…The eggplant dip and seviche are the results of experiments by the owners of Remember Basil [now Lighten Up Caterers], an esteemed Brooklyn-based catering firm … Each of these dishes will make a lasting impression, whether it is a forerunner to a grand meal or the main culinary event of an evening’s gathering for cocktails.
Remember Basil [now Lighten Up Caterers] Steps Into
The Season With Bloomingdales’s Flamenco Fling
New York – With Gaudi-inspired arches, roving minstrels and a out 800 guests along the B-way, Bloomingdale’s was transformed into a festive Spanish villa Wednesday night to mark the opening of it’s annual fall import event. This year’s is called “Spain: Europe’s Rising Star.”
“This is a major event which shows that Bloomingdale’s remains the kind of store it’s always been, ” said Marvin Traub, chairman and chief executive officer.
…There were sherry and codfish cakes at the outset, and later, arroz con pollo with hot sauce and wine. Entertainment included a flamenco gutar trio, flamenco dancing by Mercedes Moreno (in the mattress department, which was converted to a nightclub). Guest also viewed weather bronze furniture, Moorish lanterns, shearlings and shawls, among the varied Spanish assortments…
‘Jackie liked to eat anything that had no fat at all,’ she recalled. ‘She took me on because I knew a lot about vegetarian cookery.’…”
…Right now, Lighten Up, New York is doing about 300 sandwiches,salads and hot entrees a day, adding $1,000 to $1,500 in daily revenues, or toughly $30,000 a month. [Ms. Clearsen] has brought in six full- and five part-time employees to handle the work…”
New York Observer
No sooner had I recovered from the joy of receiving, from CBS/FOX Home Video, the complete collection of every Sherlock Holmes movie ever made with Basil Rathbone (all available at $19.95 each) than what should appear in my mail but an invitation to a delectable party thrown by Basil Rathbone’s beautiful granddaughter Dounia. Sick of “Glorious Foods”? Try Dounia’s catering service, which she calls, nostalgically, “Remember Basil” [ now Lighten Up Catering ]. Munching Szechuan duck with sour cherries in iced Boston lettuce with Arlene Dahl, downing giant prawns in green chili pesto with Jenny Gucci (delighting all listeners with true tales of what “60 Minutes” couldn’t show in its expose of the Gucci dynasty) and gnawing away at the oysters Rockefeller with newlyweds Jane Powell and Dick Moore, I realized Sherlock Holmes never dies. He just keeps going, on VHS and Panzanella herb toast. Dounia Rathbone agrees with her famous grandfather: “Food – especially catering – is like show business. You produce it in one day and then you close.”
Brooklyn Heights, NY
Friday, October 30th, 7:00 pm
It’s impossible to imagine a caterer better qualified to create a fabulous Halloween party for us than Dounia Rathbone and her celebrated company, Remember Basil. After all, these are the folks famous for the 6 am airport buffet for Malcom Forbes’ 70th birthday at which 650 people, ready to board planes for Morocco, enjoyed authentic Far Eastern foods on tables tied with gold bows and sprinkled with gold dust set amid grapes hung from harem windows and exotic flowers spraying from three-foot-high bronze Turkish samovars. Then there were the Kryptonite cocktails and bread Metropolis to mark the premiere of the Superman movie. And the all-pink dinner for Donna Karan. And the Winter’s Tale for American Express, the one for which Rathbone created a woodland, framing the buffet with leafless trees, covering it entirely with deer moss (bought at 5 am at the flower market), and serving the food on stumps, logs, and large leaves. We can’t wait to see what she’ll do for us given the possibilities presented by the year’s spookiest holiday.
Remember Basil is named for its founder’s favorite uncle, the actor Basil Rathbone, best known for his brilliant portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. Dounia Rathbone was also an actress; but after a stint in the Waldorf’s kitchens, she opened her catering busi- ness and clients like Carla Fendi, Bunny Mellon, Mary Tyler Moore and Jackie Onassis are delighted she did.
As always on Halloween, Foundation guests are encouraged to come in costurne.
Recipes for the ultimate summer fish fest
Whether it’s dinner at eight or dinner for eight hundred, Dounia Rathbone of Remember Basil, Ltd. can handle it with aplomb. Known for her delicious imagination, this top caterer has blazed culinary pathways on the party circuit with themed dinners that emphasize taste, service, and dramatic presentation. Of course, a flair for theatrics runs in the Rathbones: Her grandfather was the great actor Basil Rathbone, known equally for his Sherlock Holmes films and his Shakespeare. Fish is always delightful in summer, and Rathbone has created this Hamptons seafood buffet menu especially for On The Avenue. She suggests creating a touch of drama by serving the food an a buffet table with different levels-inve rt a wine crate, cover it with a tablecloth and use it to raise certain items off the buffet. French country tiles, good wicker baskets, copper pots, and white pottery WM also add sparkle to the table. “I use food to create or match an environment”, says Rathbone. “Each party is a statement. Getting the message across depends on the bringing together of lots of different talents to produce something unique and beautiful.”