At Design Cuisine we are most proud of our long term relationships with so many philanthropic organizations, and are equally proud to have established relationships with some of the most exclusive and unique venues in the district and beyond. When it comes to choosing a caterer and design team for your cause, you can count on our total commitment to excellence and providing the most value for your investment.

Hosting a charity event includes an added bit of pressure since you are not only throwing together an uber fetching fête but you are also championing a terrific cause. Here are some key factors to focus on that will make your event stand out from the rest, while not losing focus on the cause at hand.


Selecting a date that attracts the right crowd for the cause you are celebrating is the single most important step in beginning successful planning. At the 13th Annual Spirit of Mount Vernon Heritage Gala {held in the Fall} Design Cuisine celebrated the season throughout this historic, rustic venue. A warm color palate of soft browns and rich burgundies in décor paired well against modern patterned china and etched glassware. Seasonal gourds, hearty Virginia raised beef, local cheeses, and our signature sticky toffee pudding with housemade vanilla bean ice cream celebrated the flavors of the fall harvest, while the crisp air kept well suited guests comfortable as they danced and celebrated our Founding Fathers home.

Design Cuisine Mount Vernon

For a romantic spring styled event, we looked to Shakespeare for our inspiration. At the Folger Shakespeare Library Gala, custom created green table linens and pastel floral arrangements complimented gold flatware and vintage china. This “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ambiance was bettered by the first course of four pea gazpacho, followed by Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb over mushroom barley risotto and asparagus bundles tied with a carrot ribbon.



Once you have narrowed down your season it’s time to shop venues. When deciding on a venue, consider the overall type of theme you are envisioning for your event. A rustic theme lends itself well to the aforementioned Mount Vernon or a whimsical Garden theme to the Shakespeare Library. If your charity event is intended for more of a modern, urbane crowd than a venue such as Dock5 at Union Market could be the perfect spot. Featuring over 12,000 square feet, 22′ high ceilings and glass garage doors, the space exudes urban sophistication with the ability to extend into an outside dock and private alley. The venue is directly above the artisanal marketplace, Union Market, which houses over 30 of the top food producers in the region.


Wow factor

You want to make sure that your guests leave your event with a lasting impression that keeps your cause top of mind, and at the forefront of conversations with like minded friends. At the National Building Museum we were delighted to work with celebrity event planner, David Tutera, on the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 19th Annual Spring Gala “Festa della Donna”. Some sensational factors to this event were the warm tones of gold and fuchsia that lit up the scene and the Italian inspired décor and food, including dynamic centerpieces bursting with vibrant flowers and adorned with Italian masquerade masques.



The Devil is in the details

What really gives an event that finished, polished, professional look is all the thought and creativity that goes in those last, little details. From chairs to chargers, putting a little extra thought to minor details will really propel your event onto a higher level. At this year’s Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts gala, Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States and the ball’s honorary host, was more than just a name on the program. The rich tones of his home country and culture were incorporated in each and every sensory experience the guests encountered. From music, to visual art, hooka and the scent of exotic herbs, and the taste of rare Arabic coffee, we left no Chiavari chair cushion unturned.




“Cultural touches from the Middle East were everywhere. Guests entering the makeshift ballroom were first serenaded by a musician playing an oud, an Arabic string instrument similar to a European lute. Henna artists were on hand to draw complex designs on excited patrons (“I can’t wait to show my 10-year-old daughter!”). Arabic coffee was served along with the cocktails.”
– The Washington Post