Category Archives: Event

Turks and Caicos Gourmet Safari 2014

gourmet safari event at the Shore Club

gourmet safari event at the Shore Club

Last fall I met with Karen Whitt about styling for the 2014 Turks and Caicos Gourmet Safari.  I was expecting this November event to be held somewhere special on property at the beautiful Regent Palms Resort  The previous year I had heard rave reviews from guests describing the elaborate set-up at the spa.  Imagine my shock when informed there was to be a surprise in store for, not only the guests, but the entire staff, in that they planned to host this elegant evening at a construction site!   We planned a site visit to the Shore Club to evaluate. I arrived in my work boots and dutifully put on the assigned hardhat before entering.  As I cautiously stepped over rubble and rebar,  I  must have thought of every negative imaginable.  How on earth would guests in gowns and stilettos manage it, let alone enjoy it?  As I was collecting my arguments against the idea, Karen continued to sell it.   Referencing the safari style and the element of surprise, steadying herself amongst the concrete and construction chaos in her typical work dress of heels and high fashion.  Once we climbed a few flights of stairs and soaked in the gorgeous view I began to see why the Hartling groups wishes were to hold the event here.

Shore Club fireworks for the Gourmet Safari

Shore Club fireworks for the Gourmet Safari

As the photos above can attest, it did turn out to be a magical night!  Kudos to the Hartling group and Karen who took the risk in doing something unexpected and insisted on a unique experience for their guests.  It may be the first and last time I have to climb scaffolding all day to decorate but it was well worth it!  We all are anxious to see the Shore Club project completed. I look forward to seeing this exquisite render below turned into reality and the wait is soon over!

Shore Club render

Wine Dinner at the Regent Palms

Wine Dinner 2

Last summer I was thrilled when Karen Whitt asked me to style for seasonal events at the Regent Palms.  The first event was the Kysela Wine Dinner at The Regent Palms Oct 2014.

Kicking off the first wine dinner of season will be the double delights of Chef Lauren at the beautiful Regent Palms and Fran Kysela, Master Sommelier from Kysela Pere et Fils.  This will be an around the world experience as Fran introduces us to a different country with each course of wines that he helped create over his last 30 years in the wine business in the USA.

Fran Kysela’s career spans three decades as a Master Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Master of Sake and sole owner of Kysela Pere et Fils, based in Virginia.  Having met Fran at the start of my career in the wine industry, I have worked directly with Fran since the year 2000 and he is one of the great wine professionals and business men in the alcohol industry.  It is my great pleasure and honor to have Fran on the island and treat him a little bit of REAL Southern hospitality like we do it in Provo. 

We still have tickets available and the Palms is set for a beautiful evening.  Take a look at the delectable seven course, wine paired meal for $125 (all in) that Chef Lauren has put together for us and realize that this is the dinner of the season.

Wine Dinner

After thoroughly enjoying Mr. Kysela’s bio information I wished every guest would take the time to learn a little about Mr. Kysela and his outlook on wine, life, and business success.  I then had the idea to make sure every guest did.   I made shadowboxes for every table which highlighted a different quote of Mr. Kysela’s:

Wine Dinner 6

“I was 25 years old and I just realized, wow, this is what I want to do. I had been experimenting with wine tasting, and I found some of the tastes so intriguing. And as soon as I came to understand wine, I began to grasp that there was a human and cultural component to it.”
-Fran Kysela on his start in the industry
“I am passionate about planning, building, and maintaining my business but I love wine in particular because of the history and culture surrounding it. This business has allowed me to travel all over the world and to expose myself to so many different peoples and places. When I’ve visited these countries, I’ve seen their cultural heritage, their various foods and wines that match, and the lay of the land. These are the most unique experiences of my life.”
-Fran Kysela on his passion
I reached a pinnacle in terms of my energy, experience and skills. When you’re 37 you’re ready to go out and do something. If you’re going to be self-made, you need to be ready to nail that down sometime between 32 and 42. You need the seasoning not to make the wrong moves, but you don’t want to start to late either. Some people tell me they want to go into the wine business and the first two things I ask are their age and their experience. In wine there is a sweet spot between vitality and experience.”
-Fran Kysela on starting Kysela Pere et Fils
“When you start out with your business for the first time you’re headstrong and you don’t take to other people’s opinions much. But as you get older you learn that you need to build consensus. That’s something you learn through trial and error. You’ve got to be able to change gears quickly.”
-Fran Kysela on self-discipline in the business world
“Our products are typically more artisanal-more hands-on, and more niche. We are generally the sole source for any wine that we purchase. We purchase wines that are unique and our selection is diverse. No one else has one thousand SKU’s of diversity.”
-Fran Kysela on Kysela Pere et Fils wines
“His advice was that there is always room in business for a good small company. I feel I have realised that advice.”
-Fran Kysela on Kysela Pere et Fils company size
“Find something you’re going to like right away and stick with it. If you start moving around a bunch, you’ll run out of time to get in on the ground floor of what you really want to do. You’ve only got so much time on this earth. Find your passion and stick with it.”
-Fran Kysela on finding your passion

“Always put everything I writing.”
-Fran Kysela advice on the objective reality of business

Wine Dinner 5

This event was great fun to style for. Coming from the northwest I always miss the change of season in the fall.  I wanted to create a harvest tablescape which featured the fruit and spice notes within the featured wines. Plums, cinammon, oak, and more met the guests senses upon their arrival foreshadowing some of the flavors to come.  Following the event I received a kind note from sponsor and wine distributor, Tina Williford of the IGA:

Finally a breathing moment! I wanted to let you know how spectacular the table display was for Saturday night’s dinner at The Palms. I was touched and so was Mr. Kysela by the personal, creative and beautiful message delivered through the consideration and creativity given to your table setting…maybe just, blown away would be a better way to put it.”

Big thanks to Tina for the kind words and to Karen and all the staff at the Palms who worked so hard to make this event a success.

Wine Dinner 3

An Exclusive Evening of Art at the Amanyara

art amanyara

On Saturday November 9, 2013 I participated and attended a group art showing at the legendary Amanyara. The event was a fundraiser for the  ECG Youth Centre, a cause near and dear to my heart.  There were a very select few, just ten artists, chosen to exhibit works for the exclusive sold out event.  The three sculptures, two photographs, and one of the two paintings I included in the show all sold much to my joy.  I had the chance to speak with director Roxann Wake-Forbes today and she jubilantly relayed that the event fundraising goals were not only met but exceeded! Fantastic job to Courtney Miller and Roxann who spent countless hours organizing and to all of the many patrons who donated their time and skills to create such a beautiful event for such a worthy cause.  If you would like to volunteer at the contre or discover ther ways in which you can help the Youth Centre thrive please contact Roxann here.


13th Annual Valentine’s Day Cup

Image via brilliant
We missed attending this years 13th annual Valentine’s Day Cup in Middle Caicos but luckily Brilliant didn’t!  Anita and Chanelle captured all the fun and festivity with flying colors, please see their blog posts Part I and Part  II for a picture perfect recap.  To see more of North and Middle Caicos and the Cup festivities, check out last years post here.  To view the race results click here.

Thursday Night Island Fish Fry

Image by Brilliant via turksandcaicostourism
Thursday nights from 5:30-9:30pm enjoy a little local food, fun, and entertainment!  The Bight Park located on Lower Bight Road will be hosting this weekly event sponsored by LIME, the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, and the Cultural Department.  Please check out a fabulous review and photos from the opening night here and see enews for the participating restaurants and more details.

 It’s a family affair so bring everyone to enjoy this exciting new tradition at this fantastic public park!