NEW KDHamptons Party Diary: My End of Summer Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams Party
Spoiling a small group of my best Hamptons friends is my favorite way to entertain at home in our gardens at Maple Shade. What could be more decadent than serving heaps of Petrossian caviar paired with a curated selection of Russian vodka and Louis Roederer champagne to celebrate the end of summer in style? If you are planning a special event for Labor Day weekend, here’s some highlights and tips from my party that you might want to incorporate to WOW your guests.
When I am hosting a cocktail party vs. a seated dinner, I always create a beautifully styled table filled with mouthwatering small plate foods so guests can graze as much as they want, in addition to the delicious passed hors d’oeuvres being served. We set the table in front of my parterre garden which was in full bloom with roses, dahlias, and lilies.
The serving table was a fresh seafood extravaganza including Petrossian caviar stations, whole Alaskan salmon, farm stand crudite, home made quiche, fresh lobster, and king crab. I styled the table with my chic new set of etúHOME wood charcuterie platters in various sizes and shapes. My flowers were designed by Topiaire Floral Boutique in etúHOME white color block Mason Jars.
The centerpiece of the party focused on my three favorite Petrossian caviars: Royal Ossetra, Transmontanus, and Daurenki. Since 1920, the Petrossian Family has been the first name in caviar, beginning with their first boutique in Paris and extending to beautiful restaurants across the globe offering highly-curated and perfectly matured caviar sourced from the world’s most prestigious farms. Together with Janet O’Brien Caterers and Events, we created a farm to table menu to serve up the classic caviar with a distinctive Hamptons touch.
TOP TIPS FOR SERVING CAVIAR
Never be afraid to go too far and be decadent. By themselves, champagne, caviar, and toro tuna are wonderful. Put them together and they become life-changing. Treat your guests to something more than the sum of its parts. Here’s an easy cheat sheet on my three favorite Petrossian varieties:
• Ossetra is a legendary breed of caviar and is universally appreciated for its full, nutty flavor and firm, juicy grains.
• Transmontanus is a white sturgeon caviar that offers a bold burst of brine with every egg. The darker beads are so robust and flavorful it can hold its own within many dishes.
• Daurenki is an immaculate, crossbred caviar which offers a sublime combination of large, firm grains, a clean finish and rich, buttery flavor.
1. Never use a metallic spoon to serve or consume your caviar which can taint the flavor, so always be sure to use pearl, or bone.
2. Think outside the tin when serving your caviar. We topped quail eggs, mini lobster rolls, and fresh chopped tuna steaks with a serving. A savory and sweet pairing is one of life’s treasures. The caviar topped quiche (below) from Sugar Rush Bake Shop was a fan favorite.
3. When enjoying your caviar “neat”, place a small amount of eggs on the tongue and gently press the caviar against the roof of the mouth to burst the eggs and unleash the full flavor. The word’s best caviar has a long, lingering finish, so be sure to give each taste a few moments, so that the caviar can impart it’s full range of flavor and aromatic bliss.
4. Just as with wine, caviar is about the experience, so get in the habit of talking about taste and texture with those around you while you enjoy it. Every palate will discover unique flavors beneath the nuts and brine.
WHAT TO DRINK WITH CAVIAR
Vodka and Champagne are, and will always be, the best pairings for caviar. I rely on my friend and tireless wine sleuth, Michael Cinque, owner of Amagansett Wine & Spirits to select what is served at my parties. “The perfect pairing for this flight of Petrossion caviars was Louis Roederer Brut Premiere champagne and two different classic Russian vodkas: BELUGA and ZYR VODKA, which are clean, crisp and perfect for drinking straight, super chilled.” 203 Main Street, Amagansett.
“A great party should be a reflection of the spirit and personality of the host,” shares Janet O’Brien of Janet O’Brien Caterers + Events. Known across the Hamptons for her customized menus, flawless production, and decorative and delicious flare, Janet meticulously plans and produces events from anniversaries, to charitable events, to private weddings and Hollywood parties.
You can also see my party diary in the Labor Day issue of Hamptons magazine. Photos in this feature by Eric Striffler.