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Great Gatherings: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Dinner Party

Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams toast 25 years of business, style, and friendship

Written and produced by Krissa Rossbund
  • Matthew Benson

    Click here for menu and recipes. 

    Having a killer view from your high-rise in Manhattan is a good problem to have, but when you’re throwing a fabulous dinner party, you want your table to stand out, too. When business partners Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams were planning a soiree to mark the 25th anniversary of their home furnishings company, they worked with the arresting view rather than attempt to upstage it. They played it up with a smoky palette, enhancing the bustling city scene that surrounds them.

    “We love to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and remember those who helped us get here,” Gold says. “Gatherings have always been important to us, so much so that we designed our first dining chair to sit comfortably and keep friends and family talking for hours.”

    Photography: Matthew Benson

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  • Matthew Benson

    Contemporary Table

    Set on a contemporary table with a stainless-steel base and an ebonized wood top, hammered-metal chargers provide a substantial foundation for plates in alternating patterns. With a soft depiction of orchids, the salad plates loosen the minimalist aesthetic of the gunmetal-colored dinnerware—but because they’re rendered in black and white, they maintain an edge. Smoky crystal further heightens the visual tension. Water glasses in an amethyst shade and candleholders in black and gray create a glamorous but mysterious vibe that a spread of clear crystal would not achieve.

    The company’s longtime chef, Sean Robinson, prepared a menu of miniature pizzas toppped with sweet potato, kale, and shiitake, and almond-crusted salmon with a succotash of squash, beets, and Brussels sprouts. The finale? A chocolate-peanut butter delicacy.

    “We always wanted to do more than make furniture,” Bob says. “And that was to enrich the lives of people in their environments of both home and work. Doing good business has allowed us to help others, and that’s exactly what we intend to do as we move forward.”

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  • Matthew Benson

    Smoky Tablescape

    “Vega” clear flutes and amethyst tumblers, “Harcourt” wineglasses, “Eye” votives, and black “Harcourt” candlesticks with smoky-gray shades are all from Baccarat

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  • Matthew Benson

    Beatiful Place Settings

    Atop placemats made of cut chenille fabric from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, coordinating patterns from Michael Aram mix “Hammertone” textured chargers and “Cast Iron” dinner and bread plates with “Black Orchid” salad plates. Linen napkins are from Sferra. Matte-gold flatware is from Table Art.

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  • Matthew Benson

    Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams

    In the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams entertain frequently in a high-rise apartment they bought for the company. In the living room, Mitchell, left, and Bob enjoy appetizers and cocktails with their friend Sara Kate Ellis before dinner. 

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  • Matthew Benson

    Marvelous Mingle

    To add shine and ambience, Baccarat’s “Eye” votives in smoky-gray crystal illuminate a set of silver-edged agate coasters from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

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  • Matthew Benson

    Sweet Combo

    Chef Sean Robinson turned up the sweetness by adding peanut butter cream to chocolate pots de crème desserts presented to guests on Michael Aram’s “Block” platter.

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  • Matthew Benson

    Shaker Style

    Influenced by midcentury design, Michael Aram—who is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of his own eponymous company—created “Block” salt and pepper shakers with rugged flair.

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  • Matthew Benson

    Taste of Twenty-Five

    Boxes finished with silver ribbon and a custom label hold muffins for guests to take home. “We love good food and like to extend the food experience to guests as long as possible,” Bob says.

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  • Matthew Benson

    Menu and Shopping List

    Comfortable Passion Spritzer

    Mitchell’s Scotch-tini

    Mini Whole Wheat Pizzas with Sweet Potato, Kale, and Shiitake

    Candied Baby Beets Salad with Chêvre

    Almond-Crusted Salmon

    Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Bacon

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

    Shopping list

    We’ve organized a shopping list to make shopping for this party menu easier for you. Package sizes are included so you have enough for duplicated recipe ingredients.

    Check your pantry for these necessary items before shopping:

    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • Light-color corn syrup (need 1/2 cup)
    • Salt
    • Ground black pepper
    • Vanilla extract (need 1 teaspoon)
    • Baking soda (need 1 teaspoon) (check expiration date)
    • Sugar (need about 2 cups)
    • Eggs (need 8)
    • Milk (need 1 cup)
    • Butter (need 2 tablespoons)
    • Extra-virgin olive oil (need about 2/3 cup)
    • Dijon-style mustard (need 1 tablespoon)
    • Creamy peanut butter (need 1/2 cup)

    Specialty grocery store

    • Champagne vinegar

    Produce

    • 1-2 peaches for Spritzer garnish
    • 2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes
    • 1 medium butternut squash (need 1 pound flesh)
    • 1 small red onion
    • 1 bunch green onions
    • 3 shallots
    • 1 small garlic bulb
    • 1 bunch chives
    • 1 bunch thyme
    • 1 bunch parsley
    • 3 to 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
    • 1 small head kale
    • 2 small heads Bibb and/or red-tipped Bibb lettuce
    • 1 pound each small gold and red beets
    • 1 pound Brussels sprouts

    Grocery

    • 1 (11.3-ounce) can passion fruit nectar
    • 1 (32-ounce) bottle red grape juice (need 3/4 cup)
    • 1 (8-ounce) bottle pure maple syrup (need 1/4 cup)
    • Hot pepper sauce (need 1/4 teaspoon)
    • 1 (16-ounce) jar Spanish-style nuts (need 1-1/2 cups)

    Bakery aisle

    • 1 (5-pound) package whole wheat flour (need just over 2 cups)
    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 2 (6-ounce) package sliced almonds (need 1 cup)
    • Garlic powder (need 1 teaspoon)
    • 2 (4-ounce) bars dark chocolate (70% cacao) (need 8 ounces)
    • Sea salt (need one pinch)

    Meat department

    • Bacon (need four slices)

    Fish counter

    • 8 (6- to 7-ounce) fresh or frozen salmon fillets

    Dairy

    • 1 quart orange juice (need 3/4 cup)
    • 1 (1-quart) container whipping cream
    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (need 4 ounces)

    Bakery

    • 1 loaf pumpernickel bread

    Cheese counter

    • 12 ounces Fontina cheese
    • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese

    Alcohol

    • 1 bottle Southern Comfort
    • 1 bottle Macallan 12-year-old single malt Scotch
    • 1 bottle Prosecco
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  • Peter Krumhardt

    Comfortable Passion Spritzer

    • 1 ounce Southern Comfort, chilled
    • 1 ounce passion fruit nectar
    • Fresh peach wedge
    • 4 ounces Prosecco, chilled

    Pour Southern Comfort and passion fruit nectar into chilled champagne flute. Add peach wedge to champagne flute. Top with chilled Prosecco and serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.

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  • Peter Krumhardt

    Mitchell's Scotch-tini

    • 4 ounces Macallan 12-year-old single malt Scotch
    • 1/2 cup ice

    Place martini glass in freezer to chill. Place ice in cocktail shaker. Pour scotch over ice in shaker. Cover shaker; shake passionately 25 seconds. Strain into martini glass. Serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.

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  • Peter Krumhardt

    Mini Whole Wheat Pizzas with Sweet Potato, Kale, and Shiitake

    Dough:

    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1-1/3 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Topping:

    • 1-1/3 cups finely chopped sweet potato (5 oz.)
    • 3 shallots, thinly sliced (6 tablespoons)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1-1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and thinly sliced (3 oz.)
    • 1 cup finely shredded kale (1 leaf)
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 12 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (3 cups)

    For dough, preheat oven to 450°F. Coat very large baking sheet with nonstick spray; set aside. In small bowl combine water, yeast, sugar, and oil. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy. In food processor combine flour and salt. Cover; pulse with several on/off turns to combine. With machine running, add yeast mixture in a steady stream through opening in lid. Process until dough forms ball.

    On lightly floured surface knead dough for several strokes until dough is smooth. Cut into 16 equal portions (about 2/3 ounce each). Lightly reflour surface. Roll each dough portion into circle 3 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Place rounds on prepared baking sheet. Prick each round a few times with fork. Bake 4 minutes to partially bake.

    For topping, heat large skillet over medium high heat. Cook sweet potatoes and shallots in 1 tablespoon hot oil 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, kale, and garlic. Cook and stir 4 minutes more or until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Brush pizza crusts with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle crusts with 2 cups cheese. Add about 2 tablespoons toppings to each pizza. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 6 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned and cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings (2 pizzas each).   

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  • Matthew Benson

    Candied Baby Beets Salad with Chêvre

    Search out a local goat cheese producer at a cheese shop or specialty grocer to ensure the chêvre is absolutely fresh.

    The beets, dressing, and croutons can be prepared a day in advance.

    • 1 pound each small gold and red beets, peeled
    • 3/4 cup orange juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup red grape juice
    • 1 small red onion, halved
    • 6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
    • 2 slices pumpernickel bread, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 2 small heads Bibb and/or red-tipped Bibb lettuce, torn or chopped (8 cups)
    • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

    For candied beets, separate yellow and red beets. Cut beets into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. In small saucepan combine orange juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add gold beets. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes or until tender. Drain beets, reserving liquid. Repeat with red beets and remaining sugar, using grape juice in place of orange juice. Allow beets to cool

    For salad dressing, finely chop half of red onion. In small saucepan place drained gold beet liquid. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, 3 minutes. Add finely chopped onion. Continue boiling 4 minutes more or until mixture reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove; cool.

    Place drained red beet liquid in clean small saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, 5 minutes or until reduced by half and is syrupy. Remove and cool.

    For dressing, in blender or food processor place reduced gold beet mixture, vinegar, 2 tablespoons oil, chives, and mustard. Cover; blend or process 30 seconds. Set dressing aside.

    For croutons, preheat oven to 400°F. Place bread cubes in shallow baking pan. Drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 8 minutes or until crisp, stirring once.

    For salad, slice remaining onion half. Arrange lettuce, beets, onion slices, and goat cheese in large bowl or platter, or on individual salad plates. Top with croutons. Drizzle plates with red beet syrup. Pass dressing. Makes 8 servings.

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  • Matthew Benson

    Almond-Crusted Salmon Over Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Bacon

    Almond-Crusted Salmon

    Check with your fishmonger for the best regional salmon. Fish raised by sustainable methods will ensure better quality.

    • 8 (6- to 7-ounce) fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green onion
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • Sliced green onions (optional)

    Thaw fish if frozen; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.

    In food processor, combine 1/2 cup almonds, flour, parsley, green onion, and garlic powder. Cover; pulse with several on/off turns until nuts are coarsely chopped. Transfer flour mixture to shallow dish.

    In another shallow dish, combine eggs, milk, and hot pepper sauce. Dip flesh side of salmon fillets in egg mixture to coat. Dredge in flour mixture to coat.

    In 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of salmon fillets. Cook 8 minutes or until fish just flakes when tested with fork, turning halfway through. Remove from skillet; keep fish warm in 200°F oven while frying remaining fish.

    Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook remaining fish as above. Remove fish from skillet; keep warm in the oven.

    Wipe out skillet. Add butter to skillet. Add remaining 1/2 cup almonds; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, stirring often. Sprinkle almonds over salmon. Sprinkle with sliced green onions.

    Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Bacon

    Prepare this side dish before preparing the Almond-Crusted Salmon. This dish will also go well with roasted chicken, so keep the recipe handy.

    • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
    • 4 slices thick cut bacon (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
    • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
    • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
    • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme

    Trim stems and remove any wilted outer leaves from Brussels sprouts; wash. Halve Brussels sprouts lengthwise. In large pot, cook Brussels sprouts, uncovered, in large amount of boiling, lightly salted water 8 minutes or until tender; drain well. Place sprouts in ice water to chill and stop cooking. Drain; pat dry with paper towels.

    Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon; set aside. Add Brussels sprouts to bacon drippings in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Add squash to skillet. Cook and stir 10 to 12 minutes or until squash is tender. Add maple syrup, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more to glaze. Stir in cooked bacon. Transfer to serving dish. Sprinkle with chives and thyme. Cover and keep warm while frying fish.

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  • Peter Krumhardt

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

    Pots de Crème:

    • 1-1/3 cups whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 8 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
    • Pinch sea salt
    • 6 egg yolks

    Peanut Butter Cream Topping:

    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

    Peanut Brittle:

    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 1-1/2 cups Spanish-style peanuts
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup light-color corn syrup
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    For pots de crème, in small saucepan combine 1-1/3 cups whipping cream, milk, and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir in chocolate and pinch of salt. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

    Place egg yolks in medium bowl. Gradually stir about half of hot chocolate mixture into egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.

    Divide mixture evenly among eight 3-ounce glasses, pot de crème cups, or ramekins. Cover; chill 2 to 24 hours.

    For peanut butter cream topping, in medium bowl combine 1/2 cup whipping cream, peanut butter, and cream cheese. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover; chill up to 24 hours. Allow topping to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before using.

    For peanut brittle, coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanuts, 1 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Microwave on 100% power (high) 5 minutes (bowl will be hot; use oven mitts when touching bowl). Add butter and vanilla.

    Microwave 2 minutes more, stirring once halfway through cooking. Stir in baking soda (mixture will become foamy). Carefully pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading to 1/4-inch thickness. Cool about 20 minutes, then break into pieces. Makes 8 servings.

    Tip: Top pots de crème with peanut butter cream topping 1 hour before serving. Add peanut brittle right before serving.

    Tip: For a sweet gift, package up leftover peanut brittle for guests to take home.

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  • Colleen Duffley