Every great hostess knows the key ingredients to a successful party — great food, good drink and a lively mix of guests. The requisite elements came together Monday night when CultureMap CEO Alyce Alston opened her Stratford Place home in Austin for a lavish toast to the season and to CultureMap success.
CultureMap execs from Houston and Dallas joined Austin leadership for the evening that capped a day of business meetings and team building. Once the serious tasks were completed and work clothes exchanged for cocktail attire, the fun began.
Veronica Castelo, CultureMap Austin director of marketing, organized the fete that featured a multi-course dinner prepared by chef Allison Jenkins and overseen by Vilma Mazaite. That duo is heading up the much-anticipated LaV Austin restaurant, expected to open on East 7th Street in the spring.
The group had much to celebrate including the recent launch and early success of CultureMap Dallas.
(Mazaite's business partners in the new venture are Houston's Lisa and Ralph Eads. The couple met Mazaite in Aspen, where she headed the wine team at the Little Nell and where Jenkins was executive chef at Ajax Tavern.)
Before sitting down to the classic French three-course feast, CultureMap execs checked their inhibitions at the bar where famed Austin mixologist Adam Bryan of Midnight Cowboy worked his liquid magic. His offerings included a festive hot rum concoction and Hill Country coolers. His repartee provided a spirited addition to the party talk.
The group had much to celebrate including the recent launch and early success of CultureMap Dallas, the impressive market share that one-year-old CultureMap Austin enjoys and the continuing growth and success of CultureMap Houston.
Savoring the scrumptious food and drink, including desserts from popular SugaPlump Pastries, were CultureMap Dallas' Phyllis Cole and Jennifer Chininis, Houston's Tod Eason, Clifford Pugh, Chad Miller, Anna Domning and this reporter, Austin's Kevin Benz and Caitlin Ryan and CultureMap chief digital officer Amy Katzenberg.