1827 W. Hubbard Street | Chicago, IL 60622 | 312.733.9700
 
 

 

 

 October's Guest Designer Table

 

It's J&L Catering Again!


 

This month, J&L Catering gives us another wonderful but totally different creation. Designed by Diane Green of J&L Catering and Robert Gonzalez of Robert James Events, what better for fall than a harvest look entitled Farm-to-Tablescapes!!


Diane goes way back with one of J&L's co-owners, Ted Grady. Would you believe he started his career as a waiter at Greenberry Catering which Diane owned? As for her relationship with Robert, when she heard about a wonderful floral arrangement he had created, she was bound and determined to find him even though he had no website or company phone number listing. She actually chased his van through a parking lot on foot to get a business card. Thanks to her determination, that was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship. 

 

According to Robert, fall is an especially wonderful time to mix vegetables with flowers as he has done here with flowering kale complementing a panoply of soft green and yellow flowers. There are apples, corn, mini ghost pumpkins and herbal plants scattered about to complement the centerpiece. All that was missing were the chickens that Robert joked were still "tied up in hair and make-up".


Robert gets his inspiration from textures and said the "feel" of the fabric helps evoke emotion or the "feel" of the party. He thought of all the textures in this tableau including the floor covering, our Cuddly Brown rug.


Diane Green has been in the event industry for 33 years.  She has more than earned the title of one of our industry's Grandes Dames. At Greenberry, she actually accepted Tablescapes very first delivery and we delivered her flatware in a shoebox!  


Diane cleverly mixed our Aged Farm Bench with our Cross Back Weathered Chairs for a homey feel. She firmly believes that in order to understand clients well enough to design a party for them, it is important to see their home and says "the driving force is how they live". One time she designed the color scheme of a party totally based on the colors in a vase at the client's home.  


 We love the idea of each business card having a different picture as both Robert (on the left) and our Guest Designer Photographer, Elliot Mandel, (on the right) have. They both used moo.com to create their cards. Elliot, whom we welcome to our industry after shooting his first wedding, comes to us from the music industry not just shooting photos of musicians as pictured on his cards but also as an accomplished cellist. He may be new to special events, but he already understands how important it is "to be in the middle to shoot 'the moment' and yet to be invisible at the same time".  


And now to the most exciting part of this tableau: Diane's brownies. We are happy to announce that, in partnership with J&L, she is starting a website, Auntie Di's Amazing Brownies. It will debut after the first of the year. This partnership will be added to co-owner, Chef Kevin Kelly's busy kitchen in addition to catering and their wholesale sandwich division, On The Fly for O'Hare concessionaires. 

Diane was on a roll when we sat to discuss creativity and inspiration over wine and cheese. Her advice is to not only expect the unexpected but to think clearly and "you can't think clearly when you have anxiety". "You need to be able to think past step ten to make sure your improvisation will work." From Diane's experience, that meant that when the cake fell and they re-iced the smashed half with shaving cream, it was carried to the kitchen to cut to make sure none of the guests were served the wrong section. Or, when all the lights went out on a back yard party and the staff brought their cars around to shine their headlights for the needed light, one car was saved to jump any cars that ended up with low batteries. Oh, how we laughed over so many stories. See why we call her a Grandes Dames? She has experienced crises and continues to play at the top of her game.  

Check out more from these professionals at: 
For Robert, (he's still exclusive) you may reach him at robertjamesevents@gmail.com
Stay tuned for future Guest Designer Table updates 
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Tablescapes Event Rentals, 1827 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60622
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