Art of the Party

The Pérez Art Museum Miami raised more than $1 million at this glittering gala

By Sara Perez Webber

CATERER: STARR Catering Group

VENUE: Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

EVENT DETAILS: For the Art of the Party, an annual gala that took place on April 1 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, STARR Catering Group collaborated with a well-known chef and other vendors to create an event that combined art with food, beverage, decor and fashion. This year, Chef Michael Schwartz from the Genuine Hospitality Group served as executive chef alongside Aaron Janus of STARR Catering Group.

The highly anticipated evening, conceptualized by Lee Brian Schrager, featured three exclusive experiences—the Chef’s Table seated dinner, the Supper Club lounge, and the Remix after-party. At the Chef’s Table, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans celebrated Lorna Simpson, an acclaimed conceptual photographer and painter. Simultaneously in the museum’s second-floor special exhibition galleries, Supper Club partygoers enjoyed live musical sets by DJ Phaxas and interactive art stations, including a virtual reality painting activation, portrait artists and a photo booth. The evening culminated with the Remix after-party, a vibrant dance club, with a dessert extravaganza, featuring specialties by such local favorites as Azucar Ice Cream and Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop.

Always Flowers and Events in Miami created the gala’s centerpieces with green and white florals—including super parrot tulips, hydrangeas, daffodils, amaryllis, viburnum and begonia leaves—in cement vases mixed with glass bowls, as well as succulent gardens in glass cloches atop glass pedestals.

The event attracted more than 1,000 guests—its highest attendance ever—and raised more than $1.1 million for the museum’s robust education system. “This event is very meaningful for us because of our love for the museum and support of its fundraising goals,” says Adelee Cabrera, regional director of STARR Catering Group.

MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Both the Chef’s Table and the Supper Club featured such tray-passed hors d’oeuvres as shrimp toast “banh mi,” crispy lamb rillettes, and charred octopus skewers. Guests at the Chef’s Table could nibble from a Pizza Bar cocktail station, as well as the Michael’s Snacks station, with such options as deviled eggs, onion dip with homemade potato chips, and chicken liver crostini. Appetizers were poached royal red shrimp salad and green asparagus risotto, while beets smoked, shaved and roasted in a salad with robiola, pistachio and baby mustard greens served as the second course. Entrees at the Chef’s Table included slow-roasted and grilled short rib, mahogany black cod, brick chicken and seven-vegetable couscous, followed by a dessert of mini chocolate cremoso. The Supper Club featured three small plates stations—Of the Land, with slow-roasted and grilled short rib, and crispy sweet and spicy pork belly; From the Sea, with roasted whole local fish lettuce wraps, and mahogany black cod; and Of the Earth, with roasted vegetables and calabaza agnolotti.

THE BEST-LAID PLANS: “Throughout the day, there was a threat of rain, and the radar showed potential rain around the start of the event,” says Cabrera. “Our team was prepared to move tables and decor under the covered area. Luckily, the rain held off, and the event was a complete success.”

Have a good candidate for Event Spotlight? Send details to Catering’s editor, Sara Webber (sara@cateringmagazine.com).