith, authors of the Pocket Chinese Almanac. There will also be an opportunity to watch “Reimagined Volume II: Mahal”, a virtual reality animated film directed by award-winning creator Michaela Ternasky-Holland.

Click here to learn more

COAL + ICE installation view of David Breashears's Mount Everest, Main Rongbuk Glacier, Tibet, China, 2007. Photograph by Leah Thompson

NEW EXHIBITION: COAL + ICE

Tuesday, February 13th through Sunday, August 11th

Asia Society is proud to present COAL + ICE, an immersive photography and video exhibition accompanied by a series of related programs. COAL + ICE visualizes the causes and consequences of the climate crisis and foregrounds creative solutions.

Throughout the run of the exhibition, climate change will take center stage at Asia Society, including speaker events, performances, films, and more. Asia Society has joined forces with a network of partner organizations across New York City’s five boroughs to concurrently present exhibitions and events, expanding the conversation to inspire deeper engagement on how the climate crisis affects our global and local communities.

COAL + ICE is co-curated by Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas and international exhibition designer Jeroen de Vries, and led by Orville Schell, Asia Society Vice President and Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

Click here to learn more

HOMAGE TO THE EARTH:

ABIGAIL WASHBURN, MARTHA REDBONE, AND JEN SHYU

Wednesday, February 14th from 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Tickets: $30 Nonmembers, $20 Members. Students/Seniors: Contact Box Office for Discount!

Homage to the Earth: Abigail Washburn, Martha Redbone and Jen Shyu is presented on occasion of the opening of Asia Society’s COAL + ICE, a festival of culture to inspire action on climate change. COAL + ICE is on view Wednesday, February 14, 2024 until 7:30 p.m. at the Asia Society Museum.

An extraordinary group of musicians, traversing traditions from classical to folk, come together for the first time ever in a collaborative evening of musical reverence for nature, driven by the urgency to defend life on our planet. Global musical styles find a common voice that highlights the humanizing quality of music and our relationship to our ancestors. Abigail Washburn, Martha Redbone, and Jen Shyu join forces and voices for this homage to the earth.

Click here to learn more

OUR CLASS

Friday, January 12th through Sunday, February 11th

Location: BAM Fisher, Fishman Space

Tickets: start at $59

MART FOUNDATION & ARLEKIN PLAYERS PRESENT
OUR CLASS

WRITTEN BY TADEUSZ SŁOBODZIANEK
DIRECTED BY IGOR GOLYAK
ADAPTATION BY NORMAN ALLEN

Featuring: Gus Birney, Andrey Burkovskiy, Jack DiFalco, José Espinosa, Tess Goldwyn, Will Manning, Stephen Ochsner, Alexandra Silber, Richard Topol and Ilia Volok.

Friends. Enemies. Classmates. Based on the true story

Ten Polish classmates — five Jewish and five Catholic — grow up as friends and neighbors, then turn on one another with life and death consequences. Inspired by real life events surrounding a horrific 1941 pogrom in a small Polish village, this shocking, timely story follows their lives from childhood through eight decades in a new contemporary production of Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s masterpiece, from Ukrainian-born Jewish director Igor Golyak (The Orchard; State vs. Natasha Banina).

Click here to learn more

BARK OF MILLIONS

Monday, February 5th through Saturday, February 10th

Location: BAM Strong, Harvey Theater

Tickets: start at $35

BAM, Onassis USA and Pomegranate Arts
Present

Bark of Millions
Lyrics and direction by Taylor Mac
Music and musical direction by Matt Ray
Part of Winter/Spring 2024

A powerhouse collective of international artists ignite an electrifying collision of performance, live music, and drag spectacle in the latest from theater-making renegades Taylor Mac, Matt Ray, and Machine Dazzle. The team unleashes their creativity in a rock opera meditation on queerness, featuring 55 original songs by Mac and Ray and a bevy of costumes by Dazzle. With the fierce elation of a pride parade, Bark of Millions is a luxuriant, provocative spectacle unlike any other.

From the award-winning creative and producing teams behind A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, this joyous epic is both a celebration of and a gift to the queer canon, expanding the archive for generations to come.

With Ari Folman-Cohen, Bernice “Boom Boom” Brooks, Chris Giarmo, Dana Lyn, El Beh, Greg Glassman, Jack Fuller (Vocal Captain), Joel E. Mateo, Jules Skloot, Le Gateau Chocolat, Lisa “Paz” Parrott, Machine Dazzle, Mama Alto, Marika Hughes, Matt Ray, Sean Donovan (Associate Choreographer), Steffanie Christi’an, Stephen Quinn, Taylor Mac, Thornetta Davis, Viva DeConcini, and Wes Olivier.

Click here to learn more

Sunday Art: Lunar New Year, 2022. (Photo: Elena Olivo)

SUNDAY ART: LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

January 14th through February 18th

Tickets: free with Museum admission

Bring the family to this free drop-in program celebrating Lunar New Year. We’ll create art inspired by the collection and enjoy a lion dance performance by the Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club.

Locations
February 11: Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
February 18: Porcelains in the Mist: The Kondō Family of Ceramicists, 2nd Floor

Click here to learn more

Brooklyn-Museum_Poetry_Reading_Supa_Dupa_Fresh_20211006_PUB_086_Kolin_Mendez_Photography_086-8522-General_Use_JPEG_600_400
Mahogany L. Browne reading at the Brooklyn Museum, 2021. (Photo: Kolin Mendez)

BROOKLYN POETRY SLAM

Thursday, February 29th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion, 1st Floor

Register in advance and pay as you wish (suggested admission: $10).

Celebrate Brooklyn Poetry Slam’s tenth year! Amplify the voices of Brooklyn at a series of pay-what-you-can slams, presented by poets and cofounders Mahogany L. Browne and DJ Jive Poetic. Come to listen to poets, or arrive early to sign up if you’d like to join the slam (limited availability).

Brooklyn Poetry Slam rules

  • Brooklyn Poetry Slam is a two-round performance poetry competition.
  • Each poet is given three minutes to read their own original work (no props or accompaniments).
  • The top five poets from the first round advance to the second round.
  • Five random judges from the audience score each round on a scale of 0–10. The highest and lowest scores for each poet are dropped each round. The poet with the highest cumulative score is the winner.

Click here to learn more

IVALAS QUARTET

2022–23 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence

Sunday, February 25th at 2:00pm

Tickets: start at $30

The final concert in the Ivalas Quartet’s 2022–23 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residency, postponed from June 2023, represents their ongoing commitment to showcasing diverse voices. Their program, spotlighting Black and indigenous composers, includes a world premiere by Derrick Skye, a composer with Ghanaian, Nigerian, Native American, and British/Irish ancestry who believes music is a doorway into understanding other cultures.

Click here to learn more

FAT TUESDAY WITH ALPHONSO HORNE & THE GOTHAM KINGS

Tuesday, February 13th at 7:00pm

Tickets: start at $20

Trumpet player and irrepressible band leader Alphonso Horne leads this high-octane outfit inspired by the music of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. Gotham Kings engages the virtuosity of Louis Armstrong and innovative genius of King Oliver to invite audiences into an immersive sound chamber that transmits rags, stomps, shouts, and funk. This high energy set celebrates the legacy of Mardi Gras with a dynamic band and repertoire that bonds past, present, and future.

Click here to learn more

DIZZY’S VALENTINE’S DAY,

WITH MORGAN JAMES

Wednesday, February 14th at 7:00pm

Tickets: start at $225

Dizzy’s Club welcomes back a beloved Valentine’s Day tradition: an evening with Morgan James. The award-winning singer and songwriter shares her imaginative storytelling and theatrical presence in an intimate performance for friends and lovers alike. Alongside music from her acclaimed 2023 release Nobody’s Fool, she presents acoustic interpretations of repertoire from iconic artists like Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, and Otis Redding. Says the magnetic artist, “This music is me: classic elements, timeless melodies, and lyrics from my soul and experience. We need that right now.”

Click here to learn more

MASTERS OF FORM: DUKE, JELLY ROLL, AND MINGUS THE JLCO WITH WYNTON MARSALIS WITH SPECIAL GUEST ANDY FARBER

Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd

Location: Rose Theater

Tickets: start at $40.50

ABOUT THE CONCERT

Just like buildings, songs have structure—and the forms they take affect us in powerful ways we may not always understand. Music-directed by trombonist Vincent Gardner, this Rose Theater event featuring the JLCO honors three distinct but equally innovative masters of form: Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and Charles Mingus.

Each composer experimented with the boundaries of jazz, tinkering with formal elements like melody, harmony, and time to summon the sublime. Similarly, the immortal Frank Lloyd Wright transformed how we relate to the structures in which we live—and so, special guest Andy Farber premieres his ambitious new work Usonian Structures to honor the influential architect. Part of the Ertegun Jazz Concert Series.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • The JLCO tackles the music of three jazz giants and explores the meaning of musical form.
  • Special guest Andy Farber premieres Usonian Structures – a work inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Music directed by Vincent Gardner.
  • A pre-concert lecture precedes each performance at 7pm.

Click here to learn more

DIANNE REEVES: LOVESTRUCK

Friday, February 16th and Saturday, February 17th

Location: Rose Theater

Tickets: start at $40.50

ABOUT THE CONCERT

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s most romantic tradition returns to the Rose Theater just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves leads her all-star quintet, sharing songs of rapture and anguish, of romance and heartbreak—all in celebration of that mysterious force we call love.

Expect cherished standards and surprise repertoire delivered by an expert song interpreter and supreme vocalist whose approach to melody and phrasing is as skilled as it is spontaneous. Don’t miss this mid-season favorite.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • A Valentine’s Day tradition by the masterful vocalist.
  • Featuring Dianne Reeves’ acclaimed quartet.
  • Expect old standards and surprise repertoire.

Click here to learn more

FIRST FRIDAY

Friday, February 2nd from 10:00am to 9:00pm

Tickets: FREE!

Join Poster House on the First Friday of every month for free admission and extended hours! Explore the museum’s latest exhibitions and get in on the fun by attending a tour, workshop, performance, or activity throughout the day. Every First Friday is different, offering unique opportunities to engage with rotating exhibitions and the permanent collection. Every First Friday is different–check back soon for a complete list of activities.

Live Letterpress Printing $10 1-7pm

Recycled Bookbinding workshop: $20 2-3:30

Art Deco curatorial tour: 4pm

Gettin’ Fishy with Miss Toto: Drag & Tag Presentation and Performance 6:30pm

Songs From If This Be Sin, a Musical by Kirya Traber & Sissi Liu 7:15pm

Click here to learn more

BIODYNAMIC BOUNTY: ECO-CONSCIOUS WINE TASTING & TOUR

Thursday, February 8th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Tickets: $45

Reflecting on the ongoing environmental crises can lead to despair, but it’s not all doom and gloom! Industries around the globe are finding ways to adapt and reduce their environmental impact every day, including the wine industry. Join Joel Schott of Skurnik Wines to discover how vineyards are developing sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact while still creating delicious wines. Learn about the differences between organic, natural, and biodynamic wines while tasting examples of each. Along the way, join curator Tim Medland for a tour of the exhibition We Tried to Warn You! Environmental Crisis Posters, 1970–2020. Select wines will be available for purchase at the end of the evening.

Click here to learn more

Photo: Joshua Bright

SOOTHING WINTER SOAPS WORKSHOP

Sunday, February 11th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Wave Hill House

Tickets: $65, including admission to the grounds. Wave Hill Members save 10%

Make your own cold-processed soap with Melissa Rivera of Holistic Energy Healing. Each batch is made from all natural ingredients, including fragrance and essential oils that soothe winter-weary skin and have an amazing scent! Go home with a full pound of homemade soap, enough for several bars to keep or share. Participants will work in small groups. Winter Haven event.

Click here to learn more

Photo: Adrianna Tan

CHROMIC DUO

Sunday, February 25th from 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Armor Hall

Tickets: $30 Adult/$16 Student with ID/$14 Child (8-18), including admission to the grounds. Advance tickets $2 off. Wave Hill Members save 10%

With their unique blend of toy piano, electronics, and multimedia, Chromic Duo— comprised of award-winning pianists Lucy Yao and Dorothy Chan—present Room of Oceans, a program that ruminates on the question: How can we create moments of connection and empathy? Featuring pieces inspired by nature, Chromic invites audiences to reflect on their current state of being, believing that by slowing down and looking at the smallest objects of the everyday, “we can uncover truths and reimagine how we connect with each other.”

This concert is part of “Roots and Branches,” Wave Hill’s indoor concert series featuring artists from across musical disciplines, exploring how traditions and heritage inspire musical exploration and growth. Explore more Roots and Branches concerts here.

Click here to learn more

ICE SEASON RETURNS!

now through March, 15th, 2024

Wollman Rink NYC in iconic Central Park will open for ice skating daily from Saturday, October 28th, 2023 to March 15, 2024.

Don’t miss your chance to skate at Wollman Rink NYC, the perfect place to enjoy an iconic New York experience!

Tickets on sale now!

Click here to learn more

RINK SIDE IGLOOS

now through March 15th, 2024

Elevate your skating experience at Wollman Rink inside our cozy, private, heated Rink Side igloos, under the Midtown Manhattan skyline in Central Park. Both of our transparent igloos feature an electric fireplace, soft lighting, and comfy seating for eight, as well as delicious food and beverage options.

Click here to learn more

EXCITING EVENTS AROUND THE BRONX: FEBRUARY 2024

By Great Performances

Explore exciting community events around the Bronx this month.

BRONX CALLING

THE SIXTH AIM BIENNIAL

Part I: January 26 – March 31, 2024
Part II: April 12 – June 16, 2024

Bronx Calling: The Sixth AIM Biennial features 53 emerging artists who have participated in The Bronx Museum’s flagship artist professional development program from years 2020 through 2023. Since 1980, The Bronx Museum has supported New York’s artist community through its Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) Fellowship, which has provided pivotal career support to a diverse roster of over 1,200 of New York’s most promising artists. Themes addressed in this two-part exhibition include contemporary and critical issues, such as capitalism and colonialism, as well as speculative futures.

The Sixth AIM Biennial is curated by Eileen Jeng Lynch, Director of Curatorial Programs.

Click here to learn more

SKETCHY SATURDAYS

Saturday, February 10th, 2024 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm

FREE!

Interested in Drawing?

Come express yourself through a variety of drawing exercises, games and techniques.

Take inspiration from our current exhibitions and receive guidance from talented teaching artists.

Explore and challenge your art skills through a selection of mediums and materials.

No previous art experience needed. For All ages!

Come join us and Let’s Get sketchy at the BxArts Factory!”

Click here to learn more

WINTER WORK DAY AT THE FOODWAY

Saturday, February 17th from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Concrete Plant Park

Come lend a hand at the Bronx River Foodway Saturday, February 17th from 10a-12p!

Learn how to prune plants and help us lay mulch.

All planting materials and equipment will be provided. Please wear clothing appropriate for outdoor weather and gardening/cleaning activities.

Click here to learn more

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: HERBAL BREWS, HUES AND MAYA ANGELOU

Sunday, February 11th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Crotona Nature Center

Celebrate Black History Month with NYC Parks! Enjoy a heartwarming cup of tea along with poetry by Maya Angelou, and create your own written or visual masterpiece to bestow on your beloved.

Click here to learn more

FULL MOON FESTIVAL LANTERN CRAFT

Sunday, February 25th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Crotona Nature Center

Learn about the relationship between the full moon and lantern festivals while making your own lantern!

Click here to learn more

ONE BOOK ON BRONX

GIOVANNI’S ROOM BY JAMES BALDWIN

Tuesdays, 7-8:30p: Feb 6, 13, 20, & 27 on Zoom

Saturdays, 12-1:30p: Feb 3, 11*, 17, 24, & Mar 2
The Bronx Museum, 1040 Grand Concourse

ONE BOOK ONE BRONX READS GIOVANNI’S ROOM

James Baldwin’s controversial novel has brought forth complex discussions surrounding a multitude of issues, including representations of homosexuality, bisexuality, and struggles with internalized homophobia. Alongside these prevalent discourses, the novel also raises concepts of social alienation, identity, masculinity, and manhood in the public eye.

James Baldwin at 100 encompasses discussions, panels, screenings, and exhibitions focusing on a wide array of literary works and ideas. Collaborators include The Bronx Museum, The Bronx Music Heritage Center, BronxArtSpace, the James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center, and Lehman College among others.

One Book One Bronx hosts weekly restorative conversations on a diverse selection of books. The discussions are reflective of the borough’s racial, economic, and gender demographics, and aim to build bridges for engagement while reigniting a passion for reading.

Click here to learn more

THE ORCHID SHOW:

FLORALS IN FASHION

February 17th through April 21st

Strike a pose! The Orchid Show brings the catwalk to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory in a fashion-inspired celebration of all things orchids—and we want YOU at the center of the sartorial experience. Catch the bold new designs of New York’s rising stars of the stitch with work by Collina Strada by Hillary Taymour, Dauphinette by Olivia Cheng, and FLWR PSTL by Kristen Alpaugh, fashionistas sure to create dramatic, picture-perfect floral displays at the Garden that always capture the orchid’s good side. This is your chance to “walk the runway” and show off your own personal flare, your love for orchids, and your fashion-forward connections to the natural world. Because florals are always en vogue at NYBG.

Click here to learn more

THE ORCHID DINNER 2024

Thursday, February 22nd at 6:30pm

Location: The Plaza Hotel

The New York Botanical Garden will host one of the most enchanting events of the winter season, The Orchid Dinner, at The Plaza Hotel on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

Known for its wondrous and inventive orchid centerpieces, The Orchid Dinner will celebrate the Garden’s fashion-forward The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion. Guests are invited to enjoy cocktails and a sale of exceptional and rare orchids carefully selected by NYBG’s curators followed by an elegant dinner and dancing.

Proceeds from The Orchid Dinner support the Garden’s global plant research and conservation initiatives, and programs in horticulture and education for all ages—all to help protect the Earth’s biodiversity.

Click here to learn more

KIDS WEEK

Even when school’s out, our parks are still the city’s natural classroom! Bring your kids to parks throughout the city for Kids Week during mid-winter recess. With programs led by our Urban Park Rangers, kids will get to experience nature in a hands-on and fun way.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday, February 20th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Join the Urban Park Rangers on a fun nature scavenger hunt!

Birding for Kids

Friday, February 23rd from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Bird watching can be fun, especially during the winter season. Learn all about different ways to identify birds in our parks.

WINTER MUSHROOM ID HIKE

Saturday, February 24th from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Section 2 Orchard Beach

While plants enjoy their winter’s sleep, many fungi are active in our parks! Join the Urban Park Rangers on a hike through Hunter Island to explore seasonal mushrooms.

Click here to learn more

BIRDING: BALD EAGLE WATCH

Saturday, February 3rd from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Palisade Avenue and Spaulding Lane in Riverdale Park

New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots. Winter is a spectacular time for observing bald eagles in New York City parks. See if you can spot any on this adventure with our Urban Park Rangers. Please dress warmly and wear comfortable footwear.

Click here to learn more

SETON FALLS PARKS FOREST RESTORATION

Saturday, February 17th from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Entrance – East 233rd Street and Baychester Avenue

Volunteer with the Stewardship Team to protect the forested areas in Seton Falls Park! Volunteers will contribute to ongoing restoration work and learn the importance of species diversity to ecosystem health. Come dressed in sturdy boots or shoes, long sleeves, long pants, and clothing that can get dirty. Face masks may be worn at your discretion. Space is limited and registration is required. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone. This event has been funded in part by NYC Service.

Click here to learn more

THE SOUNDVIEW GARDENER’S CLUB

every Tuesday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: Soundview Field House – 1550 Lafayette Avenue, Bronx

The Soundview Gardener’s Club is a space where After-School students from local schools and community volunteers come together to clear invasive plants, plant trees/native plants, and spread mulch as part of our forest restoration efforts in Soundview Park in The Bronx.

Click here to learn more

NYRR OPEN RUN: SOUNDVIEW PARK

every Saturday from 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Entrance – Lafayette Avenue and Morrison Avenue

NYRR Open Run brings free, 5K weekly community-led runs, to neighborhood parks across the greater New York City area. The program is free and open to runners and walkers of all ages, abilities, and experience levels.

Called the “Gateway to the Bronx River,” 205-acre Soundview Park is located where the Bronx River opens into the East River. This urban green space is filled with grassy baseball and soccer fields, a cricket pitch, basketball courts, a running track, walking/biking paths, picnic fields, and more! With its extensive views of the water, Soundview Park celebrates the beauty of both the Bronx and East Rivers. The back part of our Open Run course has beautiful views of the Bronx River waterfront for participants to enjoy!

Click here to learn more

NYRR OPEN RUN: ST. MARY’S PARK

every Saturday from 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: St. Mary’s Annual 5K Start, East 149th and Eagle Ave

NYRR Open Run brings free, 5K weekly community-led runs, to neighborhood parks across the greater New York City area. The program is free and open to runners and walkers of all ages, abilities, and experience levels.

St. Mary’s Park offers a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Located in the Mott Haven neighborhood in the South Bronx, the park features rolling hills, expanses of green grass, and grand old trees. The site was once part of the estate of Jonas Bronck (1600-43), for whom the Bronx is named. It is one of the largest parks in the area with a pool, playground, basketball courts, an indoor recreation center, picnic seating areas, and more. In the winter, the hills are perfect for sledding. St. Mary’s Park received $30 million from NYC’s Anchor Parks initiative, which will renovate the park’s ballfields, pathways, and amphitheater.

Click here to learn more

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: SCIENCE FICTION STORYTELLING HIKE

Sunday, February 18th from 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Location: Van Cortlandt Nature Center

Celebrate Black History Month with NYC Parks! Explore the connection between the natural world and science fiction with this storytelling hike and fire-side chat. Listen to the works of Octavia Butler while walking the trails at dusk. Afterwards, cozy up to the fire and share your thoughts!

Click here to learn more

VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS HOLIDAY WORKSHOP

Sunday, February 11th from 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Location: Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center

Join Williamsbridge Oval for DIY Crafts for children. This fun do-it yourself, Valentines’ arts and crafts program teaches how to create projects.

Click here to learn more

Did you know that Great Performances is headquartered in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx? We love being a part of the Bronx community, supporting other Bronx-based companies, and giving back to our community.

Read more about it here.

JANUARY FOOD FESTIVAL: EMBRACE HOT SPICES AND SEASONINGS

Hot spices and seasonings add a new dimension to meals, in addition to having many health benefits.

Spicy ingredients include red pepper flakes, paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, curry powder, black pepper, harissa, and hot sauces and are incredibly versatile. From sweets (cinnamon hot chocolate?) to savory dishes, spicy ingredients can transform a dish.

This month we’re sharing a recipe for chili seasonings that you can prepare in advance and keep in an airtight container for the times you want to add a little extra heat and flavor to soups, stews, and other dishes. We love it in Chef Andrew’s Vegan Chili – perfect for Veganuary!

Vegan Chili Recipe

by Andrew Smith, Culinary Director

INGREDIENTS

Chili Seasoning

  • salt
  • chili powder
  • granulated onion
  • granulated garlic
  • cumin

Chili

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 3 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Brooklyn lager
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Seasoning

PROCEDURE

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed, 6 qt pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sweat till onions have become translucent.
  2. Add seasoning mix and stir till fragrant.
  3. Deglaze with beer, scraping up fond and stirring until reduced to au sec (nearly dry), then add stock, tomatoes, and black beans.
  4. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about one hour or until liquids have reduced to chili-like consistency.
  5. Season to taste and remove from heat. Serve with your favorite chili garnishes.

More Food Festival Recipes

CELEBRATING CREATIVITY: THE 2023 GREAT PERFORMANCES ARTIST FELLOWSHIP AWARDS WINNERS

By Great Performances

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of our 2023 Great Performances Artist Fellowship Awards.

On Tuesday, December 12, we unveiled the winners at a ceremony held at our own Mae Mae Café and Plant Shop in the Bronx. The awards, four $5,000 grants, were presented to members of our staff to help foster their artistic dreams and pursue their creative careers.

The Awardees and Their Inspiring Projects

Jonathan Lauture: Igniting Imagination Through Music

Lauture, inspired by the birth of his son and his background in music production, founded Johnny’s Way—a children’s media company. His animated YouTube series educates and entertains kids through music, and he has plans to expand the series, publish a second children’s book, and enhance the brand’s visibility.

 

Check out his first book here

 

Check out Jonny’s Way youtube channel:

Aubrey Hunt: Flight of Lessons, Self-Love, and Healing

Hunt’s project takes flight from an awe-inspiring moment during a Jazz at Lincoln Center event. Observing a flock of pigeons, he was inspired to create a book about life lessons, self-love, and healing. The grant will support collaboration with a professional writer and illustrator for digital and print publication.

Iyana Shelby: Art You Can Feel: Navigating Grief Through Multimedia

Shelby’s project, “Art You Can Feel,” emerged from the profound loss of her mother during the pandemic. It explores the tapestry of human emotions through a multimedia art display, capturing the collective journey of processing grief. The grant will cover outreach, marketing, art creation, and eventual presentation.

Amir Windley: Ties That Choke: Exploring Childhood Friendships on Film

A former aspiring actor turned director, Windley harnessed his creativity and experience for a project, “Ties That Choke,” that delves into the unbreakable bond of childhood friendships. Having won Best Director in the Film Connection program’s 48-hour film challenge, the grant will support the creation of this compelling narrative.

 

Check out some of Amir Windley’s work:

The judging panel consisted of esteemed figures from prestigious cultural entities from across New York:

 

  • Heather Lubov, executive director, City Parks Foundation
  • Viviana Bianchi, executive director, The Bronx Council of the Arts
  • Angela Vallot, consultant, Entrepreneur
  • Klaudio Rodriguez, executive director, The Bronx Museum of the Arts

The Great Performances Artist Fellowship Awards serves as a testament to GP’s enduring mission to empower individuals in the arts. We look forward to following these talented individuals as they pursue their creative dreams and seeing the impact of the grant. Our commitment to supporting the arts remains at the core of our values, echoing our roots in providing flexible, part-time employment to support people’s artistic careers.

 

For past winners, please follow the link here.

A DELICIOUS COLLABORATION: GREAT PERFORMANCES X MOMOFUKU

By Great Performances

Great Performances and Momofuku have partnered to offer an exclusive selection of Momofuku classics, inspired by the critically acclaimed dishes from across Momofuku’s collection of restaurants.

New York City is a food lover’s and a food explorer’s dream, offering an incredible array of cuisines and flavors. Through our People’s Kitchen program at Great Performances, we’ve worked to showcase the delicious diversity of New York City flavors by partnering with restaurants and chefs to bring their food to our cafes, our events, and to your tables.

Our latest and most exciting partnership to date is with Momofuku, the iconic restaurant founded by David Chang in 2004. Working closely with the team at Momofuku, we’ve learned their recipes and crafted a station full of mouthwatering—and sometimes mouth-tingling—flavors that are sure to be a hit at any event.

Liz Neumark, our CEO and Founder, shares, “Momofuku represents the energetic and constantly evolving spirit of New York. Bringing that spirit to our guests is a fabulous opportunity to expand our offerings while giving Momofuku a way to come to the party!”

The Menu

Raw Bar

  • Oysters with Kombu Mignonette, Kimchi Vinegar
  • Jonah Crab Claws with Yuzu Mayo
  • Poached Shrimp Cocktail with Momofuku Cocktail Sauce

Kimbap

all include a base with sushi rice, nori, oshinko, cucumber, avocado, spinach, yamagubo

  • Spicy Tuna
  • Spicy Scallop
  • Ginger Scallion Bass

Bing Bread & Dips

Momofuku’s signature Bing Bread recipe served with the following Dips:

  • Cultured Butter with Caviar
  • Cultured Butter with Honey & Truffle
  • Tingly Lamb with Mint & Sichuan Peppercorn
  • Smoked Eggplant with Pine Nuts

Bao Buns

  • Pork Belly with Hoisin, Scallions, & Cucumber
  • Shiitake with Hoisin, Scallions, & Cucumber
  • Brisket with Iceberg & Pickled Onions
  • Korean Fried Chicken with White Sauce

Noodles

  • Ginger Scallion Noodles with Pickled Shiitake
  • Chilled Spicy Noodles with Sausage & Thai Basil

Rice Cakes

  • Spicy Pork with Sichuan Peppercorns & Chinese Broccoli
  • Cacio E Pepe with Winter Truffle
  • Wagyu Ragu with Sweet Soy & Jalapeno

Whether it’s a corporate gathering, a wedding celebration, or a charity event, our partnership with Momofuku elevates your experience. Imagine your guests indulging in iconic Momofuku dishes, creating lasting memories that revolve around good food and great company.

About Momofuku

Founded in 2004 by chef David Chang, Momofuku has been a trailblazer in contemporary Asian-American cuisine. With accolades like “the rise of contemporary Asian-American cuisine” by The New York Times and being named the “most important restaurant in America” by Bon Appétit magazine, Momofuku brings a touch of culinary magic to your events.

For more information on how Momofuku-designed dishes can be part of your Great Performances’ catered event, contact us today!

 

Feasting at Home: A Culinary Journey with Our Chefs

By Great Performances

One of the hallmarks of great chefs is that they don’t leave their talent, skills, and passion in the office; but rather, it’s something that is an integral part of who they are and is carried into their daily lives and the meals they create for friends and family. We saw this over the winter holidays as they shared the meals they created for their families for Christmas.

Chris Harkness, COO at Great Performances, shares the meal he created for his family, multi-course affairs that allowed him to enjoy his family as they all enjoyed the food together.

Daniel Sokolov, R&D Chef at Great Performances, created a “clean your pantry” meal for he and his wife, taking pleasure in the precision of culinary techniques and crafting a variety of small plates they enjoyed together.

The holiday season holds a special place in my heart, particularly when it comes to cooking. Bringing my family together and sharing quality time is of utmost importance to me. My approach to holiday meals involves fish on Christmas Eve and meat on Christmas Day. I prefer a straightforward plan, focusing more on sourcing high-quality ingredients than on deciding what to make.

My children—Grace (27), Chris (24), and Nick (22)—have grown up savoring my meals and experiencing various meal structures. In the past, we used to go all out with a single elaborate meal, but this left me with little time to truly connect with my loved ones. Last year, I tried a different approach by inviting Olta and her mom over for Christmas Eve. To avoid overwhelming them, I opted for a coursed-out experience with small plates throughout the evening. I fell in love with this concept and decided to repeat it this year.

My trip to the market involved selecting the freshest ingredients across all categories. Once home, I meticulously logged every item, connecting them based on what made sense to me. This process led to the creation of a menu with each course prepared on the spot. The result was an evening filled with delightful conversations, excellent wine, and five courses of festive, quick, and easy-to-prepare dishes.

While I thoroughly enjoy the art of cooking, there’s something truly special about witnessing the pleasure people derive from eating my creations. The shift from an overwhelming feast to a more relaxed, thoughtful dining experience has allowed us to focus on what truly matters—meaningful connections and shared enjoyment of good food. I look forward to continuing this tradition in future holiday celebrations, creating lasting memories for my family and guests.

My approach for Christmas dinner was to explore what we had in the fridge and pantry and clean it out rather than going shopping for new ingredients. I really enjoy culinary precision and employing a variety of culinary techniques to transform and combine ingredients into something beautiful and delicious to my highest standards.

I drew from French culinary technique and Korean and Asian-inspired meals to create a an array of dishes that we enjoy along with some cocktails that my wife created.

Individual Plates:

  • Sweet Potato Pave herbed crème fraiche, black caviar, tonburi (dried seeds of the summer cypress)
  • Potato and Leek Bisque smoked trout roe, hemp seeds, and la tia to (Vietnamese Perilla)

Shared Plates:

  • 48-hour Sous-Vide Short Rib black garlic and dark chocolate glaze, dashi blanched napa cabbage, kimchi, radish kimchi, pickled daikon
  • Homemade Mandu (Korean Dumplings) shrimp paste, spicy dashi vinegar
  • Spicy and Sweet Eggplant and Scallion passion fruit wine

WOLLMAN RINK CELEBRATES ITS THIRD SEASON WITH GREAT PERFORMANCES

By Stacy Shuster, Wollman Rink

At Great Performances, we’ve been thrilled to partner with Wollman Rink since it’s reopening three years ago. We’ve captured the spirit of New York City with our menus featured at the Cafe and through our partnership with Melba’s Cafe which operates a kiosk on the overlook.

With tempting treats from hot chocolate and a Chili Bar, we’re delighted to offer delicious and warming dishes that can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences.

Learn more about our partnership with Wollman Park Partners (WPP), a join venture between HSBE, Related Companies, and Equinox below.

 

Featured in iconic films such as Serendipity and Home Alone 2, Central Park’s Wollman Rink has become an everlasting symbol of New York City. The ice skating rink kicked off another ice season in October and welcomed tourists from across the globe to experience a picturesque holiday season in NYC.

As the venue’s food and beverage partner, Great Performances introduced skaters to a variety of new options this season to enjoy at Wollman Rink’s rinkside cafe. The latest cozy treats included a Build Your Own Chili Bar featuring vegan options and a Pasta Station with bolognese, alfredo, and a rotating chef’s special. Also new this season is the Sundae Station with a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings to create some frozen magic alongside a signature Hot Chocolate Bar for a cozy treat.

In addition to introducing new options, Great Performances brought back some fan favorites including the Wollman Smash Burger (secret sauce, cheddar cheese, pickles, potato bun), which is also available as a Vegan Smash Burger, and the classic New York Style Hot Dog with the classic toppings available all beef or vegan. To enhance some of these favorite dishes, Great Performances sourced ingredients straight from their organic farm, Katchkie Farm, to bring Thunder Pickles and Katchkie Hot Sauce to Central Park.

For upscale corporate and private events, Great Performances has introduced enhanced catering packages to be enjoyed for both full venue buyouts or intimate private events in the rinkside tents. The new catering packages include a carving station with options like a delectable filet mignon, brie fondue, artisanal cheese boards, and a raw bar with fresh seafood and sauces.

Wollman Rink is celebrating its third season of operation by Wollman Park Partners (WPP) – a joint venture between HBSE, Related Companies and Equinox. With the evolving and creative menus from Great Performances, Wollman Rink continues to serve both New Yorkers and tourists alike as a dynamic culinary destination.

UNLEASHING JOY THROUGH GENUINE HOSPITALITY: STORIES FROM THE HEART OF GREAT PERFORMANCES

By Great Performances

Last year, we updated our mission to truly reflect who we are and who we want to be as Great Performances. We are, at our very core, committed to service and creating memorable events and moments of joy for our clients and their guests. It’s how we’ve made our mark as a company, and it’s only fitting that we capture that in our mission, Unleash Joy through Genuine Hospitality.

Our Event Directors, who are the architects of joy through the events they manage, share how they’ve created moments that support our mission. Amanda DiUglio recounts a team-building event where the simple act of pizza making created community and spread joy. Jodi Smith shares a global journey through food at an unforgettable holiday party inspired by the Olympic spirit.

Read on to see how we’ve delighted our clients and their guests and created moments of joy and wonder by bringing people together around a table.

Linda Abbey, Executive Vice President

Event: “Night at the Theatre – Back to the Future
Client: Champion Charities
Location:787 Seventh Avenue

Of the 100 events catered by my team this year, the most joyful was the “Night at the Theatre” sponsored by Champion Charities.   Founded by former NFL greats, Harris Barton & Ronnie Lott, this organization raises funds to help children & families in need via their signature theatre-night events.

This year’s “Night at the Theatre” was a cocktail station party for young people & their families hosted at 787 Seventh Avenue & themed after the current Broadway musical version of “Back to the Future.”

Guests included folks from Harlem Children’s Zone, New City Kids, Bronx Lacrosse, the Innocence Project, Teach for America New York, Education Through Music & Student Sponsor Partners.

Parked outside the venue was an authentic DeLorean setting the stage for the evening ahead.

The film/musical provided built-in inspiration for crafting the menu, with hors d’oeuvres served from skateboard trays & themed food stations:

  • Under the Emerald Sea – Be There or Be Square
    • Lobster Rolls; Fish Tacos; Cole Slaw
  • Lou’s Diner – Time Travel’s Fast 1955 TV Dinner
    • Fried Chicken & Waffles; Mac ‘n Cheese; Iceberg Lettuce Salad
  • DeLorean Haystack Crash
    • Vegetarian Pizzettas & Pastas

The party culminated with guests enjoying a dramatic display of ‘vintage’ penny candy after which all 1,000 guests proceeded across the street to the Winter Garden Theatre to enjoy the actual “Back to the Future” musical.   For many, this was their first experience seeing a Broadway show. 

To cater such an impressive event for guests who normally would have no access was a privilege for this party planner.  The unbridled energy & excitement of the attendees was infectious. 

A momentous evening for both the guests & Great Performances as well.

 

Image credit: Shelby Griswold

Amanda DiUglio, Senior Event Director

Event: Team building
Client: One of America’s top private companies
Location: Watermill Center, Watermill, NY

On a picture-perfect summer day in Southampton, colleagues from one of our corporate clients convened for a day of team building. Set against the backdrop of the ocean, the 30-strong group was paired off to engage in a round-robin of activities, designed to unveil each other’s skills and strategize their way to the top of the scoreboard. Amidst the array of activities, the most cherished one turned out to be the art of pizza making. The premise was simple: each team would craft their ideal pizza using a variety of toppings ranging from crumbled sausage and caramelized onions to a variety of cheeses, farm-fresh vegetables, and even fruits. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the pizzas were proudly showcased and sampled by all teams and ranked. Then, as teams attempted to discern which pizza belonged to which team, and in true corporate fashion, a spirited rating of the top three ensued, sparking joy, camaraderie, and shared creativity.

Jodi Smith, Senior Event Director

Event: Holiday Party
Client: Rockefeller University
Location: Rockefeller University

At Rockefeller University on a frosty winter night, we unleashed joy through an unforgettable holiday celebration for our esteemed client and 1400 of their guests. The global cuisine was inspired by the Olympic Spirit, a theme that let us transcend borders to meet the requirements of an international body of staff.

From the ice bar featuring a vodka luge to the bronze, silver, gold medal cookies, this party was not just an event; it was an experience. Guests indulged in a culinary odyssey with a barbecue station sizzling with flavor and representing Atlanta, Georgia; a Brazilian churrascaria igniting their senses and representing Rio de Janeiro; the aroma of the warm spices in the Pan-African area, bringing to the taste buds the 15 nations of Africa represented in the Olympics; a European spread featuring hearty apres ski treats a la Lillehammer, and an Asian market tantalizing taste buds much like would have been enjoyed in Beijing.

Unleashing joy is not just our mission; it’s our commitment. We created an experience that felt transportive, taking guests around the world through food, fostering genuine connections and spreading the spirit of celebration. Welcome to a holiday party like no other, where the world converges, and joy knows no bounds.

Morgan Golumbuk, Senior Event Director

Event: All-Hands
Client: Moët Hennessy
Location: Center415

It is rare to execute an event that truly unleashes joy for every single person involved, but I can say with certainty that our March event for Moët Hennessy was foremost among them this year. Held at Center415 on our recommendation, the Moët Hennessy team planned an all-day all-hands event to brief their team on their upcoming commercial transformation. For our team, that meant producing a buffet breakfast, seated lunch, all day snacks, butlered hors d’oeuvres, buffet dinner, and a variety of luxury brand cocktails for (240) guests. Over the course of a quick six weeks, we combed through detail after detail, hammering out logistics and tailoring menus to pair with the client’s expansive beverage portfolio.

For the guests and staff, the joy was expressed as unbridled event day excitement; for the client herself, it was pure relief on the day prior. She and I floated adjacent to each other in the half-constructed venue space, our working setup day orbits separate but linked. I mentioned in passing that we had ordered cocktail picks for one of their tasting activations, as I hadn’t seen them on their list of catering asks but extrapolated the need from a photo of the finished drink. Her eyes widened and a huge smile broke over her face; in that moment, I knew we had established a trust that would echo throughout whatever frenzy the next day would hold. The next morning – prior to the event’s 8:00am start – I spoke to the staff, teary-eyed in my earnest declaration that these were the type of events that I had always wanted to execute: luxurious, complicated, and fruitful. While I can’t be certain that my impassioned speech impacted them, I can say with confidence that their smiles were as genuine as both mine and the client’s.

From the breakfast to the bottle parade, guests were treated to surprise after joyous, cognac-steeped surprise. Each moment we helped bring to life was another notch in our belt, and I left the venue feeling deeply joyous and fulfilled. Above all, this event made clear that unleashing true joy is never one-dimensional; it returns infinitely in every direction.

Ali Rea-Baum, Senior Event Director

Event: Wedding
Wedding Planner: Lyndsey Hamilton
Location: The Reform Club, Amagansett, NY

At this wedding, though a wedding attendant has been featured as a service we provided throughout the planning process, it wasn’t until the day of the wedding that the couple realized the sheer joy it would bring to have an attendant at their side through their night. Catherine, their wedding attendant, made sure that during the moments that the couple shared away from their guests, whether it be taking photos or having a personal moment alone, included opportunities to enjoy everything that their guests were appreciating during the day. Weddings can be a marathon of happiness and memories, but the small moments can be overlooked, and the wedding attendant makes sure that you take a moment to truly enjoy your day: that you always have a glass of water nearby, and then a drink should you want that; that you have food and snacks throughout the evening to keep you energized; and that you even can be pulled away at key times when your time is being monopolized.

Ronnie Davis, Managing Director

When first presented with these ubiquitous words as a Great Performances value, I was not certain that it captured what it is we truly do.  But then I started remembering the moments at my 2023 events that I remembered most. Whether personally serving an Artisanal Pizza to the delight of the guest of honor at a high-end birthday celebration in Connecticut (pizza is his favorite food), or watching attendees rave about a Vegan Lunch we served at the Time 100 Summit, or seeing the audience’s ecstatic applause of a Broadway Star singing to attendees at an Ellis Island Anniversary Gala, or childlike enthusiasm from a Paella Pan filled with Grilled Lobster Tails at the Alzheimer’s Association Summer Hamptons event…. those reactions all exemplify Unleash Joy” This is really the driving force behind why we do what we do.

 None have ever said it better than the great American Poet Maya Angelou:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.