Hi! Kate here.
"Cósi Fan Tutte."
This was a quote that Katie googled just before dinner started to put on our felt board. In Italian, it means, "That is the way of all women." It works, eh?
Dinner No. 4 was in the Hollywood Hills at the beautiful home of some dear friends. Two of the roommates who reside at the house were able to host us, and (to be completely honest) we should have saved this location for Dinner No. 50 or so because because it's going to be incredibly difficult to top.
Underneath big billowy tree branches, we ate, conversed, and inspired each other. The flow of the night worked like a river -- each attendee fitting in and getting along with the woman to her left or right as though they'd been friends long before that night. Once the sun went down, the weather was perfection and our view was straight out of La La Land. (Hey Emma, want to come to a dinner?)
The theme for the night was "The South of Italy," as you may have guessed from the quote we had displayed. A word that kept coming to me as I thought about the night was "family." Unlike previous dinners, where the settings have been a little more formal, I wanted it to feel like a big dinner with your people. We put silverware in glasses in the middle of the table, along with bottles of wine for people to serve themselves as they pleased, and tall stools allowed people to shuffle around with ease.
We tried some new things with food too! I can still hear the pop and simmer of the shrimp Kylie made in the kitchen, and smell the risotto and garlic bread swirling in the air. And Haley's appetizer - cauliflower soup shooters! What an amazing sweetness to be hit with when you entered the kitchen. This might have been my personal favorite meal.
I was blown away by the talent around the table. We had a truly diverse group this time around. One of my favorite parts of the night was to watch everyone exchange numbers just before they leave. They were making connections with likeminded creatives, planning their next get together so they can collaborate. Just thinking about it makes me smile!
So, who attended this time? Allow me to brag.
Elise Cahill - Truthfully, I don't know what I would do without Elise. She is my springboard for all of these dinners, and has given her heart to them just as much as I have. Elise provided our runner and made all of the adorable copper candles that you see around the table. She also consulted me and others on how to properly dress for the south of Italy. I think it's safe to say she succeeded because everyone looked fantastic.
Katie Marble - Those adorable copper candles? Katie is the one who came up with the DIY tutorial for them! Together, Elise and Katie are unstoppable. They're also the parents of their brainchild The Happy Hunters. You can see their recap from the night HERE. Katie also hunted down our beautiful raw-edged napkins that I need to reorder for myself. I also don't know what I would do without this woman.
Vanessa Magos - Host 1 for the evening! Vanessa is also my best friend -- we lived together all throughout college and after. We've seen each other through relationships, jobs, successes, failures, and on and on I could go. She hadn't been able to come to a dinner yet, so this was extra special for me because she finally got to see what Create Dinners is all about. Vanessa works in the music industry, representing several artists, including one of my favorites, Verité. Check her out!
Jenny Smart - Host 2 for the evening! Think of a token funny person you know who always knows the right thing to say at the right time -- that's Jenny. She works in entertainment, and I'm certain that the actors she works with are largely successful because she's so on top of her game. It was so fun to have her at this dinner!
Kylie Mazon - Queen Kylie killed it yet again. This time around, she served us Bruschetta, Rosemary Dip with Vegetables, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Arugula Endive Salad, Shrimp Scampi Risotto, and Homemade Cannolis. This meal was so divine... I'm still thinking about it. It's so fun to see Kylie push herself each dinner to try and top the last one. Be sure to check out all of her original recipes on her site, Cooking With Cocktail Rings!
Octavia Zamagias - Octavia assisted Kylie in the kitchen as her sous chef for the evening! BUT, her talent doesn't stop there... she has her own line of jewelry that is so so beautiful. It's classic with a modern flair. Check out her work HERE. You'll also see it in pictures below -- she set up an awesome little booth for us to try things on and feel fancy for the night.
Haley Musial - It was so lovely to meet Haley at Dinner No. 4! She'd heard about us through Kylie's blog and applied to cook something for us! She just launched a brand new blog called Frenchie Kitchen, where you can get the recipe for her delish Cauliflower soup that she made us as an appetizer. LOVED that we had two chefs in the kitchen this time around, truly collaborating.
Amy Fosner - This girl has the voice of an angel. She's also a stylist. She's also a florist. So basically she can do whatever you need her to do. Amy recently launched her own floral business called Hello Honey Flower Co. I can attest to her arrangements because she recently did some for a shoot I had for work, and they were beautiful. For our dinner, she styled and graced us with her beautiful smile.
Allegra Edwards - Allegra lives in New York, but has been out in Los Angeles for the last few months for pilot season! She's an incredible actress (check out her IMDB page HERE), and during our dessert time, she offered us a story. She had everyone rolling with laughter, and then brought the story home with a profound reflection on our time together. It was delightful!
Natalia Helmerich - Natalia is one of the easiest human beings to be around. She's full of joy, so great to converse with, and truly cares about those around her. She birthed one of the world's cutest babies with her precious husband Max and in her down time, makes amazing macrame wall hangings. She made one for our dinner, and it served as the perfect simple decor, hanging from the tree we ate under.
Rachel Silkowski - Rachel was introduced to Create Dinners through a mutual friend, and I'm so thankful she was because this girl MAKES HER OWN WINE. It was so good, you guys. She asked me for the menu for the evening and handpicked two different types of wine, giving us the full rundown on them just before dinner was served. Check out Rasi Wine HERE.
Mel Ayer - Mel was another new face at Create Dinners! She works at Disney in her day to day, and for the night, she graciously took over our Create Dinners Instagram Story. If you didn't see it, you missed out. She got some amazing boomerangs that I've got locked in a chamber of sweet memories... also, my phone. Creep her Insta and girl crush... everyone's doing it.
Hannah Montplaisir - I love Hannah. The word I think of when I think of Hannah is sweet. She's like a real life Cinderella. Han recently added even more sweetness to her life with her new cookie company Hannah Jayne's. For our dinner, she created favor bags for everyone to take home with them so the party could continue. They are SO yummy! My personal favorites (order it now) are the watercolor cookies.
Chelsea Carter - Chelsea is a dream! She recently announced that she's going to be welcoming a little one into the world. Can we get a YAY for all moms who kick butt and do rad creative things? Chelsea did our florals for the evening. She did simple olive branches down our dinner table and then accented the surrounding area with stunning deep hued arrangements. *SWOON*
Shirlee Fisher - Shirlee oozes creativity. Just about a year ago, she and her husband moved into a tiny home out on a plot of land in Redlands, and is therefore the coolest person I know currently. She's an incredible ceramicist and for the evening, she supplied us with handmade vases for our tables. Each piece is so uniquely divine. You can shop her work on Etsy HERE.
Kate Edwards (me) - It's me! Hello! Per usual, I did our photography for the evening. I also had the honor of theme-ing (is that a word) this dinner and selecting all of the out-of-this-world geniuses listed above. These Create Dinners are my passion project, keeping me young, alive, and well, creative.
Our honorary attendee for the evening was Linsey Metcalf of The Wild Standard, who made our incredible menus. That's her HANDWRITING. It was so perfect for our casual Italian theme. Felt like we'd found it laying around Grandma's kitchen somewhere under ripe red tomatoes and fresh basil.
I truly feel so empowered and excited to keep creating every time I walk away from one of these dinners. I can only hope and pray that everyone who attends feels the same. Below is a recap of the night through photos. I must give a shout out to Elise Cahill and Katie Marble, who took all the photos that you see me in (I've got to prove I was present right?).