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

Give the Gift of Culture

By Liz Neumark

What distinguishes New York as well as New Yorkers is our passion for culture, across the widest range of artistic platforms.  We are privileged to partner with the finest collection of cultural institutions.  Each organization is driven by passionate leaders, inspired artists, dedicated staff and loyal supporters.

They are family for us, and we are pleased to share them with you. 

The perfect holiday gift is one that gives back year round (a membership), brings joy to other New Yorkers (supporting a cultural initiative), enriches your life (a show, concert or performance) and doesn’t take up any space in a NY apartment!

Oh, how amazing it is that giving is the best form of getting!

Scroll below to learn more about our cultural partners and their membership options.

Bonus Gifts

A List of the Top Holiday Party Venues in New York

By Great Performances

As we approach the end of the year, we’re filled with excitement and energy. We’re full into our fall / winter event season which is capped by holiday events of all styles and sizes! We’ve seen the merriment and joy that comes from a company’s workforce come together to celebrate the successes of the past year and look forward to continued successes in the next. It’s a time for colleagues and their loved ones to mix, mingle, and reconnect – especially after the past years’ of socially distanced or video-conferenced celebrations.

Finding the right venue for your holiday party can help set the tone for your celebration. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite venues to help provide some inspiration. But, as always, feel free to reach out to us and tap the deep expertise of our event consultants to create the perfect part for you and your teams.

We’ve broken out our list into two main groups: parties for fewer than 300 people and parties for more than 300 people.

Don’t forget to read this article by Shaun Roberts detailing some of our top tips for holiday party success and give us a call! We’re here to be of service.

Top Holiday Party Venues best for parties fewer than 300 people



Another midtown favorite, the 620 Loft & Garden, the penthouse of 620 Fifth Avenue, offers the exciting combination of a city garden and downtown style loft space for your special day. This unique combination invites the opportunity for a memorable event. As the sole event in the space, all the focus will be on you and your guests. Suitable for parties up to 120 people seated or 165 standing.


Located in Upper East Side Manhattan, The Asia Society and Museum is an exceptional space that combines world-class art exhibitions, stunning architecture, and an unparalleled atmosphere – making it one of New York City’s premier event spaces. With 3 versatile spaces available for private events – the 8th Floor Banquet Hall & Conference Suite, Garden Court, and Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium- it certainly caters to any type of holiday event. Suitable for up to 250 people seated or standing.


Recognized internationally for its innovative programming of dance, music, theater, musical theater, and opera, BAM offers five unique spaces for events including an enclosed terrace, a stage, and a ballroom. It’s perfect for as few as 40 and up to 500 guests.



Glasshouse Chelsea is a unique, multi-functional venue on the 14th and 21st floors of the architecturally-acclaimed Chelsea Arts Tower in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. Floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor terrace space provide guests with spectacular views of the Hudson River, Downtown, and Midtown Manhattan. This venue is perfect for up to 200 people.



Located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park South, The Plaza has been the setting, backdrop, and star of New York’s most memorable moments — and could be the perfect location for your holiday party! Our team of event planning experts can help ensure that your holiday party at The Plaza is a joyful celebration that everyone will remember well into the new year.


We love this gem located in Chelsea. Dedicated to the history of posters, this dynamic space is a perfect location for art-minded folks who will enjoy mingling in the space while viewing both contemporary and historic, thought-provoking and conversation-starting posters.

Ready to Plan Your Event at One of the Top Holiday Party Venues in New York?



Established in 1934, the legendary Harlem Theater designated a national landmark, maintains its position as the nation’s most popular arena for emerging and established African-American and Latino performers. The Apollo has three unique spaces for you to host your event: the Mainstage, the Soundstage, and the Lobby Atrium. Overall capacity is 750 standing, 350 seated.


Located at Lincoln Center, the Big Apple Circus continues to delight and amaze guests featuring thrilling new acts from around the world and a more immersive experience than ever before. More than a show, it’s an experience you won’t ever forget! Perfect for groups from 15 to 1,600 people.


From a modern glass and steel pavilion to the grandeur of the Beaux-Arts Court, the Brooklyn Museum has a space to fit your event. Suitable for 100 to 1800 people.


Located in the Upper West Side on 59th Street and Columbus Circle, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center is the world’s first performing arts facility designed for jazz. With over 6 spaces within the venue and amazing views of Columbus Circle and Central Park South, it truly is the perfect space for an unforgettable holiday event.


Metropolitan Pavilion is a premier Manhattan special events facility offering versatile room configurations in a convenient and historic Chelsea location. A/V, wifi, private lobbies, an indoor loading dock, and a wide range of production services set it apart as an NYC event destination of distinction. Perfect for groups of up to 800 people seated or 1500 people standing.


The Museum of the City of New York’s beautifully renovated landmark building on Fifth Avenue’s iconic Museum Mile is the perfect place for special events–weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate dinners, birthday and graduation parties, and more. Suitable for up to 350 people.


The magnificent space, catering to both intimate gatherings as well as lavish extravaganzas, will lend a sense of grandeur and distinction to any occasion. This landmark building offers four classically elegant rooms for events. All event fees help to support the Library’s indispensable collections, services, and programs. Perfect for groups of up to 750 people.


TheTimesCenter, located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, is a versatile, visually stunning, state-of-the-art event venue. Designed by acclaimed architect Renzo Piano, TheTimesCenter is comprised of The Stage and The Hall, each with its own unique lobby. Suitable for up to 800 guests.


Located in the high-energy southeast end of Central Park, this iconic venue offers a quintessential New York experience on a stunning backdrop, year-round, featuring skating in the winter, warm-weather recreation and continuous special events programming. The facility is available for private and semi-private parties, complete with food and beverage service, as well as exclusive venue buyouts for special events or media, film, and commercial shoots.



By Great Performances

We set aside the second Sunday in May each year to celebrate the mothers in our lives (although really, we should celebrate them every day!) Mothers – biological mothers, chosen mothers, and mother figures – play such a significant role in our lives. From the moment we are connected, they give us unconditional love, unflagging support, and even the tough love we need to become the best version of ourselves.

As we reflect on the countless things mothers do for their children, it’s only right that we take a day to honor and celebrate them.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to celebrate the moms in our lives. From special meals that you can cook at home to fun experiences outside the home, we’ve got you covered.

Make Your Mom a Homemade Breakfast for Mother's Day

Prepare your mom’s favorite recipe for a special start to Mother’s Day! Or check out our library of breakfast and brunch recipes for inspiration. Pro tip: don’t forget to clean up afterwards!

Take Your Mom on a Special Outing for Mother's Day

From enjoying nature at Wave Hill and savoring a delicious picnic to exploring art at The Brooklyn Museum followed by a meal at The Norm, we’ve got some fun ideas for places to go and things to do with your mom.

Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Come Sunday: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Works
Featuring Joy Brown and Luther Allison

Poster House

Angel’s Share Pop-up
(Saturday, May 13)

For more events and ideas browse our list of partner events and Bronx events.

Give Your Mom a Card for Mother's Day

Check out our beautiful Mother’s Day card that you can print and fold, with plenty of space for your own special message. We even have cards that younger members of the family can personalize by coloring in.

Give the Gift of Culture

This holiday season, give the gift of culture to your loved ones by purchasing a membership for them to one of our cultural partners! Memberships provide a deeper connection to art, culture, and community. They also come with a ton of great perks including early access to tickets, ticket discounts, exclusive events, merchandise discounts, and more.

Scroll below to learn more about our cultural partners and their membership options.