Create family fun at The Drake while exploring the Magnificent Mile Lego store. Imagine the endless possibilities with our Lego family fun package which features our deluxe accommodations, a personalized welcome letter, fresh baked cookies and milk at turn down service, a voucher for a special Roy Rodgers beverage in any of our restaurants, breakfast in Drake Bros’ and a $50 gift card to the Lego store. Book now and create your family fun this summer at The Drake while exploring the Lego store and all of the Magnificent Mile!
With spring upon us and summer right around the corner, wedding season is officially in full swing. And what will be inspiring weddings all season? The Great Gatsby! With a new movie inspired by the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald coming out, along with our continued nostalgia for the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, this season will be filled with images, customs, and décor from this vibrant time period. Here are a few ideas:
- The Champagne Coupe: Whether you fill it with champagne or your signature cocktail (made with gin of course), this retro glassware is the perfect choice for a Gatsby inspired event.
- Jazz: No 1920s party would have been complete without this classic American art form. Have a jazz trio perform during cocktails and then add a full band to get the dancing started later in the evening.
- Period Inspired Hors d’Oevres: Nothing made Gatsby’s parties more glitzy than a spread of lavish passed hors d’eouvres. Take your culinary inspiration from era favorites or you choose a more modern take, either way make sure your hors d’eouvres are passed on silver trays with white glove butler service.
Remember, desserts don’t always have to be sweet. As spring approaches, take advantage of fresh herbs and vegetables to add a savory element to your dessert selection. Some ideas include adding a sprig of basil to the top of raspberry cheesecake, making pudding out of white asparagus, or serving avocado ice cream. You may think your guests will scoff, but many enjoy trying something that is new and fresh. Mixing sweet and savory is a great way to create a memorable and beautiful dessert selection!
The “Make-Your-Own” station is great for all kinds of occasions. They provide not only a fun culinary experience, but they also create conversation and excitement among guests. From the “First-Day-of-a-Conference-Ice-Breaking-Reception” to the “I’ve-Known-These-People-All-My-Life Rehearsal Dinner,” creating a “Make-Your-Own” station is sure to delight.
Ideas to Try:
- Pizza Station: This station is ideal for a smaller group as it will require oven time. Venture into more daring ingredients like lamb meatballs or cilantro pesto.
- Nacho Station: Try having both low-end ingredients and high-end ingredients such as nacho cheese sauce mixed with ground bison. This can also work with French Fries or Tater Tots.
- Grilled Cheese Station: Mix and match with different cheeses, breads, and vegetarian and non-vegetarian fillers and condiments.
Remember to keep in mind the dress code when planning these stations as they often tend to be messy.
Celebrate Family and Traditions this Mother’s Day at The Drake
The Drake Hotel presents a spectacular day for your mother on May 12, 2013 with our annual brunch. The traditional brunch offers three seatings at 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The whole family, especially your mother, will beam with joy at the elegant spread of sumptuous offerings.
“As a mother I realize how precious time with my children is,” explains Ann O’Riordan, Director of Catering at The Drake Hotel. “Being in a setting like The Drake, mothers are able to spend this quality time with their children of any age, be it in the special children’s room full of games or relaxing and conversing over brunch.”
On the brunch menu is a dazzling array of lavish culinary offerings including a multitude of hot and cold entrées. Among the selections are carving stations, a domestic caviar bar, and breakfast favorites such as made-to-order omelets and French toast. Sophisticated dessert displays showcase seasonally inspired cakes, pies, pastries and sweets.
While dining, guests will enjoy live music provided by the Eric Schneider Jazz Trio. The adjacent Drake Room will be transformed into a children’s room to include entertainment such as face painting, a caricature artist, cookie decorating to name a few.
Reservations can be made by calling 312 787 2200 or online at OpenTable.com. Costs are $120 per person, $50 for children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6 (all prices are exclusive of taxes and gratuity). In addition, valet parking will be offered for $13 to brunch guests for up to three hours.
Also on May 12, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a special Mother’s Day afternoon tea will be offered in Palm Court. The afternoon tea, $38 for adults and $20 for children under 12, will include a live harpist, a beauty bar courtesy of Mario Tricoci, a fashion show in addition to the famous tea service. What better way to celebrate your mother than at the historic Drake Hotel?
For those who wish to gift their mothers with the extraordinary tea or dining experience any time of the year, gift cards are also available.
Media can access additional information about The Drake Hotel at news.hilton.com/drake.
After a landmark 2012 season, the Jazz Institute of Chicago and The Drake Hotel are continuing their partnership to present NextGenJazz, a six-concert jazz series at The Drake Hotel. Beginning April 2013, on the first three Thursdays of April, May, June, July, September and October, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., some of Chicago’s best new jazz artists lead trios in the elegant and classic Palm Court. Free and open to the public, the 2013 series kicks off with Makaya McCraven on April 4, 11 and 18.
Unlike the early days of jazz, places where young musicians can perform in residence are few and far between. The NextGenJazz partnership with The Drake provides a great opportunity for the Jazz Institute to connect new audiences to emerging artists and a unique venue for Chicago’s talented young performers to hone their craft. “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with The Drake Hotel and are excited to invite new audiences to discover Chicago’s emerging jazz artists at the Palm Court. The Drake provides a unique backdrop, where elegance blends with innovation,” says Lauren Deutsch, Jazz Institute of Chicago executive director.
The series reflects the Jazz Institute’s commitment to supporting new artists who represent the next evolution of the art form, and enables The Drake to engage with the community as well as provide guests new, interesting entertainment. “The Drake is, and has been for decades, an integral part of the Chicago community,” says Stefan Gruvberger, hotel manager at The Drake Hotel. “We look forward to continuing our involvement with the city through partnerships with organizations like the Jazz Institute of Chicago and are excited to offer our guests entertainment that is truly Chicago.”
For reservations, please contact Shaun Rajah at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-932-4619.
NextGen Jazz 2013 – Season Schedule
April 4, 11, 18 – Makaya McCraven Trio
Drummer and producer, Makaya McCraven has quickly established himself as one of the city’s first-call sidemen, thanks to his innate musicality and ceaseless invention. A young veteran who has spent years developing his artistry, working with jazz legends and hip-hop pioneers, McCraven now ushers in a new era of jazz with his peers, bringing fresh sound to venerated traditions.
May 2, 9, 16 – Marquis Hill Trio
A well-known name on the Chicago Jazz scene, trumpeter Marquis Hill has toured the U.S. and abroad with Dee Alexander, Ernest Dawkins and Willierm Delsifort, and leads his own group the Marquis Hill Black-tet. With a distinctly clean, clear approach, Hill helps define the sound of Chicago’s new generation of jazz artists. He released his debut album “New Gospel” in 2011, and recently released his sophomore album “Sounds of the City” to critical acclaim.
June 6, 13, 20 – Junius Paul Trio
An established electric and acoustic bassist, Junius Paul combines a variety of genres including jazz, hip-hop, house music, funk, classical and gospel. A multifaceted local, national and international performer, Paul is always in high demand, sharing the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, Fred Anderson, Nona Hendryx and Chico DeBarge. He has performed at festivals in England, France, Austria, Ghana, Italy, and Brazil.
July 4, 11, 18 – Christopher McBride Trio
Raised in a household filled with the sounds of gospel, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, soca, dancehall, world, and R&B, saxophonist Christopher McBride has shared his musical gift with audiences across the globe. McBride has performed in Ireland, England, Scotland, China, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain sharing the stage with musical greats including Billy Preston, Antonio Hart, John Clayton, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Broom, Percy Gray, Roy Hargrove, Talib Kweli, 88 Keys and Milton Mustafa.
September 5, 12, 19 – Katie Ernst Trio
An accomplished musician and vocalist, bassist Katie Ernst has impressed audiences nationwide with her multifaceted performances. Ernst has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Naperville Jazz Festival, and numerous jazz clubs throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. In 2007, she received a coveted Downbeat Award for her singing and was featured in Downbeat Magazine’s June issue.
October 3, 10, 17- Rajiv Halim Trio
Up and coming saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator Rajiv Halim, took a non-traditional path toward his musical passion. Studying music at Gallery 37 and winning multiple competitions, he initially began his secondary education as a chemical engineering student. After careful consideration, he revisited and embraced his musical curiosity, expanding his formal education in jazz studies. Halim has performed with Von Freeman, Orbert Davis, Ari Brown, Nicole Mitchell, Maggie Brown, Ernie Adams, Stewart Miller, as well as leading his own groups.
About the Jazz Institute of Chicago
Founded in 1969, the Jazz Institute of Chicago presents and preserves jazz by nurturing new talent, sustaining active artists, providing educational opportunities, encouraging the creation of new work and making jazz available for all. For more information, visit www.jazzinchicago.org.
When it comes to planning a cocktail party, we often are asked by our guests to advise on what hors d’oeuvres should be served during the cocktail party. Every type of party has different requirements, and therefore a different approach to a menu. Here are some basic tips to help making this decision a little less stressful:
Is your event a social event or a corporate event?
Basically, who are the attendees and what will they be wearing? When planning a formal event like a wedding, a gala, or a holiday party it is very important to choose hors d’oeuvres that will be easy to eat in one or two bites. Also, hors d’oeuvres served at a formal event should never be greasy or flaky.
In contrast, if you are planning a less formal event -such as a corporate networking- there is more leeway for hors d’oeuvres that are less elegant. For instance, a mini pizza or a mini quesadilla can be a nice, hearty, three-bite choice for a less formal event. One thing to remember though, no matter how informal, you never want your attendees getting caught with a mouthful of food in front of the boss. Therefore, plan more seating and tables to accommodate for these types of items.
What time of the year is it and what vegetables and fruits are in season?
As with all menus, the season is a factor. In the dead of winter, tomatoes and basil on a crostini, while lovely, isn’t the best choice. You may love butternut squash all year round, but avoid it during the spring and summer. Seasonality is something your catering manager would be happy to advise you on.
What factor should be considered?
While hot hors d’oeuvres vs. cold hors d’oeuvres are a factor, it is a good idea to make decisions based more on variety in texture, richness and flavor. Favorites such as a mini beef wellington or melted brie in a puff pastry are both lovely, but would not recommend serving both due to similarities in texture and richness. Considering hors d’oeuvres with more contrast, such as watermelon with goat cheese and balsamic served along with baby lamb chops, provides guests with more variety.
A Final Thought:
Formal or informal, winter or spring, everyone, EVERYONE loves Pigs in a Blanket. It defies all laws of menu planning and has attained a special status in the world of hors d’oeuvres. So, unless your guests are 100% vegan, don’t feel bad about serving them.
A wedding item we are seeing less and less of these days is the guest book. Many couples feel the traditional guest book will be set out on the day of the wedding and then unfortunately end up on a shelf for years to come. Why not think outside the “book” and try some of these fun and inventive ideas for a register of your guests that will surely be enjoyed for years to come:
- A framed poster of a tree; each guest signs a leaf – Any framed picture that somehow commemorates your wedding and is meaningful has a much better chance of making it up on a wall and therefore admired through the years.
- The continuing popularity of photo booths is the perfect way to commemorate your wedding. Ask the photo booth attendant to make two copies of every picture your guests take – one for the guest to take home and one for you. Imagine going through those pictures 25 years from now!
- 11 bottles of wine you love and label them 1, 5, 10, 15, etc. and ask your guests to sign the bottles of wine. Then, for each corresponding anniversary, you can open that year’s bottle of wine and remember the guests that help make your wedding day special. Ask a wine specialist to help you choose wine that will age appropriately. And don’t forget to save that special bottle of Champagne for your 50th!
All of these ideas can be used for inspiration and modified for the couple’s tastes and personalities. What’s important is that youregister your guests in a way that will be meaningful to you as a couple and helps you to remember their presence at your wedding in the future. The only thing required? DON’T FORGET A PEN!
It’s almost that time when hundreds of millions of movie lovers tune in to watch the glamorous Oscars ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in filmmaking. The Oscars reward the previous year’s greatest cinema achievements as determined by some of the world’s most accomplished motion picture artists and professionals.
Awards are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in up to 25 categories. In celebration of the crown jewel award of the evening, the Best Picture category, Coq d’Or has created three special cocktails inspired by some of the nominees. These special cocktails will be offered in Coq d’Or the weekend of the Oscars, Friday, February 22 through Sunday, February 24, 2013 only.
The following are the “translations” between the drink specials and the movies themselves:
Zero Dark Worthy: Vodka, Cherry Brandy, Dark Crème de Cacao. This cocktail references the film “Zero Dark Thirty.” The title refers to the time of day, zero dark thirty which is 12:30 a.m. in military-speak, when the a key operation in Pakistan occurred in the film. As homage, a dark colored, “heavier” martini has been created.
Silver Tequila Playbook: Sauza Hornitos Silver tequila, Licor 43 and grapefruit juice. “Silver Linings Playbook,” a film depicting a bi-polar man trying to put his life back together after release from a mental hospital, is highlighted with this drink. The film culminates in a quirky dance competition football bet that can only be seen to be believed. A cocktail with a little racy (tequila) and spicy (Licor 43) was created to complement the themes of the film.
Beasts of the Southern Drink: Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Wilderberry Liqueur, splash of soda. This drink brings light to the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” where a community of people barely subsisting in Louisiana with little infrastructure have a solid sense of community and joy. This cocktail reflects the film by showcasing a strong backbone (Jim Beam Devil’s Cut) balanced by the sweetness (Wilderberry Liqueur) of the characters connections to each other.
Chocolate has been around for a long time. The first documented appearance was in 1100 BC. Originating in Mexico, Central America and northern South America, now most of the chocolate eaten worldwide is grown in western Africa. Chocolate first expanded to western culture in the 1500s with the Spanish Conquistadors, but the first Swiss chocolate factory didn’t show up until 1819. And milk chocolate didn’t appear until 1875.
Chocolate has been thought of as an aphrodisiac since the Aztecs and the Mayas. Chocolate contains chemical compounds that enhance mood and promote higher serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the hormone that is associated with falling in love. There have been studies that show that melting chocolate on your tongue can cause a similar reaction as passionately kissing, making it a perfect food to express your love.
Although September 13 is International Chocolate Day, February 14th has given it a real run for its money. And here is a chocolate recipe to tempt your own sweetie this Valentine’s Day.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup dark corn syrup, although you can substitute honey
- 9 ounces of good dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks (the higher the percentage on the package, the more intense the flavor)
- Fresh strawberries or your favorite fruit
In a heavy bottom small sauce pan, bring the cream and the corn syrup to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until smooth and glossy. Pour into a warm ceramic bowl and dip to your heart’s content.