Dish & Design event focuses on dinner party planning

April 23, 2015 | The Detroit News

When it comes to throwing the ultimate spring dinner party, preparation and planning are important for the meal and table decor, but have fun with it.

That was the advice of floral designer Jeffrey Jucewicz of Jeffrey Floral Architecture in Troy and sous chef Norman Fenton of Royal Oak's Bistro 82 at Wednesday's Dish & Design event at EuroAmerica Design.

More than 140 readers gathered for a deconstructed dinner party at the event, sponsored by The Detroit News' Homestyle section. Readers rotated through appetizer, main course and dessert stations, sampling recipes from Bistro 82 and watching cooking demonstrations. They also got tips on creating spring table settings from Jucewicz.

Jucewicz said when it comes to picking flowers for your table's centerpiece, pick one flower as a focal point and go from there.

"Pick other things that will texturally complement it," said Jucewicz.

Jucewicz said wheat grass, calla lilies and succulents, which can be mixed with other flowers and textures, are fun choices for creating beautiful table arrangements .

"Do groupings," he said. "When you group things together, it gives it strength."

Designer Jeffrey Jucewicz of Jeffrey Floral Architecture gives table design ideas at the Dish & Design Ultimate Dinner Party event Robin Buckson

He made one table centerpiece by submerging several calla lilies in water in a low, round vase. He added floating candles and white flower buds. For another centerpiece, he used driftwood from a pet store and added succulents and air plants around it.

"Have fun with it," Jucewicz said. "Keep it simple."

At the main course station, Fenton of Bistro 82, which opened a year ago on South Lafayette, made one of the restaurant's new spring recipes: scallops with corn mousseline.

Over a corn mousseline — made of roasted corn and cream, simmered and reduced — he layered a corn succotash with fiddlehead ferns, topped with a seared scallop and a tomato jam.

To sear scallops well, use the right mix of oil, don't overcrowd the pan and only flip them once, Fenton said.

"Food really speaks volumes to you," said Fenton. "When it's ready it will release itself to you."

Pastry Chef Kenny Ilich made a yogurt panna cotta with a blueberry compote, a light, refreshing dessert perfect for spring or summer. Ilich used vanilla yogurt, but herbs could be used instead, or even green tea.

"You can bring it home and play with it," said Ilich.

The next Dish & Design event will be held this summer.

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