Monday, May 18, 2015

A Modern Speakeasy & The Wasabi Deviled Egg

Several months ago, I had the pleasure of working with the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation to produce a fundraiser that raised money for pediatric cancer research.  It was a whirlwind project that we completed in January and it was a TOTAL success!  The event raised more than $600k to help kiddos with cancer.  In addition to giving back, this event was a grand party to celebrate the NHL team, the city of Columbus and to blow people away.  And it did.


It all took place at the Columbus Athenaeum where we created a pop-up speakeasy called The Crease, where Being Bad Does Good.  Guests entered a dark, empty lobby and gave a password to a stoic bouncer, who surreptitiously ushered them in.  Guests navigated through the backstage entrance where performers readied themselves in front of giant mirrors, vocalists warmed up, dancers practiced their moves.  There were even a few sharks playing cards before their debut on stage.  This greeting was definitely not what guests expected.  It set the perfect stage for a night of wonder, disbelief and whimsy.

Guests were invited into the actual party by none other than Johnny DiLoretto, The Crease's proprietor for the evening.  The lights were low, the music was loud and guests were immediately catapulted into full swing party mode.  The decor was a purposeful hodgepodge of glitz and glamor and rustic, comfy chairs.  A golden dance floor reflected the moody lights and a giant bar flooded guests with unique and old-fashioned libations inspired by Columbus' own Logan Demmy.


Creative talent sang and danced the night away.  From Maiya Sykes, to dance performances choreographed by Leigh Lotocki, to... wait for it...yes, even a fire eater, this event had it all.   Oh, and Sara Bareilles showed up for a surprise concert at the end of the night.  All in all, this event was a huge success.  It unveiled the creative side of Columbus' philanthropy that I think has set a new bar for future fundraisers and good-doers.


Now, no party that I've ever been to is complete without food.  This was no exception.  I had the pleasurable task of working with the chef at the Athenaeum to create the menu at The Crease.  Inspired by the 1920's, Moulin Rouge and a little bit of Circus, the food at The Crease was marvelously fitting.  We opted to go with heavy appetizers and finger foods, much like you would have seen at cocktail parties back in the day.  Deviled eggs and artisan toasts were given a modern twist.  Exotic curries and Peking wanton cups brought intrigue. Even London broil lollipops made a whimsical appearance.  This party had so much to offer.  The food was the cherry on top.



Wasabi Deviled Eggs


All of the food at The Crease was top notch, but I thought it only fitting to share the recipe for our client's favorite dish:  the Wasabi Deviled Egg.  Who would have thought that wasabi would taste good in an egg?  Well, trust me.  It does.  These deviled eggs are easy, impressive and over the top, with a modern, spicy punch.  Bon App├ętit.  


6 Eggs
1/4 C. Mayonnaise
1 t. Wasabi Paste
Pickled Ginger (like you'd find at a sushi restaurant)
Toasted Panko, for garnish
Parsley, for garnish

Place 6 eggs in a pot and cover them with water.  Turn on the heat to high and bring the water to a rapid boil.  Boil for 15 minutes and remove the pot from the heat.  Let it cool for 5 minutes.  Run the eggs under cool water until they can be handled.  Crack and remove the shells and slice the eggs in half.

Pop out the yolks into a medium bowl. Add the mayo and wasabi. Season to taste with more mayo and wasabi.

Fill each egg white with a tablespoon of the wasabi mixture. Top with a piece of ginger and sprinkle with panko and parsley.






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