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Holiday-themed meetings

Courtesy Food Design

Batt likes one-bites
Executive chef Michael Batt has been on the Food Network. A writer for New York magazine has called him “ingenious.” His hors d’oeuvres have been devoured by Donald Trump.

So what does Batt, owner of Food Design, a Greenwich, Conn.-based caterer, plan to put on holiday menus?

He thinks his well-known “one-bite meals,” which pack the flavors and ingredients of an entree into a single bite, are perfect for the free-flowing receptions that dominate holiday celebrations.
Among his favorite recipes are Pot au Feu, braised short ribs of beef served on a silver tasting spoon, accompanied by a celery-root puree and topped with a horseradish creme sauce. The Donald loved the Food Design Slider, a bite-size sirloin burger with English cheddar served on a brioche round accompanied by a thin pickle, shallots and special sauce.

For dessert, individual portions of a buttermilk panna cotta with strawberries and vanilla bean with a sprig of mint, combine a Christmas color scheme with bright spring flavors.


Christmas cruise along the Intracoastal
With sleighs and snow in short supply, folks in Palm Coast, Fla., opt for a smooth cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Twinkling lights cover the yacht Sundancer from bow to stern as it slips up and down the waterway near its base at Hammock Beach Resort, between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach.

The boat is “the most festive thing you see going up and down the waterway,” said Vijay Singh, vice president of operations for Salamander Hospitality Group, which operates the resort.

There’s room for up to 120 people at a reception-style event; smaller groups can enjoy a buffet or a sit-down dinner.

If children are part of the mix, Santa Claus and other Christmas characters can climb on board. Carolers can line the dock, welcoming guests with Christmas carols.


No place like home for the holidays
The holiday tune says, “There’s no place like home for the holidays” and that theme will come through at holiday parties this season at the Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center in Bend, Ore.

“When planning and booking holiday functions in the past, we’ve seen a trend in hosting themed holiday parties highlighting far-off exotic locations,” said Erin Woods, a marketing consultant for the property. “But this year, meeting planners want to celebrate what makes their own hometown or business headquarters unique. They are trying to create a holiday party that is reflective of their hometown and showcase specific food, drink, decor, and music that truly embody their area.”

In Central Oregon, that means local produce, meats and cheeses as well as beers and wines. The inn is offering local Bend microbrew sampler platters with five different local beers so people can have a “taste tour” of what sets the area apart from others.