January 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts January 2002 Current Issue
January 2002
Short Cuts:
Good enough to eat

Hors d’oeuvres on ice in the Bahamas

As we look for deeper meaning (and cost-efficiency) all around us, some planners are turning to tabletop decor that satisfies both form and function. Enter the edible centerpiece it provides eye appeal, sparks conversation and offers the convenience of a preset menu course.

For a dinner during last November’s annual meeting of the Insurance Conference Planners Association in the Bahamas, the Radisson Cable Beach Resort ( topped banquet tables with elaborately carved fish and dolphin ice sculptures holding shrimp, lobster tails, stone crab claws, oysters and clams, along with bottled drinks tucked into a bed of ice. “It was designed to be an interactive seafood course,” says Stephen Sawyer, vice president and general manager of the resort.

At Chicama (212-505-2233), a trendy Peruvian eatery in New York City’s Union Square district, a tasting of ceviche fish marinated in lime juice is the restaurant’s signature dish and the centerpiece of choice. Tables are set with a platter of martini glasses of varying shapes, sizes and colors, each containing a ceviche-style offering such as tuna, scallops, lobster or even duck.

Need incentive to save room for dessert? Confectioner Susan Morgan, owner of Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based Elegant Cheesecakes (, turns out handmade cheesecake-and-chocolate masterpieces. Morgan’s sweet offerings, which can be shipped anywhere, can be sculpted as flowerpots bearing spring bouquets, intricate jewelry boxes overflowing with goodies, and custom-designed cakes with company logos. “It is edible artwork. The centerpiece can even tell a story of what the event is about,” says Morgan, a preferred supplier for the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay.

• C.A.S.

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