For once, I actually had a really good idea.
Kenny (my husband if you happen to be new around these parts) started a significantly new and important role in his company, a company he’s worked for since the day he graduated from college. And because this is an awfully big accomplishment, we needed an awfully big celebration for it.
But what do you do for the guy who does everything, has everything, and thinks of everything? The guy who whisks me away to NYC for my 30th, Chicago for my 32nd, and who typically books me massage appointments after he’s travelled for weeks straight? You sweat for months trying to think of the coolest thing you can do, but then you decide to just give him the best version of the thing he likes the most: dinner with his friends.
So with that, I hijacked an already set night out with said friends, booked an amazing chef to come cook us dinner, asked my brother and sister-in-law if we could host at their apartment, and then rented everything I would need for the entire party to sit down at one wildly gorgeous table. And I kept it all a surprise.
And while there were many moving parts, and many weeks of planning, and many a text chains and help from sweet friends, the two biggest and best parts came together without a hitch. The first was All Occasions. The second, Samantha Fore of Tuk Tuk.
I wanted this to be as swanky as possible, with a grand table and formal dinnerware, therefore I immediately contacted All Occasions. I know their offerings and reputation are top notch and I was not disappointed. I was able to sneak over to their showroom one afternoon (thanks to an early dismissal from jury duty) to meet and plan out everything. I went in with nothing more than the specifications that I needed a table for almost 20, and Rachael, my lovely point-person, so easily and creatively walked me through all my options. Again, I didn’t really have a vision, nor did I really know what I would actually need, but together we decided on something sharply cool and stated.
From the gold and silver chargers and silverware, to the stoneware dinner plates, to the angular wine and water glasses, everything was individually perfect and also absolutely perfect together. I cannot reiterate enough how much Rachael and All Occasions brought the vision I didn’t even know I had in my mind to life. Putting together this absolutely gorgeous table is one of the main reasons I was so excited for this night.
Then when I wanted to call in a private chef for the occasion, I thought of none other than Samantha Fore of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites. Kenny and I met Samantha at the last Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic, as we sat in on a demo of her’s. What she made that day stood out to us so much that while it was the first thing we ate that weekend, it ended being the best thing we ate all weekend. We have actually been in contact here and there, as fate would have it, so I reached out and she was available and the rest was history.
Samantha, who traveled up from Lexington, made the exact dish we remembered – chicken and pork, coconut rice, curried tomatoes, and curried pineapple. Kenny, as well as all of our guests, were blown away by the incredibleness that was dinner, as well as the infectious kindness that was Sam. This was such a special part of the whole plan and I am so thankful and grateful that it all worked out.
The last and final shoutout and touch has to go to Gia and the Blooms who I called upon in order to have greens running down the whole of the table. Again, none of this is my forte, so when I called and said “I’d like eucalyptus everywhere” they responded with “we got you.” And it was as gorgeous as I would have hoped.
This night was big and special, not just for Kenny of course, but for all our dearly close friends. To be able to bring everyone together in such a surprising and exciting way is something that I am so thankful and proud to have been able to do. Kenny definitely deserved the night, and I couldn’t be more appreciative to those who not only helped me make it magical, but for those who got to enjoy it as well. It was pretty epic, all the way around.
Thanks in particular to All Occasions for allowing me to rent the entire tablescape in exchange for this post. You all blew me away and I look forward to singing your praises to everyone I meet.