Monday, April 14, 2008

Farewell Jessica

Had a great send-off farewell party a few nights ago for one of our employees, the fabulous Jessica Sturman.

She had been staying with family for a few months, persuaded to come to Tacoma to help care for an ailing grandparent, and to take a few months off from school [majoring in advertising—minoring in breaking hearts I'm guessing] and from traveling non-stop all over the world.

Her decision to move back to South Beach seemed the perfect excuse for our own version of a modified White Party [meaning no red wine allowed because the carpets are white]. I presumed the party would go late-- since it wouldn't get going until we got off work Saturday night, and we restaurant animals are notorious creatures of the night—our rhythms peak with the restaurant’s-- and not unlike working the ER—every night's an adrenaline rush, and getting-off an “un-winding” with its own rhythm and an entirely different set of rules.

Pacific Grill Executive Chef Aaron, and Sous Chef Jason, made some interesting hors d’ oeuvres: stuffed gougères with truffles & kurobuta ham roasted over rosemary branches; little kobe tri-tip sandwiches with hot Chinese mustard; lamb tartare with sultanas, feta & charred rosemary needles; and platters of grilled grapes with shaved reggiano parmigiano.... a slow trickle of people started to arrive after 9:30....

A sign at the door greeted:

Please Take Off Your Shoes” [later someone drew lipstick through the shoes changing the word to “pants”].

...Naughty party-goers!
...of course, the honored guest arrived [apparently already on Miami Beach time] it being after 11pm... looking oh-so-chic in glamorous black & white scarf, her lips a shockingly luscious Cabernet set against her pale complexion.

...taking off her coat revealing a short white dress, black tights, and towering sexy velvet black sling-backs.

Looking at least 6’3” tall and model beautiful.

......Gasps heard throughout the room.




As expected [and previously explained] the party didn’t get cooking until after midnight.
Kevin Mackay appointed himself DJ with full veto-power over the IPOD, and got the dancing started.

[Sous Chef Jason to right helped make the fab apps]

At all staff parties this means Aaron Valimont gets on the dance floor and begins doing the wild Aaron dance—arms begin flailing, hips begin to gyrate, and all eyes in the room want to watch Aaron.

You cannot help yourself it is part of Aaron’s allure. You have no control.

You have to watch the man dance. Christina jumped in and mixed it up, and Miss Vivian was right behind .... even Gordon (who continues to want to prove that white men can't dance was out there too.)
Jessica’s mother Cindy arrived with sister Joan Froud [who is about to begin her psychology practice] and Jessica's sister and big Pacific Grill fan Angela, brought her roommate Brian.
Glass artist, Oliver Doriss, who’s new art gallery—Fulcrum-- is getting such great press showed up. My friend, future Brewmeister Mike Runion of Gig Harbor, became instant best friends of my new friends-- attorney Rashad Morris & wife Ebony-- recent transplants from San Francisco, now calling Browns Pt. home.

Eric & Viv get cozy on the couch with Viv's sis Carol, while True Religion Man stakes out his corner.

Melanie Cantera [good friend of both Cory & Carol] in a stunning white dress was turning heads. True Religion Man --a friend of server Christopher--was also turning heads, but the verdict was he was wearing perhaps a little too much makeup [even for that late an hour]. Yes restaurant people can be a little catty.... the hour grew late [or is that early?] a smattering of unidentified party-crashers showed up... which always keeps things interesting. Although most of the people had left the party by 6:30am, a few wisely spent the night.

Magically, the next day, there were no unclaimed shoes. Most Unusual. Only someone's beret with some telltale smudges of makeup here and there... hmmmm...wonder who that might belong to? And a forgotten cell phone that was ringing an incessant song all morning long reminding me that I am too old for this...

So Farewell Jessica! Great Party!

I'll be looking for you next January, on Ocean Dr...right around my birthday, the end of January. Maybe meet for cocktails at the Raleigh on Collins by that fabulous pool.....What do you say...Date?


Anonymous said...

Now thats what I call a PARTY!!!
I love how industry people do it. The food looked wonderful and I am sure a great time was had by all.

Nick said...

hahaha!! Fantastic!

Sounds like a rowdy one- and by that I mean Aaron bringing the house down 8)

Mr. Mackay looks like he was having a good time also!

Bye Jessica!

ChefGordonNaccarato said...

Yes indeed a very good time was had by all!

Jessica said...

I love it!! Thanks for the amazing party, hors d'ouevres, and fabulous guests. I could not ask for a better sending off. I will always remember my times at Pacific Grill, and all the amazing friends I made there.
Thanks so much, Gordon!!

p.s. Everyone back in T-town is invited to come down for a visit, with a free place to crash, as a thank you.
Gordon-you better make it down here before January!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Shoeless parties are much more fun!

When I held a party last year, I requested shoes-off on the invitations.

I have an whole blog dedicated to the subject of removing shoes:
Shoes Off at the Door, Please
You might want to have a look.