Saturday, October 4, 2008

Amateur Bartending...

Last night, I volunteered at Plate by Plate, a food and wine tasting event put on by Project by Project.

PBP (as they call themselves) is a volunteer organization that does fundraising and outreach events for a different non-profit every year (hence the focus of "project by project"). Their main fundraising event is a giant tasting event where they have 30 restaurant chefs prepare tastings of signature dishes.

I volunteered to be on the marketing committee prior to the event. We helped with publicity and PR. We first updated the PBP contact list of food and Asian-American publications and general NYC event websites. Then we were each assigned a list of publications to reach out to and get our event submitted. I got the food publications and managed to get a few postings on blogs. I also used some stealthy email skills by trying to email different food journalists with different variations of their email addresses to see if I could reach them (e.g. FirstInitialLastName@newspaper, com,, etc.).

For the day of, I was a volunteer and we were assigned to first man the VIP section and then I was assigned to "Zone 3", where there were a few chef tables and the drink tables.

Prior to the start of the event, I wandered around and took some photos.

Here are the chefs setting up. The space is Skylight in Tribeca, which is a nice airy open warehouse.
In the aisles between the chef tables, there were tall club tables that were decorated with dark blue tableclothes. The centerpieces were clear vases filled with little paper fans that were taped together so they looked like silver flowers and little blue tealights.

More shots of chefs setting up...

This the back table of Morimoto's station. The dish they presented was a foie gras custard, which was super yummy and decadent (I got to taste some during my break later). They had laid out all of the custards, little garnishes, and little dabs of wasabi all ready to assemble.

There was a VIP area where I had my first shift. A snack company called Lesser Evil donated snacks and Obama/McCain posters as centerpieces for the VIP area.

During the VIP reception, we were in charge of pouring champagne and serving drinks to everyone.

During the regular event, I was stationed in Zone 3, helping clean up used plates and utensils and also covering the drink volunteers when they needed to take a break. I also was moving crates of clean glasses out and dirty glasses back in.

I got pretty good at mixing little vodka shots with juice. We had little teeny plastic clear cups that I'd fill with a couple of ice cubes and put in a third of vodka and fill the rest with juice. People loved the vodka and would come back to get shots for all of their friends.

We were right around the corner from Cake Man Raven, who made the most delicious red velvet cupcakes.

Here we are enjoying the cupcakes!
All in all, a fun and delicious evening, even though it was super tiring being a volunteer. Next year I may come as a paying guest instead. :P

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