Hosting Tips

MADE Dinner Series :: Autumn Evening Brunch

By Chanel Dror
Alexandra is back with her second installment of the MADE. Dinner Series. And though we could have sworn her first dinner would be impossible to beat, I dare say that today’s meal is an even more gorgeous display of all that autumn has to offer. The inspiration: A chance to enjoy the end of the lasting light with a lingering evening brunch. It was a cozy night with friends under a gazebo adorned with hanging eucalyptus wreaths, plenty of seasonal food and chatter until sunset…swoon. We could go on and on, but we’d rather let Alexandra fill you in on all the details, with gorgeous photos by Genevieve Renee Photographie.

Working with a preppy color palette of black, white, green and plum, I wanted to create an atmosphere that was warm and relaxing.

With the guidance and talents of Rebecca Dawn Floral Design, together we created lush arrangements of seeded eucalyptus, figs, and artichokes, with focal points of beautiful heirloom tomatoes, plums, blackberries and crab apples.

Each guest contributed a hand crafted element to the evening whether it be food or decor. Mimosa in hand, guests found their spot by way of a handmade place card.

Mixing clean black and white gingham patterns, assorted vintage wooden chairs and plenty of foliage, I achieved a look that was rustic but refined.

We also wired plenty more seeded eucalyptus to thin wreaths of various sizes and hung them from the gazebo where we’d be dining. It was like nature’s chandeliers.

The steelhead trout (which had been cured with dill and beets) served with garden salad, quail egg and mini quiche- was the most beautiful start to the evening brunch.

From there, the menu included everything from homemade peach and nectarine-vanilla bean preserves, toTartine English muffins, to pear-applesauce. Guests took home a homemade blackberry fruit leather favor all wrapped up in a kraft paper envelope.


  • 1 pound blackberries
  • 1/2 pound raspberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Purée blackberries and raspberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and water in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer to a large heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring purée to a boil, then simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thick. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 200F with the rack in the middle. Line a large baking sheet with a nonstick liner. Pour hot purée onto the liner and spread thinly and evenly into a 15×10 inch rectangle using a spatula. Dry the purée in the oven until it feels drier but slightly tacky. 2 to 3 hours. Cool for at least 3 to 24 hours. Peel off and enjoy!

At dusk, we layered up, sipped freshly pressed coffee and headed home well after sun set. It was truly a celebration of Fall welcomed.

Styling & Florals by Pink & Honey