Parties are fun; after parties are better -- it's where all the action happens.
After the Palm Beach Food and Wine Fest's Savannah-themed An Evening in the Garden of Good and Evil dinner at the Breakers, festival chefs and partygoers headed over the the Four Season for the Cypress high Tea After Party hosted by Miami-based James Beard award winning chef Michael Schwartz for a pop up of his highly acclaimed Cypress Room.
Schwartz was joined by Michael's executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia, and mixologist Ryan Goodspeed for an evening of cocktails and tea service -- with alcohol, obviously.
With an elegant 1920's high tea as the theme -- and a large attendance from local and national celebrity chefs ranging from Robert Irvine to Clay Conley -- the evening included a cold tea service complete with tea sandwiches (egg and smoked salmon), a carving station, passed hors d'oeuvres, petit fours, and the restaurant's seasonal winter tea cocktail, the Longest Night, a combination of Hendrick's Gin, St. Germaine, gunpowder, cardamom, lemongrass, lemon, and tarragon honey, served in vintage bone china brought up from the Cypress Room.
This was Schwartz's second year participating in the festival.
"I wanted to do it last year," he said. "But it coincided with Art Basel, which is our busiest week of the year. We did it the year before and it was a bit too much to take on. This is a great festival; it's nice that it's small, because we all get to hang out together and talk to people."
As you would expect from one of the best pastry chefs in the region, the dessert spread was impressive with a selection of petit fours, including an assortment of French macarons and "pina coladas."
Being that it was a late night affair -- the event ran from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- cocktails were a main draw. Goodspeed served up classic cocktails straight from the restaurant's highly acclaimed Beverage Book. Guests were treated to La Floradita Daiquiri with Clement Premiere Agricole Rum, Aged Agricole Rum, lime, grapefruit, and simple syrup as well as the Barrel Aged Vieux Carre, a combination of cognac, benedictine, rye, sweet vermouth, and Peychaud's angostura bitters.
While this event was only in Palm Beach for the festival, anyone looking to get a taste of the dishes or drinks from the Cypress Room can take the trek down to Miami. It's located at 3620 NE 2nd Ave. in Miami. Call 305-520-5197, or visit thecypressroom.com
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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