Farmhouse woods and Southern cooking meet vintage crystal and gilded stemware in this fancy-casual feast.
Styled by Farra Mirón of the Hostess Haven and Betsy Vonn Ginn of Smid design studio, catering by The Vetted Table
Get the Look:
The Menu: Pommes Anna, roasted root veggies, wild Mexican shrimp and cheesy grits, pork belly with carrot squash puree and cranberry mostarda, sliced bone-in rib eye, Cheddar cheese biscuits, cherry clafoutis with powdered sugar
The Drink: Pomegranate spritzer with Aperol and sparkling wine
The Table: The stylists based the entire concept off a set of black-and-white napkins by HH linens they wanted to use, eventually adding plates, flatware, cast-iron pans, a chalkboard menu, and live chickens to match. “Don’t even think that was not part of the plan,” Betsy says. “We eyed those chickens very carefully.”
Tip: Farra says, “Look outside for ways to dress up your table. Betsy cut the seeded vines off a palm tree in her yard. The beautiful purple hue added texture and a pop of color that complemented the food and drinks, making the table more fun and festive.”
When Betsy found this old chicken coop, she knew it was perfect for the party. “Its gray salvaged wood provides that rawness and masculinity to help balance out the table,” she says. “Putting candles, glamorous glassware, and a Champagne bucket on top soften the wood piece and help pull it into the room. Farra’s chickens were just a bonus!”
More tips from Betsy Vonn Ginn of Smid Design Studio:
Get the Right Lighting: First of all, it's all about the lighting and don't let anyone tell you different. One should never settle on the lighting in their space. If you chose it because it just goes or because it's the first thing you found that works, I can tell you, you have chosen the wrong lighting. I am big on lighting and it needs to be a statement. Not too much of a statement, but enough of a talking piece. We had planned on using a branchalier for the lighting in the room. However, plans changed. Go in with a vision for the design but be flexible enough to bend toward what the room is calling for or needs, versus trying to force a piece. In our case, once we found the chicken coop, the branchelier became too heavy for the room. It would have felt to woodsy or too masculine. So we went with a ball chandelier to make a statement, keep it edgy, and give it a party feel.
Add the Unexpected: I bet many people would not throw that cowhide with this table. I encourage everyone to push beyond the norm and try things. The cowhide works here because of the color palette chosen for the room and its unexpected, which makes it fun. The rug helps ground the space, pulling together the browns, creams, and woods.
More tips from Farra Miron of Hostess Haven:
Stack Your Plates: Sometimes one plate just won't do! I love stacking plates even if they don't all get used. Stacking multiple plates of different sizes allows for a more interesting tabletop and a perfect way to bring in colors and depth. Pay attention to the plate rims that will show and have fun with it. You can even bake something individually for your guests and add it to their setting, like we did with the Pommes Anna, baked and served right in the pewter bowls.
Recipe: Pork Belly Accouterments
Don’t leave your pork belly bland. Add some squash and carrot puree and cranberry mostarda to the mix. Recipe courtesy of Juan Miron from the Vetted Table.
Squash and Carrot Purée
- 1 cup carrots, peeled/small dice
- 1 cup butternut squash, peeled/small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 shallot, small dice
- 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
- 1 tablespoon coriander, ground
- 1 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper)
Sautee shallot and garlic in butter on medium heat covered with a lid, until translucent.
Add carrot, cover, and simmer on medium heat 2 to 3 minutes.
Add squash, cover, and simmer on medium heat until cooked carrot and squash are soft (about 8 to 10 minutes)
Add spices and cream. Bring to simmer.
Purée in food processor or blender.
- 1 cup dried cranberry
- 1/4 cup mustard seed
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tablespoon cloves, ground
Combine all ingredients and simmer until "jammy."
Pulse in food processor to desired consistency, which should be slightly chunky but still saucy.