Friday, September 13, 2013

It's the Little Things

What do diamonds and luxurious bites have in common? They both require inspiration and a creative vision to be brought to life.

Dana Gordon, the founder of Dana Rebecca Designs and chef Elaina Vazquez, the founder of Boutique Bites, work in totally different fields, but both share an artistic vision that has made their companies so successful.

We wanted to find out just how creative Elaina could get. Could she blow us away with bites inspired by something as small as a piece of jewelry? We asked her to pick her favorite Dana Rebecca pieces and craft an edible creation to go with it.

Elaina Vazquez. Photo by Marcin Cymmer.

The result was a stunning display of sparkle, gold and caviar. Proof that it's the small things that inspire inventive design. To learn a little more about Elaina, we asked her about the design process, sources of inspiration and what she loves about her job. Now dig in and enjoy this visual feast.

MDPR: When did you found Boutique Bites? How did you start experimenting with bite sized food?

I started Boutique five years ago when I was 26 with the vision of bringing fine dining to catered events. I started experimenting with miniaturizing everyday foods like cheeseburgers and hotdogs and quickly became known for my stylish mini bites. 

I developed the concept for Boutique Bites while I was living in Las Vegas working for Joel Robuchon. I wanted to bring beautiful, stylish, upscale food to catered parties.

Heart-shaped croque monsieur sandwich.
Photo by Marcin Cymmer.

MDPR: Tell us about the process of designing an event. Where does your inspiration come from and how does it all come together?

The inspiration always starts with the client and what they are envisioning. For wedding clients, I ask them what their favorite restaurants are, what the feel of the event should be, etc. Once I have a good idea of the type of food my client is looking for, I design a custom menu and proposal for their event. From there we put together the design concept for the event. How should the food station look? Would lucite chairs work best in the space? Should we use textured linens? All of these details start taking shape and we work with the client all along the way to execute their vision. 

I source inspiration from fashion and lifestyle magazines, Pinterest, jewelry, plateware in stores, flowers and many other places. 

Risotto filled mushroom cups with edible gold. 
Photo by Marcin Cymmer.

MDPR: What have been some of your favorite creations?

My mini lobster tacos and mini cheeseburgers are our best sellers for hors d'oeuvres and I still love them. The day we figured out how to make mini Chicago-style hot dogs that taste like the real thing was very exciting. We make the buns in my kitchen. I also love my truffle mac n cheese bites. 

Purple potato chips with osetra caviar and gold dust.
Photo by Marcin Cymmer.

MDPR: What do you love about your job?

I love how different every event is which really gives us the opportunity to come up with new ideas consistently. I also love working with so many talented people in this field. 

Lobster tacos.
Photo by Marcin Cymmer.

MDPR: Your bites not only look amazing, but taste great as well. Tell us about the ingredients you use.

Thanks! Taste is the most important part of any dish, so we work on the flavors first and presentation second. I love to use ingredients that are slightly unexpected, like saffron in the polenta, edible gold on the risotto and caviar on potato chips. I go to Green City Market when I can to buy local produce. The rest is sourced from farms and purveyors.

Beet crostini with gold dust.
Photo by Marcin Cymmer.

If you have a favorite dish you would like to see bite-sized tweet your idea to us at @MonikaDixonPR and @BoutiqueBites.

By Allison Sickert, MDPR Writer


  1. simply gorgeous!! i'm amazed at how the inspiration came to life through food! - Mary Beth

    1. Isn't she super talented? We were blown away as well! -- MDPR

    2. Isn't she super talented? We were blown away as well! -- MDPR

    3. Isn't she super talented? We were blown away as well! -- MDPR