The Gala Award

Culinary Concepts is a finalist for the 2019 Special Events Gala Award for the
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION with a BUDGET ABOVE $500,000.

The nominated event for this award was a “Steampunk Cirque”. Our promise to our client was to deliver a distinctive, yet over-the-top event, designed to honor and celebrate their 150th Anniversary as an historical American corporation known for innovation, re-invention, inclusion and transparency. The Steampunk Cirque aesthetic perfectly showcased our client’s values of cherishing the long-lasting and well-made, while offering an appreciation for reclaiming something old and making it new again.

We started the collaborative process by presenting our client with a detailed storyboard revealing the core values of innovation, re-invention and inclusion (as well as a 150 year history) shared by both our client and the Steampunk aesthetic; both embody a structured, yet flexible framework, which allows for endless reinvention and rewards experimentation. This approach “gently encouraged” our corporate client to embrace the relatively “underground” theme of Steampunk for their celebration.

We proceeded to enchant our client with a vision of how uncomplicated, visually relatable, custom décor pieces and event design would intrigue their guests and treat them to an experience to be remembered for the next 150 years.

Our client was thrilled to learn of our plan to have our entire design team of artists scavenge estate sales, second-hand stores, swap meets, etc. to reclaim vintage materials from wood, metal, glass and cloth to create their handiworks in a the most cost-effective way. This approach allowed our client to showcase their green approach values by recycling old items to create new event elements. This recycle/reuse/repurpose process highlights our client’s (and Steampunk) appreciation for things made to last. Through these efforts we worked diligently to provide our client with the best value possible.

Our collaborative team of Event Partners included Mike Spangler Productions, Grace Fox Design, Sensational Treats and Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Together we delivered on our promise to our client and last May the Steampunk Cirque came to San Diego’s Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier! Guests were enthralled with non-stop entertainment, delicious food, crafty libations, astonishing lighting and décor. Some of our favorite elements were custom bars, suspended food stations and stunning stage design.

The other finalist in this premier category are global brands including “Hermès and its Palo Alto Store Opening Event” produced by Gallagher, Los Angeles and “Shaping the Future: Volkswagen” nominated by Insglueck, Berlin, and Volkswagen Group, Wolfsburg, Germany.
The Gala Awards have been given by Special Events magazine, the premier industry publication, since 1986, when the awards honored the “top 10 events of 1985.” The awards recognize the finest work in special events worldwide.

According to 2018 data from Statistica, business-to-business (B2B) events industry revenue worldwide amounted to $30.3 billion in 2016, up from $29.3 billion a year earlier. This statistic underscores the relevance of events in business and the competitive advantages required to be a leader in this competitive space.

For the 2019 Gala Awards, the magazine received entries in 34 categories from 13 countries. Members of the Special Events magazine Advisory Board, made up of leaders in the event profession, review all entries to determine the nominees and winners.

About Culinary Concepts Catering:
Culinary Concepts Catering is regarded as the vanguard of food, wine and hospitality in the San Diego area. For close to 30 years co-founder and owner Kathy Koenig and her team of talented culinary professionals work to deliver creative, fresh and delicious menu items specifically prepared to meet the needs of their corporate, wedding, non-profit and private clients.
Culinary Concepts Catering works with each client to prepare customized menus that exceed expectations and honor guests’ dietary values, whether organic, gluten-free, vegan or more specialized. Each dish is prepared from scratch using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients that are sustainable and free of chemicals and additives. The company owns its kitchen and equipment which offers competitive advantages and cost savings that the competition charges the client.

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