Business first

One hot chef, a rockin' mixologist and CultureMap's tri-city execs join to celebrate the season

One hot chef, a rockin' mixologist and CultureMap's tri-city execs join to celebrate the season

16, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Jennifer Chininis, Alyce Alston, Shelby Hodge
Jennifer Chininis , Alyce Alston , Shelby Hodge Photo by © Jon Shapley
19, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Tod Eason, Adam Bryan
Tod Eason , Adam Bryan Photo by © Jon Shapley
32, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Chef Allison Jenkins
Allison Jenkins Photo by © Jon Shapley
12, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Clifford Pugh, Phyllis Cole
Clifford Pugh , Phyllis Cole Photo by © Jon Shapley
25, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Caitlin Ryan, Veronica Castelo
Caitlin Ryan , Veronica Castelo Photo by © Jon Shapley
29, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Vilma Mazaite, Tod Eason, Phyllis Cole
Vilma Mazaite , Tod Eason , Phyllis Cole Photo by © Jon Shapley
11, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Anna Domning, Kevin Benz, Amy Katzenberg
Anna Domning , Kevin Benz , Amy Katzenberg Photo by © Jon Shapley
40, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Chad Miller, Tod Eason
Chad Miller , Tod Eason Photo by © Jon Shapley
38, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Amy Katzenberg, Kevin Benz
The after-dinner gift exchange was a rollicking success. Amy Katzenberg , Kevin Benz Photo by © Jon Shapley
21, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Shelby Hodge, Alyce Alston, Sarah Brooks Biggs
Shelby Hodge , Alyce Alston , Sarah Brooks Biggs Photo by © Jon Shapley
28, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Chef Allison Jenkins
Allison Jenkins Photo by © Jon Shapley
37, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, flower arrangement, flowers
Centerpieces of tulips, hydrangeas and yellow roses set the stage for the LaV Austin dinner. Photo by Sarah Brooks Biggs
6, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, table setting, table decorations
The table was elegantly set for the classic French dinner from LaV Austin. Photo by © Jon Shapley
16, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Jennifer Chininis, Alyce Alston, Shelby Hodge
19, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Tod Eason, Adam Bryan
32, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Chef Allison Jenkins
12, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Clifford Pugh, Phyllis Cole
25, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Caitlin Ryan, Veronica Castelo
29, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Vilma Mazaite, Tod Eason, Phyllis Cole
11, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Anna Domning, Kevin Benz, Amy Katzenberg
40, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Chad Miller, Tod Eason
38, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Amy Katzenberg, Kevin Benz
21, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Shelby Hodge, Alyce Alston, Sarah Brooks Biggs
28, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, Chef Allison Jenkins
37, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, flower arrangement, flowers
6, CultureMap Alyce party, December 2012, table setting, table decorations

Every great hostess knows the key ingredients to a successful party — great food, good drink and a lively mix of guests. The requisite elements came together Monday night when CultureMap CEO Alyce Alston opened her Stratford Place home in Austin for a lavish toast to the season and to CultureMap success.

CultureMap execs from Houston and Dallas joined Austin leadership for the evening that capped a day of business meetings and team building. Once the serious tasks were completed and work clothes exchanged for cocktail attire, the fun began.

Veronica Castelo, CultureMap Austin director of marketing, organized the fete that featured a multi-course dinner prepared by chef Allison Jenkins and overseen by Vilma Mazaite. That duo is heading up the much-anticipated LaV Austin restaurant, expected to open on East 7th Street in the spring. 

The group had much to celebrate including the recent launch and early success of CultureMap Dallas. 

(Mazaite's business partners in the new venture are Houston's Lisa and Ralph Eads. The couple met Mazaite in Aspen, where she headed the wine team at the Little Nell and where Jenkins was executive chef at Ajax Tavern.) 

Before sitting down to the classic French three-course feast, CultureMap execs checked their inhibitions at the bar where famed Austin mixologist Adam Bryan of Midnight Cowboy worked his liquid magic. His offerings included a festive hot rum concoction and Hill Country coolers. His repartee a spirited addition to the party talk.

The group had much to celebrate including the recent launch and early success of CultureMap Dallas, the impressive market share that one-year-old CultureMap Austin enjoys and the continuing growth and success of CultureMap Houston.

Savoring the scrumptious food and drink, including desserts from popular SugaPlump Pastries, were CultureMap Dallas' Phyllis Cole and Jennifer Chininis, Houston's Tod Eason, Clifford Pugh, Chad Miller, Anna Domning and this reporter, Austin's Kevin Benz and Caitlin Ryan and CultureMap chief digital officer Amy Katzenberg.