THE OTHER ICONS
Colin Cowie is king when it comes to the world of weddings and events. For those vitally important gatherings where one is as obsessed with the aesthetic and appetizers as they are with the bride and groom, Cowie is the man called upon to create perfection. A regular contributor to NBC’s Today Show, Cowie creates a kind of magic in the room at any event, and manages to perfect every element from the back to the front of the house – a concept we can get on board with. We sat down with this tastemaker for a chat before wedding season, giving you plenty of time to take his comments and tips into account when planning yours. Whether you’re designing your dream wedding, or just feeling long overdue for a real birthday party – look no further.
What would be your ideal food day?
Soft poached eggs and crispy pork sausage with whole wheat toast. No butter, no potatoes.
Wedding food can often get a bad rap; what are the keys to doing it successfully?
Rule of thumb – keep it simple. Use the best ingredients you can afford and do as little to them as possible. Good tasty food is far better than complicated cuisine.
Do you see events as curated experiences? Do you consider yourself the curator of each event you take on?
Great style comes from ruthless editing. Everything I do is very well edited and curated to help me tell a story to the guests.
How do you go about customizing the aesthetic for different events? Or do you generally have the same taste and style for each?
Every event is a different set of circumstances. I use the DNA of the couple as the base foundation. The venue will also dictate much of the style and our décor will help tell the story of the big picture.
What event elements are synonymous with restaurant elements?
There is quite a difference. In most restaurants you have a well oiled machine that serves a particular menu in a particular way and style. With most catered events, it’s a new venue – which could be a tent or a barn – with a new set of circumstances every time.
What event elements are most important to you?
I rely on the senses to guide my design process – what you taste, smell, feel, touch and hear are the tools that I constantly manipulate and enhance to tell a story.
The ultimate party-planning faux pas…
My worst is when the party lags and you are kept waiting. I like things to move. Cocktail hour should last forty-five minutes; by the time you move guests from one space to another, it’s an hour. Dinner should be served in an hour and a half. Then, dance the night away.