Fabulous Parties: Food and Flowers for Elegant Entertaining
Peggy's book with Mark Held and Richard David of Mark's Garden,
Fabulous Parties: Food and Flowers for Elegant Entertaining, can be purchased at our shop. The new paperback edition is available at our shop in Pasadena, or online via Amazon.com.
Photos from our book preview party at the Tony Duquette Estate in Beverly Hills.
Creating the perfect ambiance for any party is key to it's success – whether you are hosting a simple affair with a few friends or something more formal. Packed with advice and inspiration from three of Los Angeles' most popular party providers, Fabulous Parties reveals their professional secrets and enables you to create your own sensational stylish celebration for any occasion.
Drawing on many years of hands-on experience as floral designers and caterers to Los Angeles's A-listers, Mark Held and Richard David's Mark's Garden and Peggy Dark's Kitchen for Exploring Foods have adapted the principles of putting together a large, lavish event to a more intimate scale and lower budget, more suited to home or small venue entertaining.
The harmonious relationship between food and flowers is clearly shown in beautiful, specially commissioned photographs which showcase twenty themed events, inspired by those created for their celebrity clients. All of the events included have a theme, décor, and menu. Choose from a Rustic Italian Party, a colourful Caribbean Dinner, a Chic Cocktail Party, a lavish New Year's Eve Celebration, a fun Mexican Fiesta, an elegant Wine Tasting or a glamorous Pink Ladies Luncheon, plus many more inspired yet achievable ideas.
Mouth-watering menus accompany each party idea and include suggestions for a delicious aperitif, along with recipes for fingerfoods and canapés, followed by ideas for starters [appetizers], mains [entrées] and desserts. The stylish floral designs shown in each setting include ideas for table centrepieces [centers] and other floral table decorations plus innovative ways of dressing rooms and outdoor spaces. Practical instruction on how to achieve professional results at home is given in Floristry Tips and Techniques.
Be inspired by Fabulous Parties and make your party the event of the season – to be enjoyed by your friends and family and talked about for years to come.
Peggy Dark traces her interest in food back to the days of her youth in Ventura, California, where she grew up in a family of devoted cooks of the 'old school' variety. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a home economics major, Peggy worked as a food stylist and spent many years offering cooking classes in Pasadena, as well as the occasional cooking tour to Europe. As her three children grew older, she gained the opportunity to devote herself full-time to her lifelong fascination with the preparation of fine food, and the idea for starting her own catering firm and gourmet take-out was born. Peggy founded the Kitchen for Exploring Foods in 1984. The shop on Colorado Boulevard opened for business in the autumn/fall of 1984. Since that time, 'The Kitchen' has emerged as one of the premier catering firms in Los Angeles, with a devoted following among the region's lovers of gourmet food.
Mark Held was born in Chicago, Illinois but spent most of his youth in the Bay Area of Northern California. Prior to his career in floral design, he was a professional principal dancer with various ballet companies including Frankfurt Ballet, Boston Ballet and Los Angeles Ballet. He began designing floral arrangements as an apprentice in Germany and worked for several shops in the US.
Richard David is a native of Los Angeles, where he graduated from UCLA with a degree in design and initially entered the field of advertising, working for two major ad agencies. He subsequently moved into television, where he was a writer for 20th Century Fox and produced films for television for several years, winning a variety of awards.
Mark Held and Richard David began Mark's Garden in Los Angeles, California in 1993 and have been credited with setting the bar for floral design on the west coast and having influenced it throughout the country. In 1999, the [London] Financial Times recognized them as one of the outstanding florists in the world. Their reputation has grown steadily over the years through their continued emphasis on creating new trends in their daily design work and ground breaking events décor that has included a large number of celebrity weddings. They have designed weddings for many private clients, civic events such as the opening of the Frank Gehry designed Disney Concert hall and for the past 13 years, The Academy Awards Governor's Ball. They have received a massive amount of press coverage over the years and media continues to turn to them frequently for feature story ideas. In June 2007, Mark was named by Modern Bride Magazine as a 2006 wedding "trendsetter."