A Feast to Welcome Fall
Dinner Studio in Jackson Hole
Photos by Carrie Patterson
On a rainy, mid-September evening, a group of Jackson Hole business owners, purveyors and philanthropists escaped the drizzle to share a delectable meal and warm conversation in Persephone Bakery’s cozy dining room. The second installation of Dinner Studio—a supper-time party series dreamed up by interior designer Jennifer Visosky and Kate Bailey, owner of communications company Annabel Media—served as a fresh take on stuffy networking events and welcomed the casual comforts of fall.
“I’m not a huge networking person,” Visosky says. “The business I’m doing is very personal, so it’s a lot more fulfilling for me to do intimate events. My intention for these parties was to have a more organic setting where guests can really talk and get to know each other.”
Guests were greeted with a Moscow mule during cocktail hour.
The night began with Moscow mules and hors d’oeuvres by local personal chef Eric Wilson. Guests sampled bites of fresh fish flown in for the occasion—Bigeye tuna tataki, Hawaiian ono ceviche and sashimi served with ginger plum sauce—as the room began to fill with Visosky’s personalized list of “creative people that inspire me on a personal or professional level, or people just doing ridiculously cool things in the community,” she says.
Spoonfuls of peas and tomatoes topped with burrata were served during cocktail hour.
Visosky's sister-in-law, Eileen Prugh.
Chef Eric Wilson prepared an array of fresh-fish hors d’oeuvres, including sashimi drizzled with a ginger plum sauce.
Napkins were embellished with leather ties and crab apples.
Playful details—nameplates written in the same script featured on Visosky’s blog, crab apples handpicked by Lacoste, and yellow ties crafted by a local leathermaker—tied into the event’s laid-back attitude.
As the artistic eye behind Jackson-based Grace Home Design for more than 13 years, Visosky relished setting the stage for the soiree—a narrow farmhouse table surrounded by mismatched chairs and benches that comfortably sat 30 guests. Persephone’s clean white walls, distressed hardwood floors and contemporary-rustic furnishings paired perfectly with Visosky’s idea for a rich, sophisticated color palette. “Having that backdrop kind of made it a no-brainer,” she says. The table was set with a creamy beige runner from local stationery outpost Paper & Grace, chocolate-brown and white linen napkins tied with golden-yellow leather bands, a mix of tall candlesticks and tea lights, and nametags inscribed with the same script featured on Visosky’s design blog, “Life’s Too Short for Beige.”
Lacoste arranged loose, whimsical bouquets of garden roses, dahlias and ranunculus in short, vintage vases for the table centerpieces.
The understated décor made overflowing floral bouquets arranged by Emily Lacoste, who owns the local floral and gift shop Lily & Company, the focal point of the table. Antique vases were loosely filled with a whimsical grouping of seasonal blooms—red and blush garden roses, burgundy dahlias, bright yellow ranunculus and a sprinkling of crab apples Lacoste gathered from a friend’s backyard.
Visosky (far right) with Dana Sanders Souther, Kate Bailey and Jenny May.
A variety of taper candles atop gold candlesticks and votives supplied the evening’s mood lighting.
After guests settled into their seats at the candlelit table, Chef Wilson served a savory menu that Visosky describes as “swoon-worthy”: A three-onion Alsatian tarte and bitter endive salad, followed by an applewood-charred venison rack set atop a green chile roasted corn soufflé and drizzled in a blackberry Syrah reduction. Nom Nom Doughnuts, a local doughnut shop that operates out of a traveling Airstream trailer, satisfied sweet teeth with inventive flavors including sautéed pineapple fritters, vanilla-glazed raspberry rhubarb and chocolate-glazed with pistachio and sea salt.
Visosky shares a pre-dinner toast with her guests—30 prominent members of Jackson’s business, art, design and beauty industries.
Contrasting with typical networking events, the mood of the evening was relaxed and lighthearted. Actress Kit Gwin shares a laugh before dinner is served.
Guests converse before digging into the main course of venison and corn souffle.
As the event came to a close, guests filtered out into the chilly night with full bellies, newfound friendships and the intoxicating, warm-and-cozy feeling that arrives with fall.
Hosting your own soiree this autumn? Designer Jennifer Visosky shares her tips for keeping it intimate and low-maintenance.
Guests of Honor
“A good party starts with a really well-curated guest list. Think of what your intention is—maybe it’s connecting people; maybe it’s reuniting people who already know each other—and set the tone of the event around those different personalities.”
Find a Focus
“Setting a theme makes an event feel really cohesive. Once you get to the core of what kind of party you’re going to throw, shopping for décor and planning a menu seem to fall into place.”
Set the Scene
“It doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive event to create something memorable. Whether you have three or 30 people in mind, choose a location that feels homey and comfortable, and encourages conversation.”
SEE ALSO: Florist Emily Lacoste shares her step-by-step guide to creating her romantic floral centerpieces here.