I thought my team was excited about summer, but I am surprised to see how enthusiastic they all are for fall. October has even driven F&B Manager, Chris Sarten, to poetry! Clearly, Chef Lewis is excited with all of the produce coming into season and the opportunity to serve you new and hearty dishes. Admittedly, I’m in love with these last few months of the year, too. Everyone brings to the club such a buzz and positive energy, creating a very festive atmosphere. The same increased level of activity is observed with our Members. The Club is being used for business and leisure with lots of power lunches and gatherings in Encore. Must be something about the arrival of October really kicks us into gear for a strong finish on the year.
Adding to all of that high energy is a calendar of events which boasts some of our favorite Member traditions. I want to make sure you plan to attend the BLC Connections Breakfast and the Holiday Appetizers Cooking Class with Chef Lewis. Also, if you are looking for somewhere to show off your Halloween costume, join us for Chairman’s Social Hour for a Halloween Spooktacular Party! Make sure to check our Facebook page often, as we post pop-up events and additional details there. It’s a great way to stay in touch with what’s happening at the club.
Take a moment to drink in the enthusiasm of your Center Club team by reading the articles they’ve posted this month. I appreciate their effort in each article and hope that you enjoy their personal message as well. Happy October to you. I hope it’s a spooktacular month!
-Shahin Vosough, Club Manager
So it took me a week to decide what to write about. I talked about Oktoberfest last month, the harvest season the month before….so what now? Chef will likely tell you about some killer new recipe or trend in the food world and I’m sure someone in the office won’t pass on the chance to mention Halloween and pumpkins…..
So October….the culmination of the greatest thing about summer. Not beach season, not stone fruits (although this may be number two on my list of things I like about summer), but one thing….Baseball! Yep, baseball is the greatest thing about summer and October is like the grand finale. I grew up as a kid with only one thing in mind during the summer: How to convince my dad to get us to another Dodgers game. It wasn’t easy and I failed more times than I succeeded but it was so worth it. And now it’s that time of year again where teams are fighting for the ultimate prize, the time when Dodgers fans look at Angels fans with disdain, and vice versa and the time when you find out if good pitching really does beat good hitting. The time when ticket prices go up and you couldn’t care less. The time when you start arranging your work schedule around game time, or just play hookie altogether…
The World Series is like the last chapter of a book called “Pitchers and Catchers Report” and everything in between is a baseball fan’s bible. The kind of bible that includes beer, peanuts, Dodger Dogs and overpriced parking. So who will it be this year? If you know me at all, you know where my heart is and that I bleed blue. You also know that when I think of the Angels I see red. But isn’t that what’s great about baseball and sports in general? Rivalries, bragging rights, the competition. Did you watch the Little League World Series? My heart aches for the kids as they cry when their dream comes to an end and the victors rejoice, but watching is seeing the game in its purest form. And many of those kids, as they wipe their tears, don’t know that one day they may be playing in another kind of World Series. The one that happens in October. So here’s to the National Past Time and the greatest sport in the world.
An anonymous baseball poem I always liked:
It starts with a walk and a climb
From the car to the seemingly endless stairs.
A man reaches the top.
He is surprised to find a child.
The child can hardly restrain himself.
And takes his seat.
Nothing else exists in all the world.
A fantasy that only cost the price of admission to create.
The smell of hot dogs fills the nose.
A smell the child has known for 35 years.
The child surrenders to “peanuts, peanuts”
“Cool-A-Coos, cotton candy”.
Twenty dollars on junk.
Twenty dollars on necessities.
Darkness has fallen over the fantasy.
The lights high in the sky illuminate the stars.
The night will end soon.
With a slow walk back through the gate,
A crowded decent down the stairs.
The fantasy ends and the child finds the man waiting for him.
He drives home.
He can only think of when the next time will be.
-Chris Sarten, F&B Director
Oh, the end of the sizzling summer. Well for us in Southern California it doesn’t change that much for a couple more months, but we can imagine what the rest of the country is going through.
Living on the east coast for a lot of my life I really did savor, enjoy, treasure this time of the year. I knew that winter was just around the corner. After a hot and humid summer the air would turn crisp and clean. As time went on and the first snow fall grew closer, you could smell the coldness of the harsh winter season approaching. Fall was the best time to go for walks or jogs. The leaves on the trees could best be described as an explosion of colors - really pretty to experience. Football season would begin and baseball would be headed into playoffs. Of course, the holidays were just on the horizon. Once Halloween comes, I don’t want to say it’s all downhill from there to Christmas, but if you blink there will be holiday decorations everywhere around you.
The other aspect of autumn I love is the great food. Gone are the bright summer colors of the fruits and vegetables. Here to stay for the next few months are neutral and dark tones, like the squashes, pears, some of the apples and leafy vegetables.
I also like to cook heavier dishes for the fall. While during summers it seems all we eat are fruits, salads, barbeque and smoothies, we can enjoy more risottos, game and stews like Osso Buco in fall. Yummy!
I wanted to share with you a list of the produce which is in season for the autumn.
Apples & Pears
Currants and Gold Raspberries From Chile. Fresh Cranberries usually start early in October.
Citrus - Plan on incorporating Tangerines into your menu towards the end of the season.
Blood Oranges usually become available around the holidays, but they normally peak towards the end of winter.
Expect Meyer Lemon production to start midway into the season
Pomegranates should be available through the end of the year.
Passion Fruit and Persimmons may be done by Thanksgiving.
Root Vegetables, such as Sun chokes and Celery Root, are good.
Potatoes & Yams - This is the best time of the year for just about all varieties of spuds. Fingerlings usually hit their stride towards the middle of autumn, but will be available all season long. What would autumn be without Yams and Sweet Potatoes?
Squash - The Pumpkin harvest usually runs between mid-September and mid-November. Most of your other favorite Hard Squash varieties are available, including Red Kuri, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling, and Hubbard.
What’s Your Favorite Benefit?
Each morning we see more and more members taking advantage of the hosted Member Breakfast. And we love it! We’ve heard from you how the breakfast hits the spot and gets your day off to a great start. We’ve also noticed that members are mingling over this first meal of the day, and that is also a great joy to witness.
With summer behind us, we’ve also heard some terrific feedback from members who traveled and used their member benefits along the way. One member took advantage of dining benefits and sampled the menu at five other clubs on an extended business trip. Did you know that with Signature Gold Unlimited(My World), you receive 2 complimentary meals per month per City Club? Also, if you enjoy the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues, then be sure to take advantage of two complimentary tickets with your Signature Gold Unlimited Membership.
Of course, we love to see Center Club Members hitting the links. Don’t forget that Signature Gold Unlimited (My World) Members can use their travel benefits which include 2 complimentary greens fees per month, per golf location outside of the Orange County/Riverside area.
As we see you networking at the BLC Luncheon or getting the chance to hear a speaker at the Ben Franklin Forum Presentation, hosting your own private business and social events, we grow curious. What is your favorite Member Benefit? Do you love the exclusive orchestra seating at Segerstrom Hall or does the complimentary drink “Friday Fix” benefit draw you to the club each week?
Fall is here! With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s worth noting a new trend in events: Many groups are now hosting holiday parties in November or January instead of December.
December is traditionally a festive month where many events compete with each other. With limited weekend dates during the month, many people end up multi-tasking every Friday and Saturday in December and popping from party to party. Add in personal commitments during holiday season such as gifts, family commitments, finding babysitters, hosting one’s own holiday soirees, etc. etc, and it’s understandable that December can be a very hectic time of year.
In addition, because December dates are in such high demand, a host can typically secure more valuable food and beverage minimum expenditures in November or January than in December. If a host is working with a budget, looking at months outside of prime dates can be beneficial.
If plans haven’t already been made for a December holiday party in 2014, it’s definitely worth considering a holiday event in November or January. Planning a holiday party outside of the traditional holiday rush can make managing planning less complicated for the host, attending the event easier and more enjoyable for the guests, and opens up possibilities for more budget friendly events.
Private Event Directors
Summer may officially be over with the Labor Day Weekend behind us, but the fun continues at Center Club. This fall our Right Here, Right Now offering will feature Half-Off Dinner Dining every Wednesday, Live entertainment every Thursday with Live at Five, and complimentary guest passes to our designated +1 Events. As a reminder, please join us for the Hosted Member Breakfast every weekday from 7 – 10 AM.
You can hear the enthusiasm in Chris Sarten to serve you the Oktoberfest beers we will be pouring at the Club. And Chef Lewis is very excited for apple season. Private Events has offered you some spot-on advice this month on how to make your events more social, so that your business and private parties are on-trend. Membership wants to encourage all new Members to attend our “Meet the Staff”. I second the move for you to attend, as this session is an opportunity to introduce ourselves to you and provide you information on taking advantage of your membership. We want you to get the most from being a Center Club member on all levels - business, social, food & beverage and the variety of programming we offer. In addition to the “My Club” benefits, we will provide information about “My Community” and “My World” benefits available to you.
Autumn is a great time of the year. The seasonal shift in the weather, and routines setting back in place with kids back in school. Be sure to join us at the Club for business meetings, social dining, attending an event or just stopping by to connect with fellow members. The Club staff is here to provide for your needs: The answer is yes! Let us know what your question is. Thank you and I look forward to seeing at the Club.
-Shahin Vosough, Club Manager
According to The Pew Research Internet Project, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. The host of an event has the opportunity to engage guests on multiple levels by using social media throughout the event development. Viewing guests at events as integral participants, one has the opportunity to multiply the efforts of the event promotion force by every attendant in the room. The guests comprise the living, breathing organism involved in the magic of an event experience, and social media is a vehicle to connect guests to the event, the host organization and to each other. With this in mind, below are some ideas to incorporate social media into event design before, during and after the event.
-Understand the “why” behind the event and what story should be told through social media interaction.
-Establish a unique hashtag well in advance and use it on invitations and in promotional social media marketing.
-Promote the event using all appropriate social media channels. Some examples are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
-Consider incorporating social media into event registration.
-Spend time developing effective posts for event promotion. Take the posts further than just announcing the event. Post material to build anticipation such as a promotional video or photos of the event planners coordinating exciting details.
-Enlist invitees in pre-event excitement on social media by using trivia, “Like” contests and “share” contests to be entered into a raffle at the actual event.
-Stay in tune with comments received on Social Media and reply. If there is an opportunity to incorporate a guest’s input into the event, do.
-Review the RSVP list and identify VIPs and individuals that may be featured in posts that occur during the event. Connect with those guests on social media in advance so that they can easily be tagged in posts that are shared during the event.
-Draft future live event posts in advance keeping the story of the event and the event timeline in mind.
-Delegate responsibilities of taking photos and videos and posting on specific social media channels in advance.
-Ensure the venue offers adequate Wi-Fi for all guests to use on the day of the event.
- Make it easy for guests to dial in and feel connected. The hashtag for the event should be displayed in multiple places to encourage guest participation such as on signs, agendas, incorporated into centerpieces or a projection on the wall.
-Consider a live stream of Twitter being projected during cocktail hour or in the back of the room during the event.
-Encourage guests to use social media during the event, with the unique event hashtag. Offer a prize for the guest who has the most tweets during the event or for who posts the best photo or video.
-Maintain the leverage of your event via social media by continuing to post. Include photos, videos and highlights. Be sure to personally tag guests in photos.
-Write a blog post about the event.
-Connect with any new contacts met at the event via social media post event.
Kaitlin Kuykendall and Chris Hartley
Private Event Directors
An apple a day
It’s almost apple season. This arrives about the end of September, beginning of October, which is just around the corner. I can’t wait.
I often have an apple on my drive into to work each morning. There are so many varieties of apples. My favorites are Macintosh, Pink Lady and for cooking, Granny Smith. Which are your favorite?
There are so many delicious recipes which use apples. Besides apple pie, one of the first I remember learning is Roasted Chicken Breast with Brandy and Apple Sauce. We did this recipe back in the 80s when I started cooking at the Four Seasons Hotel Chain. I still do this preparation from time to time; it is a great combination. It is not prepared with the apple sauce we know, it is a chicken demi glaze with cream brandy and wedges of apples. Yum!
Until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frost-proof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. In the 21st century, long-term storage again came into popularity, as "controlled atmosphere" facilities were used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilities use high humidity and low oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to maintain fruit freshness. The apples can be stored for months this way.
The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in Asia in 328 BCE. Those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing root stocks. Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called "common apples”. Apple varieties brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on Colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the "best" varieties, showing the proliferation of new North American varieties by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects Eastern Washington began and allowed the development of the multibillion dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product.
-Executive Chef Lewis Butler
Septemberfest? I have often wondered why it’s called Oktoberfest when most of it happens in September! The very first Oktoberfest was held in Munich in 1810 and began in October as a festival to celebrate the Royal Wedding in Munich. The start date was eventually moved up to late September, to accommodate better weather conditions. And most Germans actually refer to the festival as “Wiesn” which refers to the name of the fairgrounds where the festival is held (Theresienwiese). Since 1810, the festival has grown into a two week celebration of agriculture, rides, attractions and, of course…beer!
Oktoberfest beer is one of the most popular seasonal beers in the world. Around mid-August, you can start finding them in stores, both the traditional German labels and the American takes on the classics. At Oktoberfest, only beer meeting certain requirements can be served. The beer must first be brewed within the city limits of Munich. It must also conform to the Reinheitsgebot, an ancient beer law from the 15th century. These beers must only use water, yeast, barley and hops as ingredients and must settle right around 6%ABV. There are currently only six brewers that meet these standards, the most famous being Hofbrau-Munchen and Lowenbrau.
We will be featuring Samuel Adams Oktoberfest and Hangar 24’s version, so stop by the Club soon to try a couple of these tasty American brews while they last!
-Chris Sarten, Food & Beverage Director
Our event calendar includes “Meet the Staff” for new Club Members. This a great opportunity for New Members to meet the Club’s department heads, receive valuable information regarding benefits of membership, as well as get acquainted with fellow Members and make meaningful connections at the Club. Members who attend these sessions are consistently most involved in the Club and enjoy the most from their membership.
One recent attendee is Dr. John OKeefe and his wife Alisa. They were off to a solid start at the Club after meeting fellow new Members and the Club staff at their session. Shortly after, he was featured in a PBS special, which was filmed right here at the Club. Based on his positive experiences at the Club, effective September 16th, Dr. OKeefe will champion TedTalks at Center Club featuring two talks every Tuesday at 6 PM.
Be sure to review the Club’s event Calendar each month for the variety of programming offered. They are great opportunities to connect with fellow Members and forge new friendships as well as business relationships. We look forward to your feedback about Club events and which best serve your interest.
Make sure to say "Welcome" to our newest Members!
Steven & Melody Cerra
Madhuja & Ayan Chatterjee
Chris & Judy Dyer
Matthew & Rachel Easton
Mark & Cathy Erickson
Richard & Gail Gates
John & Mirella Gutierrez
Nicholas & Stephanie Ilagan
Aaron & Adrianna Johnson
Kenny & Priscilla Lee
Christian & Nicole Liedtke
Brian & Lauren Mulvaney
Carlos & Adriana Oregon
Barry & Marcia Peterson
Robert & Julie Romney