DIFFA Cocktails by Design Event Launches Annual Dining By Design Tour

Pier 94, 12th Avenue at 55th Street, NY, NY | 03.20.2014 | by Merry Esparza

Style 1 Media On March 20th, DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS welcomed guests to the 2014 Cocktails by Design launch event for its 17th Annual Dining By Design Tour. The New York leg of the tour, held in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show at Pier 94, featured world-class dining environments designed by international and local talents. Guests enjoyed gourmet food and drink from celebrated New York City restaurants and national beverage sponsors, and had the opportunity to bid on luxury items at the silent auction. The annual Dining By Design schedule of events includes five days of public table viewing that concludes this year on Monday, March 24th with a gala dinner. (left: Design by Marc Blackwell New York)

The dining environments represented a wide range of moods and styles. Diane Von Furstenberg's design for Kravet Collections featured vibrantly colored, patterned fabrics strewn with toss pillows, creating a cheerful and casual environment. New York Design Center divided their setting into two halves, one representing traditional male-oriented style and the other portraying a female-oriented sensibility. Arteriors' setting was exotic and tropical; Marc Blackwell's environment featured clean lines and modern styling; and Ralph Lauren's installation was elegant and serene. Other participating designers and firms included David Rockwell, Jamie Drake, Robert Verdi, Kara Mann, Margaret Russell, Kati Curtis, Barney's, ESSIE, Calvin Klein, Gensler, Herman Miller, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Maya Romanoff, and Roche Bobois.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students, mentored by Shawn Henderson, created an installation representing Pinochio dining in the belly of a whale. The American Society of Interior Designers chose this environment as their top pick from the 2014 Architectural Digest Home Show

Chefs from top New York restaurants prepared culinary specialties on site and chatted with guests. Participating restaurants and caterers included Asellina, Champagne Sweets, Clement, Dylan's Candy Bar, Indochine, Davio's, Jeepney, Mari Vanna, Murray's Cheese, My Belly's Playlist, Nitehawk, North Square Restaurant, Pera Soho, ROYCE' Chocolates, and Lady M Confections. Liquor sponsor Patrón served up tasty design-themed cocktails with names like the Design-Jito and the Patron Diffa-Rita. California winery La Crema kept the wine flowing and the glasses full.

DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS direct care services, preventative education programs, and public policy initiatives in the United States. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design community to provide over $40 million to hundreds of AIDS service organizations nationwide.

For more information, please visit: DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.