A Gala Evening to Remember: French-American Business Awards

The San Francisco Bay Area is a veritable melting pot of cultures, and so it’s not surprising that businesses here have their roots in many different countries. One example is the French-American community, spread out from the Wine Country to the City and further south, with its own support system: the French-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, FACCSF. In an effort to further encourage this already thriving and vibrant business community, FACCSF created a business award to honor outstanding local French-American businesses in various categories. The first such award ceremony was planned to take place in 2014, and of course this occasion called for a polished event. FACCSF turned to my event planning business, A Day Like No Other, to make that happen. Truly an honor!

Yes, and a challenge … I always love a good challenge! Why that was? As a non-profit organization, FACCSF devotes all its funds to the community it supports, so events like our awards night need a lot of sponsors. What to do? 1.) Ask friends and colleagues in the event planner community for their assistance, and 2.) replace funds with creativity! Now have a look how it turned out last night!

GRWe chose a historic landmark as our venue, the General’s Residence at Fort Mason. Not only is it an ornately decorated mansion…

IMG_2402… it also has unsurpassed views of the San Francisco Bay right across to Alcatraz.

IMG_2408But of course we didn’t stop there! We added “son et lumiere” (sound and light), food and wine, flowers and other decor to make it an elegant party to remember.

My friend Dan Rosenbach of Love in the Mix provided both background music and lighting…

IMG_2420… while Mega Event Production provided the stage and dining room A/V and lighting.

dining roomArriving guests were greeted with the quintessential French welcome drink: a glass of champagne…


… accompanied by delicacies from Michi’s – my friend Mr. Shin had brought his famous sushi bar where guests enjoyed his creative Asian-Fusion cuisine, freshly prepared to order.

sushi bar cropped

And here we are all together (Mr. Shin formally invited me to be a member of the Michi family!):

Michi team

Following the initial Cocktail Hour, guests were invited into the festively decorated dining room where tables glistened with silver-rimmed plates on silver-toned chargers, glasses and silverware (all sponsored by my dear friend Mike Seramin of Abbey Party Rentals)…


and elegant centerpieces by another friend of mine, Annette Shulman of Petals Flower Studio, anchored the tablescape amidst a profusion of votive candles and matching shimmering glass gems.


What followed was a delicious dinner, a “joint venture” of my friends Maureen Kelly of Knights Catering and Hugh Groman of Hugh Groman Catering.

Here is Maureen’s fanciful presentation of a seasonal salad with goat cheese…


… followed by Hugh’s deceptively simple-looking Mediterranean salmon packages (just imagine: salmon steamed on a bed of potatoes, lentils, mushrooms and pesto aioli in a sealed parchment package… open and inhale deeply! So delicious…)


After that luxurious meal, guests were ready for the revelations of the evening: the winners of the FABA awards 2014 in the categories: High-Tech, Agribusiness/Gastronomy/Wine and Sustainability/Life Sciences. Our tireless photographer extraordinaire, Shhivika Chauhan, captured all the festivities in high style.

And now, of course, there was even more reason to celebrate!

Desserts and more champagne were awaiting in the lounge, among other things intensely flavored rainbow macaroons from L’Artisan Macaron

Mr. Shin has just discovered the macarons .... much to his joy!

Mr. Shin has just discovered the macarons …. much to his joy!



… and guests enjoyed it all in good company and high spirits. Our greatest compliment? Guests simply refused to leave!! Thank you to all my good friends and other sponsors whose enthusiasm and generosity made this splendid gala possible!