10 Event Trends that Will Prevail in 2017

2017-event-trends-picture-jumbo A new year, a new beginning. We hope the year delivers all of the promises it holds right now. You try on 2017, see how it fits and we’ll sail ahead to spot event trends coming your way.

1. Hello, Hygge

Events take on hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”). Expect to see the Danish happiness trend’s influence on events. Hygge is all about simplicity and spending time with friends and family; it’s only natural that events will adopt all of the warm and cozy elements: roasted chicken, knits, candlelight, flickering fireplaces, pillowy pastries, you get the idea.

2. Pairings Beyond the Plate

The forecast shows that combo events will be a big trend in 2017. One example is Seattle Pacific Science Center’s “Science and a Movie” series. The museum partners with a local theater to give science lectures along with movie showings— for instance, the audience views Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and then neuroscientists explain the science behind the movie.

Get those synapses firing and start thinking of the next combo. Cider and crossfit. Whiskey and whirleyball. Truffles and tennis.

3. Inclusion is In

Three cheers for diversity. Inclusion is too significant to be considered an event “trend”; it’s a movement … in the right direction. Attendees are demanding more diversity on panels and trade shows and conferences are stepping up to deliver. “It elevates the profession of event planners from mere executors of tasks to agents of change. 2017 is the year when diversity will be a given, not a luxury, ” writes Julius Solaris, Editor of EventMB.

4. Events Shrink

No more nosebleed seats. One of our community outreach team members says, “I believe folks will be looking for more and more intimate experiences, to build community, and connect much more deeply, so smaller settings will be more appealing.”

Popular author Dave Sedaris is “on-trend.” Though he packed Seattle’s Benaroya hall last year and could do it again, he chose to host his Thief of Finding workshop series in a smaller venue. ” Audiences will have the opportunity to be up-close-and-personal with David as he polishes the final draft of a new book,” the event description reads. That’s a pretty big selling point for any Sedaris fan.

Food and Beverage Event Trends

In general, as small events are on the rise, look for more intimate wine-driven dinners, “undiscovered” neighborhood food tours, and cook-off competitions. And…

5. Wild Game, Local Grains

Last year was the year of the ugly vegetable (which continues); this year delivers wild game and less “popular” meats, such as duck, rabbit, quail, and venison. Also expect to see more fresh veggies at your local produce stand, as heirloom vegetables and rare varieties become more available. More people will start to cook at home with an uptick in made-to-cook meal delivery companies, such as Blue Apron.

And look out local grain. Our food specialists report a renaissance in local grain industries.

6. Dumplings

The dish du your Instagram feed? Dumplings. Fresh from the steamer basket, they’re tasty, adorable and come in a range of sizes. Check out this GrubStreet article and learn all about the different dumplings, how to properly eat a soup dumpling (hint: wait until it cools), and the various shapes and pleats.

7. Healthy Fast-Casual

We all know that sinking feeling. You pull up to a fast food restaurant, hangrily scanning the menu for fresh and green. All you find is fried and greasy. Healthy, fast and fresh is (thankfully) happening. Grab and go with no regrets.

8. Milk that Isn’t Actually Milk

The dairy aisle is about to get nutty. Milk made from nuts, plants or even insects is on the table to meet the demand for milk alternatives. Avocado seed milk, anyone? It’s not as out there as it sounds. Our specialists report increased awareness of food waste, resulting in food waste dinners, more juicing and composting.

9. Fizzy Fermentation

Kombucha, shrubs, brines and other fizzy beverages will continue to gain popularity. In 2017, you’ll see kombucha in more mainstream places and even on tap. And more and more, families are fermenting and engaging in DIY food preservation at home.

10. Big Things in Booze

Natural will be the 2017 buzzword when it comes to wine. Wikipedia defines natural wine as “made without chemical and minimum technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine.”

Cider and mead continue to grow in popularity, and so will sugary adult beverages, like boozy milkshakes and rootbeer. Opposite of that, there’s an uptick in going booze-free with the “mocktail madness” trend we reported on last year’s event trends list getting even stronger in 2017.

What trends have you noticed? Ring in the New Year by ringing in below.

Event Tips >

6 Tips to Better Farm-to-Table Events

carrots-farm-to-tableChefs are talking about it. Foodies are asking for it. These days, farm to table is on the tips of everyone’s tongues.

High-quality ingredients make a chef’s job easier since they are so naturally delectable.  Any respectable food lover will search for the freshest and most lovingly grown produce.  More and more, restaurant owners are partnering with local farmers to find it. In some cases, they’re cutting out the middle man and farming their own ingredients.

Any way you slice it, farm to table fundamentally changed the way we dine out.

Today’s food lover and farm-to-table dinners

Today’s food lover wants to know where it comes from, how it was grown, and if it will be around next time. Farm-to-table dinners allow food fans to get up close and personal to what they’re eating and hopefully, walk away with a greater appreciation for it. The term “farm to table” has to do with the process of growing, harvesting, preparing and consuming food.  However, many types of food and beverage events fit under this umbrella.  On the farm or in the restaurant, the slow food and farm-to-table movement puts the spotlight on the highest-quality, locally grown ingredients.

No need to overdress for these dining experiences, the focus is on the food. If you are considering hosting your own farm-to-table event, kudos to you. This movement will slowly re-school us on how vital and precious food is to long-term survival. Since farm-to-table events involve a lot of harvesting and preparing ingredients right from the farm, it’s smart to have a checklist for your event planning.

We know your farm-to-table event is going to be great, but the below tips will help make it even better.

6 tips to a better farm-to-table experience

1. If you are hosting an outdoor event, be aware of the experience you are building.  Once you have a realistic inventory of possible issues, you can address them one by one.  Ifcity-growers-urban-farming-benefit you don’t have access to a farm, reach out to some in your area. It’s a great way to build community.

2. Going to be outdoors? Don’t forget about pests. Bees, mosquitoes, ants, or greedy birds could throw a wrench in the works, so have a test dinner prior to the event.  Find methods for detouring/repelling critters without also repelling your guests.  Marigolds and other plants make good natural repellents that don’t overpower the senses.

3. Wind, rain and yes, too much sun can turn a picturesque dinner into a logistic nightmare. No one wants soggy biscuits, so have a second location planned in case it pours.  Follow weather forecasts and adjust accordingly.

4. Keep your dishes and décor simple and elegant. Minimalist décor offers a more authentic experience and frees up time and resources that could be put into the execution of the event. Choose simple recipes that highlight flavor; the best ingredients will taste amazing with little help. Make sure that as many ingredients as possible are locally grown by organic sustainable farms.  If you have a dish in mind and can’t source the ingredients, try a different recipe or variation.  This limitation will bring out your creativity and inspire your visitors to buy locally.

5. Make your guests feel at home on the farm. Ensure a great, homey ambiance by inviting people you know. Friends, family, or farm staff could make wonderful assistant hosts.  Allow plenty of time before, after and in-between courses for guests to take in the surroundings and chat.  If everything goes well, time stands still and memories are made.

6. Above all, relish the event and your company.  Confidence and genuine enjoyment are absolute musts to making your dinner a sweet success.  The impression from a great night will last a lifetime and keep diners coming back.

Calling all food lovers: Comment below with your fresh tips on food. Hungry? Find a farm-to-table feast near you.

(First photo from City Growers Benefit last month in New York)

Food & Drink >

Boozie Friday: Cider – A Delicious Beverage and Ingredient

1086683117_c2f524cc8f_zLast Sunday, a wonderful event took place here in Seattle. The Seattle Wine and Food Experience packed the spacious exhibition hall at the Seattle Center putting wine, beer, spirits, food and cider in the spotlight. The proceeds from this marvelous event went to Les Dames d’Escoffier Seattle, a 501c3 non-profit organization comprised of female leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy. It’s wonderful to see this incredible organization supported by such strong attendance. The event sold out which undoubtedly put some decent funding toward their cause.

One thing that struck me at the event, was the growing interest in craft ciders amongst American food and booze enthusiasts. With the rise of artisanal products and the ever growing farm-to-table movement here in the United States, this old standard is back in fashion. Drinkers in England and other parts of the world have enjoyed cider for many generations. However, here in the United States, the temptingly tart/sweet beverage didn’t really enjoy the same success. Grain used to brew beer was cheaper and more readily available than the cider apple and the cost was the loss of a great libation. However, after prohibition, cider began to re-gain popularity and today you can find a fine craft cider in almost any bar, grocery store or liquor store. Even well established beer brewers like Stella Artois are making their own apple brew: Cidre. Based on what I saw at the Seattle Wine and Food Experience, larger companies definitely have their hats in the ring, but smaller, craft ciders seem to dominate the arena here in the Pacific Northwest.

Cider can vary in sweetness and be combined with other flavors for fantastic results. Some common flavors added to a good cider are berry, ginger and, of course, the flavor of oak barrels. In many ways cider can be treated the same as wine or beer in that it pairs well with food. Cooking with cider is also a fantastic option for the more adventurous chef and it can replace white wine in many situations. However, before attempting that, you should probably try some of the different cider on the market. Some of the tastiest and notable include Teiton Cider Works, Eaglemount Wine & Cider, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, and Woodchuck Hard Cider.  Of course, with hundreds of cider makers worldwide, this list could have easily gone on and on but you get the idea.

Want to try your hand at cooking with cider? Well, you’re in luck. Included below is my recipe for Roasted Pork Loin with an Apple Cider Mustard Sauce. Enjoy!
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Boozie Friday: The Need for Mead

3476583742_d01766414f_bThrough the long, complicated development of medicine we have made the occasional happy accident. Coke and Pepsi are two very good examples as they were originally meant to be digestive aids and were invented for that specific reason only to later become a sweet treat. But way before there were soft drinks and aspirin there was something a with a little more kick. Mead is wine made from fermenting water, honey, and various other ingredients. It can be made sweet like a dessert wine or be on the crisp side. Mead may include medicinal herbs and spices or fruit to add flavor and health benefits.

There are currently two different kinds of mead bubbling away on the counter in my house. The anticipation is killing me, but I know it will be worth the wait once finished. This is my first attempt at mead making so the process has been admittedly one of discovery. It has however been surprisingly easy to do and I suggest giving it a try sometime yourself. Mead can be made with very few ingredients and little equipment and will have you on the edge of your seat for quite some time.

Brewing mead is an adventure all on it’s own. If you are interested in brewing, you will need a few key items and ingredients to get started. These things can be collected a piece at a time over a few months so you don’t break the bank in the process. Over time you will build a respectable brew set up and be turning out batches of your favorite mead variations on a consistent basis. Find your groove with this process and you will hopefully get the satisfaction and therapy out of the process you are looking for.

Brew on!
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Food & Drink >

The Pronto Podcast — Brown Paper Tickets’ Event Guide for Seattle

BPT_buttonWelcome to The Pronto! Brown Paper Ticket’s event guide for Seattle.

Tune in every Tuesday to check out a few of our favorite events in the Emerald City! You can check back to the blog every Tuesday at 10am or hit “subscribe” on the player and get each week’s Pronto delivered right to your computer.

Have a friend that’s visiting Seattle this week? Why not share this podcast with them and give them ideas of something to do? 

This week’s podcast features a rye whiskey tasting, the School of Rock tackling new wave classics, a class on sheep brain dissection (!) and more!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15, head over to the Barrel Thief in Fremont for their Annual Winter Rye Tasting. You’ll learn all about the history of rye and its distillation process. Plus, you’ll get a chance to sip ten different samples. Everything you always wanted to know about rye but were afraid to ask.

After eating rotten meat, a brainless brunette is transformed into a dangerous genius. Am I talking about your weird dream last night? No. This is the plot of Pig Death Machine, a movie at Northwest Film Forum. Perverse sci-fi/ comedy at its best. Tuesday January 14, through Thursday, January 16.

Thursday, January 16, through Sunday, January 19, 9th Street Studios in South Lake Union features the play The Memory of Water. Three sisters come together on the eve of their mother’s funeral. Dramatic with moments of levity.

Friday, January 17, and Saturday, January 18, you’re probably going to hit happy hour anyway, so why not check out Improv Happy Hour at Unexpected Productions’ Market Theater. Good fun. Improv style.

The intimate venue Empty Sea Studios in Greenwood features the music of singer/ songwriters Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin on Friday, January 17. These two astonishing solo artists come together for this very special performance.

Saturday, January 18, at Oddfellows Hall on Capitol Hill, it’s time for Glitter & Mischief: An Alumni Invitational featuring Jo ‘Boobs’ Weldon. Lots of other great performers, too. This one is not to be missed.

On Saturday, January 18, the School of Rock presents New Wave and Rock 101. Kids going retro. Obviously, this is going to be awesome. Check it out at Chop Suey on Capitol Hill.
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Arts >

Boozie Friday: Signature Cocktails and Other Fun Ideas

6540592675_bee065c187_bTis’ the season to be merry, jolly and, for some of us, buzzed. Winter is a perfect time to try your hand at your very own signature cocktail. Since we usually relax our calorie counting when it’s cold outside,  sweeter liqueurs, cream and half and half are more-than-welcome ingredients for a winter cocktail. This also means you can work with the spices and flavors of the season. This, my friends, is the perfect opportunity for mixologists of any skill level to try their hand at signature cocktails. Fun garnishes, interesting flavor combos, and lots of practice can easily turn a dull and dreary winter evening into a lively and festive soiree.

So, before you can start mixing, you will need a few things to get started. First, stock the bar with a few key liqueurs and pieces of hardware. A well stocked bar should contain at least one bottle each of gin, vodka, whisky, bourbon, tequila, scotch, rum (both light and dark and/or spiced) and brandy. I may have left out something here but you get the idea. Just make sure it’s quality booze. If you drink cheap stuff you might not feel like doing much of anything the next day. If you don’t want to lay down a bunch of cash on all these different flavors pick your three favorite, that’s a good start.

The next thing to add to your collection are liqueurs. Now there are lots and lots of these so you might break the bank trying to buy all of them. Add to your collection a little at a time. A bottle of Frangelico here, a bottle of Grand Marnier there will quickly turn into a respectable collection. Think seasonally when selecting your liqueurs. In the winter time, what flavors are most inspiring? Orange, hazel nut, chocolate, raspberry, maybe even pear? There is a liqueur out there for just about anything you are going for so play around. If you aren’t sure and don’t want to dedicate to a large bottle try buying the airline bottles until you find what you are looking for. These smaller bottles allow you to have lots of different things on hand to mix with.

Now that you have the hard stuff figured out, you can add the finishing touches. Fresh fruit and other garnishes are going to make your cocktail pop. Get creative and don’t be afraid to taste things as you go as this tends to “inspire” people. Play around with variations on classic cocktails by subbing a portion of the liqueur or adding spices. Cranberry, orange, and cinnamon? Yes these things taste good together.

Now that you are well on your way and hopefully have some great ideas, go out and get your drink on. Included below is one of my favorite concoctions. Please drink safely!
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Food & Drink >

The Pronto Podcast — Brown Paper Tickets’ Event Guide for Seattle

BPT_buttonWelcome to The Pronto! Brown Paper Ticket’s event guide for Seattle.

Tune in every Tuesday to check out a few of our favorite events in the Emerald City! You can check back to the blog every Tuesday at 10am or hit “subscribe” on the player and get each week’s Pronto delivered right to your computer.

Have a friend that’s visiting Seattle this week? Why not share this podcast with them and give them ideas of something to do? 

This week’s podcast features including a bitters class, a hayride, a beer festival and more!

Attention all authors. Today, Tuesday, December 3 is the day for an Amazon Publishing Tutorial at UW Center for Urban Horticulture. Learn how to use the tools, grow your market and understand the technology.

Today is also the day to learn to make bitters at the Barrel Thief in Fremont. In this workshop you’ll learn to mix your own bitter for cocktails, soups and all kinds of other recipes. All ingredients are included.

Head over to a class called Dr. Jen’s Stage Make-up with Inga Ingenue at Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty in the Central District on Wednesday, December 4. Accentuate your best features before you hit the stage.

Wednesday, December 4 is the big day for A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center. This free presentation supports the preservation and revitalization of this native northwest knowledge system.

Seward Park Audubon Center is all about Winter’s Eve Hayrides. So come on out on Wednesday, December 4, and take a tour around the loop at Seward Park. Bundle up!

Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7, Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park is the place to be for 2013 Winter Beer Festival. Lots of beer. Guaranteed.

On Friday December 6, the action is at House of Hong in the International District. The event— Top Contributors to the Asian Community. Put on by the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation, this is a great opportunity to support the community.


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Arts >

The Pronto Podcast — Brown Paper Tickets’ Event Guide for Seattle

BPT_buttonWelcome to The Pronto! Brown Paper Ticket’s event guide for Seattle.

Tune in every Tuesday to check out a few of our favorite events in the Emerald City! You can check back to the blog every Tuesday at 10am or hit “subscribe” on the player and get each week’s Pronto delivered right to your computer.

Have a friend that’s visiting Seattle this week? Why not share this podcast with them and give them ideas of something to do? 

This week’s podcast features including tributes to Jimi Hendrix and Lou Reed, tons of holiday gift events and even more food events!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 27, head on over to the Vera Project at Seattle Center for the Jimi Hendrix Annual Birthday Tribute Concert. It’s live music by Leon and Tina Hendrix and others. Serious rock just in time for the holiday.

Also, tomorrow Wednesday, November 27, Kirkland’s Laughs Comedy Spot hosts Turkey Day Eve Comedy Show. Seattle’s funniest people take on the impending holiday. Good laughs right before the big day.

If the Jimi Hendrix show got you in the mood for tribute concerts, head on over to the Columbia City Theater on Friday, November 29, for a Tribute to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. This one features performances by Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Bigfoot Wallace and others.

Friday, November 29 and through the weekend, hit up the Native Holiday Gift Fair at Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center. Buy directly from native crafts people. Great stuff in every price range.

Friday November 29, through the weekend and beyond, check out Unexpected Productions’ An Improvised Christmas Carol. The audience decides the story. It’s different every time. But it’s always funny, weird and Christmas-y.

You know about Etsy, the online craft shop, right? Take it live on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30, at Elliot Hall at Pier 66. Check out tons of hand made crafts from local Etsy artists.

Saturday, November 30, it’s as good a time as any to get environmental. So head on over to the Bullitt Center on Capitol Hill for a tour of the greenest commercial building in the country. It’s a very cool space with some serious solar panels on the roof.

On Sunday, December 1, why not learn how to make a cute stuffed whale at Ugly Baby and La Ru in downtown Seattle? No experience necessary. And you’ll walk away with a cute little stuffed whale. Perfect for a kiddo in your life.

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Arts >

Foodie Friday: Homemade Side Dishes for the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to get cooking. Along with our main course or meat courses in our house we need a lot of sides. For some of us, the pressure can make the decision to grab a can of cranberry sauce or box of stuffing mix an obvious choice. This does not have to happen! While we all know it’s harder to make everything from scratch don’t we owe it to ourselves as cooks and our families to make them the good stuff? After all, these are the most important meals of the year, perhaps of our lives in some cases. Do we really want to remember the tin-flavoured green bean casserole or the canned candied yams? The answer is no.

This week, I wanted to share a couple of quick and easy side dishes that will hopefully take some of the stress out of your holiday meal planning. Along with these recipes I would also like to share some tips from a few of my other posts. Think of this post as a holiday montage show. giving us the chance to think back over all the other epic meals we have prepared. Armed with these tips and a little bit of luck, you can surely make your holiday meal go off without a hitch.

Let’s get started! Planning and organization are key as mentioned in my earlier posts “Mise-En-Place Part 1” and “Part 2”.  There is no substitution for working and thinking ahead. For example, if you want to make your stuffing from scratch you can make your croutons weeks in advance, the same is true for chicken, veggie, or turkey stock. You can freeze and store stock when ever you make a batch to be used later in a number of dishes. Practicing and perfecting recipes in the weeks leading up to the big day can also be a great way to grease the wheels. Your family and friends will not complain about a roasted turkey dinner believe me. Plus, this gives you a head start on preparation as you can pre-make some ingredients for certain dishes, as I mentioned earlier.
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Food & Drink >

The Pronto Podcast — Brown Paper Tickets’ Event Guide for Seattle

BPT_buttonWelcome to The Pronto! Brown Paper Ticket’s event guide for Seattle.

Tune in every Tuesday to check out a few of our favorite events in the Emerald City! You can check back to the blog every Tuesday at 10am or hit “subscribe” on the player and get each week’s Pronto delivered right to your computer.

Have a friend that’s visiting Seattle this week? Why not share this podcast with them and give them ideas of something to do? 

This week’s podcast features our top picks including an event based around the art of macaroni and cheese, a couples workshop and a comedy show from a guy with a Ph.D.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 6, you know you’re gonna want to drink some beer and eat dinner.  So check out the Left Hand Beer Dinner at Burgundian. Drink up some great craft beer from the Left Hand Brewing Company and indulge in a fantastic five course meal. Yum on that.

Wednesday, November 6, is also a good day to take the Estate Planning Workshop at the Saturn Building in Fremont. It’s good information you’ll need to know some day.

Have you ever wanted to taste a bunch of different hard ciders and raise money for a good cause at the same time? Thursday, November 7, is your big chance with the 2013 Hard Cider Test Fundraiser at Little Uncle restaurant in Pioneer Square. Funds help support City Fruit’s fruit harvest.

Artist Trust helps local artists in a whole lot of ways. So head down to EMP on Friday, November 8, for the Artist Trust Awards Party. See who’s getting a grant this year and get 50% off your Artist Trust membership at the event. Support local artists!

They said you were crazy when you called your mac and cheese an art form. But it’s true. On Friday, November 8, join the fun at Chez Klozar for Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese. It’s a book launch event with lots of pasta. And lots of cheese.

It’s time for Theater Schmeater’s Auction Schmauction on Saturday, November 9. That’s a gala event with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and a performance of special scenes from favorite past productions. Good times. Good cause.

Want to step up your relationship? On Saturday, November 9, buy a Brown Paper Ticket for Hold Me Tight, at the Inn at the Market, downtown. This couples workshop will help you strengthen the bonds between you and your significant other in a number of important ways.

On Sunday, November 10, head on over to Bainbridge Island’s Heyday Farm for Sunday Supper on the Farm. That’s dinner, wine and a fabulous meal prepared by Mike Easton of Corvo. All at a gorgeous venue on the island.


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