This ’80s yuppie cocktail party has been in the works for quite some time, and we’re thrilled to bring you the pics from this week’s photo shoot! The key to throwing an ’80s cocktail party: good drinks and over-the-top food. In the 1980s, it was all about food presentation. Food was stacked, garnished and arranged as art. The portions were often too small and the finishes overdone, but hey–it was pretty! And nobody needed to escape into the world of gourmet food like the ’80s yuppie (young upwardly-mobile professional). They worked more than they played, so when they played, they had to play hard!
See the mood board we created for this shoot here (it’s filled with fun ’80s-style food and beverage photos).
Think “swanky ’80s lobby.” Marble tiles, tropical plants in metallic containers, and geometric abstract art. We used a Blomus planter filled with a Dracaena, and we purchased an oh-so-affordable marble tile from Lowe’s as an accent serving piece. Just don’t put the food directly on the tile! The artwork was a gift from my dear friend Jeff. Straight from his Dad’s c. 1980s office! The piece by Halsey, shown above, is titled “Paragon.”
Serve martinis, but make sure you have a non-alcoholic cocktail for those who want something mellow yet festive to match the fancy food. We served lavender soda by DRY, added a lemon slice and a squeeze of juice, then topped it all off with a sugar-coated rim.
You know the Mirror80 rule for entertaining: make something, buy something! Since this menu is heavy on the food preparation, don’t hesitate to purchase some pre-made goodies to make your job easier.
Fruit Skewers – Spear cantaloupe slices, grapes and blood orange segments onto cocktail party picks (we bought pre-chopped cantaloupe). Be aware that the blood orange slices will color the other fruit with dark red juice, so keep the fruit separated until it’s time to assemble the appetizer.
Stuffed Mushrooms with Bell Pepper – Chop green olives and combine them with Parmesan cheese. This will be your mushroom stuffing. Slice an orange bell pepper into strips, then lightly saute the slices in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Remove them from the pan. De-stem your mushrooms, then saute them (we used the same pan that previously held the bell pepper). Place mushroom caps on a foil-lined baking sheet and stuff them with the cheese and olive mixture. Add two bell pepper strips to each stuffed mushroom cap. If they fall over, trim the strips to a shorter length until they stand on their own. No worries if they lean. Ours did, and they were still pretty!
Crackers with Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Pink Peppercorn – Use a mortar and pestle to crush a few teaspoons of pink peppercorns. Sprinkle them onto a plate, and add some sumac (which will bring a lovely rust color to the mix). Roll a log of goat cheese in the sumac and peppercorn mixture. Slice the log into rounds. The log will crumble a bit, but you should get some solid half-circular slices out of the mix. Stack them on crackers so they protrude from the surface, as shown above. Top with a sprig of rosemary. Now spread the remaining crumbled cheese onto crackers and garnish with rosemary. Combine all assembled crackers on a plate for an interesting display!
Brownie Bites with Raspberry, Chocolate Sauce and Mint – We bought our brownie bites from our favorite market. Garnish the serving plate with chocolate sauce and mint. Top each brownie bite with one raspberry for a pop of color!
Play some Sophisti-pop to set the mood for the event! You know–ABC, Swingout Sister, The Blow Monkeys, Bryan Ferry. Something that’s a bit jazzy and plays up the swank factor.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself! When you work as hard as an ’80s yuppie, you’re entitled to a little decadence…
Awesome! You did a great job and those pictures made me hungry!