Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dine and Design at KiWe

Thanks to Jennifer Wilson-Sweeny for this fab mention on her blog on a recent media event at KiWe restaurant.

Holiday entertaining tips

I had the pleasure of being invited to a luncheon yesterday at the gorgeously remodeled KiWe Kitchen – so named for its King West location, not a New Zealand influence.

Hosted by restaurant co-owners Steve Cicekian, chef Chris Straker, Vito Tomasicchio and Ralf Madi and interior decorator Lisa Canning, it was an afternoon designed to offer great holiday entertaining tips and menu inspiration.

Straker offered up a totally scrumptious festive feast. A grilled shrimp with pineapple chutney appetizer was totally delish, as was the goat cheese salad and main of tuna and spicy spring rolls. It was a great alternative to the traditionally heavy holiday fare served at most parties.

The dessert was a totally decadent chocolate cake and spiced hot chocolate – an excellent remedy to the afternoon’s snow, and a great idea that I’ll likely mimic for holiday parties. (It takes the already great idea of a hot chocolate dessert bar to a whole new – and luxurious - level!)

While chowing down on this delicious menu, Canning (from HGTV’s Marriage Under Construction) also shared her tips for holiday decorating on a budget, showcasing a table done for $25.

She used glass vases and martini glasses that she already owned, some newly purchased ornaments in silver and white and a liberal sprinkling of candles to create a winter wonderland-esque setting that I believe even I could try at home.

And, in a very neat trick, she used several lengths of ribbon (which she says could later be used in gift wrapping) to create a sparkly table runner. Canning says it should always glitter during the holidays!

Her other tips include bringing in nature, using a white palette with pops of colour, re-purposing objects you already own (silver and glass can be used year round) and personalizing elements.

For yesterday’s event, she made us each a personalized place setting/ornament using scraps of leftover material from decorating projects cut into festive shapes (mine’s a star). She says it's eco-friendly and easy.

(Canning and Straker will also be showcasing their holiday looks and menus on Dec. 2 on Breakfast Television.)

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