A Birthday Celebration for Architect, Frank Gehry

  • Almost a year ago, I had the pleasure of catering the 82nd birthday party for internationally-renown architect Frank Gehry. Where else could such an amazing party take place but at the top of Gehry’s then still-to-be-completed new residential building, 8 Spruce Street. Originally known as Beekman Tower and currently marketed as New York by Gehry, “8 Spruce Street” is a 76-story skyscraper in Manhattan. Whatever the name, it’s a true work of art. I mean, seriously, it’s the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere!


    The whole 75th floor of the building was still raw space, but just for one night, 300 guests got to experience the undulating metal magic in high style.  (Not to mention the unbelievable views up and down the East River.)

    In addition to designing such notable buildings as the Guggenheim Museum in Spain; MIT’s Stata Center in Massachusetts; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; Gehry is also a talented furniture designer. One of his favorite woods to work with is Douglas Fir and Gehry had tables made that are only sold for use in the 8 Spruce Street. While planning the birthday party, I couldn’t help but be inspired to suggest we design and fabricate hors d’oeuvres trays in the same shape as the tables and, of course,  from Douglas Fir.  The planning team loved the idea and you can see what we came up with below.

    Frank Gehry Trays Peter Callahan Design

    Other than the hors d’oeuvres, I designed a menu that included some old catering favorites re-imagined into a modern style. Specifically, a carving station of delicious meats that was displayed on a table we built out of butcher block of  Douglas Fir. In the center of the table we used a reclaimed Douglas Fir beam that held the meats.  Additional trays and boxes made from Douglas Fir held condiments and sides. All manufactured in-house in our workshop. Yes, we have a workshop in our studio to create all these amazing things!

    Peter Callahan Catering Workshop Custom Hors Doeuvres

    With such an incredible inspiration like Gehry to design a party for, you need a big finish. Particularly for a huge birthday celebration! Only one person came to mind when the idea of a birthday cake came up.  Who else but our clever friend, Ron Ben-Israel could rise to the challenge? So we gave him a call and look what he whipped up? A sweet genius, indeed. {and love the beginning of the video of Gehry sketching the building, he could be drawing a sensational cake like Ron!}

    Ron Ben Israel Frank Gehry Birthday Cake Peter Callahan Catering

    Have to say, what an honor it was to cater this incredible birthday gig for the maestro of design, Frank Gehry. A real honor.

    {Photos: Flickr, John Armich, Ron Ben-Israel}



    April 4th, 2012

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