If you've attended Mariah Carey's and Nick Cannon's Hamptons wedding celebration, Billy Joel's Fourth of July party, P. Diddy's white fete, or events hosted by, Ivanka Trump Jewelry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany or Google, you've seen Elegant Affairs in action from NYC to Montauk. You've also probably seen proprietor Andrea Correale share her food and entertaining tips on CBS, NBC, Fox, HGTV and multiple Bravo TV shows. But even if you don't rub shoulders with celebrities, CEOs and fashion designers, the catering and events planning firm also helps design flawless weddings, bar mitzvahs, and all types of parties for the rest of us.
The Gold Coast
Correale started her business at age 16, out of her parents' house, and by the time she graduated college, she had 500 clients, and 45 people working for her. In the early years she designed parties in large homes and estates on Long Island's Gold Coast. One of her signature trademarks is her elegant presentation. She bought the most beautiful equipment and serving pieces she could find. "Not the typical catering things, like chafing dishes, or anything ordinary," she says. "When I went into somebody's home, I would be looking at the chandelier or the drapes in the dining room, or wherever we were putting the food, and everything would be beautiful. It looked as if they had cooked it themselves and that a lot of thought was put into matching the current décor or feeling of the home. And it was a niche that I had, so I gained a good reputation." The Glen Cove, L.I. based company operates out of a state-of-the-art, 8,000-square foot facility with a staff of 30, including 12 full time chefs, plus 200-part time employees. Elegant Affairs handles everything from catering to full service event planning, including venue selection, wait staff, sound, lighting, flowers, music, and rentals, like tents and electrical generators for outdoor parties. Despite her success, she never rests on her laurels. "I'm always looking for the next thing. Where do we need to improve?" explained Andrea.
Foods to Go
Elegant Affairs also has a Foods To Go service, which provides catering without the staff, for clients throwing smaller parties. "In this situation, they're just getting the Elegant Affairs cuisine with no frills," Correale says. But the advantage is that they provide foods, like fine small passed hors d'oeuvres, that you can't normally find in gourmet stores. She says. Clients are looking for local and farm-stand products to serve at their parties. "People are concerned about where their chicken and beef is coming from, so we are putting grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken, and organic vegetables on menus," Correale says. "It's much more about the quality of the ingredients, and the freshness, than it is about overabundance."
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