The Silicon Valley Chapter of The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) held their annual dinner cruise aboard the Hornblower Yachts & Events' California Hornblower around San Francisco Bay. Chapter Members old and new came for an unforgettable evening of Mixing and Mingling, Wining and Dining, and Dancing that left the floor "en fuego!" (on fire!).
The room was opulently decorated with vibrant colors of red, orange and hot pink that were replete in the tablescape, lounge furnishings and faux neon palm trees replicating that of a South Beach Nightclub.
The evening began with a Networking Reception greeted by an awe-inspiring Welcome Libation -- "Sangria"! Then we sampled some teasing nibbles of "Entremeses" (Appetizers) - Mini Corn Cakes with Roasted Pepper and Onion Confit, and El Pastor Mini Quesadillas with Chili Marinated Pulled Pork with Jalapeno and Jack Cheese ... divine!
The main dining room was as remarkable as the sumptuous dinner that awaited for the most discerning degustateur. Their Director of Food and Beverage, Bianca Shiver partnered with their Executive Chef, Gerado Hidalgo, both encouraged us to explore a myriad of latin-inspired dishes that offered stunning presentations all rich in flavor, pleasing to the eye and flawlessly gastronomic.
For starters, we indulged in a tantalizing dish of Tequila Marinated Grilled Prawn Salad with Avocado, Grapefruit and Micro Greens that just left you begging for more. Then we were dazzled with their Duet "Raciones" (Main Courses) of Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce which was delightfully paired with a favorite contender, Coriander Rubbed Tilapia served with Jicama, Pineapple and Mango Pico de Gallo Plantain Fritters. Sweet endings were a dream come true for "Postre" (Dessert) Lovers like myself - Tropical Coconut and Lime Custard with Toasted Shaved Coconut ... ay-ya-yay, que rico ... a sinful treat for an appropriate finale!
But the highlight of the evening was a Welcome Address from Sherri Burke, Co-Founder and CEO of the Cheryl Burke Dance Company, and mother of 2-time Emmy Award Winner, Cheryl Burke of "Dancing With The Stars". Because DWTS started their 13th Season just last Monday, September 19th, Cheryl was unable to join us. But we were graced with Sherri's presence, along with her Studio Manager, Stephanie Castor. Following that, she introduced her two amazing dance instructors, Hays Hopkins and Mila Salazar, who presented us with a seductive dance demonstration of the "Rhumba". And later, the Master DJ Jason Mitchell invited all of us to join Hays and Mila on the danceflooor and learn both the Rhumba and the "Cha-Cha" that kept us in a foot-stomping, heart-pumping, hand-clapping mood leaving everyone enthralled and enchanted with the fascination of the dance and the hot latin beats.
Our evening sail was as exceptional as it was fabulous. Thanks to the synergy and generosity of our generous Event Sponsors, our Chapter Members and all our revelling Guests for making it a tremendous success. And special kudos and thanks to Susan Kelly, Tony White and Theo Boyden for helping me put together an incredible set-up - kudos! We look forward to seeing all of you next year!
To join us for another sensational program or to become a member of Silicon Valley NACE, visit their website at www.siliconvalleynace.org.
AVR Films - David Ethridge
Cheryl Burke Dance Company - Cheryl Burke, Sherri Burke, Stephanie Castor, Hays Hopkins and Mila Salazar
Classic Party Rentals - Gwen Alaura, Mario Berrettoni, Susan Kidwell and Mindy Roark
Corinthian Ground Transportation Services - Kyle Baldasano
f. duncan reyes events by design - Duncan Reyes
Hornblower Cruises and Events - Michelle Casciato, Jewel Drexler, Denise Fattal, Lisa Gallup, Chef Gerado Hidalgo, Heidi McCaughin and Bianca Shiver
JCD Atmospheric Studios - Justin Brenner Greg Cunningham and Tyler Cunningham
Lone Star Limousines - Jennifer and Alex Jaciw
Three Sisters Flowers - Susan Kelly
Marizette Paperie - Marivic Cagatao and Zuesette Zamora
Music Solutions Disc Jockeys - DJ Jason Mitchell
Jim Vetter Photography - Jim Vetter
Victory Events - Victor Castrillo
Silicon Valley NACE Chapter President, L.T. BEATON and the Captain
DUNCAN REYES (aka "me") with
f. duncan reyes events by design
f. duncan reyes events by design
BELLA AWDISHOO of Cucina Venti, and me with SHERRI BURKE,
Co-Founder and CEO of Cheryl Burke Dance Company
Dinner Menu Cards by Marizette Paperie
Artland Glassware from Classic Party Rentals
Silicon Valley NACE Chapter's Vice President and Director of Catering at
the San Jose Hilton, VIRGINIA SANTAINES
along with TONY WHITE of Elegant Events By Tony
STEPHANIE NEHER with I.D.E.A.S.
MICHELLE PEREZ-CASCIATO and HEIDI McCAUGHIN
of Hornblower Yachts and Cruises
SHARI CLENARD with Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel
with TONY WHITE
MASTER DJ JASON MITCHELL with
Music Solutions Disc Jockeys
Me and TONY WHITE in a reflective moment ...
Me with the fabulous VIRGINIA "GIGI" SANTAINES
STEPHANIE CASTOR with
Cheryl Burke Dance, Mountain View
mmmmm . . . . . Sangria!
Me with Classic Party Rental's GWEN ALAURA and MINDY ROARK
SUSANNA GUTIERREZ with Silver Creek Valley Country Club
Cheryl Burke Dance, Mountain View's very own fabulous Dancers,
Mila Alvarez and Hays Hopkins
JENNIFER AND ALEX JACIW with Lone Star Limousines
David Ethridge with AVR Films is
Silicon Valley NACE's Membership Chair
VICTOR CASTRILLO with Victory Events and Lighting
STEPHANIE CASTOR and SHERRI BURKE
with the Cheryl Burke Dance Company
Silicon Valley NACE's Vice President, RICH AMOOI of
Hey Mr. DJ, dancing with his wife, SILVI
Me and my dance partner, STEPHANIE CASTOR
SHERRI BURKE with MIMI RENFRO-RODRIGUEZ
of Creative Designs By Mimi
TYLER CUNNINGHAM, GREG CUNNINGHAM AND
JUSTIN BRENNER of JCD Atmospheric Studios
GET READY TO "RHUMBA"!!!
RICH AMOOI of Hey Mr. DJ and Silicon Valley NACE's Vice President,
along with Fundraising Chair, RUBY FRANDSEN
Hornblower Yachts & Cruises' very own, JEWEL DREXLER
steppin' it up!
OH-LA-LA ... CHA CHA CHA!!!
Silicon Valley NACE's Communications Chair, ROBBIE SCHLOSSER
of Magnolia Jazz Band with GIGI SANTAINES
SHARI CLENARD and DAVE ETHRIDGE
L.T., TONY and GIGI ham it up!