National Cherry Blossom Festival Pink Tie Party draws top food names and international buzz.
By Michael M. Clements
When celebrating the change in season and the annual cherry blossom bloom, the thought of a black tie affair seems a bit lackluster; but a pink tie affair – that’s more like it. Washingtonians donned splashes of pink and debuted their spring styles for the Pink Tie Party to commemorate the beginning of the 100th National Cherry Blossom Festival. And like those venerable blossoms, notable Washingtonians and foodies added color to the event, gracefully hosted at the Mayflower Renaissance. Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki was in attendance, naturally, as was Adam Richman of the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food – he was not asked to devour a 10-pound cherry blossom pie, don’t worry. Smiling faces all around from Michael Pelissier of Moet Hennessy USA, President of the Cherry Blossom Festival Diana Mayhew, and Chairman of the Festival’s Board Susan E.S. Norton. A Japanese drum performance and premium cocktails from the Belvedere Lounge kept the vibe upbeat.
What would a launch be with a VIP party? Spotted at the VIP Moet & Chandon Imperial Reception were celebrity chefs Jose Andres, Roy Yamaguchi, and Art Smith, who led guests in a toast to the success of the evening. The night showcased the Cherry Blossom Festival’s international appeal. Though the blossoms were originally a gift from Japan to the United States, Andres shared memories with fellow guests of the cherry blossoms that used to bloom outside his window in Spain during his childhood. As Andres noted, the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms goes far beyond their aesthetic appeal – they have the ability to bring different cultures together. Which is exactly what they did on this night. But we still wanted to see Jose Andres present Adam Richmond with a Cherry Blossom food challenge. Man vs. Blossom! Maybe next year.
The National Cherry Blossom festival runs from March 20th to April 27th. Information HERE.