What a year for Alexis Fine DeAngelis. She recently had her second baby and was named Director for The Glazier Group, where sheâ€™s worked for the past seven years managing special events and catering for the New York properties. Alexis has literally grown up in the business, working in the family business of Fine and Shapiro on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, followed by years with a kosher caterer where she learned from the bottom up in the industry, from waitress, to captain, to working in the kitchen prepping food. Alexis shares her winning approach and survival tips.
When you walk a venue, what are the top three things you look for?Â Â
Coming from a catering/operations background, I look for the kitchen, load in and the space.Â I have a pretty good eye to know what can and cannot fit into an area and what can be produced with that venue.Â Sometimes, with limited kitchens or when you have to create a kitchen out of a room from nothing, you need to be creative with your menus and honest with your clients.
Describe a â€śsuccessfulâ€ť event in five words.
We exceeded guestsâ€™ high expectations.
After the date is chosen, whereâ€™s your starting point on an event? Â Â
Generally we start meeting with the client three months prior to the event to finalize all the details.Â From the invitation time, to the ceremony if hosted on site, to creating the menu, that generally gives us plenty of time to iron out the perfect event.Â This is, of course, not to say that we donâ€™t check in or hear from our clients prior to the three-month mark, but it is the target time in our minds.
Where do you network and how do you make the time?Â
I am on the board of the International Special Events Society (ISES), so I try to attend its events monthly.
Iâ€™m an intern. Name five things Iâ€™ll learn from you in six monthsâ€™ time.
You will come away knowing how to:
1. Manage your time,
2. Say no in the nicest way,
3. Control the situation without being too controlling,
4. Guide your client in the right direction, and
5. Take care of yourself. As busy as you may be, it is important to do something nice for you every once in a while â€“ buy yourself a present or get a manicure, pedicure, massage.
Â Is there a tool you wish you had but donâ€™t? What would you invent to make your job easier?Â Â
A great floor plan program for the iPadâ€¦ something that would allow you to take a picture of a blank space and draw as you go, adding in tables and chairs and other elements as needed, and all to scale or as close as possible.
Whatâ€™s your favorite wedding movie?
I love the Bollywood movie Bride and Prejudice. The colors!
How do you keep your energy up while working an event?Â
I start my day with a triple grande skinny vanilla latte, which keeps me going till the 4pm hour, then a Diet Coke.Â Â Oh, and plenty of water â€“ very important to stay hydrated!
Any â€śmagic wordsâ€ť or mantras when the stress is on? Â
Smile and breathe. Although hard to do, sometimes you need to take a step back and just breatheâ€¦
About: Â Alexis Fine DeAngelis has a lifetime’s worth of experience in the business beyond her years, as the fourth generation in a family of restaurant and catering specialists. As a result, her understanding of every level in the business is tailored with a respect for everyone she works with, from the chef to the front of the house. Her specialty is translating the high-end fine dining experience with warm hospitality and an eye for detail. For more information on Alexis, click here.