Fashion director and ceramicist, Sydney Oh, found the perfect excuse to gather eight of her closest friends on a fall afternoon. With her co-conspirator, chef Woldy Reyes, the two hosted a dreamy vegetarian Friendsgiving brunch with Gossamer as their event backdrop.
“I wanted everything to be unassuming and subtle. Nothing too literal,” says Sydney, who opted for the holiday-neutral Gossamer. The layered white and blue linen runners make for an undone, less fussy look. Sydney added a floral arrangement of pampas grass and dahlias in a Milk & Clay vase from her ceramics line.
Why do we love eucalyptus? It provides texture and height to a tablescape, plus a minty pine scent. “I loved that we didn’t have any typical Thanksgiving décor like pumpkins and gourds and created an autumnal feeling through seasonal flavors and florals.” says Sydney.
With a full-time job, packed social calendar, and a creative business on the side, Sydney doesn't have loads of extra time to plan a special party. “I’m not a frequent hoster. I’d like to in theory! But it’s too time-consuming to buy all the different tablescape elements and make place cards and all that." Social Studies to the rescue! A few clicks of a button and a party arrived on her doorstep.
Sydney had been looking for an opportunity to commission her friend, chef Woldy Reyes. “It was really fun to surprise friends with a special menu with the support of a chef friend,” says Sydney.
Woldy's creations are as delicious, beautiful, and healthy as they are sustainable. “I love his thoughtful and sustainable approach to his work as a chef.” says Sydney.
He focuses on local and seasonal produce wherever possible. “Eating locally requires less “food miles” for produce to travel, and supports independent growers and purveyors. It’s amazing to feel a part of your local community in that way,” says Woldy.
It isn’t brunch without a fun cocktail. The turmeric and ginger Moscow Mules were a hit among guests. “We wanted a healthy morning cocktail option and loved the idea of using healing spices like turmeric and ginger,” says Sydney.
Few things are better than good friends around a table of good food. “Friendsgiving holds special meaning for me. It’s how I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving for the last decade in New York.” says Sydney, who mixed friend groups for this occasion, bringing new friends together for the first time.
Woldy topped off the cake with candied ginger, sage, and husk cherries. “The cake was a crowd favorite!” exclaims Sydney.
Sydney’s #1 party tip:
- Hire a chef if budget allows to customize a menu using local, seasonal ingredients and special cocktails to match.