Here’s a game plan for throwing the best sports party around.
By Susan Peck
If you’re looking for a reason to throw a spectacular sport-themed party with ultimate game, March Madness may be the perfect motivation.
To help you with the essential game plan, we have some innovative ideas your guests will enjoy as much as the action on the court.
Timing is everything. The opening weekend of March Madness may be the best time to have a get-together because it’s the first round when everyone is still feeling upbeat and optimistic.
Once you’ve picked the date, keep in mind that a fabulous sports party is ultimately about the fantastic food and the view.
We’ve asked the most imaginative local catering chefs to create a festive menu and premier custom home theater designers to inspire you.
No More Playing It Safe
Many local restaurants offer catering services from their existing menu or individualized orders, including those for special dietary needs. While it may feel a bit sacrilegious to leave the standard chicken wings and deli trays behind, it’s time to think outside of the brackets and create an experience your friends will talk about long after the Final Four Championship is over.
Bloomfield Hills’ Cutting Edge Cuisine Chef Aaron Lowen is all about keeping some familiar traditions on the menu, but upgrading their taste and presentation.
“We’ve created spicy buffalo chicken lettuce wraps and andouille sausage skewers with salsa verde for the sports party theme. Both include elements of the old favorites, but with new and more exciting, upscale flavors,” Lowen said.
Crave restaurant’s Chef Payne Mills said they are known for their sushi, which is a perfect party choice, but Mills encourages people to experiment with the many other innovative selections they offer.
“Our bao bun is an Asian-style street taco that consists of a sticky bun stuffed with duck confit and topped with exotic greens. Another great choice is our Kobe beef sliders on Hawaiian buns topped with aged cheddar and homemade berry aioli sauce,” Mills said. “And we have the finest king crab cakes timbal that can be popped in the oven and served warm all through the evening.”
Cutting Edge Cuisine also serves up a scrumptious rendition of the classic slider that is a No. 1 favorite.
“We encase our beef sliders in a delicious baked dough instead of a bun and add the perfect toppings,” Lowen said.
No menu is complete without a luscious dessert table. Pastry chef Justin Kurtz from Cutting Edge is constantly conjuring up something new, but two of his current most popular desserts are warm, made-to-order cinnamon sugar donuts and chocolate chip banana s’mores.
Room With A Spectator View
When it comes to watching the sporting event, give your family and friends the ultimate viewing experience with a few custom additions to your current setting.
Farmington’s family-owned Paulson’s Audio and Video is a premier provider of custom home theater and media rooms and can design a state-of-the-art entertainment area to fit any fantasy. It can deliver every man-cave essential, including sound systems from top-of-the-line Bose and Bowers & Wilkins.
Owner Kris Paulson said the biggest misconception people have is that putting in a luxury home theater is out of their budget.
“We can design an open architecture theater where we use all of your house’s lower level and create the ultimate combination of sound and picture quality,” Paulson said. “Then you choose the seating and accessories to your tastes. We can work within a range of budgets starting from around $12,000 to $100,000 and beyond,” Paulson said. “It’s really an investment that brings the whole family together. Your house becomes the gathering place for your children and their friends, and for get-togethers like watching the Super Bowl or March Madness.”
The Winning Combination
Whether your gathering is an intimate dinner party or a full house celebrating a sporting event, remember that the most important ingredient will be the people you invite to your home.
Crave owner Khalil Ramadan believes that’s true when it comes to home entertaining or at his Ferndale restaurant.
“We purposely serve small plates for our guests to share. When you’re sharing food together you create conversations, and from there connections are made, all while celebrating food and life,” Ramadan said. “After all, those are the life experiences we want to share with the people we care about most.” NS