I had to come up with a little more then Lucky strike cigarettes and alcohol for a Madmen dinner I had been asked to organise for the girls of mylittleparis. I had done a similar style event last year at the Cha cha but this one was a lot more fun as it was a more intimate event which meant I had time to add my own little signature touches.
The event took place in a stunning Parisian apartment which had some great views of the Eiffel tower and the rest of Paris. I rocked up laden like the donkeys I saw in Marrakech and started working my magic in the kitchen and the rest of the apartment.
Doing these kind of events you always have the problem of not having access to a prop department like on a film set, so the ambiance has to be set up with easy to make/find objects. I’ld found a whole bunch of old 1960s American ads which I had collaged together to create the placemats. Serviettes were ironed into suit shapes (thanks to my lovely assistant, Thomasine).
I’ld been hassling all my friends who smoke Lucky strikes for the empty boxes but with no luck. Plus now a days all cigarette boxes come with the ugly big warning ‘Smoking kills’ which wouldn’t look so good as props (stylists don’t care about the health hazards as long as it looks great So using my Arts background I designed myself my own lucky strike packaging which I printed out on my home printer and then made into little cigarette boxes. Mini grissini sticks were used as edible cigarettes and served with dips in ashtrays (obviously washed!).
Of course Madmen wouldn’t be Madmen without the cocktails! If you like most people don’t have a cocktail bar then all you need is an ironing board plus a white tablecloth. You might want to be a little bit careful with putting stuff on there though.
Being fairly new to the whole mixing culture I hired an authentic mixologist straight off the boat from Manhattan (well off a plane) who showed me a trick or two about making cocktails. For instance to make your lemon twists for your cocktails simply scrape out all the insides from lemon (see pic) and cut into rings.
I’ld been having a fairly sleepless week with the amount of work I had on (5am starts and midnight finishes) which resulted into me breaking 5 plates (and then breaking another in the shop when I went to buy the replacements) and slicing half my finger off while using the mandoline. The picture above is me before the accident. Note to myself: do not be distracted under any circumstances while using a mandoline. It’s lethal!
The injury was well worth it though. Look at the beautifully sliced vegetables for the main course. Dinner kicked off after the canapés and martinis with a Lucky strike baked fig with mozarella and roquette. The Lucky strike element came in the form of a sugar syrup which had been infused with Lucky strike tabacco. Normally you would infuse the syrup with an expensive cigar but I felt this was more in keeping with the ‘Madmen’ spirit.
Main course was a hommage to season 1 episode 6 where Roger Sterling and Joanne aka Red are in a hotel where he has ordered Rockefeller oysters and Beef Wellington: Roger Sterling’s Beef Wellington and Red’s roasted mash and vegetables. To finish, a New York New York cheesecake served on little New York skyline plates I had made. The soirée was rounded off with the perfect Madmen mix of music.