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Traditional Elegance

Winter white florals, calligraphy place cards, and sparkling rosé make for a festive candlelit affair.

By Kimberly Cunningham | Photography by Jamie Street

Styled by Tam Ashworth of Isari Flower Studio + Event Design, catering by Courtney Gallagher Isaac and Terri Wedell of Waters Fine Foods, calligraphy by Twinkle & Toast

Get the Look:

The Menu: Truffle kuri squash croquette, duck liver mousse, herb Gruyère cheese biscuits, lobster uni bisque, winter beet trio salad, Brandt beef hanger steak, chanterelle mushroom risotto, Jaime Farms heirloom carrots

The Drink: Select wine pairings for each course

The Table: Gilded china and flatware, pressed linens, and varied stemware in slender silhouettes create a truly formal setting. For décor and texture, Tam Ashworth used an assortment of fresh white flowers, Sputnik stars, gold wire prisms, and frosted pinecones. For ambient lighting, she topped candleholders of varying heights and styles with a blend of gold and white tapers.

Tip: Tam says, “Fill a gold globe with tall towering Nerine lilies for some extra height. A bold gathering of holiday white amaryllis and magnolia foliage, along with black privet berries, is a good way to infuse a touch of glam into any table.” (Items available at Isari)

Traditional Elegance

Traditional Elegance

Traditional Elegance

Traditional Elegance

Impress guests with this Eastern Star cocktail. Shake 2 ounces of almond-infused chai tea, 1 ounce of bourbon, and an egg in a shaker for 1 minute. Add ice and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain into three small glasses. Garnish with freshly shaved orange zest and a star anise.

Traditional Elegance

Traditional Elegance


Pomegranate Pickled Onions from Courtney Gallagher Isaac of Waters Fine Foods and Catering

These pickled beauties are the perfect accompaniment to grilled pork or your next cheese and salumi board. Or toss them in any salad to add bite and color.


1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions: Bring vinegar, honey, pomegranate juice, salt, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, thyme and bay leaves to a boil in a medium saucepan; add onions. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Let cool.

Tip: Onion can be pickled 2 weeks ahead. Refrigerate tightly in a mason jar for up to 2 weeks. Cover and chill.

Waters Fine Catering Full Dinner Menu, Plus Wine Pairings

Try a version of this at your own holiday gathering—and don’t forget the wine!

Tray Passed Tastes:

Kona Kampachi Crudo
Black ‘Crack’ Cone – Togarashi Crème Fraîche – Charred Shishito – Ruby Radish Sprout

*Pair with: Weingut Pfeffingen Estate, Dry Riesling, Pfalz, Germany

Truffle Kuri Squash Croquette – VEGAN Kale Parsley Salsa Verde
- Asian Spoon

Duck Liver Mousse
Hazelnut + Thyme Biscuit – Pomegranate Pear Jam – Micro Mustard Blooms

Dinner Baked:

Herb Gruyere Cheese Biscuits Multigrain Bread
Waters’ Black Olive Tapenade Plugra Butter, Black Sea Salt


Lobster Uni Bisque
Sweet Lobster and Local Sea Urchin, Rich Stock with a Hint of Cream, Salmon Roe, Chives

*Pair with: Domaine Costal, “Vaillons” Chablis, France


Winter Beet Trio Salad

Suzie’s Farm Organic Beets: Roasted Ruby, Chiogga and Golden, McGrath Farms’ Red Hill Mustard Greens, Toasted Pistachios, Di Stefano Burrata, Fig Anise Croutons

*Pair with: Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo, Il Mimo, Nebbiolo Rosato, Colline Novaresi, Piedmont, Italy


Brandt Beef Hanger Steak

12-Hour Aromatics Marinade, Open Fire Grilled, Served with Marinade Reduction with Zinfandel, Brittany Gris Sea Salt, Tarragon

Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto

Creamy Italian Arborio Rice, Sautéed in Butter, Slowly Stirred in Light Mushroom Stock and Finished with Delicate Chanterelle Mushrooms, Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, and Fresh Herbs

Jaime Farms’ Heirloom Carrots

Black Knight, White Satin, Chantaney Red, Fresh Herbs

*Pair with: Tofanelli, Zinfandel, Napa Valley, CA

Pastry + Confections

Apple Cider Beignets

Toasted Oat Clusters – Maple Butternut ‘Dip’

Blood Orange – Hibiscus Bitters Macaron

Brown Butter Panna Cotta

Caramel Corn – Bourbon Vanilla Bean Gelee

Hazelnut Chocolate Pot-de-Crème

Rich and Creamy Gianduja Hazelnut and Chocolate Pot-de-Crème

*Pair with: The Ojai Vineyard, Viognier Ice Wine, CA

Traditional Elegance

Traditional Elegance

More tips from Tam Ashworth of Isari Floral Studio + Event Design

Make simple glass vases even more intriguing by adding blooms inside and adding pine needles to the mix. Ranunculus are a wonderful floral to use for this project.

A bold gathering of holiday white amaryllis and magnolia foliage along with black privet berries are a good way to infuse a touch a glam to any table setting.

Traditional Elegance

Traditional Elegance

More Holiday Looks:

Traditional Elegance

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