When I founded Rex & Regina Events over a decade ago, I thought carefully about what I wanted to name the firm. It was important to me that the name reflect my philosophy on events—that they should be a seamless and comfortable experience for each guest, and reflective of the gracious hospitality of the hosts. After much research, I landed on Rex & Regina Events—Latin for “king and queen.”
The name was inspired by the royal style of entertaining. When kings and queens entertained centuries ago, the royal court became an extension of their family. I love the idea that any host—whether it is a corporation entertaining clients, a nonprofit thanking donors, or individuals hosting a social occasion where loved ones gather to celebrate—should thoughtfully consider how they can create an experience where their guests feel like part of the family.
The guest experience encompasses everything a guest sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes. Ahhh…. tastes! Why do we always underestimate this part? Event planners all-too-often focus on what the guest sees, while paying scant attention to what they are going to eat. The flowers can be gorgeous, but if I fight with a rubbery chicken breast; sip a lukewarm cup of coffee; or taste a dry piece of cake one more time, I might erupt. Guests remember these things. They talk about them. And, not only that, the host has now thrown thousands of dollars down the drain on a disappointing, mediocre menu. When thoughtfully crafted, the dining experience at an event—whether it is a BBQ, cocktail party, gala, or wedding—has the power to nourish and connect like I dare say no other event element can. Being intentional about the menu design is worth it.
Years ago, I was dining at The Ledbury in London. As I was sitting at my table, I pulled out a small notebook. I wanted to remember everything about the moment so I discretely (or so I thought), jotted down some notes during the dinner. One of four American women dining at a table next to me leaned over midway through dinner to ask if I was a food critic. I laughed out loud. I would never pretend to be a food critic. Their specialized expertise and knowledge far exceed mine and I have incredible admiration for their work. What I am is a passionate eater. I have an insatiable fervor for cooking, trying restaurants from Michelin-starred gems to holes-in-the-wall, and tracking what new and exciting things chefs are doing in their kitchens.
Tasting Notes will not be a home for restaurant reviews—not that there might not be an occasional reference to a new restaurant I dined at or a tasty recipe I just tried (I can’t help but share!). Instead, it will be a place to share ideas and insights on how food and dining practices, trends, and traditions can be incorporated in meaningful ways into events.
In the posts that follow, I’ll share my culinary adventures, and also invite you to share your thoughts and questions about how an intentional focus on food can elevate a guest’s experience. Together, our “Tasting Notes” will help us create richer, more meaningful, and more delicious celebrations.