Nisa Lee: "Menu-Morphing" For Today's Rapidly Globalizing, Trend-Of-The-Moment Party-Giver

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Nisa Lee is a world fushion caterer. She began work as a banker then switched to catering world fushion food. She has sizzling summer food and cocktail recipes!

Treat every food encounter like a vacation to a foreign land and open yourself up to the pleasure it will bring to all five senses.

Cosmos and appletinis? So yesterday. Chicken on a skewer? Skewered. Vanilla crème brulee? Passé!

Today’s “foodies,” whether throwing an intimate dinner party for 12 or an over-the-top extravaganza for 300, want ahead-of-the-curve, serious “aha-moment” cuisine “experiences.” But many of today’s aspiring hosts and hostesses weren’t raised by “June Cleaver” – more likely “Murphy Brown!”

Therefore, they own the Wolf range, subscribe to Zagat’s and control the temperature of their Pinot Noir but need the help of a professional to execute the perfect party.

This is where the up-to-the-minute culinary expertise, calm assurance, skilled manner and beautiful presentation of Nisa Lee and company come in. Nisa Lee can take that “been-there-done-that” menu on a world-wide journey through spices and preparations representing at least 20 different countries.

Hence, convert that Cosmo into a shimmering pomegranate ginger champagne cocktail. Change that chicken skewer to a feisty chorizo kebab and vary vanilla crème brulee with va-va-voom velvet raspberry cake. According to Nisa Lee, “Treat every food encounter like a vacation to a foreign land and open yourself up to the pleasure it will bring to all five senses.”

But Nisa is also mindful to never lose sight of the timeless art of superb service, which, in the world of upscale catering, never goes out of style.

“Caterer” hardly encompasses all that Nisa Lee, the creative genius behind this super successful catering company, does for her clients. “Producer” is more apt, since according to the dictionary definition, a producer is one who supervises and controls the finances, creation, and public presentation of a play, film, program, or similar work, and one of Nisa Lee’s carefully crafted events certainly encompasses all the drama and flair of the best theatrical work.

Celebrities and influentials including Vanessa Williams, Hilary Clinton, Spike Lee, Kenneth Cole, Isaiah Thomas and Michael Bolton have all experienced Nisa’s cuisine. Cultural institutions including the Hole in the Wall Gang in Greenwich, Caramoor in Katonah and the Bruce Museum in Greenwich as well as corporate giants, Time Warner Inc., Ogilvy & Mather and Greenwich Capital have also worked with Nisa and know well her ability to create a working, trusting relationship.

She first establishes the mood of the event with the client and helps them envision the celebration from start to finish. Nisa’s warmth, calm demeanor and attention to every detail allow the host to relax and really feel like a guest at their own affair.

Clients begin their “productions” by choosing from a seasonal and varied menu which can be “morphed” to suit any theme or style. Nisa’s fresh signature dishes include steamed vegetable rice crepe with sweet chili sauce to citrus sirloin with arugula and chili-spiced mayonnaise to butterfly shrimp with cool raspberry sauce, ginger crème brulee or a thin French apple tart with pineapple coconut ice cream for dessert and delightful one-of-a-kind drinks such as mango mojitos, Thai martinis and the aforementioned ginger-pomegranate champagne cocktails.

Each Nisa Lee event is a fusion of colors, tastes, regions, and traditions:

Color -- fabulous linen choices (why use white when there are chocolate brown and lime green?) and incredible fresh-from-Thailand orchids in every color of the rainbow

Tastes -- mix up spicy and sublime, comfort food and exotic cuisine, buttery-rich to gluten-free.

Regions -- no area of the globe is unreachable, dishes emanate from Morroco to Mexico, India to Italy and Thailand to TaiPei.

Traditions -- Be it a birthday celebration, baby shower, wedding or cocktail party, Nisa takes the special and makes it all the more memorable from choosing linens that match a host’s garden to delighting a Chinese bride and her Scottish groom with bagpipers and a pagoda-style wedding cake.

Nisa also teaches each client her “event essentials” for throwing a successful party. (see attached) Armed with this knowledge and the unparalleled skill and ability of Nisa Lee, any aspiring party-giver will have the confidence, creativity and craft to entertain with panache. More information about Nisa Lee can be found at her website, http://www.nisalee.com.

Nisa Lee's "Event Essentials"

Spot Trends

  •     Keep your eyes open for new cuisines and taste sensations
  •     Be open to intriguing new ideas in décor and presentation

Budget Accurately

  •     Know how much you want to spend. You can have the best of everything and in the end you may have too much! A budget will allow you to keep things very simple but make the experience memorable

Add Personal Touches

  •     Hand written invitations for small dinner parties
  •     E-vites—modern approach to invitations, ability to manage and coordinate guest list in one sitting.
  •     Create a warm and inviting atmosphere even for formal affairs such as weddings -- guests are greeted with a specialty drink, setting the tone for the evening, “relax and have fun”.

Artfully Arrange Flowers

  •     Use flowers from your own garden! Seasonal and affordable – for example, colorful tulips for spring, roses and hydrangeas for summer.
  •     Always cut tulips because they will naturally get taller as they sit in the vase, creating a more natural arrangement.
  •     Use clear vases of various and unique sizes, shapes, and design (“keep it simple!”)
  •     Accent the base of the vases with colorful or earth tone marbles, this allows you to better control the arrangement

Make The Mood With Candles

  •     Creates relaxed, intimate, and soft setting and we all look better by candlelight

Color Your World

  •     Select a couple of colors but in different tones and hues, be bold with chocolate brown and lime green for example to create a vibrant, modern feel.

Amplify With Music

  •     Creates energy and always puts everyone in the mood to have fun.
  •     Classical and jazz for intimate affairs
  •     Live band or DJ for an up beat, high energy event

Prepare Fun, Specialty Drinks

  •     Establishes a bonding experience for everyone
  •     Makes great conversation-starter

Incorporate Ethnic, Religious Preferences

  •     For instance, “faith foods” – foods from the Bible or other religious texts are in vogue, do some research and be creative!
  •     Nisa can also provide for kosher cuisine with east meets west flavors using a party-giver’s own cookware to keep with custom.

Keep it 'Simply Elegant"

  •     In the end, that becomes the most distinctive

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Nancy Shenker
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